How to Use Social Media to Drive Sales During the Holidays


When it comes to holiday marketing campaigns, ecommerce brands have a tremendous opportunity to leverage social media to bring in new customers and increase engagement with existing ones. Why? Because that’s where customers are! Consider these statistics.

  • Ecommerce referrals from social media grew nearly 200% in 2014.
  • Facebook drives about 60 percent of all social referral traffic to retail websites.
  • 74% of consumers use social networks to make purchasing decisions.

So how can your brand use social media as a tool to drive sales? We’re so glad you asked! Here are six ideas to help you get started:

1. Find out which social networks your current and potential customers use.

Once you know where your customers congregate online, you can not only market your products to them, but you can market to those with the same interests. There are a few different ways you can find your fans, including:

  • Checking your analytics to see which social networks are driving the most traffic.
  • Use a social listening service like Social Mention, or simply search different social networks to track discussions about your products and company, as well as your competitors.
  • Ask them! Send a survey to your subscribers asking them about their social network use.

2. Make all of your products easy to share on social media.

Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful tools for getting new customers, and in the digital age, those conversations happen on social media. With AddThis Sharing Buttons, you can easily facilitate the sharing of your products on the top social networks. You can even personalize which sharing buttons appear for individual users, so the social networks they visit most often will be the ones displayed in the toolbar.

3. Sell products through social media.

In 2014, 53% of those who shopped online used smartphones or tablets, up 12% from the year before. Those users are also spending more time on social media apps. Go where they are! Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all offer ad units with buy buttons that will drive traffic to your product pages, and they’re all also rolling out full ecommerce platforms for businesses, so you can eventually have your own stores right on the networks.

4. Promote special offers through social media.

If users see value on one or more of your social networks that they won’t find on your website or in your newsletters, they’ll be much more likely to click “like” or “follow.” And once they do that, you have a direct line to them to market products and offers. Consider hosting a giveaway on Twitter with a unique hashtag, or a coupon or freebie through Facebook Offers.

5. Make your social activity about more than products.

Your social posts should be about more than just pushing product. Create compelling holiday-themed content; link to interesting news items that relate to your industry; participate in trending topics; or highlight bloggers who create products that complement yours. Basically, use your social footprint to create a community. And don’t forget to engage with that community on a one-on-one basis. Answering questions and responding to feedback—both positive and negative—will go a long way toward building trust with your customers.

The holiday shopping season gets longer and longer each year, and even though it’s only the beginning of October, we’re already well into it. Use the social media channels at your disposal to enhance your ecommerce efforts over the next few months, and you’ll build brand awareness, snag new customers and create brand advocates out of the ones you already have.