Managing Social Media Over The Holidays

It’s easy to get caught up in all the festivities and neglect your social media over the Christmas holidays. But that would be a shame, because if your audiences think you’ve disappeared your brand will suffer. You don’t have to be always available, but it pays to focus on some key aspects of strategy for the holiday period.

KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE UP TO DATE

Businesses are increasingly using social media to advertise, including current offers, events, and, most importantly, their opening hours. In the holiday season, many businesses open and close at different times than they do normally. Keep Christmas opening hours on your profile’s ‘About’ page, and since Twitter and Instagram have tiny bios, consider changing links to point to a blog post that documents the new hours. Share this on all platforms with the times listed so people don’t miss out on it.

SCHEDULE, OR ELSE

Over the Christmas holiday, everyone wants a little time off, even if only for a few hours: this includes those who run social media accounts. But nobody wants ‘dead air’ on their feeds, either. Scheduling content can help with this. There are a number of apps and services online that can help you do this effectively and efficiently.

The run-up to Christmas can also present challenges, as many businesses are busier than usual, resulting in feeds being neglected and followers becoming bored. Keep the accounts active by scheduling a few posts a week. This will provide customers with the content they enjoy.

CHRISTMAS COMPETITIONS

Competitions can generate a great deal of engagement and interest through social media. The rest of your social content could even convert those who simply follow to join in. This is why you should hold a couple of Christmas-themed competitions.

A caption contest is an easy way to engage your followers. Simply upload a Christmas-themed photo to your feed, and the best caption from your followers wins a prize. Obviously, make it a seasonal prize. You could also host a competition in honor of the 12 days of Christmas. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to avoid seeing any ‘12 Days’ competitions at this time of year.

HASHTAGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Locowise has always emphasized the importance of hashtags. Particularly if you run a business, it can be difficult to stand out on a social media page. During the holiday season, hashtags are even more important.

Don’t forget to do it right, though. Focus on hashtags that have a lot of traction online, so that you can be part of the momentum. Watch out for trending hashtags that get a lot of engagement. And make sure you develop your own hashtags that your audiences can get behind.

THE LOOK

You can make sure your social media accounts look impressive to make effective use of social media. During the festive season, update your profile and cover photos. People will be more inclined to follow you during the festive season if you have a look and feel that gets them in the mood.

GIVE AUDIENCES AN OFFER

We mentioned discounts and offers in one of the other tips as a way to get your brand noticed while reaching out to your followers and converting them into consumers.

Offers can be shared via a simple post or, for a more intense impact, their details can be revealed exclusively via your ‘stories’ on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. In order to monitor conversions on each network, tailor your discount codes according to the platform.

SUPPORT CHARITIES

Christmas is not only the time to receive gifts, but it is also the time to give gifts as well. There is something very special about Christmas, when people remember to give to those who perhaps will not be enjoying large amounts of food and fun at the time.

What this means for brands is that you need to highlight the efforts you are making to help others at Christmas through featuring the charities you are working with. This way, not only are you doing good at a time of year when people really need help, but you are also showing the human side to your brand, which helps to strengthen the relationship you have with your audiences.

21 Proven Drip Campaign Tips for Email Marketing

Drip campaign work involves sending a series of emails to your list automatically, and to a set schedule.

With drip campaigns, the schedule of emails is usually triggered by an action a person takes. If someone subscribes to your blog, for example. Or if someone downloads an eBook.

How to start a drip campaign

I’ve been creating email marketing drip campaigns for a while now. I know how they work. Like most things in digital marketing, these campaigns rely upon the coming together of lots of different elements.

Here are some tips that will ensure your drip campaigns hit the mark, every time.

Tip 1: Get the frequency right

If you have a click-through rate of 2-5% (or higher), you’re hitting the sweet spot. Well done. If you’re not getting these results, it could be because:

  • You’re cranking out emails at too high a rate. People are simply receiving too much in their inbox from you. Slow it down
  • You’re sending out emails too infrequently. They don’t hear from you enough to feel engaged in what you’re saying
  • Your email content isn’t resonating with your recipients. There is no value

Experiment with rectifying these issues until the click-through rate increases.

Tip 2: Test the subject line

The subject lines for drip campaign emails are all part of the storytelling. Test out subject lines every single step of the way.

There’s a fantastic tool by CoSchedule that allows you to test out subject lines, for free.

Tip 3: Make the email campaign personal

Include the recipient’s name in the email. Sound’s obvious, but it is all part of you engaging them and making them feel like the most important person in the world.

Tip 4: Use power words

See the title of this post? It has a power word in it. Words like ‘proven’ have an impact on readers.

Use power words to get those emails opened. Check out these:

100+ Words That Increase Opens

Thanks to CoSchedule for this list.

Tip 5: Make email marketing mobile friendly

Whichever email marketing platform you use, make your drip emails ready for mobile.

Well over 70% of emails are now read on mobile devices.

