Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are all over, which means that the floodgates for holiday sales and holiday purchases are wide open! This is the time when Black-owned businesses everywhere should be in the thick of their holiday social media plans. Yes, that’s right–because the end-of-year holidays are just around the corner, and the rush of 24/7 Christmas music, gift shopping, and competitor promotions has kicked into high gear but it’s not too late to execute a holiday/end of the year social media marketing plan that will ramp up your end of year sales.
Black entrepreneurs should take note that holiday shopping is a big deal, bringing in up to 25% or more of a business’s annual sales. With this in mind, it’s time for you to amp up your social marketing strategies and get your offerings in front of your target market! Here are 6 tips that Black business owners can use to get those holiday sales rolling in through their social media platforms.
1. Holiday Social Media Themes
Does your social media feed look like it’s the holidays? I know we are taught never to steer away from our branding on social media, but you also need to tell your audience how to consume your content. You don’t have to go full-on Christmas trees and lights with your holiday designs if that’s not really your style, but it’s also okay to add some festive elements to your feed, like snow and sparkles of silver or gold. This approach has its benefits. Switching up your feed during the holidays encourages your audience to shop with you for the season because they can see that your brand is also in a festive mood.
2. Holiday Promotions
The promotions and sales you offer during the holidays should be intentionally and noticeably different from what you do year-round. This doesn’t need to cause heartache, though – you can use the templates linked above or designs of your own to switch up your designs and your offers. Use them to incorporate the holiday season in your sales and offers by creating sales themes, like a Christmas countdown, 12 days of Christmas series (i.e.,12 days of sales or tips), or a holiday photo contest offering a discount to clients who send in pictures of them using your products (this is a great way to collect user-generated content).
Also, encourage your audience to shop with you by using descriptive words in your captions. You might tell them who the product would be a great gift for, or encourage them to do most of their shopping with you because they will save money on costs or shipping by bundling your products.
This is also a great time to encourage people to subscribe to your email or text list for future savings opportunities. Even if people are not quite ready to buy from you now, that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the chance to connect with them in the future.
3. Holiday Hashtags
Hashtags can make or break a holiday marketing campaign. For instance, they are not optional on Instagram – you need to use hashtags here if you intend to stand out from the crowd. Instagram has more than 1 billion users, and if you want to show up in the feeds of your target market, then it’s crucial to learn how to hashtag correctly.
There are lots of different ways to categorize hashtags, but I’ll keep it simple here.
Hashtags can be high-density, mid-density, or low-density. Which category a hashtag falls into depends on the number of posts using that hashtag
✨ High-density hashtags are used by lots of people (think millions), which means your content may briefly reach a lot of eyes, but it will get buried beneath new posts very quickly. This also makes it difficult to rank as one of the top posts on high-density hashtags, e.g. #christmas (168M posts currently using this hashtag).
✨ Mid-density hashtags are used frequently but not constantly, which will help people discover your content. It’s also easier to rank as one of the top posts on these, compared to high-density hashtags. E.g., #christmas2021 (720k posts currently using this hashtag).
✨ Low-density hashtags are good for reaching people with specific interests. Because fewer people use these hashtags, they are easy to rank on but they also don’t get as many searches, which means fewer people will come across your content. Still, “fewer” can mean thousands, which is pretty good. E.g., #christmassales (127k posts currently using this hashtag).
You can use the search function on Instagram to find out how many times a specific hashtag has been used.
In your Instagram posts, you’ll want to use a combination of these three types of hashtags. However, use only a few high-density ones, so that your posts don’t get lost in the Instagram matrix.
Instagram’s official creator’s page recently announced that it’s best for business owners to use 5 hashtags in their posts, even though you can use up to 30. I have found that using between 15-20 posts has garnered the best results, but try it out and see what happens for your account.
Also, keep in mind that hashtags tend to work differently on different platforms. For instance, hashtags are not necessary on Facebook, where your posts can still be found through keyword searches without using any hashtags at all.
4. Holiday Gift Guides
Collaboration is key around the holidays. (Even if you have heard that a million times by now, it’s still true!)
For one thing, collaborating with someone who provides a complementary product or service is a great way to introduce your brand to a new audience. However, the best way to collaborate is by being featured on or creating a holiday gift guide like Kisha’s Favorites: The 2021 Sistahbiz Holiday Gift Guide. It’s worth reaching out to people who have created these kinds of guides: try contacting them via email or social media, and ask them how your brand can be added this year or included in the next one.
Also, search for holiday pop-up shops, either in your area or the virtual versions. Reach out to those brands that are hosting holiday pop-up shops and apply to be a vendor there. Including yourself in these group events will likely get your brand in front of more eyes because people who are part of these events are usually excited to cross-promote participants.
5. Holiday Blog Posts
Do you blog? If not, then it’s time to start. Remember how I told you it’s important to tell your audience how to consume your content? Well, you can use your blog posts to do this quite effectively, all while driving traffic to your website.
Create a blog (or vlog, if you’re fancy) and use it to show people how to use your products or the benefits of using your services. If you’re serving businesses as a B2B seller, share blogs that will help them sell or be successful during the holiday season. Or, if you’re serving customers as a B2C business, write and post blogs that help these individual buyers with shopping, family time, or any theme related to your business that connects with the holiday. And either way, make sure to share share share!
One of my favorite things to do with blogs and on social media is asking my audience to like and share my post. This kind of call to action triggers something in your audience’s brains, urging them to act on the content instead of just consuming it and walking away. So don’t be afraid to ask for what you want from people! Also, consider installing a website plugin that adds social media platform icons to your blog posts: this will make it quick and easy for people to share your post on their own social media accounts.
6. Social Media Engagement During the Holidays
How social are you on social media? Well, the holidays are the best time to get to know your audience and for them to get to know you too.
During this time of year, consider using your social media to share your process with viewers and create live product demos. Include them in your behind-the-scenes work and demonstrate what goes into creating a product for them. Sharing your story is valuable because most people on social media do not want to be sold to, but often do want to support you.
It’s also important to know your audience so that you know who you are talking to, which will help you figure out what language and terms they will understand and respond to. Do you check your insights? Do you know who your audience is? Do you know where they are from?
Get to know them!
Ask your audience questions such as what they do and don’t like. A great way to engage your audience is by creating polls or going live and encouraging them to participate in a question-and-answer session while you work. Q&As are fantastic for engagement! You can even use your social media pages to ask them to share a favorite recipe, photos of their family, or photos of your products.
You can even go a step further and encourage them to share a small business that they like so you can find out who else they are visiting on the internet and if that information is helpful to growing your brand and social marketing strategies.
Holiday marketing can be overwhelming, with so many competitors online and maybe even feeling like you have to compete with big-box stores. So stop trying. Or, more accurately, stop competing with shadows and play your own game instead. You have something valuable to offer, so focus on showing that to your audience, and you’ll do great! If your business needs more help, contact a Sistahbiz coach and get a fresh perspective on what’s not working in your business and why. You can also become a member and attend one of our upcoming events.
See you soon, Sis!
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