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Small business owners, here's how to use the holidays to up your social media game

·4 min read
Social media posts featuring videos get 12 times as many shares as content without a clip.
Social media posts featuring videos get 12 times as many shares as content without a clip.

It’s that time of year again small business boys and girls: time for Santa to make a list and check it twice.

Yes, but for us, with the holidays around the corner, it’s also time to up our social media game.

Indeed (and needless to say), with the online pivot that resulted from COVID, the name of the game now is online sales, and one of the best ways to increase those is from our social sites. The good news is that having a robust holiday social media presence need not be that difficult or time consuming.

Here are a few of the best hacks with the best return on your time investment:

Utilize video

People watch a lot of videos online, period. The stats don’t lie:

  • According to SmallBizTrends, “Social video generates 12 times the shares than text and images combined.”

  • In fact, research indicates that video is the top type of content that consumers like and want to see from brands on social sites.

  • And finally, Oberlo says that video generates 66% more qualified leads per year.

Fortunately for us, creating a video presence has never been easier, quicker, or more affordable because nowadays, it is not necessary to produce expensive, high-quality videos in order to garner views – we are, after all, in the YouTube era.

Moreover, with such great phones and editing software around, it’s easy to create compelling videos practically for free – and in the palm of your hand.

Show behind-the-scenes footage: What should your video be about? One thing that works is to share personal, behind the scenes footage. People love that. Unique tips about the products you sell, funny customers stories, PG-rated tales from last year’s holiday party and other similar insider takes are very engaging.

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Engage with your audience

Push great content, yes, but don’t fail to also engage with your tribe. Find extra ways to interact with them, respond to people’s questions, retweet followers and show appreciation. After all, that’s what “engagement” means. Engagement creates a connection with your business and brand.

Create connections

And speaking connections, and as you have well know – or should by now, social media is not just about being a megaphone for your business, it is about connecting.

Engaging with your tribe is certainly one sort of connection, but another comes from sharing valuable content from other sources, businesses, and influencers in your sphere.

Not only is that the sort of content that your audience would like, and not only would this create goodwill with the other businesses and leaders, but it can also result in some returned shares in the future. And that is how you grow your brand.

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Create contests

Another way to engage your followers is to incentivize them. Contests can be great for that, and moreover, contests typically bring new people into the fold. The key is to get creative and make sure people have a clear reason to participate.

Share tips and insights

Another great way to use social media is as a way to address common FAQs ahead of time. Think of your most commonly asked questions and answer them in the form of a fun fact, infographic, or pro tip.

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Make announcements

If you use your social channel to mostly offer fun, interesting, engaging, valuable content, you will find that when you have something more business-oriented to share, it is far more likely to be well-received.

At that time, you can use your social channels to announce things like promotions, sales, and any other relevant news about your business. That’s a great way to remind your customers about upcoming events and to get them to think about your business.

Schedule your posts ahead of time

It can be really easy to forget to post on social media. Scheduling your posts in advance ensures that this doesn’t happen. It’s also a great time-saver. There are a lot of tools out there such as Buffer and Hootsuite designed to make this easy for you.

Ask questions of your audience

For instance, did you like this column? Then please share it on your social media. See how that works?

Steve Strauss is an attorney, speaker, and the author of 18 books, including his latest,"Your Small Business Boom." You can learn more about Steve at MrAllBiz.com, get more tips at his site TheSelfEmployed.com, and connect with him on Twitter @SteveStrauss and on Facebook at TheSelfEmployed. The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Small business: Use the holidays to up. your social media game