There’s always that time of year (usually late August) when you see the odd mince pie pop up in your supermarket of choice or one of the department stores have their Christmas floor all set up and you think – “it’s getting earlier every year!”

For marketers, however, Christmas planning may have recently started. Great! You’ve got the green light to start planning how you’ll get the right products to the right customers throughout the holiday season.

With the rise of social shopping and a more performance based approach on social media, all kinds of businesses are now using social to help customers find that perfect gift for Dad, or a last minute pressie for the in-laws. More, and more, these ads are being found by users scrolling through their stories or being served a little bit of inspiration via Messenger.

As Deloitte pointed out in 2019 –

“Social is the new shop window: the place that consumers browse to find ideas and inspiration.”

With the above in mind, we’ve put together 5 key insights with help from the team over at Facebook HQ.  Use these to add a little Christmas cheer to your social marketing planning for the impending holiday season.

  • Stories are the new online catalogue

According to Facebook HQ, during the 2018 Christmas season, 63% of Christmas shoppers either watched or posted videos in Stories across platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. In that same time period, more than a third of both millennials and parents said videos created by social media influencers helped them choose what to buy.

OK, the stats are from a global Facebook study (grain of salt) and are probably more veered at American usage of the platform, but it isn’t far off. Including stories in the mix from an upper and lower funnel perspective makes sense.

  • Messenger is playing an increasing role in fostering loyalty and driving commercial goals

This is two-fold:

  1. In 2018, 65% of Christmas shoppers said that they would be more likely to buy from a business if they were able to contact it through an instant messaging service. Buying online is not easy, you are unsure if the product will be the right size or looks like it does onsite, so the more a brand can alleviate some of these fears, the more likely they are to secure a purchase.
  2. Messenger is an untapped lower-funnel resource by brands. Recent campaigns we ran have seen that Messenger placements of conversion ads are 24% more cost effective than those in feed. Could be something about it being the only ad within the placement.
  • Festive shoppers are starting earlier

Facebook also reported that 43% of consumers start shopping in November. Traditionally, we have been advising clients that Christmas campaigns should generally start last week of November. Perhaps mid-November is when you should be thinking about kicking off the brand elements of your campaign. Also, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only getting bigger and bigger so they should be a part of your social shopping approach too!

  • No surprise: Mobile is where you should be optimisng your outputs

People are on mobile researching gift ideas, product information and reviews. 48% of shoppers in Australia said they used a mobile device for research during the 2018 festive season. So apply that mobile first lens across all your outputs and design for the environment you are reaching. 

  • Finally, if you are trying to promote sales on social: Deliver mind blowing UX

When shopping on mobile during the 2018 festive season, 29% of shoppers said they experienced an app or site taking too long to load; 26% of shoppers said that images weren’t clear, or the website wasn’t optimised for mobile.  If the experience isn’t up to par, then more than likely you are losing customers and potential leads.

So there it is, five tips to help you get in the swing of planning for party season. And as always, if you need any help – give us a shout.

Paul Isbell

Paul Isbell

Strategy & Social Media Director at Redengine SCC

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