Whether you run an online store or a physical one, the holiday season is a major time for your business. The countdown to any major holiday is enough to leave business owners second guessing their marketing strategies. Thankfully, you can use information gathered by social media websites to help prepare your business for the holiday rush.

Use Social Media Data

Marketing agencies such as iCrossing use this type of information to help make the most out of your holiday season. In 2015, for instance, Facebook released an interactive infographic entitled “Festive Conversations.” The goal of this graph was to provide insight into its users’ activity leading up to the holiday 2015 season. While this information doesn’t help you for holiday seasons beyond 2015, it gives you an example of how social media sites are helping businesses.

Start Planning Early

The key to using social media to helping you during the holiday season is planning early. It takes time to develop a connection with your customers on social media sites. In the time leading up to the holidays, reinvent how you use your social media site. Give your company a voice and deliver a proposition in the weeks and months leading up to the holiday season. This voice should be different than the one you use the rest of the year. Don’t fake the message that you’re trying to send out for the holidays. Many customers can see through this, and it typically gives them a reason not to trust your brand or product for the holidays.

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Know Your Audience

The way you use social media to drum up business for the holidays is greatly determined by your audience. If your user base is mostly millennials, for example, use sites like Instagram to get your products notices. This is because Faccebook has found that millennials are over three times more likely to get gift inspirations on Instagram than on any other social media platform. There’s a certain demographic that uses each social media site. It’s your goal as a business owner to find out which platform your customers use the most and to reach out to them on that platform during the holiday season.

Don’t Burn Out the Holiday Too Quickly

While you want to show your holiday spirit, there’s a way to go overboard. Many stores start hammering customers with holiday ideas months ahead of time. They continue doing this until the big day. This kind of marketing is enough to burn people out and, in some cases, even make them have a negative reaction toward the company. It’s great to show your love for the holidays, but you want your marketing campaign to be a slow burn rather than a rapid forest fire that leaves your customers feeling ashy.

When the holidays come around, business owners tend to act swiftly. While that’s important in the business world, the holiday season is too big of a deal for retail to leave your marketing strategy to chance. Plan ahead, and give yourself time to connect to your customers on a more personal level. Making the wrong move during the holiday season can cost your company tons of potential revenue. If you aren’t sure how to put together a great marketing scheme using social media, you could turn to a professional marketing agency such as iCrossing to give you the edge that you need.