Making money online can be driven by many moving parts. Social media marketing, attracting traffic from search engines and the skill of converting those visitors into buyers are just a few of many.
For online marketers the holiday seasons can be your biggest sales opportunities. Many people now go online for shopping inspiration, best deals or actual purchases.
eMarketer predicts that the holiday spending in the US will go up by 16,6% in 2014 vs. 2013. So there is no reason why 2014 shouldn’t be a jolly good one.
Although Google is still the leader in online advertising, Facebook is moving quickly in the fast-evolving digital advertising market positioning itself as a “the” channel for reaching a highly targeted and engaged audiences.
If your company wants to take full advantage of these short and crucial two months on Facebook you need to be aware of two things:
- Your timing
- Your need to stand out
When it comes to the matter of timing it seems that the phrase “shopping season starts early” today has little to do with advertisers and much to do with consumers doing everything possible to avoid your December ads and long shopping queues.
Facebook holiday contest ideas
New data from Facebook’s strategic and preferred marketing developer, Marin Software, shows that brands traditionally invest heavily in advertising from mid-December through to Christmas. But the most ROI-friendly activity on Facebook actually happens two weeks before Thanksgiving.
Around that time people click more on Facebook ads to find out about available promotions and products, so you shouldn’t miss out the opportunity to engage with them, drive traffic to your websites and convince visitors to go to your actual store locations.
So, it’s all about being one step ahead of competition and starting your activities by mid November.
If this timeline freaks you out because you still don’t have a solid plan or a huge budget that would made you stand out in the upcoming marketing frenzy, here are some Facebook holiday contest ideas that honor the holiday tradition of giving. These can be up and running on your brand’s Facebook Page in few minutes.
1. Old Friends, New Friends
E-mail marketing is a powerful holiday season tool, especially if you have holiday catalogues or newsletters you want to share with your customers. But if the size of your existing database does not match your ambitious holiday marketing plans, start with a simple Sign in and Win giveaway contest that will grow your mailing list and make your offer available to many new friends.
Use gift cards and make giveaways easily achievable, with a small prize for each (for example: allow 100 winners for a $25 gift card)
2. Kick off with the coupon blitz
People love getting discounts, especially during the holiday season, and it’s an easy and obvious incentive to shop at specific locations for gifts.
Make sure that coupons have a short shelf life that corresponds to the holiday season that require something in return such as an email address. This will enable you to benefit from the potential purchase and generate new leads.
3. Capture the holiday spirit
Holiday season is a perfect time to pimp-up your Facebook cover photo to reflect festive atmosphere.
Instead of just placing another photo from the stock photo library, try running a cover photo design contest and invite your fans to help you come up with perfect cover photo for your page. They can use a basic background or they can edit the photo or customize it with pre-designed elements, such as festive frames or stickers.
Choose the craziest, most beautiful or out-of-the-box proposal, make sure to upload the winner’s design as your business’s new Facebook Cover Photo and never forget to give credit to the cover photo design contest winner in the description.
4. Grant a wish
Customers love telling you what they think and your Facebook Page is a proof that they want to be a part of the process that delivers. Why not give them a chance to choose the product that you will have on a special holiday discount?
They can even help you choose perfect decorations for your store or vote for new holiday-inspired drink that they can try for free? Make the most out of these valuable insights into consumers’ needs and wishes and make them feel heard and appreciated.
5. Have some Xmas fun!
What type of Christmas present is best for you? What kind of holiday shopper are you? What do you get him for that perfect holiday gift?
These are just some examples of quizzes you can have during holiday season to generate smashing records and more Facebook comment threads. Make sure to create cool content and let your fans have fun answering a series of questions.
To achieve greater participation, prepare a questionnaire that’s quick to answer (up to 4-5 questions) and make it more fun by mixing texts with photos. If you feel inspired by these proposals remember that templates or applications for all these promotions are already created so you really need to put in about 10 minutes of your time to have them live on your Page.
What about you?
How do you market your online business during the holiday season? What Facebook contests have worked for you?
Look forward to reading your feedback and insights in the comments below.
Author: Aida Gadzo is a Senior Strategist and Content Creator at appssolut.com. She helps small and medium businesses master the “what”, “why” and “how” of producing and delivering engaging digital and social media content that will activate audiences and drive sales.