The kids are back in school and Halloween is still weeks away but if you own a business that relies on holiday sales, it’s time to start thinking about the most wonderful time of the year. Otherwise it might not be wonderful at all.

Many small businesses wonder how they can stand out among the many extravagant marketing campaigns that are rolled out ahead of the holiday shopping season. Thankfully, social media allows these businesses to garner the attention of their customers and prospects without breaking the bank.

If you have not started putting together your holiday social media strategy, now is the time. Here are some things to keep in mind as you build this strategy:

  • Less is more. When you try to post on every platform out there, you will find yourself unable to do any of them right. Instead, focus on a few social media platforms that you know your customers frequent and concentrate your efforts on the visitors to these sites.
  • Focus on followers. Offer special deals that are only available to your social media followers. This encourages followers to share your deals with friends and family. This creates a buzz around your social media sites that will allow you to gain followers and get your brand noticed.
  • Ship for free. With people spending so much money over the holidays, they are always on the lookout for ways to save. When surveyed, almost 50 percent of consumers said that free shipping plays a significant factor in whether or not they make a purchase. Consider offering free shipping codes to social media followers or use social media to advertise free shipping offers.
  • Get personal. Facebook allows you to use its targeting features to reach a specific demographic. You can target your social media messages to reflect a particular age group or geographical area, for example.

Of course, no matter how effective your social media strategy is at garnering attention for your brand, none of it will matter if you don’t back it up with superior customer service. The holidays can be an especially hectic and stressful time of year for consumers. When you are there for them—responding quickly when they have a problem or question—they won’t soon forget. The result? Happy holiday shoppers that remain loyal long after the season is over.

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