Posted by Murray Sye
on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 @ 02:10 PM
Have you started your holiday shopping?
Neither have I.
I usually don't get to it until at least mid December.
I don't understand why anyone needs to start planning for the winter holidays when Halloween isn't even out of the way?
Unless of course you're an eCommerce marketer.
According to a survey conducted by #SmallGoesBig at Twitter HQ, the shopping season actually begins in late October (like right about now!) and continues right through to the new year.
This is the time when marketers prepare for the biggest shopping days of the year – Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas. Many rely on the success of sales during this period to wrap up their fiscal year on a profitable note.
So what are marketers banking on to influence holiday shoppers this year?
According to a survey conducted by Offerpop, 67% of marketers polled said that they will increase their spending on social media this holiday season with the direct goal of increasing sales.
While Facebook still reigns supreme (where marketers will spend the lion's share of their budget), Twitter users offer retailers exceptional opportunities to drive sales and engagement this season.
"Twitter has become an essential way for Target to give our guests the inspiration and ideas they crave whenever they're in the mood to shop," says Shawn Gensch, SVP Marketing. "It's especially important throughout the holiday rush when people are ticking to-dos off their list, looking for great deals to create a memorable holiday experience."
So what can online retailers do to take advantage of Twitter at this lucrative time of year?
Well, we're here to share a few ideas with you.
It's time to put those "140 characters" to good use with these recommendations.
- Holiday shopping conversions on Twitter start early. If you haven't planned your content and when you plan to promote your content, now is the time. Be prepared, set up an editorial calendar detailing what you're saying and when you're going to say it.
- Use Twitter to showcase timely holiday favourites. Take your best sellers and give them top billing on Twitter by promoting them as store favourites.
- Use Twitter to cross-sell. Take a popular item, as in the tweet below, and add another item to it. Get creative, by bundling it with a free gift card.
- Use Twitter to spotlight your most popular gift items. Using the product(s) that you want to sell and place them center stage.
- Use Twitter with other media. Showcase your products using video. You don't have to spend a lot of money on commercials like Gap. Simple, inexpensive videos can be shot and uploaded in minutes.
- Use Twitter to let prospects know about a new store location. It's not a tweet screaming buy, buy, buy. Keep your messages simple, let the graphic do the talking.
- Use Twitter on a frequent basis. The more users are exposed to tweets from merchants the more likely they are to visit and purchase from them.
- Continually build your Twitter following. Add new Twitter followers to build your network and leverage your Twitter presence elsewhere, like your other social media channels including your blog. And, you don't always have to shout "deals." Look what Macy's has to say.
- Use Twitter to promote limited, time-sensitive promotions. Specify exact time when a promotion will activate or expire, a particularly useful feature for time-sensitive promotions as 'Deal of the Day.'
- Use Twitter to promote your retail flyer. You may distribute flyers or postcards but does everyone see it? Tweet a link to an online version.
- Use Twitter to promote a coupon code or mail in rebate. Apply promotions offering shoppers a coupon code or mail in rebate as in the Canadian Tire tweet below.
- Use Twitter to offer multiple promotions. Offer shoppers a single coupon code (e.g. 15% off on your total purchase along with free shipping).
- Use Twitter to open the conversation. Provide customer service and offer a dedicated Twitter phone number via Twitter to close these sales off
- Use Twitter to take you to targeted landing pages. Create streamlined landing pages for each of your product related tweets to help close the sale.
- Use Twitter to target your tweets. Try to tailor product related tweets. Even mass marketers can take advantage of this tactic by creating separate Twitter handles.
- Use Twitter to promote and have fun promoting.
Although the holiday clock is ticking, there's still time to maximize the impact Twitter can have on your business this holiday season.
Twitter has an effect across every stage of the shopping process: shoppers use Twitter to discuss gift ideas, discover new ideas, discover new products, determine what websites and stores to visit, make purchase decisions and tweet about what they buy.
These actions offer brands a valuable opportunity to connect with consumers in real time through useful and relevant content.
Now it's your turn, so start tweeting.
Written by Murray SyeMurray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.