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Nov 19, 2012

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#HolidaySuccess: Tips for Small Business Owners

A few weeks ago, we shared the Small Business Holiday Success Guide that we recently launched with USA Today small business columnist, Rhonda Abrams. As the holiday season is upon us, we are excited to bring you the first in a series of posts that will provide you with more in-depth strategies to help make this a successful holiday season for your small business. In this series, we will cover money management, holiday marketing techniques, tips for extending holiday success into the New Year, and more. – Janet Zablock @jzablock

6 Tips for Social Media Holiday Success

Social Media 411 chart

Whether it’s money management or marketing, every aspect of your business requires a plan. That includes social media marketing. Keep in mind the following six tips when developing your social media strategy:

  1. Remember, it’s better to give than to receive.Anything you tweet, post, pin, or blog should offer value. Just like you’ll tune out your know-it-all brother-in-law at Thanksgiving dinner, your followers will drop you if all you do is talk about your product or service and why they should buy it. Instead:
    • Write blogs showing how you meet customers’ holiday needs
    • Post links to articles and videos your followers will find useful or entertaining.
    • Discuss promotions and special items you’re offering just for the holidays.
    • Refresh your content often during the holidays to bring customers back.
  2. Write your content in advance. Before you’re knee deep in gift wrap, write as many of those blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts as you can, and merely publish them according to the calendar. Brainstorm the topics, themes, and promotions you’ll cover. Then create a calendar of what to post when (a spreadsheet is best, but a physical calendar also works).
  3. Regift. No, I don’t mean unload that itchy orange and purple sweater your mother gave you last year. I’m talking about repurposing your content. You’ve already taken the time to write your blogs and email newsletters. Now save time. Pull material out for tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn updates.
  4. Put some tasks on auto-pilot. During the holidays especially, you don’t have the resources to update and like posts on Facebook all day. Of course, you’ll still pay attention to the conversation. With tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Manageflitter, you can pre-load all that content you wrote in advance and schedule it to post later.
  5. Encourage engagement. Create surveys. Ask questions. Run a contest. Do what you can to encourage followers to engage. When they do engage, respond.
  6. Manage review sites. According to SearchEngineLand,76 percent of customers visit sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Zagat to find the best meal, store, hotel, and more. Make it easy for your customers to post positive reviews. The tool ReviewBiz allows you to embed an icon in your website that will take your customers directly to local review sites.

Visit www.visa.com/holidaysuccess to download the Small Business Holiday Success Guide and learn more!

–Rhonda Abrams (@RhondaAbrams), USA Today Small Business Columnist and Expert

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Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm