If you’re waiting for Black Friday & Cyber Monday weekend to kick off the shopping season, then we’re sorry to say you may be late to the party – but have no fear! We are here to give you some valuable tips and best practices to help you during the holiday season!
Part III: Social Media Tips
TIP #9: The Season of Socialization.
Tis the season to ramp up your posts and pins. In 2014, social media platforms surpassed every other traffic source. Collectively, the top 8 social networks drove 31.24 % of overall traffic to sites in December 2014 (Shareaholic).
Facebook is the most likely place shoppers will look for inspiration, along with Pinterest – another hot discovery portal for trending products and unique gift ideas. Both of these platforms optimize their display for viewing images so make sure you are posting high-quality, high-resolution images. Hashtag your posts with high-ranking terms and product specs so you show up in more long tail search results.
Instagram is also a very mobile friendly visual shopping portal, but poses a bit of a challenge since it does not allow links in each post. However, you can turn your posts into a clickable path by subbing out a direct Affiliate link in your bio section. As long as you have a responsive, action-oriented group of followers and you’re willing to keep up with it, you can swap out the link to match that day’s post and urge people to click through your bio profile link. See our example below!
How can you best use Affiliate links in social media?
Take a look below at our custom link shortener!
Takeaway Tip: Cut down on the clicks and direct people straight from your social posts to the actual products, making sure to insert affiliate links (you can use ShareASale’s license plate link shortener here!)
TIP #9: Optimize Scheduling/Posting Tools
Q4 is busy – it is beyond busy. The fourth quarter is all about planning ahead. It is a busy time for everyone, but planning ahead can not only alleviate a lot of stress, allowing you to revel in all the festivities, parties and get-together’s, but it can also ensure that you are not missing out on any extra cash! Use schedulers to plan out your blog posts, social media blasts and more! Keep an eye out for deals as their released! If any new deals come up, you can focus your attention on creating last minute content for that.
Plan your creative posts to help your audience easily shop for people on their lists – include gift guides, product review, product guides, subscription ideas, etc.
Tip #10: Time is Money
On Cyber Monday 2013, transactions tracked were nearly double that of an average big day, making it the most popular day for online shopping (in the affiliate world). The hottest hour on Cyber Monday is around 10:00 – 11:00pm Eastern Time. Volume during that time was nearly 1.5X that of midday. Starting at 8pm to Midnight is all considerably higher than midday. This is the time of day when everyone is home from work and probably done with dinner across the United States. Once settled down for the day, it’s time to shop.
So what does that mean for affiliate marketers? The entire day matters – don’t stop promoting at the end of your day. Power through the evening to make a big push between 10pm and 11pm Eastern Time. While you’ll want to promote throughout the day, make sure to specifically time an email and a few social media posts about two hours prior to this most popular time of day.
Our runner up for highest volume day is Black Friday. The hottest hour of the day is 3:00pm Eastern Time, but the entire afternoon is strong. Again, if you think about it, it makes sense. This is the time of day that those millions of in-store deal hounds have arrived home and are finishing the last of their lunch.
Consider the same strategy on Black Friday, as on Cyber Monday. Plan your campaigns all day, but be sure to focus particularly a few hours before and after 3pm ET.
Tip #11: Sharing is Caring, but You Should Care About Your Share Settings!
A steady presence on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook will help boost your organic search rankings. You should use this period of increased traffic to try and build your social following and leverage your content. Include share buttons that readers can readily click to share or endorse your posts. Test this out yourself to see WHAT exactly is being shared. You want to make sure there is a link back to your social channel, a relevant hashtag and other add-ons that may not be included in your default share settings.
FINAL TIP #12: Set Goals for Next Year
As the holiday season comes to an end, it is time to analyze your website and come up with a strategic plan for the coming year. Look back at what worked and what didn’t work. Find your top revenue generating blog posts and focus on replicating more of those types of posts.
Don’t forget to make notes about other content sites and blogs that you found the most compelling. What did they do this shopping season to stand out? Keeping a competitive eye open at all times will help you evolve and provide a jumping off point for new ideas and inspiration.
SWOT analyses can be a fantastic tool that you can use to inspect your past efforts. You can not only use it for your blog overall, but you can it to individually analyze your blog posts, each social media platform, email campaigns, past strategies and more!
Resource: Perform SWOT Analysis of Your Blog