Facebook has become a part of daily life, used by consumers to keep up with friends, get the latest news and yep, decide what to buy. Facebook ads can be an uber-powerful driver of traffic and revenue during the holiday season, but it’s not all about shouting at your customers to BUY, BUY, BUY.
The holidays are an excellent time to really zone in on your tribe, giving your core group of customers not only products they want, but the kind of experience they love. It’s a chance to transform yourself from a company that simply sells stuff to a brand followers love and trust.
Here are 8 ways to use Facebook to build that all-important engagement this holiday season, without giving your customers advertisement fatigue.
1. Ask questions
The easiest way to get followers to respond to your posts is to ask an open-ended question.
You can pose lighthearted, holiday themed inquiries like ‘have you started your holiday shopping yet or do you typically wait until the last minute?’
You can ask for feedback on the products and promotions you’re planning, like ‘which deal do you like better, 15% off your entire purchase or major doorbusters like 50% off on select items?’
You can prompt followers to help guide your business strategy with questions pertaining to customer service and shopping experience.
Not only does this strategy help garner likes and comments on your posts, it provides you with actual customer input you can use to make smarter marketing decisions.
2. Share images
Facebook likes visuals! Posts with images get exponentially more engagement than those that share only text or a link.
Here’s a secret to try—when you need to share a link, you probably copy and paste it into the post area, which results in a post that looks something like this, right?
Instead, next time start by uploading a related image first. Then, type the copy of your post and paste your link.
It will result in a post that looks like this:
It’s a slightly different look, with a more prominent focus on the image rather than the link. Facebook’s algorithm likes this. Your link will still be accessible, but the post will show in users’ feeds like an image rather than a link snippet.
For me, this small trick has resulted in doubling or even tripling the reach of a post. Test it out for yourself and see.
3. Upload native video
I can’t say it enough: video, video, video is where it’s at!
Facebook users love video, and your customers are no different. Create videos that showcase your products, take users behind the scenes, share a day in the life of your company and answer frequently asked questions.
I share tips for using your smartphone to create professional-looking video in this post.
Once you’ve got a video ready to share, the key is to share it as a native video. This simply means uploading it directly to Facebook rather than sharing a link from a third-party site like YouTube or Vimeo that you’ve posted to.
Native videos perform much better in terms of reach than videos shared through an external link.
4. Run product ads
You don’t want to be totally salesy, but it’s ok to use Facebook to promote your products as long as that’s not the only thing you’re doing.
Product ads are a great way to get your merchandise in front of a highly targeted audience. They can also be used to remind people who’ve already been to your site of the products they looked at or placed into their shopping cart but didn’t buy.
If you run your site on Shopify, the Facebook Product Feed app will make it super easy to set up and run your product ads on autopilot, while the RetargetApp will help you get those ads in front of previous visitors.
5. Create gifting lists and send traffic to them
When planning your holiday marketing strategy, your first and foremost goal should be to make it as easy as possible for the customer.
The holidays are stressful enough already; if you make a visitor search too hard or too long for the item they’re looking for, they’re going to leave. One way to help encourage quick conversions is by creating handy gifting lists and displaying them prominently on your site.
You might create a list of ‘Gifts Under $50’ or ‘Gifts For Her,’ for example.
Once you’ve got the lists or shopping categories published on your site, use Facebook ads to drive traffic to them. You’ll want to choose the ‘send traffic to your website’ objective when setting up these ads (more on choosing the right ad objective in this post).
6. Build anticipation for sales
Once you’ve planned out your holiday season promotions, you need to tell your audience about them. Use Facebook to build excitement and awareness about your best deals in the days and weeks leading up to their launch.
Let’s say, for example, you’ve decided to run a series of doorbuster deals over Black Friday weekend. During the week leading up to Black Friday, you might post a sneak peek pic each day showcasing a different doorbuster item and the details of the sale.
So your post on Monday might go something like, ‘you’re looking at the Blender Max 3000, our annual holiday bestseller! Get it THIS FRIDAY ONLY for $39—that’s 50% off the regular price!’
7. Run giveaways
For B2C businesses, giveaways are an essential part of your holiday marketing strategy. Simply put, customers love them. They build buzz, they generate crazy engagement, and ultimately get people excited about the products you’re giving away.
Running a giveaway on Facebook doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the easier you make it, the better.
It might be as simple as posting, ‘What’s the number one Acme Corporation gift on your wish list this year? Share it with us be leaving a comment and one lucky winner will have their wish granted!’
Here’s an example of a great, simple and highly engaging giveaway post from author Sarah Morgan.
Check out the amount of engagement on that post after only four hours!
Now, why would you go and give away a perfectly good product just to get a few likes and comments? Because it’s about the bigger picture for your brand awareness.
The Facebook algorithm likes to see posts that are getting a lot of engagement. If lots of people are liking and commenting on a post, it’s shown to more and more people. It’s a ripple effect.
So, if 10 people leave a comment on your giveaway post, Facebook might place that post in the news feed of 10 more of each of the commenter’s friends. In this way, your post gets major social lift to people who otherwise wouldn’t be seeing posts from your brand.
8. Don’t forget about your team
When one of my social media clients sends me a pic they snapped at their Friday pizza party or their group outing to Dave and Busters, I throw my hands up and rejoice.
Why? It’s not because the picture is awesome or I’m excited about the activity. It’s because these kinds of pictures are a gold mine on social media.
People love posts about real people. Show your followers what you and your team are up to and I guarantee they’ll show you the likes in return.
Ready to get serious about planning your 2017 holiday marketing strategy? Download your FREE holiday marketing planner now.
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