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Putting Social Media to Work on Cyber Monday

shopping-carts-ecommerce-11091902 Credit: Dreamstime.com

Black Friday may be for the big box stores, but for just about anybody with a gift to sell, Cyber Monday can spell big bucks. Smart retailers are leveraging their social media marketing campaigns to drive traffic to their sites Nov. 28, this year's Cyber Monday.

Taylor Holiday, director of strategy at LF Social, a division of digital marketing agency Lucid Fusion, suggests five ways retailers can put their social media prowess to work to drive holiday sales on the first workday after the Thanksgiving weekend:

Offer your best. Give them the best deal you’ve got. Consumers are smart. They’re going to hunt for the best value and most aggressive discounts.  This is not the time to play small. Competition is fierce, and you want your deal to be so attractive that people can’t help but talk about it.  Be creative. Be outrageous. Be generous. Make an offer a savvy consumer wouldn’t refuse.

Reward your fans. Give something back to those who dig your product, especially those who “like” your company on Facebook or are otherwise following you.  At some point, they were inspired enough to choose to stay connected – isn’t that a wildly attractive quality in a customer? Of course it is. Reward their loyalty and use the opportunity to exceed their expectations.  Not only will it strengthen your connection, but those customers are highly likely to tell their friends or followers. They’ll reward you for rewarding them.

Recruit new fans. Take a cue from Groupon and seize the opportunity to invite in new customers with an irresistible offer. Yes, it will boost your sales for a day, but, more important, you’ll have an opportunity to build your fan base, followers, and email subscribers.  Make the offer exclusive to people who agree to stay in touch; offer incentives to those who “like” you, “follow” you or subscribe to your newsletter. You’re planting the seeds for future sales and new fans of your brand.

Advertise your deal. Take advantage of the advertising opportunities that social networks offer  – ads there can be highly targeted. Facebook ads, in particular, allow you to reach people who are likely to stay connected long after Monday’s over. Promoted Tweets and YouTube videos are also great ways to help your deal stand out among the rest. Don’t keep your deal a secret, get it out there.

Make it remarkable. Far too many brands simply translate to social media the existing offers they send through email, put in print or show on TV. That’s a mistake. People are on social networks for fun, for a break and to discover or share something remarkable. Meaning, they can’t help but remark about it. Look to make your offer engaging, amusing, or unexpectedly interesting. Make a game out of it or create a funny video.  Regardless of your approach, your deal will have the greatest reach if you give people a reason to share it. So give them a great reason.