Though many people are feeling the strain of inflation, everyone is excited for some positive experiences this holiday season. As a small business, you can help make the holidays amazing for shoppers. If you want to give your target audience what they are looking for we have compiled some top trends to help your social media posting.

Top Holiday Shopping Trends

Shoppers are looking to social media for inspiration. People do a lot of research before shopping for the holidays, especially with tighter budgets. Make sure you are consistently sharing inspiration. Showcase how to use your products.

Gift cards are still popular. Don’t forget to promote your gift cards in your affordable social media marketing strategy. While most people try to buy physical gifts, others may feel a little more lost.

Home products and services are the most popular this year. After spending so much time at home the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been working hard to make their homes a sanctuary.

Shopping will continue into January. You may want to take a break but don’t stop your marketing after the holidays! Many people end up buying gifts for themselves and take advantage of post-holiday sales.

Tips for Your Holiday Marketing

Maintain your online presence: The holiday season is most businesses’ busiest time of year, so it can be tempting to let your social media posting fall to the wayside. 98 Buck Social can help you stay present online.

Get involved with your community: This time of year is all about giving and well-wishes. Show your online community how you connect in real life. Run a toy drive or work with a local charity.

Plan ahead: The holidays can creep up quickly if you are not prepared. Plan your holiday sales and new offerings. This is also the time to plan your social media content calendar.

It’s easy to get the wrong idea about Instagram even though it has been around since 2010. This can lead to a lot of difficulties when you are trying to increase your sales or awareness on Instagram. If you don’t know how it works best you will waste a lot of time on your social media posting.

Myth #1: Success Is Only Measured by Likes or Follower Count

At the start of Instagram’s growth, this was the way to know you were doing a good job. However, now the Instagram algorithm has changed over and over. There are many accounts that have thousands of followers and only get 1% of the engagement they should for the number of followers they have. While the algorithm is often confusing, one of the amazing additions we have gotten from the growth of the platform is its insights section. Instead of likes or follows, look at engagement rates, link clicks, or comments.

Myth #2: Running Your Instagram Account Is Low Maintenance

It takes a minimum of 2 hours to keep up with your Instagram account if you are trying to reach your affordable social media goals. You can’t just post and leave the platform. You should be commenting, sharing, and engaging in general. In addition, most users expect an immediate response to direct messages.

Myth #3: Your Posts Should Only Be About Your Brand

Social media marketing has shifted away from distant and professional posts focused on your brand. Instead, users enjoy interacting with businesses on a more personal level. This means you should be sharing behind-the-scenes content and participating in trends. This is also why user-generated content performs well.

Myth #4: Stories and Reels Are Just Bonus Features

Video is the preferred type of content for most users so Reels are no longer a bonus feature. Most businesses that shift to sharing more Reels than photo posts notice more organic growth. The algorithm is pushing this feature to compete with TikTok so new viewers will notice your content.

Myth #5: It’s Hard to Succeed on Instagram

You don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of followers to be successful on Instagram. As we stated before, follower count is not an important insight into your success. This means there are many opportunities to be successful. You will connect with your audience if you continue to add value to your online community.

Creating a viral video is the dream for many on social media! Overnight a video can get millions of views and the creator gets many more followers. The aftermath of sharing a viral video can mean more reach, more sales, and more followers. While viral content can’t always be predicted, we can look at the similarities of what has been successful in the past! These insights can help you with your social media posting!

What Makes a Video Go Viral?

Over five years ago, a viral video was one that had at least one million views. Today, that is considered mildly viral while 5 million views within a week is more typical. So how does a video get that many views? The quick growth of a video’s reach comes down to sharing and engaging. People share videos that they think will make their friends smile or bring value.

How to Increase Your Video’s Reach

Know your goals. Your goal should not be to just create viral content. What do you want to do with your affordable social media strategy? Your purpose will help you determine what kind of videos you should create!

Understand your audience. You should always know who will resonate with your video most when planning your videos. Your video will likely have a much better reach when your audience enjoys what you post.

Start strong in the first seconds. Short videos perform best so you need to capture a viewer’s attention right away. Use the word “you” and create a hook. Try to engage with the viewer’s emotions.

Keep them short. Even though you have more than 30 seconds to work with on social media platforms, you should try to keep your videos short and sweet. Most viral videos are on the shorter side. A viewer is more likely to watch the entire video when it is short.

How much do you love your customers? They support your small or large business and help you grow! New business is hard to come by and repeat customers spend more than new ones. You can show your customers your appreciation with a customer loyalty program.

What Are Customer Loyalty Programs?

Customer loyalty is an important aspect of business because it means your products or services are good enough that people are coming back. A customer loyalty program rewards your customers for their repeated business and incentivizes their continued support. Implementing a loyalty program can show your customers how much you appreciate them.

Types of Customer Loyalty Programs

Rewards points. Customers will earn points based on how much they spend. You can decide how many points to award and what the rewards are. You can even include non-purchase-based points like sharing your social media posting.

VIP privilege programs. These programs directly charge your customers a fee and they receive exclusive rewards in return. Programs like this are successful because people enjoy being part of ‘members-only’ programs.

