The Christmas lights are up, the trees are getting ready to be decorated and the air is filled with the scent of cookies and mulled wine! It’s our favorite time of year here at Brand24, and we wanted to share a few ways to make your holiday season a little easier, so here is your 12 Days of Christmas Monitoring Guide
Here’s a quick recap of the Guide:
Day One: Improve your customer service
Customer service queries see an increase of 75% over Christmas, and with only 3% of business mentions being tagged online, it can be easy to lose track, and lose customers.
It’s estimated that 57% of people stopped any future business with a brand due to a poor digital customer service experience, and with customers expecting a reply within 60 minutes of mentioning you online, it’s definitely key for your business to have access to all your online mentions.
By setting up a search in Brand24 that includes both your social media handles and your business’s various names, you’ll discover the mentions you didn’t know existed, on platforms lie like Twitter and various blogs, forums, and video hosting sites!
Day Two: Find new customers this Christmas
62% of Americans buy their gifts in the week leading up to Christmas (crazy.. I know!), giving businesses time right up until the last moment to help customers make their purchasing decisions.
With over 45,000 people every month asking questions like ‘Can Anyone recommend‘ or ‘What Should I Buy‘ you can be sure to find plenty of qualified leads for your sales team to engage all the way up to Christmas Day.
Last-minute shoppers make up nearly 30% of online holiday sales! Try searching for terms like ‘last-minute shopping’ to find the customers that need your help this Christmas.
Day Three: Monitor your marketing campaigns
With almost every business online taking advantage of the Holiday season to push their promotion, or new ‘must buy gift’, it’s more important than ever for all businesses to ensure that they’re marketing efforts are working and that customers are being reached through all the noise.
Using the project you created on Day One, to monitor mentions of your own brand, you can get access to your best performing posts, the total number of interactions (likes, shares, and comments) and even the people that are helping boost your posts to a wider audience.
Tip: Save up to 5+ hours with a dedicated analysis center, covering all the key metrics you’ll need to monitor your Christmas marketing campaigns, giving you more time to hang up your decorations!
Day Four: Increase customer engagement
It comes as no surprise that businesses are eager to make sure they reply to all their customers when 51% of people who mention a business are more likely to be a repeat customer if the brand replies to them.
By showing your customers this Christmas that you’ve heard their question, and are acting on it, they are more likely to keep purchasing your products.
But by not engaging with your customers, you’ll potentially lose more customers in the future.
It’s estimated that 91% of 18-34 year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, by not replying or engaging with these reviews you run the risk of losing future customers.
Day Five: Find out what your customers like and don’t like
5% of Christmas shoppers are willing to try other retailers if given the right incentive.
Making it more important than ever this time of year to make sure you know what your customers like, and don’t like!
Using sentiment analysis, you can identify both the positive and negative comments about either your product or industry online.
Let’s start by searching for keywords related to your industry.
(I chose Flying here because I know a lot of people fly home to meet their families over the Holiday season)
Once your mentions have loaded, you can filter for negative or positive comments using the sentiment filter
By understanding the issues, and complaints that customers have in your industry or with your competitors, you can adapt your strategy in real-time, and become the business they would rather spend their money with.
Day six: Identify influencers
It’s estimated that ‘Bid’ prices on marketing platforms like Google and Amazon, can increase by 140% over their yearly average during the holidays! Meaning businesses may need to consider alternative ways to increase their visibility this Christmas.
One of the easiest ways to get your business seen by more customers is to let other people do the hard work for you!
Using your Analysis center you can instantly get access to the opinion leaders/influencers in your industry who boast the most reach, offering a higher return on your investment:
It’s also estimated that 7 out of every 10 people cover the costs of Christmas by taking advantage of deals. So it’s important to ensure your influencer partnerships this Christmas include exclusive discounts for your potential customers to consider.
Day Seven: Protect your brand’s reputation
The Holiday season plays host to multiple sales days, from Black Friday to Boxing Day, making it one of the busiest times of the year for businesses looking to cash in on the extra spending.
With that increased spending and extra gift giving, also comes the potential for a much larger volume of returns, with customers exercising their consumer rights more than ever around the Christmas period.
