As an ecommerce business owner, the best way to lift your spirits during the holidays is by boosting your eCommerce sales. Fortunately, there are quite a few marketing opportunities that you can capitalize on during this annual period of spending.
In this guide, we compiled a list of 7 social media marketing ideas for e-commerce business owners that have already displayed tangible results in the past. Every single idea on this list has the potential to increase your sales by a significant margin so be sure to read till the end. Let’s get right into it!
#1 Boost your brand awareness with aspirational Christmas decor inspiration
The Instagram post above was published by the John Lewis department store chain. As you can see, it got thousands of likes within the first 24-hour period. The attention this post garnered on Instagram also directed more traffic to their ongoing video marketing campaign.
There are a few key execution points to take note of if you want to match their results in terms of shares and comments – regardless whether you publish it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – the same principles apply
- Use an inspirational (and aspirational ;) ) Christmas decor photos – people look for inspiration for the Christmas tree and Christmas table decor in the run up to Christmas to impress their friends – so they will be more likely to save it, pin it on Pinterest or share with their
- Inspire desire and envy – Make sure the photo is high-resolution and shows ‘the perfect Christmas tree/ table’ – you should make it the ‘#ChristmasGoals’ your audience *wants* – and wants be striving for; John Lewis brand positions itself as a luxury brand and hence – their Christmas photo exude understate elegance;
- Feature your products in the photo – make sure people notice them, but feature them in a natural way;
- Use your brand colours in the photo – if your brand is well-known for its strinking magenta colour in its branding, make sure the colour dominates in e.g. the Christmas tree decor – to create a psychological trigger subconsciously reminding your audience of your brand;
- Create your own Christmas hashtag – another force multiplier is the fact that John Lewis uses the same #JLChristmas hashtag across all its holiday posts. Doing the same with your Christmas posts will make it easier for people to follow the campaign.
As you can see in the example above – these simple tricks really work. Today, John Lewis has over half a million followers on its Instagram page and almost 1.4 million followers on the Facebook page.
#2 Reach more shoppers with the right Christmas Hashtags
Christmas hashtags are an essential element of any holiday campaign on social media. Here are a few ways to use hashtags in your Christmas social media campaigns:
- The rule of thumb is that you should keep it short, simple, and branded. As mentioned earlier, John Lewis uses #JLChristmas since it meets all three criteria.
- Use trending hashtags for Twitter and Instagram. You can find them by either using Hashtag Finders like hashtagify.me to find the trending hashtags, or use these instructions how to find the best Christmas hashtags: for Instagram and Twitter respectively;
- Create a few of branded Christmas Hashtags – something like #[YourBrand]Christmas will work. In addition, you can experiment with #JLChristmasSale or #JLChristmasPromotion would also work depending on the situation. If you run a food company then something like #MarcoChristmasCookies is ideal.
- Don’t overuse the hashtags – limit yourself to 1 hashtag for Facebook, 5 for LinkedIn and Twitter, and 30 for Instagram; read my earlier post to find out how to use hashtags on the different social media – check out our earlier posts on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
#3 Use social media to promote your Christmas Discounts
People spend a lot of money on Christmas so they’re always on the lookout for a good deal that can help them reduce some of the costs of giving. This makes discounts around Christmas time a very effective. Selling products at a reduced price is better than being overstocked when Christmas passes.
Here are a few tips for how to use social media to present discount vouchers to your audience:
- Giveaways – offer a free gift to the first 20 customers that make a purchase from your online store;
- % OFF Discounts – the most classic and popular type of discount – create a Christmas-themed graphic (you can do it completely for free in e.g. Canva) featuring a code that will allow your audience to automatically redeem the discount in your online store (see examples below). The potential problem with this is coupon fraud – some customers abusing your discount vouchers by redeeming them multiple times. To avert this risk – especially if you own a large e-commerce store with a substantial volume of transactions – use a coupon management software like vouchery.io for your Christmas discount campaign rather than just posting your coupons on social media.
- Day-before sales periodically trend on social media. They can help you unload extra inventory before Christmas passes to ensure that you aren’t overstocked come January. This is a great way to target last-minute shoppers who are yet to buy gifts. Of course, if you run a day-before sale, you would be expected to offer overnight shipping otherwise it defeats the purpose of them buying since the gifts won’t arrive in time anyway. Whatever type of sale you decide to go with, just make customers feel like they got a bargain.
Not only will discounting your products boost sales, but it will also get your social media channels a lot of attention since people are going to share the limited-time offer with their friends and family.
#4 Organise 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway (or other competitions)
Another great way to get attention during the competitive business atmosphere of the holidays is through competitions and giveaways. You don’t have to give away a house or car like YouTube’s MrBeast, even small gifts can drive traffic to your social media channels and make people come back regularly.
Many companies use the 12 Days of Christmas format since it’s a good play on the classic song and also attracts attention during the peak spending period which is the two weeks preceding December 25th.
The principle is simple: you create 12 mini-competitions or giveaways which gives your audience a chance to win every day…and for you – it makes sure they return to your profile every day to check if they won ;)
Below is a good example of a ’12 Days of Christmas’ promo on Instagram: Bodoke Kids teamed up with a few other child-themed online stores to leverage an extended audience and give each other more followers:
How to create your own 12 Days of Christmas (#12DaysofChristmas) social media campaign?
