How to make social media work for you this holiday season.
This is Part 2 of a 7-Part Series on leveraging our enormous buying power and making a commitment to supporting African American Women Owned Businesses for the Holidays. The Small Business Administration as well as African American women business owners, consumers and experts will weigh in on and give their perspective throughout the series.
Candace Mitchell, 28, can vividly recall her favorite memory of shopping for the holidays. Just perusing the creative online campaigns and observing how various brands tap into the holiday spirit really intrigued her. The positive messages, lifting people’s spirits and spreading love during the holiday season just made her feel warm and fuzzy all over. She now wants to tap into that feeling for the holidays with her new brand called Myavana.
Brought to the market this year by her three year-old company, Techturized Inc., it is the Angie’s List of hair care. Offering a monthly membership, the company recommends the right products, salon services and educational content based on the individual’s personal hair care needs. “Our niche market is women of color who are natural, transitioning and/or have a busy lifestyle or career,” says Mitchell, co-founder. “I would like to know which social media platforms are being used by different groups in our target market.”
If you are like Mitchell and want to have a profitable holiday season, social media is a great bet in maximizing sales. ESSENCE.com has enlisted some real firepower to help jumpstart your sales in the final weeks of this shopping season.
“The most ideal place to reach new audiences fast is using a Facebook page in combination with Facebook ads” says Crystal Washington, technology marketing strategist and author of The Social Media Why. “The beauty is that you can be selective in your audience. You can designate who’ll see your post by sex, location, ethnicity, relationship and parenting status, interests and more!”
Having over 1 billion users, Facebook is the largest social network. Also consider incorporating LinkedIn and YouTube into your marketing strategy. A few new sites on the radar are Periscope which offers infographics and inspirational posts and Meerkat featuring streaming live video. Be sure to add Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest to the mix.
“The simplicity of using Instagram and the inherently eye-pleasing nature of the platform make it beneficial. Because of the steady flow of content, Twitter allows you to post more frequently without annoying followers. As the social network with the loudest buzz and tremendous daily usage, it’s vital to have a presence on Snapchat. Pinterest is a great platform for shoppers,” says Darnella Dunham, Director, Social Media & Studios for Interactive One | Radio One.
Whether utilizing the newer sites or traditional sites, social media is essential to promoting your business during the holidays. We asked Communique´ USA, an African American woman owned marketing firm, counting multi-billion dollar corporations such as Chick-fil-A as clients to respond to the pressing queries of business owners. Their responses can also assist your company as you seek to connect with your desired audience for the holidays. Shani Godwin, president and CEO, and Talela Sulaiman, the company’s Social Media & Content Marketing Lead delve into the world of social media and provide excellent, concrete tips.
Candace Mitchell presents Myvana (www.myavana.com)
Question: How can her content reach the right woman at the right time to meet her needs?
Communique´ USA: “Whether paid or boosted, Facebook posts are great for targeting an audience. As such, Candace can pay to have her post boosted or "suggested" to potential new customers based on her target audience which will give her stronger results.”
Kara Stevens presents The Frugal Feminista (www.thefrugalfeminista.com)
Question: How can she motivate women to invest in their finances by buying products?
Communique´ USA: “The beauty of social media is that a great tool for sharing information, motivating and inspiring others. Social media channels like LinkedIn are great for sharing articles and useful information for business minded professionals. Kara can also set up a group page on Facebook and invite people to join so that she’s guaranteed a captive audience of users interested in receiving the information she has shared.”
Dymeata Burum presents bBold Cosmetics (www.bboldcosmetics.com).
Question: Which products should she promote that can best fit her customer’s budget?
Communique´ USA: “We encourage Dymeata to use her social network to show and tell customers how bBold Cosmetics are essential for surviving the holidays. As such, Dymeata should promote products that make for great holiday gifts (big and small) and focus on those that will help her customers look their best during the holidays.”
Freda Crump presents Miss Crumpy’s Hot Wings and Catering (www.misscrumpys.com)
Question: Other than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which sites, free or paid, can help promote her business and reach more people in target areas?
Communique´ USA: “Periscope would be a great tool for Freda to use to engage her social network. By giving her audience a quick cooking lesson on a recipe she wouldn't mind sharing or a lesson on a cooking technique that’s unique to her brand, Freda can connect with her target audience by creating real time engagement with interaction with her audience. For fun, we recommend streaming live video on Meerkat too.”
Callie Bradford presents Go! Smoothies, LLC and Transform For Wellness, LLC (www.gosmoothies.com and www.calliebradford.com)
Question: What can she offer clients to alleviate gaining an extra 10 pounds during holidays?
Communique´ USA: “We recommend Carrie create infographics to share information and ideas with her customers. Infographics can easily be uploaded and shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to remind her audience how to avoid gaining extra pounds during the holidays. She can also post pictures and healthy holiday recipe ideas and exercise video clips to visually show what and how to survive the holidays. Not only will her social network appreciate the information, but she’ll receive the gift of likes, clicks and shares in return.”
Please send a request here to get more holiday social media tips and to receive an invitation to join in on Communique´ USA's special holiday Twitter chat.