4 Ways to Capitalize on Social Media This Holiday Season Jeanna Barrett ‘Tis the season to be merry — holiday parties, gift shopping, cookie baking – and closing out as many deals as you can before the year comes to a close. You might assume that social media only works for retail around the holidays, but B2Bs can definitely benefit from going all-in on social during the busy winter months. Social media is a great way to connect with customers, showcase your company’s culture, and offer exclusive specials to encourage customers to spend dollars on your services before their budgets reset in the New Year. Here are four ways to capitalize on social media this holiday season: 1. Showcase Your Business’ Holiday Cheer & Personality If your business is primarily online, or your customers typically only interact with a single account manager, chances are your customers don’t know much more about you other than what can be read about you on the About page of your website. The holidays are the best time of year to show your company’s personality and introduce the great people who make up your business. To showcase your holiday cheer, consider one of the following: Create a virtual company holiday card using a service like JibJab to post on your social sites (and to send to your email list). Create a custom holiday Snapchat filter for customers — it’ll cost a little bit of money, but it could be the perfect way to connect with your millennial customers. Post team pictures on your social sites from internal company holidays parties, gift exchanges and more. Consider using Facebook Live to show team events or have your sales team discuss holiday promos going on. 2. Connect with Customers Outside of a Sales Opportunity No one likes to feel like they’re just a number or transaction to a business — think about the coffee shop or restaurant you like in your neighborhood. Are you compelled to visit because the coffee shop knows your name, and you talk to the baristas every morning? Are you more willing to eat at the restaurant because the waitstaff remembers you, and you’ve sat down with the owner for a drink at the bar? People frequent the businesses they have a personal connection with, so utilize the holidays to create that connection with your customers. Consider doing one of the following to foster a more personal relationship with your customers this holiday season: Host a virtual or in-person holiday party for your customers: send invites on social media if your event is in-person. Then after the event, make sure to post the pictures online and encourage your customers to tag each other. Encourage customers to post their holidays pictures and cards to your Facebook page. You could even host a contest for the “most creative” or “funniest” holiday card. 3. Offer an Exclusive Discount & Use Social Media Advertising to Reach New Customers Reward your social media followers with a discount on signing up for your services this holiday season. If you post it on social media, you can use a custom promo code for each platform to be able to track how effective the special was on each social channel. To reach your customer trapped behind the social algorithm or new customers who don’t know about your business yet, consider using social media advertising on Facebook or Twitter. These advertising platforms can be a powerhouse for small businesses because they allow very specific targeting to reach your ideal customers. 4. Go Omnichannel — Not Just Social Media — This Holiday Season The value of omnichannel continues to be a hot topic in the marketing world. It’s important to provide consistent messaging and user experience across all of your marketing channels — from email and social media to customer service phone calls and in-store experiences. As you build a holiday experience for your customers, think about how this comes across on all channels, and create integrated, holistic holiday campaigns. For example, send a holiday greeting eCard via email to your customers, highlighting a holiday promo you’ll be having. Post a discount about the holiday sale on social media. Have each of your customer service agents talk about the holiday sale in closing and encourage customers to take part. During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, standing out on social media reinforces your brand, showcases your culture and highlights irresistible offers, help push the needle and close the year out right.