How to use social media for the holidays: November.

According to the National Retail Federation American (NFIB) consumers plan to spend an average $935.58 during the holiday shopping season this year. The month of November is full of opportunities to drive foot traffic into your store and boost online sales. Here are some tips to help you leverage four of the biggest November holidays on social media; Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Giving Tuesday and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday (Nov 25)

In 2015 online shoppers spent a record $4.45 billion on Black Friday and Thanksgiving. Black Friday is still the most popular shopping holiday for social engagement. In fact, last year #BlackFriday saw 1,162,905 tweets from 594,230 contributors. This is a perfect opportunity for your businesses to leverage Twitter to increase both online and instore sales. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Don’t have a Twitter account for your business? Now’s the time to create one and start tweeting.
Include the most popular hashtags for Black Friday, #BlackFriday2016 and #BlackFriday, in every tweet related to your holiday sales.
Start promoting your Black Friday deals right now. Creating awareness in advance of your big sale day is an important strategy to fully leverage this hugely popular day.

Small Business Saturday (Nov 26)

November 26 is Small Business Saturday, a yearly event started by American Express in 2010 to help small businesses thrive. This event was an instant success and continues to grow year after year. According to a survey released by the NFIB, US consumers spent over $16.2 billion dollars at small businesses on Nov. 26, 2015. Follow these tips to ensure your small business reaps the benefits Small Business Saturday has to offer:

Sign your small businesses up to get your businesses listed as an official participant as well as, receive promotional tool kits.
Start tweeting about your small businesses participation right away. This will inform your audience that you’ll be participating and provide guidance for how they can “shop small” with you.
Tweet daily using the most popular hashtags for Small Business Saturday in all relevant tweets: #shopsmall, #SmallBizSat, #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBiz
Follow @ShopSmall and keep updated on the event and all opportunities available to you.

Cyber Monday (Nov 28)

The Monday following Thanksgiving is known as “Cyber Monday”, a day to find exceptional online bargains. Last year Cyber Monday was a record breaker for online sales with shoppers spending a whopping $3 billion dollars online. If your businesses has an e-commerce component you’ll want to participate in this years Cyber Monday. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Start promoting your Cyber Monday today. Again, awareness is key. Let your online audience know you’ll be participating and provide teasers to get them excited to spend with you!
Include the most popular hashtags for Cyber Monday in tweets promoting your participation; #CyberMonday and #Deals.
Be sure your online site is optimized and ready for heavy traffic!

#GivingTuesday (Nov 29)

If you’re a nonprofit or support one don’t miss out on #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. If your organization supports any nonprofits this is a perfect way to help your favorite organization(s) raise money and awareness.

Register your organization to be an official partner
Include #GivingTuesday in all tweets about this important day
If you’re supporting an organization be sure to include their handle in your tweets
Link to mobile friendly and optimized landing pages where people can easily donate.

The one thing you need to keep in mind when promoting your business during the holidays (and anytime really) is to be genuine. Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday are really about giving back to your community and helping local businesses. Be sure that you’re participating in the spirit of the holiday and not just for your own gains. By creating meaningful experiences for your customers during the holidays you’re building relationships that will last all year.

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