How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media to Turn Holidays Into Dollar Signs

Valentine’s Day is all about relationships – new, old and somewhere in between. It’s a day designated for sharing love and happiness, both in person and online.

But let’s be honest, Valentine’s Day is also one of the most commercialized holidays of the year. When big brand names in the retail industry think of Valentine’s Day they aren’t thinking about romance or relationships; they’re thinking dollar signs.

Statistic Brain recently verified that Americans spent over $13 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2012.   Here in Canada, we don’t spend quite as much, but a recent Retail Council of Canada survey estimated that each Canadian household will spend $37 on average (Canada has approximately 13.3 million households).  The point is that it’s a huge market, and one many brands look to capitalize on.

For small and medium businesses, Valentine’s Day can still be about establishing authentic connections. SMB owners can take advantage of the occasion, like any other holiday, as an opportunity to build relationships with fans, followers and customers online (which can then lead to increased website traffic and a boost in sales).

Fans are more likely to engage with social media posts about a holiday because it is already on their minds. Why not take this year’s Valentine’s Day as a learning opportunity? Let’s look at how the big brand names used Valentine’s Day to engage with fans and followers on social media. These examples can be applied to any timely occasion; keep in mind, St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner.

Macy’s used Facebook to promote its Valentine’s Day contest and ‘Follow Your Heart’ campaign.

Macy's Follow Your Heart Campaign

Victoria’s Secret posted a YouTube video featuring love advice from the Angels. Angels were also responding to tweets from followers about their V-Day plans using #AskTheAngels.

Victoria's Secret Ask The Angels

Tide prompted Facebook fans to respond to a post about giving your Valentine the gift of clean laundry.

Tide Facebook Post

The Bay created a Valentine’s Day themed Pinterest board titled ‘Be My Valentine’ showcasing gift ideas.

The Bay 'Be My Valentine' Pinterest Board

Pizza Hut Canada released a new music single, entitled “Lovers.”  It made its debut on PHC’s Facebook debut in an effort to thank its Facebook followers for a “year of affection and love.”

As social media continues to grow and evolve, so do its marketing prospects. Small and medium businesses have equal opportunity to take advantage of these platforms, by getting creative and having a little fun with it. Keep these ideas on hand for future reference so you too can strengthen customer relationships online and turn Hallmark holidays into dollar signs.

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