In fact this year, UPS (United Parcel Service) estimated a 26% increase in returns on this year’s, ‘National Returns Day’ (2nd January 2020).
By searching for your business’s name + ‘refund’ in your Brand24 project, you can get access to all the mentions of your business this Christmas where your customers are considering a refund.
Because your mentions are collected from all over the web, you can be sure that you’ve found all of your customer’s queries, whether its a video on Twitch or a thread on Reddit.
Tip: Try doing this technique with your competitors brand names/social handles to find customers unhappy with their products.
Day Eight: Learn from your competitors
Christmas is one of the most competitive times of the year for businesses online. Customers expect both great deals and great marketing.
Now not all businesses have the budget of a John Lewis Christmas Advert or are able to bring out the next must-have toy that will send parents queuing for hours to get ahold of.
But what all businesses can take advantage of is the wealth of information and data this festive period brings.
You may be thinking, why do I care about my competitors after Christmas? Isn’t it all over?
Year on year, it’s recorded that the busiest day for online traffic is the 26th December, giving businesses the perfect opportunity to take what they’ve learned from the Christmas period and market in real-time to potential consumers. Even after the main holiday has ended.
In 2018, it was estimated that over £1.1billion were spent in the UK alone on the 26th of December. By monitoring your competitors, you can learn about their mistakes and successes and amend your strategy to maximize your return this Boxing day.
Another way businesses can take advantage of their competitors mentions is to engage with their disgruntled customers.
With the increase in spending and online customer service queries, your competitors may not get a chance to reply to all their customers, leaving the door open to your business to offer a helping hand.
This opportunity should be used cautiously, as you don’t want to antagonize an already upset customer, but with 89% of consumers reading businesses’ responses before purchasing with them, this could be a great time for some positive Christmas exposure.
Day Nine: Get content inspiration
23% of Christmas shoppers in the U.S. rely on social media to help them make the right choice. Adding extra pressure on social media content teams to get themselves seen during this busy period!
By monitoring your industry, or just monitoring keywords like ‘Christmas’ you can get instant access to the top trending content live.
You can learn more about what customers are engaging with this year at a glance and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Day Ten: Easy market research
‘Twas the night before Christmas’, and you’ve not even started scheduling your content out yet, Black Friday feels like it was just yesterday, and now time is running short!
Not too long ago, market research took months, in fact, most marketers would have to start thinking about next Christmas shortly after the previous one had just passed.
Organizing focus groups, and surveying people to understand what it was that really made them get excited during the Holiday season.
In today’s data-driven world, it’s much easier to jump right into a conversation or observe your customer’s thoughts when buying your products.
However, what can be difficult is putting it all together to make sense for your business.
Using your Context of Discussion, you can immediately get access to the most talked-about topics this Christmas, and be sure that your marketing efforts focus on what your customers are engaging over. This is a sure-fire way to get your engagement rates soaring.
Day Eleven: Discover the hottest topics in real-time
Similar to some of the other topics in this guide, staying up to date in real-time is probably one of the most effective marketing strategies businesses can have this Christmas.
For example, take Netflix’s post just a few days before this blog post went live (*cough* NSFW)
As you can see, various brands jumped on the opportunity to get involved.
By staying up to date with the latest ‘viral content’ brands can take advantage of their competitors, or just other businesses’ success.
Just by looking at the engagement on this post, every brand that got involved felt their brand reputation increase positively. And with a third of British people stating that they felt businesses tend to be ‘dishonest’ or ‘misleading’ online, it’s no wonder so many businesses wanted to get involved, in the hope of coming across as your ‘average joe’.
Using your Brand24 projects, you can also get up to date trending hashtags right in your analysis center.
Day Twelve: Learn about your customers hidden communities
84% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and strangers over other marketing channels, making it increasingly harder for businesses to return a good investment on their marketing costs.
We’ve talked about discovering untagged mentions on social platforms like Twitter, and YouTube, however understanding the closed communities on sites such as Reddit or Quora can be equally important when looking for new customers this Christmas.
Using Brand24 you can access almost all publicly available domains, giving you a more complete view of your brands’ online reputation.
Understanding where your customers prefer to discuss your industry or products can help you make better decisions with your influencer and community marketing strategies. In turn, ensuring your business a better return on your investment this Christmas.