Holiday marketing through social media (SMM) has transitioned from a discretionary approach to an indispensable strategy for brands. The rationale is clear – a majority of individuals now engage with one or more social media platforms. This is further underscored by recent trends showing a consistent uptick in holiday sales year after year, particularly in the realm of online shopping.
Holiday Sales Trends for 2022 (Deloitte):
- Forecasts for 2022 indicate a potential surge of 4 to 6 percent in holiday shopping, with eCommerce sales projected to escalate from 12.8 to 14.3 percent compared to the previous year.
- The holiday sales estimate for retail and consumer goods hovers around $1.45 to $1.47 trillion, while eCommerce is anticipated to generate between $260 to $264 billion.
Drawing Customers In with Holiday Marketing Strategy FAQ
Before devising a social media marketing plan incorporating the latest holiday marketing insights, it is crucial to first understand why this is both beneficial and imperative, particularly for small-scale enterprises.
The Rationale Behind Crafting a Social Media and Digital Channel Marketing Blueprint
According to Google, a mere 4 percent of holiday shoppers abstained from employing digital shopping channels. This statistic implies that over 90 percent of shoppers have shifted to an online platform.
In the United States, the year 2022 witnessed a staggering 270.1 million active social media users, accounting for 80.9 percent of the entire population. This signifies that businesses have the potential to reach a diverse spectrum of consumer demographics in terms of spending capacity and shopping behavior across social networks. Consequently, formulating a holiday marketing strategy tailored to each platform and customer segment is imperative to seize a portion of the holiday shopping fervor.
The Necessity of Instituting Holiday Marketing Campaigns
Executing holiday campaign strategies to leverage the holiday shopping rush offers distinct advantages. As per McKinsey & Company’s 2022 Consumer Pulse Survey, here are the key insights:
- 55 percent of U.S. respondents expressed enthusiasm and financial readiness for holiday shopping.
- 56 percent initiated their holiday shopping endeavors as early as October.
- Almost 50 percent indicated a willingness to switch stores if a better price was available elsewhere.
Key Takeaways from McKinsey & Company’s Survey:
- A substantial proportion of consumers have disposable income earmarked for spending.
- Over half of holiday shoppers prefer to commence their shopping early rather than waiting until later in the season.
- Price remains a pivotal determinant in purchasing decisions.
The Relevance of Holiday Marketing Campaigns for Small Businesses
For many enterprises, the holiday season is a pivotal period. It should be a celebratory time for businesses, making it imperative to leverage your achievements and capitalize on them during the giving season.
Entering its third year, the pandemic continues to disrupt economic stability. A recent survey conducted by Goldman Sachs revealed that 71 percent of small businesses experienced adverse effects due to the surge in COVID-19 (Omicron) cases, leading 37 percent to either downsize or temporarily suspend operations.
Table 1. Consumer Spending Trends for the 2022 Holiday Season Compared to 2021
Approximately 37 percent of U.S. consumers are likely to maintain similar spending levels as the previous holiday season, while 41 percent intend to increase their expenditures. Especially for small businesses, this holiday season has the potential to account for up to 40 percent of their annual revenue.
Table 2. Significance of the 2022 Holiday Season for the Financial Well-being of Small Businesses Compared to 2021
In the USA, 79 percent of small businesses consider holiday shopping vital for their financial stability. However, in the face of intense competition, the key to survival in these uncertain times lies in deploying proven digital and social media marketing strategies.
The Significance of Well-Formulated Marketing Plans
Amongst various digital channels, social media stands out as the preeminent avenue for engaging consumers and enhancing their experience through information dissemination, query resolution, and assistance. This necessitates a comprehensive social media marketing blueprint. Given that each platform possesses distinct characteristics, specific marketing and advertising campaigns tailored to each are imperative.
A Strategy Empowers Brands to Precision-Target
Traditionally, a small business, lacking the expertise of a social media specialist, might attempt to garner organic social media traffic by posting random product content on diverse channels. Some may even experiment with paid social media advertisements, as platforms often facilitate this. However, this approach falters in precision targeting. Visual elements, for instance, play a pivotal role in capturing user attention. Thus, the images and videos employed must exemplify high quality. Together with the textual content, they must evoke an emotional response to be more compelling in motivating users to take the desired action.
Even with top-notch materials, numerous strategic elements come into play. Research, in particular, constitutes the bedrock of any marketing campaign. Identifying customer segments and determining the most suitable channels for brand messaging, as well as strategic timing, are all critical to the success of campaigns. Moreover, fine-tuning various parameters to reach the target audience at the optimal juncture is paramount. All of these demand access to analytics and tools, along with technical proficiency and expertise.
