With attention turned to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales promotions, some retailers might overlook the ecommerce benefits Thanksgiving Day has to offer.
Considering the fact that, according to comScore, Thanksgiving online purchases in 2013 climbed 21 percent over the previous year, merchants may want to reconsider their position.
In “10 Tips for Using Social Media in Holiday Ecommerce Marketing,” I shared ideas for utilizing social media during the holidays more generally. Today, I want to hone in on eight low-cost ways to leverage social specifically for Thanksgiving.
1. Communicate on Social Media with Customers about Thanksgiving
Spend some time Thanksgiving Day chatting with your customers on Facebook and Twitter about what Thanksgiving means to them. Ask customers what they are thankful for, and share your gratitude with them and for them.
2. Make It Thanksgiving ‘Week’
Schedule a series of social posts for publishing each day during the week of Thanksgiving. Use tools like Canva and Pixlr to create graphics that accompany the posts. (BrainyQuotes is a handy resource to find quotes you can include in posts and on graphics.)
2. Showcase Employee Thanksgiving Activities
If you have employees, showcase them in various ways during the week of Thanksgiving.
Highlight volunteer efforts in which they are involved, shoot a video where each employee shares a favorite Thanksgiving Day memory, or create a Facebook photo album of your employees’ Thanksgiving Day family gatherings.
There is a chance your employees will share those highlights with their family and friends on Facebook, which will expose even more people to your brand.
3. Engage with Thanksgiving Events
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presents an excellent opportunity to interact with others in a live social conversation on Twitter. It is also an opportunity to promote your products via creative tweets accompanied by brand-relevant hashtags.
College football, another Thanksgiving Day tradition, is a time when in-state rivals vie for bragging rights for another year. If you plan to watch the big game, use it as an excuse to tactfully promote your brand through the company Twitter channel and Facebook page.
4. Get a Jumpstart on Black Friday Sales
Previously, I mentioned the comScore report citing growth in sales on Thanksgiving. With more and more brands starting Black Friday sales sooner, those numbers are likely to climb. Consider jumping on the bandwagon and kickoff your Black Friday promotional efforts early, as well.
5. Give something away for free.
There is a reason it’s called thanks “giving.” On that day, offer to give away something for free such as free shipping or a gift with every purchase.
6. Provide Helpful Travel Tips
The U.S. Department of Transportation cites Thanksgiving as one of the biggest travel periods of the year. Come up with some helpful travel tips for your customers and share them in social posts during Thanksgiving week. (The Travel Channel has a useful list, too.)
7. Curate Thanksgiving-themed Collections on Pinterest
If you use Pinterest for product promotion, add a Thanksgiving-themed board consisting of recipe ideas, the aforementioned travel tips, table decorations, ideas for what to do with leftovers, and more. Insert relevant products into the mix, and share pins across other social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
8. Run a Thanksgiving Sweepstakes or Contest
Thanksgiving-related sweepstakes and contests are good way to build your prospect database in advance of the holiday season, which could translate into increased sales in the weeks following.
One idea that is a natural fit for Thanksgiving — and which could garner lots of attention and social sharing — is a Thanksgiving dinner giveaway.
Retailers such as Boston Market, Target, Safeway, and Whole Foods offer digital gift cards that you can purchase and email to the winner. If you plan to use the entrants’ email addresses in ongoing promotions, include a statement to that effect in the sweepstakes or contest terms and conditions.