Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur United States, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
The holiday season is just around the corner, and with it comes one of the most hectic times for businesses. All eyes are on you now, and you have to keep your head above water. Running a successful holiday-season advertising campaign can be daunting, but it’s well worth the time and effort.
Social media is one of the best ways to connect with your audience and drive traffic to your website, and that fact doesn’t change over the holiday period. Here are some tips and tricks to help you run a successful social-media campaign for the holiday season.
Start planning early
Most marketing-savvy businesses start brainstorming their holiday-season ad campaign in September or earlier. Any later than this, and you risk rushed strategy and poor planning.
You ought to concentrate on the holidays that are looming: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and — the big one — Christmas. Also, remember that the holiday season doesn’t end with Christmas. You should be planning New Years’ ad content along with all the other major players.
Use the most effective ad practices
Holiday-season social-media ad campaigns should take advantage of all the usual rules of marketing. You must ensure your holiday-ad structure follows all the most effective digital-marketing practices available.
Advertising your brand is just as essential as advertising your services. When in doubt, fall back on the data-backed tactics that you’ve been using to sell your wares throughout the rest of the year. Whether you hire out or do your marketing in-house, make sure you’re staying on top of your email lists and website as well as your social media. Let your metrics guide you, and you can’t go wrong.
Don’t neglect your SEO
Search-engine optimization doesn’t rest, particularly over the holidays. Your social-media and digital-marketing teams should work overtime to make sure your existing SEO strategy can be adapted for the holiday season.
For effective holiday season SEO, update your keyword strategy and put out attention-grabbing social-media posts and emails that reflect your brand. It can be tricky to balance your own representation with your holiday content, but you’ll achieve more solid results if you stay true to your company’s brand.
Develop a customer-service strategy
A lot of businesses use live chats and remote call-center staff during the holidays. In having more people to address customer concerns and questions, you’ll be able to stay on top of your client inquiries, ensuring you provide the best possible customer service.
Establishing this contact flow is an essential step in your holiday ad strategy. You should plan for the best — that your campaign is a roaring success — and have people ready to handle the surge of sales.
If a call center seems like overkill, ensure your live chat through your social media and website is up to scratch. You might also investigate the use of a chatbot so customers may interact with you right away.
Don’t go overboard
It can be all too easy to get carried away with holiday-season ad campaigns. With so many possibilities before you, it can be tempting to run with all of them. This would be a mistake. When it comes to holiday campaigning, less is more. Too much, and you risk overwhelming or confusing your audience.
You should keep your social-media holiday-ad campaign focused on what you’re offering and why your audience needs it. Holidays aren’t the time to try out a new brand voice or customer persona, particularly if you’ve already established yourself with your target audience.
Keep it simple. Connect with your customers and sprinkle in a bit of nostalgia and holiday warmth, and you’ll be golden.
Keep it consistent
The key to good branding is consistency. Just because you’re jazzing your content up for the holiday season doesn’t mean you can do away with this principle.
When planning your holiday-ad campaign, ensure all your content including any copy and visuals is consistent across all your social-media platforms. Just as your audience ought to recognize your brand immediately no matter what platform they’re on, so too should they be able to recognize your holiday campaign.
This is where it can be a good idea to have a dedicated team working on your holiday campaign across all platforms. Having the same hands on the content will ensure your brand voice and feel shine through.
Related: 10 Laws of Social-Media Marketing
Nail your social-media campaigns over the holidays
Social media remains one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience, year-round. The holiday season should see your social-media campaigning step up to the challenge and effectively and efficiently meet your audience’s needs.
A good holiday advertising campaign needn’t be tricky or complicated. Stay true to your brand and keep your eye on your goals, and you’ll put out a campaign sure to drive sales over the busiest period of the year.