Let’s buckle down. Despite (I swear) August being a week ago, suddenly it’s early December and we need to focus on holiday ecommerce sales, and how Facebook can help you reach your December goals.
Have you integrated Facebook seamlessly into your business’ sales funnel for the holiday season? Are you confident your Fans are becoming leads, and your leads becoming customers?
This article will give you the step-by-step process of revamping your Facebook marketing this December to nurture your ecommerce business’ Facebook Fans into sales-ready leads. I’ll give you holiday strategies that generate Fans, and tell you how to move those Fans through your marketing funnel to a final sale this holiday season.
1.) Generate new Fans with Special Offers, Savings, & Giveaways
Money is tight for Facebook users. This holiday season, focus your business on saving people money and you’ll see an increase in engagement. Forbes recently came out with a study which said that 79% of Facebook users become a Fan of businesses exclusively for their offers and discounts.
Pro Tip: Test out making your offer available for a limited time to encourage fast participation and shares between Fans and their friends!
Facebook Contests are also a fantastic way to generate Facebook Likes around the holidays. Creating an appealing holiday design is simple, and (as I mentioned above) a $250 gift card is never more valuable than this time of year.
While of course you can run your own contests on Facebook, a great (and affordable) way of generating Likes for your business is with a ‘Like-gated’ contest – something you can only get with a 3rd party app. Basically this makes Facebook users click ‘Like’ before they can enter your contest and get a chance to win your awesome prize.
Contests get a lot of flack for gaining unqualified, disinterested leads who only want to enter the contest and won’t stick around. This is why it’s essential you offer a prize for your contest that is directly related to your online business or your products. Encourage people who are actually interested in your products by offering a gift-card (as opposed to cash or an iPad). This will gain you Fans who are more likely to stay with you after your contest has run its course.
2.) Facebook Page Posts: Go Warm and Fuzzy
Increase Facebook engagement by going cuddly. Push your personality. Focus on family-oriented posts, traditional values, food, recipes, present ideas, snowmen, holiday-related humor (in-law jokes, burnt ham, etc). Get creative.
Engage with your fans with holiday-related questions, like favorite present, favorite holiday memory, biggest holiday blunder. Ask people to share their experiences, and respond when something they’ve said makes you laugh, cry, or stand up and cheer. People value human interaction more in the holiday season than they do any other time of year.
For your Facebook posts, tap into your creative juices with holiday-related ideas, like ecommerce mega-site Etsy has done below:
3.) Turn your Fans into Leads
Optimized landing pages. Facebook ads. Contests. If you’re an ecommerce site focused on large purchases that take some thinking about, It doesn’t matter which you use to turn Fans into leads, you absolutely need to be focusing on lead generation this holiday season.
I recommend using Facebook Ads to drive traffic to a lead-generating landing page. Whether these ads are focused around a discounted product, an email-gated piece of content (like an ebook or guide), or a contest is up to you. Be sure your ad images are appealing by using reds and greens and oranges. Avoid too much blue, black or white (as these colors are associated with cold and clean and we’re going for warm and cozy).
Target your lead-generating Facebook Ads at people with similar interests to existing Fans, or with a lookalike audience similar to your existing customer list. Spending some time to target intelligently will skyrocket your Facebook Ad’s click-through-rates, and generate you more qualified, genuinely interested leads than otherwise.
4.) Turn your Leads into Customers
You’ve generated your lead. They’ve given you an email address. Now it’s time for them to buy, right? Wrong.
You have to nurture this lead for an online sale. Yes, it’s the holidays, so it’s going to be a bit easier than normal. But they’ll still need a helping hand. I recommend you focus on email automation campaigns, which are series of timed emails that are sent every few days to gradually convert leads into buyers. Here’s an example campaign your ecommerce business could send to leads after they sign up for your holiday contest or special offer:
Email 1 (Sent immediately after signup): Send a thank you email (include holiday related image or copy) with a call-to-action to check out how they can use the special offer or more about the contest prize.
Email 2 (3 weeks before Christmas): Send a reminder email like ‘Only three weeks until Christmas! Do you have a Gift for him?’ Segment your marketing emails by gender or age, and include copy specific to the segment.
Email 3 (2 weeks before Christmas): Send a sales-related email like ‘Our Holiday Countdown Sale ends on Friday. Get 50% off online purchases with exclusive code V6723NI’ Offering exclusive discount codes to your email list encourages them to stay subscribed.
Email 4 (1 week before Christmas): Send another reminder email like ‘T-Minus 7 days till Christmas! Have you remembered everybody?’ Promote a specific product (based on the segment) for inspiration.
Email 5 (5 days before Christmas): Send an email to any of your new leads who haven’t yet purchased like ‘Last-minute sale for last-minute shoppers! Get 70% off men’s wallets with exclusive code V91258K’ Clearance sales like this are a great way to get rid of stock. Last-minute shoppers have to buy somewhere and a sale like this convinces them to buy from you.
Pro Tip: Segmenting your marketing emails (sending different emails to different groups based on their demographics and interests) can improve CTR percentages by up to 50%. Personalizing them (with an email tool) can improve open rates by 22.2% (Source: http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/10-email-marketing-stats-that-will-blow-you-away.html).
Hopefully you now have a better idea of how to generate fans and turn them into online customers this holiday season. Focus on warm and fuzzy Facebook posts and ads. Use your personality to engage with Fans, and bank on discounts and offers to generate leads. Then segment your leads and try a timed email campaign which encourages them to buy now.
Has your business stepped up your social media efforts for the holidays? Have you had successes? Unexpected failures? Start the conversation below!