Get Your Campaign in the Social Stream This Holiday Season

  |  October 4, 2013   |  Comments

There's a lot more to successful social promotions than getting a Like. Learn how to make your holiday campaigns more likeable and shareable to travel farther across social networks.

7-thumbs-upThere's a lot more to successful social promotions than getting a Like; thankfully, the land grab for Likes is over. Yes, brands should continue to invest in growing their audience on social, but the KPI for brand marketing this holiday season is mindshare.

Is your social audience participating, engaging, and most importantly, sharing in the social stream? Did your promotion get passed along? When you reached one social fan, did you successfully reach their friends and colleagues, too?

If you're not strategizing yet for the upcoming holidays, you should be. Two important principles guiding your social media marketing this holiday season should be:

  • Mobile is everything: if you haven't designed your campaigns to work on the mobile form factor, they will fail.
  • Be socially agnostic where you can, as fans and followers are on multiple platforms. Look for a harmonious story you can tell across sites. For instance, leverage Pinterest campaigns on Facebook, and Instagram campaigns on Twitter.

Below are a handful of trusted tactics that will help maximize social sharing in a brand holiday promotion.

Be Mobile. Be Social.

Mobile is no longer the second or third screen. With more than half of all digital time now spent on mobile, it should now be legitimately considered the first screen. And, with 68 percent of mobile minutes now conducted in the home - where consumers use their mobile devices for "me-time" (socializing, watching funny videos, reading news and gossip sites, and window shopping), social promotions should consider that context and play into me-time behavior.

Communicate Scarcity and Urgency

It's a well documented psychological phenomenon that buyers respond to scarcity and urgency and love to share good deals or wins with friends. In 2012, Nickelodeon ran a 12 Days of Nick Jr. holiday promotion that gave away a limited number of Nick Jr. themed prizes each day. Visitors were encouraged to share participation socially and were told instantly if they won. If they didn't, they were encouraged to return the next day to try again.

Similarly, the menswear fashion retailer Bonobos successfully deployed its 2012 last-minute holiday gift campaign on Twitter, encouraging fans to retweet the promotion to unlock even deeper discounts.

How about inserting a socially-powered wishlist into that me-time? Allow fans and followers to browse your most popular products to choose favorites that can be shared with friends and colleagues in the social newsfeed, alongside their comments. Last holiday season, Outside Magazine and REI built a social wishlist on Facebook that allowed fans to tell friends what they wanted, with the bonus of a sweepstakes entry. Pinterest is a perfect place to build such a wishlist and in 2012, many brands - such as Lands End and Barneys - built Pin It to Win It campaigns to encourage the building of Pinterest wishlists.

Share the Social Love

This New York Times recent Psychology of Sharing report reminds us that there are some definite determinants that encourage fans and followers to share something digitally. One of these is to appeal to consumers' motivation to connect with each other.

If you're planning a promotion that could appeal to a group of friends, family members, or work colleagues, use social hooks to get a fan or follower to bring them in. In 2012, SmartWool launched their Share the Joy campaign, which entered fans into a sweepstake every day, where that could share a "sleigh full" of prizes with identified friends in their social network. Earlier this year, Calloway Golf launched a similar LinkedIn-powered promotion that asked visitors to invite colleagues to share a round of golf, with prizes for winners.

Pay It Forward

The holidays are a perfect time to appeal to the charitable instincts of others. Last holiday season, the Red Cross reported that 68 percent of social media consumers polled would take the time to learn more about a charity if they saw a friend posting about it.

A message like Warby Parker's Buy a Pair, Give a Pair campaign is a perfect message for sharing on social. The purchase and the follow on good that the purchase triggere, reflects well on the consumer; that's someone they'll happily share on social. If you have a way to allow your customers to give back, social media networks - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram - with their focus on network and community sharing. are the perfect vehicles for creating awareness for the campaign and the cause as a whole.

Draw from these best practices this holiday season and you will be more likely to love (and not simply "Like") the results you achieve through social going into the New Year and beyond.

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Roger Katz

Roger Katz is the CEO and founder of Friend2Friend, a social media technology and solutions company that works with global brands and media agencies. Launched in 2007, Friend2Friend works with over 100 global brands through its offices in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Barcelona, Spain. During Roger's 20 years working in marketing, strategy, and social media, his career has included management and consulting roles at companies such as Photobucket, Agilent, Brocade, Quantum, Bell Labs, and Pacific Community Ventures, as well as a number of startups. Behind his marketing mind lies deep engineering expertise. He has engineering degrees from Michigan State and UC Berkeley and an MBA from Wharton. He's a cycling fanatic, aspiring guitarist, and (slow) swimmer.

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