Tis the Season for Creating Buzz (and Sales) with Social Media for Your Small Business

Christmas bauble with social media iconsIf you own a small business, forget about decking the halls with boughs of holly. Instead, it’s time to deck your social media walls with Vines and Tweets for success. According to Time, wise small business owners know that utilizing free social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, can be a key to holiday sales. If you are under-utilizing social media as a marketing tool, you are missing out on what can often be a very effective way to keep your business in the public eye, especially during the critical holiday season.

When to Hit the Social Media Airwaves

The Small Business Administration recommends that you begin your social media marketing campaign a few months before the holiday season. This allows you to build awareness with your clientele through contests and teasers so that they will remember to patronize your store on key dates such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and, if you also sell your goods online, Cyber Monday.

Check out Consumer Mood on Thanksgiving Thursday

Now that a number of stores are planning to open on Thanksgiving Thursday, you can use this day for reconnaissance. For example, shop at Macy’s, which opens at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, to get an idea of what consumers are buying and then find items in your business that are complementary. Then you can tweet or post about it. For instance, if you see that women are splurging on tall boots again this year and your store is selling hand-knit boot cuffs, you may want to tweet that information or post a picture on Instagram and mention what a great stocking stuffer these would make. In addition, you could use your Pinterest page to post pictures of the hand-knit boot cuffs on different types of boots.

Make a Funny Vine or Instagram Video

These mini videos are all the rage and only take mere seconds to make and watch. Plus, if you’ve made an especially creative Vine or Instagram video and you’re lucky, your tiny snippet could go viral. You cannot put a price tag on that type of publicity.

Be Active and Enticing

If you can’t compete price-wise with the big retailers, offer special services, such as gift wrapping or have refreshments available in your store. Then throughout the Black Friday weekend, actively tweet or post pictures on Facebook of your best sale items and services on Facebook and Instagram.

Don’t forget to enable the Check-in option for your business on Facebook if you haven’t already, and try to encourage your customers to use it. For example, you can offer a small 10 percent discount or a little freebie — a dog cookie, for instance, if you’re a boutique pet store — for checking in. People are greatly influenced by what they see their friends doing. If they see acquaintances checking into your business, it could remind or influence them to patronize your establishment.

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