Do you have plans to make waves with the social sweeps you’re launching this holiday season? Social media is a simple, effective way to reach your target consumer audience during the magical season of giving. The real challenge is cutting through the loud sales noise of other competitors.

As social takes the throne as one of the most valuable marketing trends of the Millenial generation, marketers know that simply creating a branded profile on social media is not enough to engage and retain a long-term consumer base. Luckily, we have 5 tactics that we use to help you engage your audience and gain life-long customers.

1. Do your research
Every successful social campaign has a strategic foundation. Millions of successful holiday campaigns have already been launched and have done notably well, so it’s important to do your homework. The first step requires you to look into campaigns that you admire or have implemented in the past. Consider the goals that were outlined at the get-go, especially for your KPIs. Use the data and results from previous campaign efforts and observe consumer sales and engagement throughout each step of that campaign. Assess results and find out what worked well and what didn’t. Then figure out ways you can improve for this year’s campaign. If your brand has never implemented a social campaign, you can always learn from others.

2. Keep campaigns simple
There is nothing is more frustrating for a holiday shopper than a complex campaign layout. Make sure that your social holiday campaign is easy to navigate for users (queue the UX experts). It’s also important to keep it extremely visual (is your design team on board?). Research shows that social users receive and retain visual content, including photos and videos, more effectively than text alone. In 2014, tweets with images received 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets than text-based tweets. Facebook is no exception with findings that show posts with photos accounted for over 87% of total interactions on the platform.

3. Give something in return
Studies show that there are two reasons social media users mainly join a brand’s fan page.
Either a) They are loyal existing customers and want to shout it from the rooftops or b) They are looking for special offers or cheap deals

Moral of the story, your holiday campaign should give them what they’re looking for. Content on your social pages could include online or in-store promotional deals on products or services or maybe offer sneak previews into future brand launches. If you really want to get the people going, think about some exclusive deals for first time users who join your page.

4. Back up your content with data
If a social campaign is targeted to an audience that it doesn’t resonate with the content, it won’t make so much as a drop in the bucket of social media. Integrating active consumer data into your strategy will help to engage and build deeper consumer search profiles. Think targeted ads, keywords, audience segmentation and analysis to ensure that you are reaching your desired audience for your holiday campaign.

It’s important to note that the target audience for a brand and the target audience for a brand’s specific product can differ. Before you launch any social campaign for a specific product you might want to consider doing some intensive audience segmentation to discover your product specific narrowed audience. By identifying the detailed characteristics of the product’s consumer demographic, you can better reach those audiences.

5. Use a marketing platform
We like using Offerpop. Offerpop is a web-based social marketing platform that focuses primarily on Facebook and Twitter. Offerpop incorporates website widgets and landing pages for Twitter and Facebook to drive user participation and includes fun and engaging apps that empower social promotions and coupons to be spread by word of mouth to extend to new costumer bases. The medium offers a simple layout for social campaigns as well as a means for campaign analytics and maximized consumer engagement.