It’s All In The Planning

The holidays are right around the corner. As a business owner you may be gearing up for the final sprint of the year that can make or break your profit and loss picture. Just as you would take time to plan that wonderful vacation next year, now is the time to finalize your social media plans for the remainder of this year.

If you’re not on the social media bandwagon – it’s time to get on board. When you looking for something where the first place is typically to the internet to find a website? Then if you’re like me – you also look at their social media pages. Social media is key to engagement marketing and expanding your customer base. Whether you’re a retail shop, restaurant or offer professional services, there’s a social media channel for you. But you must commit to and execute the channels you choose. Regardless of how much stock you put in the numbers, when it comes to the holidays, you know how important having the right plan to reach new customers and bring people into your store can be.

And even if you’re not a social media enthusiast, with the right plan, you can drive meaningful results on social media this holiday season. But, you must understand your networks and where your audience is to make an impact.

We will look at the top five social media channels and how they can relate to your business:
Facebook: Facebook can be used to engage with fans and promote your business throughout the year, but fans don’t always want you to be selling something, they want to be entertained with text, images and videos. Targeted advertising can be done through Facebook reaching a vast audience. Facebook is also one of the most powerful networks for connecting with local consumers on their mobile device.

  • Twitter: Short and sweet, Twitter is one of the best networks for engaging with your audience and sharing helpful and engaging content. Responding to questions and feedback provides a valuable platform for customer service? 
  • Pinterest: Images sell. Users approach Pinterest with more of a shopping mentality than they do on other social sites. This provides business owners an open door to connect with consumers at an active stage of the buying process. Highlight gift ideas and showcase what your business has to offer this holiday season
  • Instagram: Instagram is one of the best networks for your business this holiday season. Snap photos of staff members preparing for an upcoming holiday sale or that special customer service, or show off gift ideas with creative images your audience will love.
  • YouTube: Smartphones – almost everyone has them. Can you create a short holiday greeting and share upcoming activities via your You Tube network and repurpose to other social media channels, as well as your newsletter.

This is where people get stuck….what to write about. Decide which networks to use and lay out your schedule.

Let your creativity as it pertains to your particular business flow. Ryan Pinkerton of Constant Contact shared this grid to give you visual of some things you can post for each network.

By understanding which network you should push your efforts toward, the last piece of your social media plan will be deciding on a frequency to post on each platform.

These are recommendations based on platforms.

In part 2 of this blog we’ll see what a social media calendar looks like and where you can find wackey and bizarre holidays to create engagement from your audience.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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