4 Action Items to Boost Your Holiday Sales Using Social

Do you have a marketing plan for the holidays? Prime shopping season is upon us, and this is the ideal time to boost your sales using social. Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, aka the biggest shopping day of the year) is now celebrated by one in three people in the world. And according to Statista, Cyber Monday 2016 (the Monday after Thanksgiving) became the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever, with close to $2.67 billion in online spending.

Cyber Monday has become the largest U.S. online shopping day of the year!

So how do you snag your small business a piece of this lucrative holiday pie? Here are my four action items for boosting your holiday sales using social:

1. Create a Timeline

Did you know that almost half of consumers begin researching holiday gifts even before November? That’s why it’s key to get started early so you don’t miss the holiday rush. By October, you should have a holiday ad strategy, including any photography/image needs, early holiday teasers, and a calendar of ad/content ideas. Don’t wait!

2. Run Targeted Ads

November is the time to start running with your creative ads on Facebook and Instagram. Strategically plan for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and make your ads as targeted as possible. Facebook allows you to build audience segments based on who you want to target, and then create ads with offers and promotions that make sense. Take advantage of these tools and make sure to use targeting options like demographics, location, interests, or behaviors.

I highly recommend selecting the “engagement custom audience” option, which is relatively new to Facebook. Social Media Examiner explains, “These are people who have already shown an interest in you by watching your videos, interacting with one of your other ads, or sharing your website links on Facebook. You can draw engagement custom audiences in further by placing additional paid content in their feeds.”

In addition to ads, you can create a special offer on your Facebook business page, which will be visible to anyone who has “liked” your business. Offer types include percent off, amount off, buy one get one, and free stuff.

3. Create “Thumb-Stopping” Content

A great ad may not perform well without the right content behind it. After all, if you’re paying for it, you want to get the most traction for your buck. I love the way Social Media Examiner defines engage content as “thumb-stopping,” meaning it captures the reader by meeting their needs – so much so that they want to share it with others.

Did you know that 62 percent of people surveyed by Facebook do most of their holiday shopping in December? That means you need to create urgency! You can do this by advertising last-minute deals or timely holiday sales events. Copy that evokes emotion also tends to perform well this time of year. Get your customers in the holiday spirit!

Just as important as your ad copy or linked content – if not more so – is your imagery. Remember that Facebook and Instagram are visual platforms. When you’re scrolling through your news feed, for instance, what usually grabs your attention? An interesting graphic or video clip, of course!

If you don’t have something like this in your arsenal, consider purchasing stock photos/clips or scheduling your own photo or video shoot. Trust me, the extra expense is well worth it if it gets you in the holiday sales game.

Social Media Examiner advises, “As it gets closer to the end of the year, users’ news feeds will be bombarded with a lot of holiday content. Facebook recommends using motion to grab attention during the holidays. Use visuals to stand out, catch eyes, and stop your readers’ thumbs.”

4. Leverage the Facebook Pixel

I wrote about the Facebook pixel in last month’s blog post, and I’m going to reiterate its importance here. In the simplest terms, the pixel is a small piece of JavaScript code that you place on your website. It lets you track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads so that you can engage customers and measure your ad results.

Facebook Business explains some of these benefits: “If you install the Facebook pixel, you can track website conversions, your ad’s performance, calculate ROI as well as create Lookalike Audiences based on people who have already converted.” Lookalike Audiences enable you to split/test the same ad to different audiences so you can monitor performance and then decide which ad is the best place to put your dollars.

But conversion tracking is the area where I see the most tangible benefits from the Facebook pixel. It tracks website visitors who came in from your Facebook Ads, plus any actions they make once they are on your site. You can select which “events” you want it to track – actions like search, add to cart, complete registration, purchase, and more.

On top of all these benefits, Facebook itself has admitted that it’s beginning to give priority to ads that are connected to a Facebook pixel. Plus, the pixel is included with your (free) Facebook Ads account, so you’ve got nothing to lose by trying it.

Are you ready for the holiday shopping rush? What are your go-to holiday strategies for social?

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  • Author: Angie Dunnigan
  • About Me: Founder of aka Media Marketing, a full service Social Media Marketing Agency, Social Business Coach and Media Manager. Helping businesses connect with their target customer through our ever changing virtual world.