2013 Holiday Social Media Strategy Handbook


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How to engage customers at each stage of the purchase journey. Facebook and Twitter have vastly improved their advertising offerings and best practices have emerged. The majority of users on both networks access via a mobile device. Adoption and time spent in social has continued to climb.

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2013 Holiday Social Media Strategy Handbook

  1. 1. The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook Engaging consumers at each stage of the purchase journey The Social Rich Media Platform 2013
  2. 2. www.shopigniter.com 503.232.2021 The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook Page 2 Introduction For many retailers and direct-to-consumer brands, the holiday season is the most important time of year. But, the social strategy we’ve invested in – daily posting and customer service – just doesn’t impact sales during the holidays. Sadly, this isn’t an attribution problem. Sure, our customers and prospects are discovering and discussing our brands and products in social. And yes, customers go through a “journey” and not a “funnel” when making purchase decisions. However, we believe the platforms themselves and the way marketers have traditionally approached social during the holidays are to blame for disappointing results. This year will be different. We’re not making this up. Facebook has vastly improved their advertising offerings and consumer behavior has evolved. • Globally, over 70% of monthly activity on Facebook and Twitter is on mobile devices. By the end of Q213, Facebook had over 219M mobile-only users and it’s growing by 30M a quarter. This means that by the end of 2013 there will be more mobile-only users of Facebook than total users of Twitter • In the US, 80% of daily Facebook activity is on mobile devices • There is no right-rail advertising on mobile, all ads publish to the news feed • Most Facebook tab apps don’t work on mobile, and they certainly aren’t built mobile- first. If they do work, they aren’t built for the social mobile context. Going forward, all social advertising campaigns must be mobile-first • If not driving to apps, many brands drive consumers directly to their websites from social. Most sites aren’t mobile-enabled and if they are, they are rarely built mobile- first. And again, if they do work on mobile, they certainly haven’t been designed for the social mobile context • Marketers who want to drive brand and business outcomes at scale in social must spend media dollars – just like they do everywhere else • With a plan and partners who enable social mobile-specific campaigns, you can do a lot more in the stream – from awareness to add-to-cart and everything in between Engaging consumers at each stage of the purchase journey Playbook The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook 2.0 Social Advertising 1.0 Social Media Marketing Desktop Right-rail Centralized on fan page Tab apps Viral Fans Engagement Mobile Social streams Decentralized in stream Social mobile landing pages Paid Customers Conversion
  3. 3. www.shopigniter.com 503.232.2021 The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook Page 3 In-Stream Ad Buying Conversion Optimization Rich Interactive Content Magic Recipe for Success Increasingly, brands and their agencies are spending “working” dollars to reach, engage and convert key social mobile audiences. Roughly 84% of the top national advertisers are buying media in Facebook and the entire measurable social media ad spend is estimated to be over $6B in 2013. As we’ve worked with some of the world’s most innovative brands, their agencies and the largest social networks, we’ve determined that to drive key outcomes at scale in social, marketers must approach every campaign with these three key elements: 1. In-steam ad buying 2. Rich interactive content 3. Conversion optimization The recipe, on it’s surface, is simple: Buy in-stream advertising to reach your most important customer segments – drive them to social mobile experiences that present rich interactive content that both engages and converts and use the data to optimize both the media and the experiences. But as we know, each of these elements is a marketing discipline in and of itself. Luckily, and at long last, this recipe for social success looks very similar to what we’ve been using for ages in search and email marketing. And like search and email, brands need tools and expertise to avoid pitfalls and deliver results. This playbook uses the trusted framework of a holiday calendar to provide a sense of the possibilities this new framework enables and hopefully spark ideas of your own. Our goal is to show you that social and the holidays are not oil and water, nor do they require a set of new and risky tactics. We believe that marketers must merge the full power of their creative and media expertise with Facebook’s remarkable ability to reach and engage key audiences. Rich media in the mobile news feed is the best way to maximize the return on these efforts, period.
