Small Businesses Step Up Holiday Social Media Game

Monif Clarke didn't have a social media strategy for her women's clothing company until this year, when she hired a consultant to help her build one.

The holiday social media marketing plan for New York-based Monif C. Plus Sizes includes contests promoted on Facebook with prizes like a $1,000 wardrobe. When Facebook users click on a link about a contest, they're taken to the New York-based retailer's website and their email addresses are recorded when they enter the contest. Those addresses are key to increasing Monif C's business -- it gets nearly 30 percent of its sales in response to emails.

Clarke will also use social media to promote a program giving customers a $25 discount if they recommend friends who buy from Monif C. The friends also get a $25 discount. And Clarke gets another customer for email list.

Previously, Clarke relied partly on a Facebook page that 180,000 people "like," but used it only for the basics: posting pictures and promoting sales. She realized she needed to do more.

"We need to reach the customers we have in a more effective way and attract new customers," says Clarke.

There's more to a retailer's holiday social media strategy than posting photos and advertising discounts. Small and independent retailers are getting more aggressive in using Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram in preparation for the important holiday sales season and beyond.

"All of this is new for small businesses. They've not been used to using social media actively," says Christina Shaw, chief marketing officer at Blue Fountain Media, a marketing consulting company. Like Clarke, many are seeking help from consultants.

REWARDING CUSTOMERS

At Peter Kate, a women's clothing store, owner Sissy Harris recently signed with a customer rewards program linked to social media. Customers get points for posting comments about the store on Facebook and Twitter. They also get points...

Comments are closed.