- Announce 12 Days of Chrismas on your profiles with clear rules on 12 December
- Promote user-generated content – e.g. ask users to share a photo with your product / a funny Christmas sweater / a Christmas gift they recently bought – all with a special #branded #hashtag [e.g. #yourbrandname12daysofxmas]
- Announce the winner of the day every day
- Have a special extra gift for the person who participates in the contest the most (in terms of days)
In addition to ensuring that followers visit your page on a daily basis, 12 Days of Christmas will also increase the frequency at which they share your posts since, in the event that they don’t win the prize, they want a friend or family member to get it.
Be sure that the colour palette, font, and images used in these daily giveaways remain constant throughout the full duration of the campaign so that followers can easily distinguish between posts from your business versus other promotions.
You should also insert your logo in the corner of every image. Keep the logo relatively small so that it doesn’t distract from the actual topic of the giveaway post though. Even subtle elements can solidify your brand in the memories of followers.
#5 Support Nonprofits
Christmas is the perfect time to support a nonprofit through your store. Not only will it boost sales and engagement, but you’ll also be changing things for the better.
You don’t need to create a large-scale charity department within your company – Even something simple like giving 10% of sales to St. Jude Children’s hospital can establish an extra incentive for people to buy.
Most of the fundraiser posts you publish will also be shared since people feel a moral obligation to spread the word about good causes, especially if they didn’t personally make a contribution. This is one of the rare situations where guilt can lead to engagement.
Death Wish Coffee is a great example of this. Their social media channels received a massive boost during their fundraiser for the Special Olympics. The total amount raised was under $20,000, but the sales that the company made due to the attention greatly exceeded that.
The positive PR also lasted long after the fundraiser had ended, making it a good long-term investment in the branding context as well. Today, Death Wish Coffee is making millions of dollars every year through their website and Amazon sales.
Their social media presence is also stronger than ever with 588,500 likes on their Facebook page — with only 700 of those likes not translating to followers. That adds up to 99.99% of all likes.
Another great example is Blake Mycoskie who walked away with $300 million after selling half of Toms — a company built on the One for One® business model. The efficacy of this model has been the subject of some debate, but the sales speak for themselves.
#6 Establish Scarcity
Most successful eCommerce companies will agree that their customers tend to buy products faster when they’re faced with elements of scarcity such as real-time stock counters or cutoff dates.
Whenever your stocks reach a certain threshold, you should update your followers via social media with the number of units left.
While one could make the case that a stock counter on your website with a live feed would be more efficient, these posts will have more reach.
If your stocks are still plentiful then you can still instil a sense of scarcity by posting updates on limited-time offers.
#7 Do Holiday Bundles
If people see your social media channels as a source of savings, they’ll come back on a regular basis. Posting limited-use coupon codes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms will give people an incentive to follow you.
Each coupon code will also advertise your brand to new people since existing followers will share the post will friends. If you want ALL your channels to get more followers, alternate between each one when posting coupons so that people need to watch each one.
One issue with discount coupons is that they lower the average purchase price. The easiest counter to this issue is providing coupons that only apply to bundles. This ensures that you’ll actually increase the purchase despite offering a small discount.
Not only will this increase the average purchase price of your customers but it will also make them feel happier about the deal since they feel like they’ve gotten a bargain. You need to be very elaborate on which items you bundle though.
First of all, you should focus on items that are already selling well so that you don’t waste your energy on bundling products that aren’t even going to generate sales. Remember, you only have so much time until Christmas passes, so stick to hot items.
Secondly, you need to ensure that the items you bundle together are relevant and useful when combined. If people see you bundling shaving cream with their phone charger then they’ll think you’re just trying to nickel-and-dime them.
The third and final thing that you should pay attention to when bundling items is the price. It’s a rule of thumb that when upselling customers into purchasing additional products, the items you bundle should be cheaper than their initial purchase — otherwise they won’t bite.
How to manage it all? Schedule your posts in advance!
Of course, the key to successful execution of your Christmas eCommerce social media marketing campaigns is to follow through. It can be tough to manage sales and at the same time keep posting on social media – so make sure you leave a good margin of time and prepare all your Christmas posts in advance!
Postfity is a social media scheduler that allows you to schedule up to 10,000 posts at once – to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Vkontakte! So go ahead – sign up for your FREE forever account now and start applying what you’ve just learnt! ;)
Christmas by the Numbers
Sometimes the easiest way to grasp a social construct as complex as Christmas is to look at the numbers. Here’s a number: $1 trillion — that’s how much American shoppers spend every year during the holidays.
Members of Gen X have the highest spending average out of all the demographics at $782.You should consider marketing to this generation directly, assuming that your product is something that would appeal to them.
Research also shows that 29% of American shoppers buy their gifts in November while 62% shop during the week before Christmas. Knowing when these spikes come around is imperative to timing your offers properly.
Holiday spending has also been increasing every year for the past decade so the benefits to reap will only become more plentiful in the future. In fact, people are now spending more than double the amount they did back in 2008.
The average person spends over two and a half hours on social media. This makes it one of the most visible advertising platforms.
As you can see, there are quite a few things you can do to get some jolly good sales during the most wonderful time of the year. It all comes down to understanding seasonal consumer habits so that you can create targeted marketing campaigns that are specific to the holidays.
The statistics alone are a clear demonstration of why it’s so important to get ahead of the Christmas shopping sprees. With nearly eight billion currently alive, there’s no shortage of people to market to, it’s just a matter of doing so in an effective manner.
If you feel like you’ve learned anything in this article then I encourage you to share it with a friend or two who might benefit from it as well. That’s all for now but we hope that you have a happy (and profitable) holiday!