Tiered programs. This is similar to a points program, but as customers surpass certain levels they get access to more benefits. This incentivizes people to reach those tiers to get more back!

Cashback. As the name suggests, customers are able to get some money back from their purchases. With the money they save, they could end up shopping with you again!

Tips for Your Loyalty Program

Set goals. Utilizing customer loyalty programs can help you reach your affordable social media goals, you just need to identify which ones can be achieved. Once you know which goals you would like to meet you can track those goals through your loyalty programs.

Encourage referrals. Consumers trust referrals from friends and family. You can incentivize this by incorporating referrals into your loyalty program.

Promote on different platforms. Once you decide what kind of customer loyalty program you would like to start, you need to promote it on your social media platforms! If you have a loyalty program make sure you let your social media managers at 98 Buck Social know.

Short-form video will probably never overtake long-form video, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly popular! YouTube rolled out Shorts in 2021 after almost a year of testing to compete with apps like TikTok and Instagram. Short-form video is easily digestible and matches the short attention spans many social media users have these days.

What Are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube was created in 2005 as a video-based social media platform. Initially, the creators wanted a platform where users could share “home videos.” Now certain video creators have grown to have millions of subscribers. For a long time, however, YouTube has stayed the same, outside of adding ads and a creator program for YouTubers to get paid. Horizontal videos were the only option. Not anymore!

With YouTube Shorts, you can edit your vertical video directly on their app and upload it for your subscribers. Viewers can like, dislike, comment, and subscribe to your channel while they watch your video. It is also permanent on the YouTube feed, unlike Instagram Stories.

Tips for YouTube Shorts

Make the most of your time. Right now YouTube Shorts can only be 60 seconds, so you need to make the most of your social media posting. In that short amount of time you need to capture a viewer’s attention at the beginning and remain entertaining for them to keep watching. Edit out pauses if you are speaking and add quick transitions.

Add value. While part of your affordable social media strategy is to post frequently, you should always try to share high-quality content to all of your platforms. Align your content with your social media goals and repurpose old content from other platforms.

Match your brand. All of your social media posts should match your brand. This will help make your business recognizable across all platforms! Brand recognition is a common social media goal so matching your branding should be first priority when creating a Youtube Short.

Your Twitter bio is where you get to introduce yourself to new audience members that discover you from your tweets! You have complete control over what you say to the world in your bio. Some brands keep it simple with a single emoji while others have trouble staying within the character limit. You have 160 characters to work with so here are some tips for using the precious real estate in your Twitter bio!

Tips for Your Twitter Bio

Choose a tone. How you write in your bio portrays what your business is. These are a few tones you can choose from:

  • Include important information about your business, product, or mission. This style of bio helps people know exactly what to expect from your business and social media posting.
  • If your brand is fun and silly, a friendly tone will work best for you. This style is less informative and more entertaining.
  • B2B businesses tend to lean toward professional bios. You won’t see any emojis or puns in these kinds of bios.

Link to other accounts. On your Twitter bio, you can include a link to your products or website. Even though you can include links in your tweets, you should still include a general link to what you would like new audience members to see when they find your profile.

Highlight achievements. To build authority in your brand, include any big achievements. It’s okay to brag about yourself a little! You can build your reputation online and give people a reason to follow you. You only have 160 characters so choose the ones you are most proud of.

Use keywords. Your bio is searchable! Using high-quality keywords can help your account get discovered in users’ searches and increase your reach. If it matches your tone, you can use hashtags as your keywords to increase your searchability. This will help you make the most of your affordable social media strategy!

While there are many similar features across social media platforms, there is one sometimes inconvenient one that is present on Instagram and TikTok. You cannot add a clickable link to a caption in your social media posting. The main place to include a clickable URL is in the bio, so you may have seen many creators include in their captions “Link is in my bio!”

What Is a Link in Bio?

Unfortunately, it is not as simple to link off of Instagram and TikTok as it is on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn! To get users to check out something about your business, you need to direct them to the one place it is possible: the URL section of your bio! You can put anything there including:

  • Your business’s website
  • Other social media profiles
  • A blog post
  • A product
  • Your newsletter sign up

The possibilities are endless! There is a way to get around the single link like creating a landing page or using a platform like Linktree.

Ways to Drive Traffic

Be selective with your links. If you create a landing page for multiple links, don’t include too many. This can confuse users and cause them to bounce instead of drive traffic to your desired link.

Match your goals. Do you want to build your email list or increase views on your blog? When you know your goals it will be easier to decide what links to put in your bio. Your affordable social media strategy will be much more successful when you can take actionable steps toward your goal.

Share value, not promotions. Users are more likely to go to the link in your bio if they are going to get something out of it. Provide value and education! Links that only direct to a product get less traffic.

Shorten your link. Long URLs look fishy at first glance. Either use a link shortener or change the URL to something like https://98bucksocial.com/blog/.

Highlight with an emoji. Don’t let the phrase ‘link in bio’ get lost in your caption! By including an emoji it draws the eye and users are more likely to see it and follow your direction.