#SocialWeek 2019: Boost Holiday Revenue with Smart Social Media Marketing

Does your business have a plan to get ahead this holiday season? Used effectively, social media marketing can be a true competitive advantage during the holidays. With slower-than-usual holiday ecommerce growth and six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas expected to fuel a more competitive holiday season, a robust social strategy may be what sets you apart from your retail rivals.

To help more retailers thrive on social media, NetElixir hosted our first-ever #SocialWeek, a three-day webinar series. Joined by experts from around the industry, our social media team presented actionable insights, proven best practices, and useful tools to improve your performance on social. Each day featured a specific topic or focus related to paid social media advertising.

If you missed the event or just want to refresh your memory regarding the most important points, read on for a detailed recap of all three sessions.

Day 1: How to Create a Winning Holiday Paid Social Strategy

We officially kicked off #SocialWeek with our own paid social team. Manish Mohan, Director of Paid Media, and Lauren Greenberg, Social Media Manager, shared a variety of paid social hacks and strategic frameworks to set you up for holiday season success.

Overall, we’re seeing holiday shoppers going bigger, earlier with 43% of them beginning their search for gifts in November or sooner. While this an enticing opportunity for retailers to capture the attention of these eager shoppers, it’s important to note that consumers expect as seamless a purchase experience on social media as they do on other platforms.

Paid Social Strategic Framework

To ensure your social media presence is operating at peak effectiveness, we recommend using our paid social strategic framework. This four-stage process helps to continuously optimize your paid social ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to ensure they’re making the greatest impact.

Our strategic framework provides a continuous optimization process for social media success.

After identifying your target audience, you must tailor your ad creatives toward that specific group of customers. Make your ads stand out with truly compelling text, images, videos, and whatever other elements you plan to use. After fine-tuning your audience targeting, give your ads time to perform, then test and measure their results. You can use your findings to make improvements to your creatives, audience targeting, and any other areas where you can strengthen the performance of your ads.

Top 5 Paid Social Holiday Recommendations

After years of helping retail brands use paid social to their advantage during the holiday season, you tend to develop a few best practices. We recommend keeping the following “hacks” in mind as you approach your holiday social strategy:

  1. Invest 60% or more of your budget in prospecting campaigns from now until mid-November.
  2. Activate catalog ads on Facebook and Pinterest. Optimize your product feed for your paid social audience.
  3. Personalize dynamic ads with overlays and custom intro cards.
  4. Implement Instagram-only campaigns for added reach and creative relevance.
  5. Utilize Facebook’s Instant Experience ads to drive frictionless sales.

Watch the full webinar by clicking here or view it below.

Day 2: Unlock Smarter Paid Social with Smartly.io and Smartfluence

Social media is always better with friends, which is why we invited our partners from Smartly.io and Smartfluence to join us on the second day of #SocialWeek. These special guests walked through live demos of their platforms, explaining why every social media advertiser should use these tools during the holiday season.

Smartfluence: Performance-Driven Influencer Marketing

Sid Kumar and David Ko created Smartfluence with the goal of making influencer marketing more accessible and productive for businesses. Smartfluence is a tool which helps brands identify relevant influencers within their industry who may be able to spread the word to potential customers about their products or services. Through the tool interface, you can narrow your search by industry, sub-industry, audience location, age, number of followers, and other criteria.

Smartfluence makes it easy to find influencers who meet your specific needs.

Smartfluence specializes in the segment of influencers known as “microinfluencers,” defined as individuals with between 10,000 and 500,000 followers on any social media platform. Microinfluencers hold significant potential for online retailers for several reasons:

  • Their audience is passionate about one key area, allowing you to focus on a very targeted interest.
  • They tend to have the highest ROI of any segment.
  • Most don’t work through agents and are highly negotiable regarding their fees.

With more brands trying their hands at influencer marketing, and a greater percentage of consumers placing their trust in the opinions of influencers over other sources, this is one strategy you should definitely consider in your holiday game plan.

Smartly.io: Holiday Success Through Automated Campaign Management

Lauren Rinaldi, Senior Customer Success Manager at Smartly.io, illustrated how this platform elevates the performance of your paid social ads. Smartly.io automates each step of the social advertising process, making it easier for businesses to create ads that look great, connect with shoppers, and secure conversions. From testing ad creatives to determining budgets and audience targeting, Smartly.io optimizes every aspect of your paid social efforts.

Amid the booming business of Instagram Story ads, having lots of creatives at your disposal is key to making the right impression on your ideal customer. According to Smartly.io, having 11 times more creative assets drives a 23% lower cost per incremental buyer. Find your winning combinations of text, images, and video and ride them to success.

Smartly.io has helped recognizable brands like eBags and Hopper experience greater results with their paid social advertising, and they’d love for you to be their next success story. To give yourself a solid start to the holiday season, they recommend trying these tips and tricks:

  • Bid higher during the holidays.
  • Create an extra-relevant seed audience for your lookalike audiences.
  • Save time and personalize with creative automation.
  • Mix video and static ads for a positive impact on your performance.
  • Always optimize toward your end goal.

Watch the full webinar by clicking here or view it below.

Day 3: Inspired Holiday Shopping on Pinterest

The holidays are a time for inspiration, and where do holiday shoppers go to get inspired? Pinterest, of course! Tim Smith, Agency Lead at Pinterest, joined us on the final day of #SocialWeek to explain why this social platform is the perfect place for businesses to find highly-motivated potential customers during the holiday season.

Visual search is becoming a more prominent means for users to find what they need online. Pinterest is full of images, illustrated how-to guides, and similar content highly useful to those searching for gift ideas, decorations, recipes, and more for the holidays. It’s the planner’s social media platform of choice, and if your business offers a product or service that’s relevant to their holiday planning process, advertising on Pinterest is a powerful way to get in front of these high-value customers.

Pinterest recommends “seeding the purchase” by involving yourself in the decision-making process early. Visual searchers are always on the lookout for the latest trends to supplement their favorite traditions from holidays past. If you can associate your brand with emerging popular trends and meet consumers’ eyes with engaging images throughout the entire purchase journey, you’re well on your way toward earning their business.

Businesses should seek to inspire customers throughout the entire purchase journey on Pinterest.

Pinterest offers several distinct ad formats to drive awareness, consideration, and sales. These include Promoted Pins and Shopping Pins to spotlight individual products, as well as Carousel Pins and Catalogues that allow you to showcase a variety of items. No matter your specific goals and budget, advertising on Pinterest can definitely jump-start your holiday paid social performance.

Watch the full webinar by clicking here or view it below.

Stay Social, Now and Year-Round

This recap provided just a taste of the key learnings from #SocialWeek 2019. You can view all three sessions in their entirety by signing up for access to our library of on-demand digital marketing webinars.

Interested in finding out how NetElixir can grow your brand on social media? We offer a full suite of paid social services to help your business craft a strong social strategy and win more customers.

Keep following NetElixir for more retail digital marketing insights as we enter the holiday season, and feel free to contact our team with questions or specific inquiries!

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