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65% of Holiday Shoppers Use Social Media to Find the Perfect Gift

gifts

During the push for retail sales this Grey Thursday/Black Friday, businesses continue to look for competitive advantages. Despite the noise, companies who use social media effectively can find that advantage, capitalizing on people’s inclination to turn to social media channels to get their friends’ recommendations about gifts. According to a recent survey by Crowdtap, 65% of holiday shoppers use social media to find the perfect gift. Many more are using time off work to connect with friends, share their lives, complain, ask questions, and

Becky Robinson, social media strategist and CEO of Weaving Influence, says that whether you are a big box retailer or a small business, you can leverage the holidays to grow your online influence through social media. Robinson offers five proven tips that work for her clients that cover listening, monitoring, and engagement with current customers and prospects. Robinson shares:

Turn up your listening. “While it may be tempting to schedule and send promotional updates through the holiday season, you can stand out by listening to and responding to fans and customers who communicate with you.” She adds to be sure to monitor Google Alerts for your business name and other relevant terms and check your social channels multiple times each day. Respond, engage, and differentiate yourself by your desire and willingness to connect.

Turn up your listening (Part 2) Save a search on Twitter for your industry or location. Dip into the stream a couple of times each day to look for people who might be looking for a product or service you offer.

Robinson shares from her personal experience, “Several weeks ago, I needed to find a new bank for business banking. Though I tweeted several general tweets about banks, not a single bank engaged with me. Later, after I chose a bank, I sent tweets tagging both my old bank and my new bank. Until I mentioned a specific bank, no one engaged. You can impress me (and win my business) if you respond before I tag you by your handle.”

Show up! Designate someone in your company to spend a set amount of time each day engaging. If you have curated a list of fans and friends, you can spend a few focused minutes scanning a Twitter list to interact with customers in real time. If they mention an event, remember it and ask about it later. Another personal example, Robinson shares, “@TopoAthletic delighted me by tweeting me, several days after our original connection, to wish me luck on my half marathon.”

Be Real! Use the holidays as an opportunity to share real life updates in real time from your team. How is your company celebrating the holidays? Give your fans and customers a glimpse and invite them into your story by sharing photos and stories.

Give extra love to your best fans and customers. People follow you on social media, in large part, because they want to get inside deals and discounts. Don't disappoint them! Look for creative and unexpected ways to give a little extra to your fans.

Becky Robinson is a social media strategist, author and founder of Weaving Influence leading a team of more than 20 skilled professionals partnering with authors and thought leaders to grow their online influence and market their books. She formed Team Buzz Builder, a supportive community of bloggers that she mobilizes on behalf of authors. She also has an extensive network of online followers through the Twitter accounts@beckyrbnsn@weaveinfluence@teambuzzbuilder, and @teamfaithbuildr. She the author of 12 Minutes to Change Your DayYour Book Deserves a Celebration, and 31 Days of Twitter Tips: Grow Your Online Influence, 12 Minutes at a Time. For more information on Weaving Influence, visit the company’s website.

Jess Loren is an energetic entrepreneur and start-up savant who specializes in the team-based execution of innovative ideas. The co-founder of Chicago social media marketing and business technology solutions company Kambio Group (acquired May 2013) & tech/pop culture events & blog SocialTechPop, Jess is not only a fluent expert in the present state of social media, but a visionary with an eye toward the future. In her projects, Jess combines the effects of cutting-edge technology with the connectivity of social media, and examines how they play a role in determining the next big thing. Jess has contributed across the industry, working with everyone from SMB's to Fortune 500 companies. Follow Jess on Twitter @MsJessLoren

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