Meticulously Executed Campaigns Offer the Highest ROI
Particularly for paid social media campaigns, one of the most valuable holiday marketing tips is to enlist the services of a specialist. A search engine optimization (SEO) and social media expert can assist brands in devising robust strategies tailored to capitalize on the holiday shopping fervor. While their services entail a cost, they substantially heighten the likelihood of success and amplify return on investments (ROIs).
Marketing Tips for Social Media in 2022
At its core, the distinction between a general social media marketing strategy and a holiday marketing strategy lies in theme and timing. Here are some social media marketing tips applicable to any marketing initiative, not confined solely to a holiday campaign.
- In addition to furnishing users with pertinent information, enhance the customer experience by streamlining the process. This encompasses one-click access to the shop from any social network or website, along with direct links to specific products/services.
- Foster stronger connections by offering complimentary items relevant to the purchased product. For example, a restaurant could include disposable containers and utensils for food deliveries. Remember, even a small token can go a long way in forging customer relationships and engendering loyalty.
- Aid customers in achieving their objectives. This could entail furnishing relevant content that not only imparts knowledge on how to utilize a product or service, but also provides added value. Take, for instance, exercise equipment. The company might dispatch newsletters presenting various ways to use a product for a healthier lifestyle.
- Products can typically be presented to consumers through a variety of marketing approaches. One of the most recommended social media marketing tips for attracting target customers is to address their pain points or requirements. Samsung, for instance, concentrates on the camera technology of the S22 to resonate with consumers who place a premium on high-quality photography and videography. This strategy is conspicuous on the product page, where content related to photography occupies a significant portion.
- Comprehend the target customer base. This entails conducting thorough research and market segment analysis. Tailored marketing campaigns can only be developed once a comprehensive understanding is established.
- Instill a sense of urgency and furnish special discounts or offers. Time-sensitive incentives often yield positive results. Consequently, this tactic is employed year-round to “persuade” consumers to take action before opportunities lapse.
Developing Holiday Marketing Campaigns
As implied, a holiday campaign entails a conventional social media marketing strategy integrated with a special occasion. In addition to employing proven techniques and methodologies, these holiday marketing tips should be factored in to attract both paid and organic social media leads and customers.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Holidays and Attract Customers in Advance
Initiating a social media marketing plan should commence well in advance of the actual holiday. Here are noteworthy dates to mark on the calendar.
- September 22, 2022. The onset of the fall equinox heralds the commencement of the holiday season. Given that many consumers embark on their shopping endeavors earlier, contemplate launching campaigns as early as July.
- October 31, 2022. How soon do consumers commence acquiring Halloween-related merchandise? Google reports that global searches for “family Halloween costumes” surged by 90 percent from June to August 2021, compared to the previous year. As this trend is anticipated to persist in 2022, brands would be wise to initiate campaigns as early as June.
- November 11, 2022. Single’s Day, originating as an “anti-Valentine’s Day” for unmarried couples in China, has since proliferated to various parts of the globe. This has led to the emergence of double-digit mega-sales events on eCommerce platforms. Currently, double-digit events such as 12/12, 10/10, 9/9, and so forth have become commonplace, affording brands the opportunity to deplete their inventories by offering substantial discounts.
- November 25, 2022. Black Friday commences post-Thanksgiving and extends for three days until Sunday, marking the most bustling period for shopping in the U.S. One contributing factor is that it caters to a substantial portion of consumers who have already decided what they intend to purchase but are merely awaiting price reductions. Consequently, commence sales initiatives at least a month prior.
- November 26, 2022. Small Business Saturday ranks among the busiest holiday shopping periods in the U.S. In 2021, over 50 million individuals participated, with a noteworthy 71 percent indicating that they specifically engaged in shopping on this day. To prepare, brands can initiate product promotions in advance and provide special incentives.
- November 29, 2022. Last year, more than 30 million individuals partook in GivingTuesday. Furthermore, a survey conducted by Kantar revealed that almost half of consumers are inclined to invest their time and money in businesses that endeavor to do good. Therefore, beyond simply offering discounts, companies may wish to reinforce their image as socially responsible entities. One such holiday marketing strategy might involve allocating a portion of product sales to charitable causes.
- December 17, 2022. Super Saturday has proven immensely beneficial for businesses possessing physical storefronts. Search queries such as “in stock near me” and “gift card where to buy” experienced an increase of over 80 percent compared to the preceding week. Consequently, create campaigns designed to bolster in-store sales.
- December 20, 2022. For most carriers, this marks the final day for express shipping. Around this juncture, three-quarters of holiday shoppers exhibit a preference for purchasing from brands offering free shipping. Thus, one of the most effective marketing messages revolves around highlighting swift and complimentary shipping.