Tip 6: Send test emails

With drip email marketing, you’re sending multiple emails over time. If they don’t look right then your brand just looks unprofessional.

Send them to yourself. Most email platforms allow you to send the entire sequence to yourself before you send it to your list. It’s a good way to make sure you haven’t included spelling errors, or got the recipient’s name wrong.

Tip 7: Never, ever use all-caps in subject lines

Avoid all-caps in your subject lines. This makes you look a little cheap, to be honest. You’re aiming to build trust and gain engagement with people who you expect to read through a number of emails. Shouting at them with text will just turn them off.

Tip 8: Keep sentences short

Emails should never be long anyway, but a really useful tip is to focus on creating sentences that are no more than 25 words long. This is the maximum length before readers decide they would rather watch paint dry.

Tip 9: Offer (real) value

In my experience with drip email marketing, offering value at every step of the campaign is the only way to go.

What this means is ensuring that the recipient feels like they gain something every time they read an email in the campaign. With my drip email marketing, I always include one of the below in each email:

  • A link to a high-value blog post that solves a problem for the recipient
  • A link to a free eBook that helps them with their pain points
  • An infographic
  • A ‘cheat sheet’ helping them get to grips with an issue

They get value every time, and that’s how it works.

Tip 10: Use fresh visuals in your email drip campaigns

Your customers and prospects will likely have seen your emails before. To understand that this drip marketing campaign is worth paying attention to, they’ll need to see something new.

I’ve even seen brands use emails that have no visuals, simply because all their other emails had eye-popping imagery. It’s all about doing something different. Give the drip campaign a different look and the audience will stick with it.

Tip 11: Write short paragraphs

Your audience will still want to skim the email, so help them do just that. Each paragraph should have no more than three sentences in it.

Tip 12: Send emails at the right time

This is all about knowing your audience, but with drip marketing you need to know when the best time to send the emails is.

The infographic below is a rough guide, but use your email platform to understand when your audience is most receptive.

Thanks to CoSchedule

Tip 13: Send from a real person

Your emails should be sent by a real person. This cannot be stressed enough. If you just use the company name, you appear cold and faceless. Exactly what you don’t want to look like during a drip campaign.

Tip 14: Monitor the email campaign as it runs

Believe it or not, some brands and companies send out emails as part of a drip marketing campaign and then just ‘wait for the conversions’.

This is not how it works.

Anything can happen. It’s in your best interests to monitor every single email after it goes out. Check for open rates and clicks to make sure the emails are working as the campaign is live.

You could miss a disastrous open rate that you might be able to fix before it’s too late.

Tip 15: Clean your list

Run through your email list before you start a campaign to make sure you aren’t sending the emails to recipients who haven’t opened your emails for a while. This will prevent an adverse impact on your open rates.

Tip 16: Know your goal with email marketing

You must have a campaign goal before you create a drip marketing run. Do you need to have recipients go to a particular page on your site? Or are you selling a course?

Knowing what your outcome is meant to be will allow you to have a general theme and tone for the emails in the campaign. It makes writing the emails a whole lot easier.

Tip 17: Use clear CTAs

A call-to-action (CTA) should be there in every email during the sequence.

Tie the CTA to the value I talked about in Tip 9 and you will have compelling emails that get results. If you don’t ask people to do something they won’t do it. You have to guide them.

Tip 18: Work to a plan with email campaigns

Always plan out the campaign before you get started. At the very least, cover the following points before planning to ensure you have a successful run:

  • What order will you send your emails in?
  • Is there a match between your triggers and your message?
  • Analyse your success criteria (what numbers are you going to track)
  • Identify your audience and why they matter
  • Identify your campaign’s goal

Tip 19: Be clear, and short

A good rule of thumb is to be as clear and direct as possible in your emails for the campaign, whilst also being as brief as you can.

Never go over 275 words.

Tip 20: Keep the campaigns

Don’t delete them after a run. Instead, keep the campaigns so that you can alter them a little for another audience.

I’m always amazed at how many clients I work with who have previously thrown away their campaign materials because ‘it was done’.

You can reuse them. you may have to tweak them but they are valuable assets, plain and simple.

Tip 21: Hire a copywriter for email marketing

This is probably the best tip you could have. Basically, use a trained copywriter when creating email drip campaigns.

A trained copywriter creates campaigns for businesses and those campaigns convert. It’s as simple as that. The copywriter will know how to use the right words in the right sequence. Copy writing is a science.

The best copywriters make 6-figure salaries because they make money for businesses.

if you do not hire a copywriter, you don’t have the knowledge, experience and objectivity required to make sales through email.

This is the point where I mention that I am a trained copywriter (you can hire me here).

Getting email marketing drip campaigns right should not be left to chance. Neither should email marketing in general. If you want the best people behind you, try Aweber. There’s a reason why it’s one of the biggest email marketing service providers in the world.