Last-Minute Social Strategies for the Holidays

The busiest shopping season of the year is quickly coming to a close, which means that retailers must step up their social game to reach last-minute holiday shoppers.

Social is a great channel for marketing sales at the end of the holiday season, not only because most consumers are typically an arm's length away from their social apps at any given time, but also because it is easy to update sales information in real-time as well as respond to customer questions.

So as 2015 wraps up, make sure to get the most out of the holiday season with these last-minute social strategies:

1. Post last-call reminders.

The holiday season is a busy time, so don't forget to remind consumers about important information such as the last day of an important sale or the last day to order online in order to receive packages before Christmas. Doing so can provide consumers with the motivation they need to finish their holiday shopping and convert. This content can also be repurposed for email marketing.

2. Show off items that are still in-stock.

There is nothing worse than going to a store to pick up a specific item and then finding out that the item is out of stock, but this happens to shoppers a lot during the holiday season - especially last-minute shoppers. Retailers, however, can try to avoid this problem by only sharing items that they still have in-stock on their social channels. In fact, retailers can even label the images of products with captions like "only 2 left!" This not only promotes a sense of urgency that can lead to increased conversions, but also helps retailers get rid of their inventory before the New Year.

3. Be responsive to customer questions.

Consumers are increasingly going to social media channels to voice their opinions about brands and/or ask questions, and the brands that respond to these questions are the ones most likely to close the sale. This is why retailers should make sure that their social managers are paying attention to customer comments across networks and responding to questions quickly. For retailers that want to step up their customer service initiatives on Facebook, check out Website Magazine's "Become a Customer Service Pro on Facebook."

4. Try flash sales.

Retailers can treat their social followers like VIPs by promoting limited-time only flash sales. For instance, an apparel retailer could share a promotion for 20 percent off all sweaters for two hours only. To receive the discount, the retailer could require its followers to say the words "TwitterVIP" in the promotion code field. In doing so, the retailer is not only creating a sense of urgency for shoppers, but is also able to track how successful the flash sale is and calculate social's ROI based on it. 

5. Use hashtags.

Last but certainly not least, retailers should consider adding holiday-themed hashtags to their social marketing initiatives in order to increase their reach without spending money on advertising. For some holiday-inspired hashtag inspiration, check out Website Magazine's "19 Happy Holiday Hashtags."