  4. 4. www.shopigniter.com 503.232.2021 The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook Page 4 With Halloween behind you, the season officially begins and it will be time to get your customers and prospects to start thinking about holiday giving. It’s game time. As with any kick-off, you want to start strong. Cast a wide net to build broad holiday awareness among key audiences. In social, you can do this by reaching a larger audience with lightweight branded content that is compelling to consume and share. The goal of this first phase is to reach as many of the right people as possible with the message, “We have great offerings this holiday; make sure you keep us in mind”. Video is a great way to connect your brand and holiday shopping in social. It can elicit emotional responses and in the case of your holiday promotion, you want that response to be, “I like and trust those guys. I want to stay in touch”. While driving reach and awareness is key, it’s also essential that you capture opt-in early to stay top-of-mind. Ways you can do this are, • Grow Facebook fans by running in-stream sponsored page ads or holding a contest that requires people to like your brand page. • Capture email addresses by offering early or exclusive access to holiday collections or promoting a pre-holiday giveaway. • Initiate remarketing to reach website visitors in Facebook with engaging content and opt-in calls to action first week of november Awareness According to Facebook, remarketing ads have a 20x-40x higher CTR than standard ads. Start acquiring “remarketing targets” early and with every campaign you run: • Place a retargeting pixel in your social mobile landing experiences • Plan remarketing creative in Facebook, Google and elsewhere during the multiple phases of the holiday purchase journey Leave Your Mark1 Tip According to Facebook, brands reach approximately 16% of their Facebook fans through organic posting. Extend your reach by advertising to fans, friends of fans and non-fans: • Create fan-targeted ad campaigns to maximize reach to your most important audience • Use unpublished posts to reach non-fans that are in your extended network Extend Your Reach2 Tip 75% of online shoppers click on links from their Facebook friends. This social proof is powerful and harnessing it effectively is an important part of driving holiday success: • Use prominent share buttons in your social mobile landing experiences • Create page post ads that are optimized for engagement (likes, comments and shares) • Sponsor stories to extend the reach of all sharing activity Use Social Proof3 Tip
  5. 5. www.shopigniter.com 503.232.2021 The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook Page 5 You have spent the first week of November driving awareness and opt-in, now it’s time to move down the purchase path. At this stage, consumers have specific goals -- buy a present for my mom -- but don’t yet have a plan to achieve them. This is the time to influence this decision-making process. The goal of this phase is to entice consumers to explore deeper and ideally consider buying your products. Use high-impact imagery of a single product or a collection of products to draw consumers in. Remember, as your customers are exploring your products, they are also in the stage of evaluating them. Coupling your product photos with customer reviews and recommendations, lifestyle imagery or video can sway the decision to take action. days leading to thanksgiving Exploration & Consideration The first go-round, you placed one retargeting pixel in your social mobile landing experience. Now is the time to set yourself up for more refined tactics later on. • Place a retargeting pixel on each product page in your landing experiences Leave Your Mark (Again)1 Tip People like to give. People like to get. And people like to get things for themselves, even during the holidays. Of the people polled for a recent National Retail Federation study*, 8 out of every 10 (79.6%) shoppers were looking for self-gifts. • When driving product exploration and consideration, be sure to include both “gift-giving” as well as “self-gifting” messaging Mind the “Self-Gifters”2 Tip The consideration stage is an uber important phase in the customer purchase journey and the right messaging is key. From post to landing experience is a 1:1 relationship in social. You can easily create pairings for different audiences. • Tailor your message to your key audiences. Are you a targeting younger audience? Then your messaging should be something like – “Be sure your parents know that you want XX this year.” Tailor Your Messages3 Tip
  6. 6. www.shopigniter.com 503.232.2021 The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook Page 6 The average shopper spends $423 over the Black Friday weekend with 41% of this spent online. This crucial shopping period is largely deal- based so incorporate this tactic in your social promotions. The goal of this phase is to drive purchase. To see success at scale you’ll need to use paid media and optimize your spend toward conversion events like add to cart and offer claims. Social mobile commerce is still nascent because of the challenge of checkout on mobile devices and mistrust of the networks, so think strategically about enabling a sale, not closing the deal. • Drive to eCommerce with flash sales and scheduled deals (hourly, daily, etc.) • Drive to retail with offers and coupons that can be easily claimed on mobile but redeemed in-store black friday to cyber monday Drive to eCom & Retail According to a study by the National Retail Federation*, 28% of shoppers were at stores by midnight on Black Friday. Don’t wait until Friday morning to launch your campaigns: • Schedule your Black Friday deals and promotions to go live at midnight local time • Everyone appreciates exclusive access. Consider opening up your Black Friday deals a day earlier just for fans. Start Early1 Tip The scarcity principle states that humans place a higher value on objects that are scarce and a lower vale on those that are abundant – use this to your advantage: • Include scarcity imagery like a ticker that shows the limited quantity available that slowly decreases • Include scarcity copy such as ‘for a limited time,’ ‘one day only,’ or ‘100 only’ Impose Scarcity2 Tip Now is your opportunity to make use of your prior legwork by initiating a “product viewers” remarketing campaign: • Using a partner like AdRoll, you can create dynamically generated news feed ads based on the specific product pages (on your dot com and in your social mobile experiences) visited by the user Fine-Tune Remarketing3 Tip
