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BizReport : Advertising archives : November 15, 2011

Brands: How to get your social profile holiday-ready

Small or large, brands looking for better connections with holiday shoppers may want to tweak those social profiles prior to Black Friday and the official start of the holiday shopping season. By first identifying overall goals and the creating categories to drive interaction, brands will have a much more successful 2011 holiday season. Here are a few tips:

by Kristina Knight

First, decide if your overall goal is to increase sales, brand a product launch or push website traffic. Once that goal is determined begin implementing a two-way strategy - meaning you talk to your customers through social as they talk to you.

"In order to make a campaign truly social, it should be a two-way conversation between brands and consumers," said Laura O'Shaughnessy, SocialCode CEO. "Having a positive user experience and providing something of value are the keys to the foundation of a social strategy."

Second, target your audience - and then go after them. Don't wait for Santa to drop a million new customers on your social page. The Man in Red doesn't work that way. What will bring new consumers to your page is an engaging, interesting campaign that offers something of value - something they want to share with friends. Facebook, specifically, allows brands to target based on demographics and preferences. Use this to your advantage.

Third, integrate social recommendations. Facebook places pages or products friends have 'liked' on their friends pages and that can lead to more conversions. So allow your brand information to be easily shared friend to friend.

"To give a personal example, I recently saw that my friend was a fan of a new cookbook on Facebook and so I clicked on the ad and bought the cookbook (one gift off the list!)," said O'Shaughnessy. "Social recommendations will continue to grow exponentially as engagement on the platform expands and deepens. If that average number of friends a Facebook user has is 130, for every new fan a brand acquires, they are able to reach 130 more users with social context. The National Retail Federation has estimated an overall growth rate of 2% (all retail sales), but online brands have an opportunity to grow more than that with the right campaign tweaks."

More from Laura and SocialCode tomorrow, when she shares her top three tips for social marketing through the holidays.

Tags: Laura O'Shaughnessy, social marketing, social media, social profiles, SocialCode

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