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Getting Into the Black: How to Use Social Media This Holiday Season

Running an effective social media ad campaign during the holidays is crucial. 

Social media algorithms constantly change and ensuring you end up on the right side of the algorithms can be tricky. On today’s episode, our resident social media expert, Julia Rosien of Restonic, joins us to discuss how to use social media to help your business make it into the black for 2022. 

Tangible Topics:

  1. Advertising is more expensive at the holidays; make your dollars go farther. 
  2. Don’t wait to use social media just during the holidays. How to prepare organic content all year long in order to amplify your holiday marketing efforts.
  3. What are barriers to entry and how you can overcome.

Go Deeper: Make a social media strategy plan for upcoming holidays in 2023.

Need More Marketing Ideas?

Check out how virtual room scenes are converting higher sales in the online shopping experience.

FULL TRANSCRIPTION

Mark Kinsley: Halloween Thanksgiving, Kwanza Christmas, New Year’s. When do you start marketing sales for the next holiday season, and how important is it? We’re joined again today by our resident social media expert, Julia Rosen, and the FAM Marketing Show starts right now.

Mark Kinsley: Welcome to the FAM Marketing Show Strategies, tips, and Ideas to help retailers and brands.

Grow their furniture, appliances, and mattress business. Julia, welcome back to the show to cohost with us. Yo

Adrienne Woods: Adrian. Hello. Happy Black Friday to all of

Julia Rosien: you.

Mark Kinsley: Ooh, it is. Happy Black

Adrienne Woods: Friday doing any shopping today.

Mark Kinsley: You know? Mm-hmm. . Yeah,

Adrienne Woods: you are probably, even if you don’t need anything, then you probably will shop.

Mark Kinsley: I always need some bike gear. Uh, there’s always a helmet or a pair of gloves or just whatever it is that I need for my bike and I can’t live without it and might as well grab it on sale. Cause most of the time, eh, bike gear’s not on sale. Cause they know, they, they know they got, you gotta have it. Well,

Adrienne Woods: and especially here where we are, there’s 50 million of ’em.

There’s 50 million bike shops and none of them discount. So nobody feels the need to discount.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, that’s, thanks, Bettonville. .

Adrienne Woods: Appreciate it. What about you, Julia? Are you doing any shopping today?

Julia Rosien: Well, they might be checking a few things out online, but I’m not going into any stores because that’s just not my idea of a good time on a Black Friday.

Adrienne Woods: Not at all. I will say I have gone before one time to a Walmart on black, like Thanksgiving evening when Black Friday started on Thanksgiving just to people watch. I bought a bag of powdered donuts and I just walked around the store watching people act crazy. Yeah, just to people watch it’s great entertainment.

Julia Rosien: It is. Be interested to see what the Black Friday sales are like this year. How that kind of, you know, people back out shopping back in person. It’d be interesting to see what if it gets as crazy it has as it did pre covid.

Mark Kinsley: True, true. Do you remember how tactical people would get, have you heard of They treat Black Friday like a military strategy.

They’re like, I’m gonna post up over here and you go over here and grab two of these and we’re gonna head out to this. But I mean, it’s, it’s way too much for me. I would rather just not do any of that now. Okay. Sidebar question. Do you remember whenever the few years back Thanksgiving was actually a holiday?

you know, people took, took off work and I tell you what I do now, I will not shop at a store that’s open on on Thanksgiving. Like, I will try to avoid those stores. I’m like, no, we need to actually maintain an actual holiday where you spend time with your. You can shop any other 300 however many days a year when, when these shops are open.

Am I alone on this or how do you all feel about the thanksgiving? Hundred

Adrienne Woods: percent. No, I totally agree. I think you will not lose sales by not being open on Thanksgiving like you will make up for them because people will wait for it, especially if the deals are good enough. So I think this is a great segue into our trivia question for today, because it all has to do with Black Friday and sales.

So on Black Friday, how much money does the average American spend on Black Friday sales? So this is according to Iio, which is like an online recruiting, uh, platform. Does the average American spend $270, 430 or $620 on Black Friday?

Mark Kinsley: Ooh. Okay. We’re gonna save our guesses for the end. If you have a guest, go over to fam.news text.

