With a busy holiday season beginning to dawn on the horizon, there is no better time to focus on what works best today in social media marketing.
As social media marketers plan for their sixth holiday season, it's a great time to take stock of the current best practices for amplifying campaigns - and sales - because this year's formula for social marketing success is different.
It's different because both the social landscape (Facebook Timeline, Pinterest, Instagram) and social consumer behaviors (think mobile use and approach to product discovery) have evolved considerably in the last 12 months.
Before we get to the holidays, let me first give a little context.
As I've shared in past columns, we've seen an evolution in social media marketing. First, we were focused on community building and growing fan and follower counts. Marketers then built on that foundation by focusing on engaging fans with content and conversation. And today, we're riding the next wave, focusing on product promotion and quantifying returns from social.
While some early vendors made it easy and inexpensive to publish lightweight social "engagement apps" around things like contests, voting, and content publishing, many marketers have found that these low-cost tactics are also low value.
And, as with many new channels, especially one as complicated and dynamic as social and mobile, there is often wisdom in returning to marketing fundamentals. As a result, today's winning approach is analogous to the traditional marketing funnel of acquire, convert, retain - but as seen through a social media lens.
This movement isn't a wishful longing for days past, it's a call to focus on what works. And with a busy holiday season beginning to dawn on the horizon, there is no better time to focus on what works best today in social media marketing. So, without further ado, I present the five most important elements of a holiday social media marketing strategy:
That's it! Five easy elements that every - yes, every - holiday social strategy must include. Keep this formula in mind as you plan your holiday campaigns and get ready for the most exciting social marketing season yet.
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Kevin has been working with brands and retailers to build e-commerce and social media marketing solutions since 1995. As an entrepreneur and business development leader in growth-stage companies, he is most interested in developing new markets at the intersection of consumers, brands, and emerging technologies. Kevin currently leads marketing and product management at ShopIgniter, providers of Enterprise Social Commerce solutions to the F1000.
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