Santa may not have taken his traditional spot in the shopping center yet, but visions of dancing sugarplums will be upon us soon enough. To expand your marketing reach this holiday season, consider adding the bells and the tinsel of social media into your email program:
* Spread holiday cheer. If you don’t have one already, add a fan page for your business on Facebook. Repackage what you’ve already sent out in your emails for inclusion on the page. Share the link with your email subscribers and suggest they share it with their friends. Maybe even motivate them with a discount if they promote your updates on their pages. The result: You have a new audience to read your news and, hopefully, opt in to your email list to receive additional information, promotions, and incentives in their inbox.
* Keep your fans joyful and merry. When you add your fan page, be sure to include a sign-up form that hooks into your email marketing service. Use the data collected to segment your email list. Keep the engagement going by sending personalized emails that may be more social in nature or have ties to relevant conversations on the fan page. You can also use the segmented list by the date of sign-up to resurrect email campaigns that have already been sent to other segmented lists earlier in the holiday season.
* Deck the halls with fun content. Both Facebook and Twitter offer a fresh channel to republish enewsletter content and promotions. The catch is that you only have 140 characters for each message, or tweet, you publish for your Twitter followers. The upside: It provides a direct way to interact with customers and shoppers who may not yet be aware of what you+re selling. Retailers can tweet sales and promotions and add incremental revenue during the period of that sale. It’s also a great place for recommendations on hot gifts this year. With a bit of added effort you can even track the holiday keywords and chime in with your specials of the day. Just make sure you include an easy way to link to the products or promotions you reference and to opt in to receive your emails.
* String the garland just right. Use hyperlinks to make sure your customers and prospects can find you through your newsletters and your Website, and post these links in your newsletter and on your blog, site, and Facebook and Twitter pages. If your email marketing service includes reporting on who clicks on these links, you can promote the most popular posts, comments, or tweets under a headline like “what’s hot this week.”
Use this holiday-infused social media plan to keep up with the competition. This is your chance to get creative and social with your customers during one of the most important seasons of the year.