Reno-Tahoe Businesses: Social Media Holiday Game Plan
Do these ominous-sounding words strike fear in you as a local business owner? Perhaps a sense of overwhelm? Or just plain dread?
With all the media attention being paid on nation-wide, big-box stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target, behemoth online retailers like Amazon, and, not-to-mention, the negative reports of shopping mall brawls and violence by over-zealous bargain hunters year after year—whew—it’s quite easy to see how local businesses could feel lost in this veritable tidal wave of holiday shopping.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, a recent Nielsen survey commissioned by Yelp found that, “eight in ten Americans are likely to shop at local businesses this holiday season.” Not only that, six out of ten local shoppers are interested in purchasing “experience-based gifts.” This bodes incredibly well for Lake Tahoe and Reno, where local businesses in action-oriented industries thrive, such as travel and tourism, fitness, health, outdoor recreation, and more.
Reno-Tahoe businesses: Get our FREE Social Media Marketing Success Toolkit when you take our 3rd Annual Reno-Tahoe Social Media Survey. (Takes just 5 minutes!)
We want local business owners in Reno and Lake Tahoe to feel empowered with their marketing this holiday shopping season.
We want you to embrace this time as a great opportunity to engage customers, new and old.
We want you to boost sales with strategic, laser-targeted social media campaigns.
And last, but certainly not least, we want customers to fall in love with your business, become word-of-mouth evangelists and an integral part of your brand story.
That’s why we’ve created our Lake Tahoe and Reno Social Media Marketing Game Plan for the Holidays, below, featuring tips and best practices from the latest social media trends and research to help your local business stand out from the fray this shopping season.
Lake Tahoe and Reno Social Media Marketing Game Plan for the Holidays
How to win on Facebook
- Start advertising. Advertising on Facebook still remains one of the most affordable and effective forms of online and social media advertising, and the holiday season is the perfect time to create a unique offer for your customers. It’s also the place where “92% of marketers plan to spend the majority of their social media marketing budget” [source: Offerpop]. For a detailed rundown on Facebook advertising, I recommend checking out our article, “How To Make Facebook Ads Work for You and Generate Social Media ROI.”
- Brand well and be active. If you’re not already posting regularly on Facebook, now’s a good time to start this habit. Ask questions. Inspire your fans. Share your blog posts and talk about what’s happening in the area this season. Need help coming up with post ideas? Try out PostPlanner for a slew of helpful content suggestions.
- Even with reports of news feed reach trending down as of late, it doesn’t mean that keeping up your Facebook page is a lost cause for marketing. Take a look at your page post insights and see what resonates with your fans—and start doing more of it. You can still reach 100s of fans or more with each Facebook post (for free), while staying top-of-mind with those who support your business.
- Reward your fans. Your loyal Facebook fans have supported you all year long—now’s the time to reward them with an exclusive offer or coupon. Limited time offers also create high-demand for your products and services, so make sure to add those into your campaign and advertising mix, as well.
- More. video. now. Video is becoming increasingly important on Facebook, so much so, that video posts are even getting a boost in the news feed. Use this during the holiday season to your marketing advantage. Create a short video showcasing your in-store products, take us on a tour of your facilities, or talk about what’s featured in your special holiday package.
How to win on Twitter
- Promote your posts. If you haven’t been taking the time to build your audience and engagement on Twitter, you can still take advantage of Twitter’s advertising options. Promoted posts are a great place to showcase your holiday offer. The key is creating enticing copy and calls-to-action, while targeting the right customers by location, keywords, interests, and more. Check out this great Twitter case study about outdoor apparel retailer, Rock/Creek’s, holiday marketing success.
- Get in on the conversation. Search Twitter using hashtags relating to the #LakeTahoe and #Reno areas to start, or hashtags relating to local events and news. Start sharing about what’s happening locally in the area as you follow fellow tweeters and gain influence by sharing relevant and helpful tweets. Take your Twitter engagement one step further, and perform an advanced search with local parameters. Include keywords related to your business to find potential customers. Engage directly with an offer or tip, or even just a hello! Here’s an example from KLM of customer engagement done right on Twitter in the travel and tourism industry.
How to win on YouTube
You may have heard that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the internet. So, it’s definitely a social media platform you don’t want to overlook this holiday marketing season.
- Create a video featuring your holiday special and promote it through YouTube’s advertising feature.
- Share about your seasonal products and services in a memorable video while giving customers an inside look at your business. Animoto is an excellent online tool for creating high-quality videos yourself.
- Remember with video advertising, if you’re focused on making an emotional connection with your audience, that’s really going to help you stand out among the rest.
Here’s a nice example of an Animoto video from NYC bicycle shop, Urban Motion:
How to win on Pinterest
Pinterest is currently rolling out their advertising options to all businesses, so if you’re not active on Pinterest just yet, it’s a good idea to start seeing what the community is all about so you can take advantage of advertising soon. But for now, you may want to get ahead of the game and start positioning yourself as the go-to resource in your industry for the Reno-Tahoe area.
- If you have an email list of customers, do a search on Pinterest and start following some of their boards. Re-pin some of your favorite items you find and your customers will likely start to return the favor and want to share your pins, too.
- Share your knowledge with the Pinterest community by pinning your blog posts, inspiring images, special offers, videos, and more. Make sure to include local hashtags and keywords that are relevant to your business. Even adding just one or two pins a day can go a long way toward building your presence on Pinterest.
- Show love for your local community. Create a board just for place pins and highlight some of your favorite local businesses and attractions. Highlight what’s amazing about Lake Tahoe and Reno in creative pin boards and you’re sure to attract more local love, in turn.
How to win on Instagram
As with Pinterest, advertising is not yet available on Instagram for all businesses. Still, 73% of marketers feel Instagram is the “breakout social network of 2014” with big opportunities there for making your mark.
- If you’re not already on Instagram, start by following your Facebook friends and appropriate contacts from your smartphone.
- Next, follow and engage with the Lake Tahoe and Reno community by searching for local hashtags. Make sure to also include some of the top overall tags on Instagram as this can give your account a bigger reach, even in the local community.
- Aim for sharing at least one photo every day to start, then begin to add occasional photos featuring information on special deals and offerings. Just remember to always keep your posts creative and engaging!
With these strategies, your Lake Tahoe or Reno business will be well on it’s way to social media success this holiday season.
If you need help putting the pieces of your social media marketing together or have any questions, contact us to see how we can help your business.
Don’t forget to take our Reno-Tahoe Social Media Survey for your FREE Social Media Marketing Success Toolkit.