In the bottom right hand corner, you can tell us how much money you spent this year, and then we’ll average it all up and we’ll share it back on the show. How about that? Perfect. All right, so we’re gonna hold onto this. So real, real quickly, hope. Hope everyone did have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Absolutely. Hope everyone’s having a great Black Friday, and we wish all the retailers out there success and prosperity, and we hope that you get lots and lots of sales and help. Lots and lots of people transform their sleep and their homes and their kitchens and all that fun stuff. So, Hope everyone did have a happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to both of you. Thank you. Now, um, Julia, help us help us understand Thanksgiving holiday in Canada.

Julia Rosien: Well, we had it

Adrienne Woods: a month ago,

Julia Rosien: so I still appreciate the happy Thanksgiving cuz it was happy. But we have, we have our Thanksgiving at the beginning of October, so mm-hmm from my standpoint working for an American company.

I love it when y’all have Thanksgiving cuz then I can get stuff done cuz it’s quiet, .

Adrienne Woods: When I worked for a major retailer and I helped do a lot of business with China during the Chinese New Year, it was always great because like, there’s nothing going on and I got a lot of stuff done, so I can appreciate that you

Julia Rosien: just turn through it.

Yep, absolutely. . Yeah,

Mark Kinsley: it’s, we’ve got all these different holidays we’re talking about, you know, that’s different all around the world and we have an international audience. And of course the, the opening to the show, I was focusing on, you know, Thanksgiving and Halloween and Christmas and New Year’s and all these, you know, American holidays and we’re talking about marketing sales for the next holiday here on the show today.

And it, it is a question, you know, a question of timing, I think at the very beginning. When do you start marketing for the next holiday? And of course, if you looked around this past week and even a couple of weeks ago, there were plenty of retailers out. Or product brands that were promoting their Black Friday sale saying you don’t have to wait.

Here’s your coupon ahead of time. Just try not to crash our site. Like Taylor Swift fans. Oh

Adrienne Woods: man. Oh man. I think I’m the only person that was not trying to get Taylor Swift tickets, so, but that was, that was an adventure.

Mark Kinsley: How do you, how do you think about this, Julia? How do you think about, um, The timing associated with holidays and your social promotions and beyond?

Julia Rosien: Well, you know, it’s an interesting question because I think when it comes to marketing for holidays, you have to think about what are you doing the rest of the year. It’s actually more important that you’re engaged the entire year. You’re through with a lot of passive. Well, I call it passive marketing.

So, you know, at Restonic, for example, we do lots of lifestyle content on our social channels about, you know, the importance of a good night’s sleep. But they’re funny, they’re cute, they’re memes. They get in people’s faces that Restonic is just this, you know, happy brand. And of course, it’s all about storytelling.

So when it comes to marketing, Which, you know, I don’t really consider that marketing, even though it is, it’s more, it’s so passive. But when you wanna get in front of people’s faces at holiday time, you’re already jumped up ahead in the algorithms on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. So whatever, whatever social channel of choice.

And I think that’s what retailers forget, is that they just dive into these holidays and expect big things to happen. And big things can happen with, you know, lots of money. The more money you throw at it when it comes to advertising, the more people you reach. But they forget about this path of organic type of, uh, reach that they could be getting.

They’re just, they’re leaving it on the table because you know, they think it’s too hard or they can’t do it or they can’t be bothered. So, you know, I just wanna preface it with that, that I think just marketing at the holidays is expensive. It’s much more expensive now than it was a couple of years ago.

And it’s much more difficult because of all the privacy issues around Facebook and Apple. And so you can’t track people across different platforms anymore, or they say you can’t, even though we know it happens. Cause I see it all the. But it makes advertising more expensive. So if you’re gonna advertise, think about what you’re gonna do the rest of the year.

Mark Kinsley: So, such a great pause point because you’re right. Let’s, let’s go there a little bit deeper. I, I’ve heard, you know, lots of social experts talk about the prioritization that the algorithms give people that post consistent content. What, what does that mean for somebody who doesn’t know?

Julia Rosien: So what it means is if you’re posting consistently and whatever you consider consistently at Restonic, we, we have a social posting program for our retailers in which we have two different tracks.

They can post every day or they can post three times a week. And when you look at that consistent posting over and over and over again, their, their posts get more likes when I, you know, look at the analytics behind it, but what’s really. And I think this is what retailers forget, is that even though these memes may not get a lot of likes or they, you know, they get, you know, minimal, what they’re seeing is minimal likes or engagement when they post a picture from their store in between those memes, those pictures get crazy amount of likes and engagement.

