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Social Media Marketing - This Year's Hottest Holiday Accessory

Adrian Bredeson
by Adrian Bredeson on Nov 10, 2009 8:55:00 AM

The holiday season is approaching, fast. If you haven't stepped up your online efforts for the holidays yet, you're missing out. Being found on the first page of search engines is as important as ever, but there is so much more to the puzzle.

According to Forrester Research Inc., U.S. online sales are expected to rise 8 percent this holiday season. Forrester Research has stated that it anticipates online retail sales to reach $44.7 billion this month and next. That amount is an increase from $41.4 billion last year.

According to the Shop.org's eHoliday Study done by BIGresearch, there are many reasons why shopping online is so popular with customers. Here are just a few of the reasons customers find shopping online more convenient than in store...

  • Web sites are open 24 hours a day.
  • Search engines and online retail sites make it easier to compare prices.
  • Many companies are offering free shipping.
  • Online, there are no crowds or long lines to deal with.
  • It is easier to find specific items online.
  • Web sites and search engines offer better variety.
  • Companies offer email and online promotions that save customers money.

Though some expectations for this holiday season are high, the current economy and heightened competition between retailers has been a point of stress for most companies. Online sales continue to be an area where companies are seeing growth and promise. With so many retailers turning to online marketing, what have you done to set yourself apart from the crowd?

The Shop.org study asserts that 34.3% of retailers say they will offer their holiday deals earlier than usual. Companies offering these early discounts are looking to give customers an extra incentive to start their holiday shopping.

Free shipping is still an important holiday promotion retailers are using to be more appealing to the masses. The Shop.org study continues, 79.4% of online retailers will offer free shipping with conditions. 57.4% plan to offer free shipping without conditions. 35.7% said their budgets for free shipping are higher than last year. 30.0% said free shipping offers will start earlier than a year ago.

If you only use the same promotions and marketing strategies that you've used in the past, you will miss out. More companies than ever are turning to marketing initiatives in hopes of rising above their competition. The amount of companies using Free Shipping illustrates how important it is for your company to find new ways to draw in customers.

If you believe that your current Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing campaigns are enough, you may want to think about. According to the eHoliday Study, 47.1% of retailers surveyed will increase their use of Social Media Marketing for this holiday season.

Simply having that Facebook page, Twitter account or Blog just isn't enough anymore. The Shop.org study states:

  • 60.3% of retailers said they have added to or improved their Facebook page.
  • 58.7% of the retailers surveyed have enhanced their Twitter pages.
  • 65.6% have created or made improvements to their Blogs and RSS Feeds.

With so many people recognizing the opportunities presented by Social Media Marketing, you have to step up your game to rise above the crowd. Have you brainstormed new ways to enhance your Social Media Marketing channels? Have you updated your accounts with all of your holiday season recommendations or products? What are you doing to establish yourself as an industry leader this holiday season?

Using the same old approaches to your holiday marketing just won't cut it anymore. Too many companies understand the value and potential of Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing. You could miss out on crucial sales this year if you haven't started increasing and improving your online presence. Don't wait any longer. Look for new ways to set your company apart this holiday season.

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Adrian Bredeson
Written by Adrian Bredeson
As Director, SEO and Social Media at E-Power Marketing, Adrian is primarily focused on the organic success of client programs through SEO, social media and content marketing. Adrian also heads up the agency's marketing initiatives. With a background in psychology and PR, her passion for telling a brand's story by understanding and engaging with their target audiences has been put to good use at E-Power!

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