- December 24, 2022. According to Google, the search term “last-minute Christmas gifts for” witnessed a 700 percent surge in the week leading up to Christmas in 2021. Regrettably, shipping products during the holiday shopping frenzy can be challenging. Nonetheless, companies possessing physical stores can develop marketing campaigns to inform customers that items are available for pick-up.
- December 26, 2022. On Boxing Day, approximately 30 percent of consumers intend to reward themselves. Hence, the marketing message for this day should ideally resonate with this inclination.
- December 31, 2022. According to McKinsey, roughly one-third of consumers express discomfort regarding attendance at public indoor events. For consumers engaging in New Year’s Eve shopping, ideal products are those pertaining to self-care, home revitalization, resolutions, and planning.
- January 1, 2022. Many consumers await the conclusion of the holiday season to capitalize on any promotions and fulfill their wish lists. This trend is evident in the 40 percent surge of the search term “cheap and best” compared to the preceding year.
2. Understand Customer Preferences
Holiday campaigns can yield enhanced effectiveness when they align with the desires of consumers.
As per Coresight Research, approximately 60 percent of holiday shoppers express a preference for physical gift cards. Furthermore, they anticipate allocating 20 percent more toward gift card purchases. A report by 84.51° similarly corroborated these trends. Given escalating costs, 57 percent of consumers actively seek out sales, deals, and coupons.
Another aspect of consideration is shipping times. In 2020, 14 percent of consumers anticipated receiving their holiday gifts within two days, according to Radial. However, for the current year, 33 percent have indicated that an acceptable timeline is between two to three days. Concurrently, free shipping remains the foremost factor influencing purchasing decisions.
3. Identify the Appropriate Social Media Platforms
While Facebook and YouTube are generally acknowledged as leading social media platforms in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and numerous other countries, this assumption may not always be applicable for every company.
Consider the chart above. In July 2022, Facebook commanded a market share of 71.98 percent. However, since then, its share has consistently declined, standing at 56.86 percent by October 2022.
Where have U.S. Facebook users migrated?
As of October 2022, three networks have witnessed an upswing in their market shares: Pinterest (15.34 percent), Twitter (12.84 percent), and Instagram (10.86 percent). While considering total monthly users and market share is prudent for year-round marketing campaigns, it is also imperative, especially for seasonal marketing and advertising campaigns, to ascertain which networks are prevalent among users during specific periods.
YouTube, for instance, reigns supreme as the world’s largest video-sharing and streaming platform. Thus, if a company aims to create videos for marketing or advertising purposes, YouTube naturally springs to mind and often commands the lion’s share of the marketing budget. Nevertheless, as the chart illustrates, its market share was a mere 2.17 percent in October 2022. Consequently, instead of fixating exclusively on YouTube, a more judicious approach may involve directing attention to Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, all of which afford brands the opportunity to publish videos.
When selecting channels for seasonal marketing initiatives, it is paramount to scrutinize the latest trends in user engagement and market shares during specific time
frames. Remember, user behavior in terms of social media consumption undergoes shifts as the holiday season approaches.
4. Formulate a Holiday Campaign
Each campaign should be driven by a clear objective that corresponds to one of the stages in the buyer’s journey. At the onset of the sales funnel, the primary goals typically revolve around raising awareness and generating leads. Subsequently, the focus shifts to nurturing qualified leads before ultimately converting them into closed sales.
Timing is equally critical. For instance, it would be counterproductive to emphasize awareness on a day when consumers are expected to make purchases.
By incorporating the aforementioned principles, a holiday campaign stands to achieve greater success. Nevertheless, several additional considerations merit attention.
- A social media expert can conduct A/B testing to compare campaigns and select the highest-performing one, thereby enhancing ROIs.
- Endeavor to enhance the customer experience across all aspects, from products to customer service. The holiday season is not merely an opportunity to boost sales, but also a chance to engage with customers and foster their loyalty.
Optimize Holiday Campaigns with the Aid of a Social Media Expert
Devising holiday social media marketing campaigns is a strategic imperative. Consumers are poised to make purchases, necessitating the early deployment of ads and promotions to capture a larger share of qualified leads.
Two key considerations when crafting a holiday or seasonal social media marketing strategy are as follows:
- Familiarize yourself with customer preferences. For 2022, gift cards and discount coupons are the most sought-after trends.
- Determine which social media platform to leverage. As user behavior evolves, ascertain which networks your target audience frequents.
For further insights on specific strategies tailored to the holiday season, feel free to reach out to us today! Our team of social media specialists is poised to discuss how we personalize seasonal marketing strategies to drive leads to your business.