So they’ve broken through that algorithm. Just by being consistent and, you know, and consistency pays off in, in, in social media, it across every channel. Well, maybe not Twitter, but we’re not gonna talk about what the train wreck going on over there right now. But it’s fun to watch.

Adrienne Woods: It’s fun to watch.

Julia Rosien: Just be thankful you’re not part of the drama.

That’s all I can say. That’s true.

Mark Kinsley: let’s talk about Twitter. No, .

Adrienne Woods: We, you mentioned Twitter in this episode. How many hits do you think we’ll get? Will Elon suppress our episode or no?

Mark Kinsley: Want a blue check mark, please.

Adrienne Woods: Hey, all we have to do is pay $8 a month, apparently. Mark.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah. Yeah. So easy peasy. I love, I love this like as a principle of marketing too.

Consistency over time wins. Yeah. It, it does. I mean, if you decide to, you know, just do the heroine of the mattress industry and have a sale, and that’s the only time you’re promoting, um, I’ve seen data all around this, uh, the consistent advertisers that are doing, you know, brand building and promotional activities versus people that, you know, just hop into the fray.

Um, you just don’t have the level of. Trust from the consumer. You don’t have the participation in the algorithms year round that elevate your message whenever that time. Is there, uh, consistency over time. One small step every single day. Yeah. Okay. Talk to us about that. Let’s go there for a minute. One small step every day or, you know, three times a week or whatever that posting frequency looks like.

Um, how, how do people get started and what are some of the barriers to entry? I know people have had stops and starts in social media. Social media is nothing. But consistency in social media still is new.

Julia Rosien: So it, it probably the biggest barrier to entry mark, and I’m sure you know this is, uh, content creation.

How do you create content on a regular basis? And I have retailers ask me all the time, well, we think TikTok is the next biggest thing and we need to be on TikTok. Well, Maybe, but could you actually have the capacity to create the kind of content you need for the consumption going on in TikTok and content that’s actually gonna reach your consumer?

So, so it’s content creation, but it’s knowing where your consumer is and where you can sustain that content creation. So, you know, maybe you can put out a really fun video for. Nobody’s a one hit wonder on that thing. They’re not, it, it’s about consistency. So if you can, you know, reach out to the brands that you’re working with, or if you can find somebody on staff, I’m talking from a retail standpoint that maybe has, um, a pension for social media, or they think they’re good at it or they love it or they wanna be part of it.

That’s a great starting point for content creation. And then you have to weave in the, you know, your strategy as a retailer. What’s your, you getting a 22 year old to do your social media Great. Because they know what they’re doing. They know how to do it, but you gotta make sure they align with your business goals.

Absolutely. And that, you know, they’re, they’re using the kind of content that you wanna be associated with your brand. And I think when it comes to retail, they’re still looking at social media as. As traditional advertising, so like you said a second ago, consistency wins because social media is about building communities, loyal fans, loyal followers that you’re constantly engaging with, that are constantly learning about your brand and wanna be part of it, be part of that community you’re creating.

But if you just hit it with, you know, traditional advertising methods just at the holidays. Or you’re creating content that looks like traditional advertising, putting it on social media, that’s, that’s not gonna win you anything. And then you’re gonna say, see, I told you this thing wouldn’t work, but it didn’t work cuz you weren’t using the tool properly.

So, You know, I think you bring

up,

Adrienne Woods: it’s a particular problem. Yeah, no, you bring up a good point. Especially so I have a TikTok account, but I’m not, I don’t ever do anything on TikTok. I just watch it to consume. But I’m constantly impressed by the amount of creators that can do an ad that doesn’t feel like an ad, and people constantly are like, oh, I love this.

This doesn’t feel like an ad. Even though you know it was because they’re plugging a certain product. So to your point, Retailers have to also get creative in, we can’t just serve traditional ads on social media anymore. We have to make them fun. Content that doesn’t feel like an ad. Absolutely. So I mean that, that’s a delicate balance too.

And so you talk about 22 year olds. Yeah, they know how to do it. They know how to create a video, if you will. But if you know there’s a lot of maturity that you have to do as a 22 year old and how does that align with your brand and everything else. So I wanted to circle back though, and ask a question when we talk about all of these holiday.

When is the right time to start changing gears, if you will, and promoting that next holiday.

Julia Rosien: Well, that’s a hard question cuz it would, it would differ with every, you know, product that’s being sold. So, higher ticket items, probably you would start earlier because people, you know, they have to build up the, the mental bandwidth that they’re gonna spend that much money on something.

