Holiday Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

-

With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, Santa's workshop isn't the only thing buzzing with activity. Search engine activity spikes every year as the holidays approach. It's likely that your current and potential customers are creating at least some of that online activity.

Search engine activity follows the same flow as in-store shopping during the holiday season. Volume starts to pick up around Thanksgiving, and high traffic occurs on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While some of that volume will be consumers making online purchases, many searches won't directly result in a sale online. In fact, Google says more than half of shoppers research their purchases online but do their actual buying in-store.

Managing your online presence is important all year round, but how well you accomplish that task can directly impact your bottom line during the holidays.

Make Your Keywords Play a Role

Refining your keywords is an ongoing process, and the holiday season may call for more adjustments. Tailor your keywords to match the categories and terms that are most popular for searches during peak holiday times. For example, if your keywords include "flatscreen TV deals" you might consider throwing in a holiday-specific term, like "flatscreen TV holiday deals."

Engage Your Audience Using Social Media

Marketing to existing and potential customers through social media will also be an important aspect of your digital efforts during the holidays. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can help you communicate with consumers about holiday deals, provide special coupons and incentives, and let you know what your customers are thinking about your product or service. Be sure to regularly update all your social media outlets to help keep consumers engaged and aware.

Respond to Social Media Activity

While marketing to customers through social media can help build your business, listening and responding to customers through social media is critical to managing your reputation. Social media outlets are another way for customers to engage with companies about their products or services. However, most companies do nothing about it. In a recently study by Maritz and Evolve24, 70% of companies didn’t respond to customer complaints on Twitter. Of those unhappy customers, 86% of them would have “liked or loved” hearing from the company. Leaving negative—or positive—feedback out there in a public forum without a response can be a missed opportunity, especially during the holidays when website traffic is high.

Monitor Your Social Media Activity

For a company that’s busy handling increased holiday shopping, finding a way to navigate and manage all the social activity on top of it can be difficult. That’s where social media monitoring and management tools come in to play. They are specifically designed to help you monitor all of your accounts in one place. The free app, YourBuzz from American Express OPEN, aggregates customer reviews, ratings and online mentions. You can respond, retweet or create a new conversation, see how you stack up against the competition, and more.

Knowing what your customers are saying about you is more important than ever during the holidays. Social media, paid search and other digital marketing tactics can help you ensure the holiday season is bright—and profitable—for your small business this year. If you want to generate excitement around your business in the lead up to the holidays, don’t go it alone—use tools to help raise your online profile and take part in the discussion about your brand. 

Developing and maintaining an online marketing strategy during the holidays is critical to the success of your business. That’s why it is important to know what people are saying about it in web reviews and on social sites. Give yourself an early holiday gift and start using the free YourBuzz app from American Express OPEN today. Click here to learn more.