  7. 7. www.shopigniter.com 503.232.2021 The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook Page 7 By December, some people are completely done with their holiday shopping (kudos to them!) while others haven’t even started. According to a study by the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker* last year, only 14% of Americans reported being done with their shopping come December. According to research last year from the MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse*, the final week of December accounted for approximately 15% of the month’s sales. Basically, many people are still shopping in December so your marketing needs to keep working too. The goal in this phase is to stay in your audience’s consideration set and capitalize on last-minute and impulse buying opportunities. december 1st-24th Stay Top-of-Mind Use a single social rich media product collection theme to promote gift guides for key customer segments like women, men and children. The same theme can be reskineed and merchandised as often as needed. • Offer a range of price points within each and merchandise collections that make it easier to buy Segment!1 Tip Flash sales -- time or quantity-limited -- and daily deals will keep impulse shoppers tuned-in to the last minute. • Having a new offer every day during this time period is essential Reach Impulse Buyers2 Tip Gift cards are a notoriously popular during the holidays. • Compel shoppers to choose your gift cards by making them incredibly easy to buy and deliver and by running a December promotion. Offer a free lower-value gift card -- like $10 -- for purchasing a gift card of a higher amount -- like $100 -- as a gift Gift Cards!3 Tip
  8. 8. www.shopigniter.com 503.232.2021 The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook Page 8 The day after Christmas is a frenzied time for deal-seekers and gift card redeemers. Plan for it and create strong campaigns for each of these buyers. An awesome and unique aspect of social rich media is that you can easily switch out content in an existing unit and republish. Update your existing themes such as Flash Sale or Daily Deal to create social rich media units with your post holiday offers. It’s time to bring your holiday campaign to a close, phew. Engage your social audiences with Instgram, Twitter (and Vine) photos and videos of real, happy customers using your products. Show the world that your brand and products made a lot of people happy this holiday season. last 6 days of december Post Holiday/End-of-Year Sale early january Strengthen Loyalty A thank you can go a long way to strengthen loyalty among your new and existing customers: • Use Facebook custom audiences to target everyone who purchased during the holidays and say thank you. No offer, no nothing, just a big THANK YOU. Do it, it will make you feel good. Say “Thank You!”1 Tip All of those people who received gift cards during the holiday will be itching to use them! • Use Facebook custom audiences to target gift cardholders and inspire them to shop. • Many shoppers will purchase products amounting to more than their gift card total so be sure that you’ve set-up companion products on your product detail and shopping cart checkout pages. Gift Cards!1 Tip
  9. 9. www.shopigniter.com 503.232.2021 The Social Rich Media Holiday Playbook Page 9 Digital marketing is hard, especially in social and during the holidays. We believe that this is starting to change. As the networks, vendors and even our own experience matures, frameworks, best practices and success stories emerge. We hope that in sharing some of what we’ve learned, we’ve both eased your challenge and inspired your success. If you have any questions or would like to bounce ideas off of us, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our contact information is below. Good luck in the stream! Endnotes Version 1 -- Published September 2013 Primary Authors Marko Z Muellner, VP of Marketing, ShopIgniter Kelly Cooper, Marketing Manager, ShopIgniter Kim Blomgren, Manager of Communications, ShopIgniter Disclosures Some campaign examples were never published or considered Citations Page 5+6 - National Retail Federation Report: http://bit.ly/1agKSCP Page 7 - American Express Spending & Saving Tracker: http://bit.ly/17hvNj9 Page 7 - MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse: http://bit.ly/159Wcjr About ShopIgniter ShopIgniter’s powerful social rich media platform enables digital marketing leaders to reach and convert their social mobile consumers. Innovative brands like Ford, Toyota, Universal, Disney, GoPro, Sony, Target and Nike use the Igniter platform to publish, manage, and measure highly effective stream advertising campaigns that drive discovery, engagement and advocacy across networks and devices. Founded in 2009, ShopIgniter is headquartered in Portland, OR. 503.232.2021 www.shopigniter.com @shopigniter www.facebook.com/shopigniter Thank You