So I. I think higher ticket items, you start earlier, smaller ticket items, you start, you know, you inch up close to the holiday and you start right then and there. I think you can also experiment on social media, and I think a lot of people forget that you can post dark ads. So if you posting an ad, for example, based and you use your lookalike audience, so you have a hundred thousand people on your Facebook page or maybe.

20,000 and you would take that, uh, the Facebook advertising tool and create a lookalike audience so people that behave the same way or have the same interests on Facebook or in the same geographical area, and you post an ad to that lookalike audience, you can do a lot of testing to see how they perform with that lookalike audience before you actually put it on your channel.

So the ad comes out, people see it, but they don’t see it associated with your social. So, you know, there’s two different ways to look at advertising on Facebook and it, it does come down to testing. When we put ads on Facebook, there is a testing period, and I know people get very frustrated with that, but I’m paying for that testing period.

You’re damn right. You’re paying for it because it’s gonna pay off in the end, that machine learning that’s happening. But you have to pay for it. You have to invest in it to actually see whether it will work.

Mark Kinsley: Absolutely. Oh, this is so good. Uh, great reminders. Julia, thank you for taking us to school, uh, helping us understand more about social, more about holiday promotions.

And by the way, uh, I know that we, Adrian was asking when we should start promoting and trying to get drilled down on exact dates. I’ll just say this, if you start promoting for Thanksgiving, November 1st, it’s way too late. Mm. Because. It already happened in Canada.

Adrienne Woods: you’re done. At that point, you don’t know your audience. It all comes down to your audience. If you’re only an American audience, may not be too late.

Julia Rosien: True, that’s true. And you have to remember too. You know when it goes back to, I just wanna add one more thing. When it goes back to timing to your question, Adrian, if you’re posting Thanksgiving or a Black Friday sale and you only start the week, You’ve probably missed.

Mm-hmm. the opportunity to get inside that mental bandwidth. The people who are cause. People are talking about what they’re going to buy Black Friday long before the day and by Black Friday by the day itself. If that’s the only time you’re, you’re serving your ad, your big ad spend on Black Friday or Thanksgiving, you’ve probably missed it too because people are already out shopping, they’re not looking at their phones anymore.

They’re out in the stores buying. Oh,

Adrienne Woods: I feel I could fill that just in my email inbox alone. I told my husband like two days ago, I said, I am getting so many emails from, you know, these places that I’ve bought from, that I’ve subscribed to, more so than I ever have before, like two or three a day from some of these companies.

And I’m like, this is insane. So I totally agree with that. And I feel like we could do an episode on mental bandwidth alone. That’s the first time I’ve heard that term, but I’m like, that is so true. Anyway, sorry. Back to you, Kinsley, and our trivia

Mark Kinsley: question. Hit us with it again, and, and I’ve got my guess, but Julia, you’re gonna guess first.

Okay. And then I’m gonna watch Adrian’s face and see if, see if you got it right.

Adrienne Woods: Oh, okay. Um, what does the average Americans, they’re not Canadian, but the average Americans spend on Black Friday. Is it, I gotta go back to my,

Julia Rosien: the

Adrienne Woods: answers that I had written down. Is it $270, 430 or $620? The average American, what do they spend on black?

Julia Rosien: So before I answer, I just wanna say the 2 74 30, we’re talking like, that’s like $5,000 Canadian, 6,000. Am kidding. . Good to know. No, I, I’m gonna, I’m gonna hit right in the middle. I still think it’s probably too much money, but it’s probably. That’s probably what they’re, what they’re spending in my head.

Want a,

Mark Kinsley: want a dog pile on that answer? I’m going with four 30 as well.

Adrienne Woods: Four 30. You would both be right. The average American spends $430 on Black Friday. Yay. Awesome. Well done. Well done.

Julia Rosien: Well

Mark Kinsley: Julia, thanks for being on the show. Um, I know people can get connected with you on LinkedIn and thanks for being part of the.

Uh, and hey, if anybody’s got a marketing tip that’s worked for you or a topic you want us to tackle, head over to fam.news. Text us. You can do it from the bottom right hand corner. Be sure to subscribe. Okay. And leave us a review on Apple or Spotify. And Adrian, I never want anybody to, to miss an idea that can make them a holiday

Adrienne Woods: social media guru.

Mark Kinsley: Absolutely. And join us each week as we bring you more fam marketing magic.

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