The holiday shopping season is almost upon us. Inventory, signage and advertisements have all been ordered. Merchants will now cross their fingers and hope the crowds are big this year. In a "down economy" much hinges upon a successful and profitable holiday season. So, how can business use the social media tools at their disposal to create more in-store traffic and more sales this season? Here are a few ideas:
1. Video - Make a video now to start promoting your holiday gift inventory, bargains, hours, etc. You can tell someone all they need to know in 30-60 seconds using video, even if you have no video footage. Check out Animoto to get started now.
2. Status Updates - Status updates are short, sweet and frequent. During the holidays, consider updating your business's status across Facebook and Twitter several times per day. Offer discounts, closeouts, hot items, extended hours, premium offers/items, etc. all through status updates. Remember, these folks opted-in to hear from you...give them a reason to be listening during the holidays!
3. Check-Ins - If you can benefit from increased foot-traffic over the holidays, you should consider using Foursquare to incentivize folks to show up and "check-in." Foursquare now has a robust business administration back-end for retailers interested in offering deals/discounts to anyone who checks in a the location, becomes the Mayor, etc.
4. Photos - Pictures are worth a thousand words, right? So, stop talking and start photographing. Take pictures of your holiday inventory, shop window, elated customers, etc. Look for things that symobolize the holiday season, then pull out the camera, snap a photo and upload it. Photos are a popular part of of most business's social media content matrix. Capitalize on that during the holidays.
5. Active Blogging - Hopefully, you're already updating your blog with relevant content on a timely basis. If not, there is quite literally no time like the present to get started. A blog is a great central hub for all your online marketing activities. Of course, when you update your site by posting to the blog frequently, Google takes notice and rewards you with improved search ranking. Also, substantive blog content will get more people on your site for longer periods of time.
Many businesses are very busy preparing for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Plant some commerce seeds now in the fertile social media soil and watch them grow into clients and profits during the holiday season and year ahead.