As the holiday season approaches companies and marketing people alike are gearing up to take on a new way of taking campaigns and sales. I say new due to the fact both the social landscapes like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and social consumer’s behaviors like social sharing and product discovery have evolved within the last year.

This holiday season according to a survey done by Retailmenot.com survey marks the fourth consecutive year of ecommerce growth. The United States will spend more than 50 billion this holiday season, up more than 16% from $16 billion last year. This year alone many new marketing channels have emerged, as we do now marketing fundamentals are acquiring, converting, and retaining but through social realms. With the evolution of having these social landscapes, the necessity of implementation of social strategy for this upcoming holiday season is vital.

Attracting more leads from your existing customers is a key task in generating new customers. Generating a community of brand advocates rather than simply building a huge fan base is valuable in spreading a word about products and multiplying engagements this holiday season. A Harvard business review study a company’s loyal customers have the highest lifetime value. Brand advocates are more likely to repurchase after recommending brands and products. 76% of brand advocates said they were more likely to repurchase themselves after recommending a brand or product, and 79% said they would more likely to repurchase from that merchant in the future.

Having these consumers as your brand advocates help influence their own social network. Having a social recommendation for example a “like” on facebook posted on a timeline can definitely broaden a businesses’ overall reach. Having these social recommendations include “like”, “retweet”, “pin it” or “endorse” play in a visual part of growing your presence within your audience and having a reach to a potential audience.

Having a connection through a consumer’s network is a key strategy in potentially attracting a customer. Businesses’ need to ask consumers what they want, this is one of the simplest approaches when it comes to relationships, yet it is one that doesn’t often occur. Just as it is with any relationship, they should interact with consumers whenever possible. The more you understand your consumer the more valuable your relationship your consumer is. Through these media channels businesses are able to build a more intimate relationship with their consumer. By engaging with your consumer and building this trust you earn their trust and build loyalty for them to purchase with you.

During the holiday season this is especially important, many consumers take the social media to address their concerns about a certain product being available or etc. Having this tool helps businesses reach out to consumers if a certain product is running low. By making social consumers aware that stock is low on a certain product; they will know that the product is in high demand and should buy it right away. This is a great way to inform your consumers that they need to purchase an item quickly before they are disappointed of not being able to purchase the product.

Social Media enables social consumers to reach a broad audience within their network with creating user generated content, and leaving feedback and reviews on products. By businesses enabling user generated content and feedback on products it can greatly boost sales. CompUSA and iPerception found that 63% of consumers indicated that they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. Research also, found only 26% of the 137 top retailers surveyed customer ratings and reviews, but 96% of them ranked customer ratings and reviews as an effective or very effective tactic at driving conversion.  Before making holiday purchases many consumers will go to reviews to consult on what kind of items to buy.  According to a survey by MarketingSherpa 83.8 of users said they trust a user review over a critic. The importance of user generated content on social media allows a social consumer to greatly influence purchase decisions, brand affinity, and brand loyalty beyond their own network.

As the holiday season nears companies are gearing up for the holiday season, social strategy is vital to have with the social landscape and social consumer behavior that has been evolving over the last year. Consumers have always shopped in stores, now they will expect it online. More than ever holiday shopping will geared toward the social consumer.

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