A lot of businesses will be relying on their online marketing endeavours this Christmas. Competition will be intense, so if you’re looking to drive brand awareness and increase conversions, social media campaigns are the answer to your prayers.

Adding a little Christmas spirit to your social media campaigns will promote your brand, drive engagement, extend your reach, attract more customers and sell more.

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Impact of social media on consumers

With more than 3.2 billion social media users globally, you surely need to harness the power of this medium, especially in these challenging economic times. Studies reveal a massive 79% of businesses who advertise through social media marketing outsell their rivals who don’t. More than three-quarters (76%) of consumers say they enjoy interacting with businesses on social media, while 59% say they like watching videos, rather than watching TV.

All things considered, it follows that social media is vital for businesses. The importance of using these marketing channels becomes apparent when you discover 87% of all UK adults have shopped online within the past 12 months.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the highest growth rate for online shopping is among people aged 65 and over – rising from 16% to 65%. Perhaps this is a sign of the times, as older people aren’t able to go out and so are spending more time at home.

Research by Gov.uk reveals the most popular online purchases are clothes, shoes and accessories, with 55% of us buying them online in 2020. The second most popular online purchase is food deliveries, with 32% of consumers ordering regularly from fast-food chains, restaurants and other catering services.


Most popular social media sites

So, which social media sites are the best in terms of brand exposure?

Way out in front is Facebook, with 74% of consumers saying they prefer seeing brand activity on this platform. The biggest demographic includes women aged 18 to 24 and men aged 25 to 34, according to research in October 2020.

Just because Facebook is the most-used social media platform doesn’t mean the others should be dismissed. Each has its own merits, not only in terms of the age and other demographics, but also in the way in which you can display and promote content.

The second most popular social media platform, when it comes to consumers interacting with brands, is Instagram, where 90% of users are aged under 35. This is followed by Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat.

As the professional people’s social networking site, LinkedIn attracts a generally older age-group, with 61% of users aged between 30 and 64. Snapchat has the youngest age group, with 50% of users aged under 25, including 23% who are still at school.

The relevance of understanding the demographics is so you can target your advertising to the relevant social media platform, in a way that will appeal to the majority of people who are going to see it. This way, you won’t be alienating anyone, and your ads will be seen by the right audience, in the right way.


Effects of lockdown on shopping habits

According to a survey published in October 2020 by Royal Mail, social media is behind the jump in online sales. The average shopper in the UK spends an average of £83 per month online today, compared with £75 in 2019 – an 11% increase.

Lockdown has impacted significantly on shoppers’ behaviour, according to the Delivery Matters survey. The influence of social media has grown, with 25% of respondents saying they have bought items online as a result of seeing posts, or comments from other people. Younger shoppers are most likely to make a purchase after seeing a social media post, with 47% of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they would be influenced.

As people purchase more at Christmas, driving brand awareness is an effective way to make more sales during the festive season. This year, businesses must tackle the particular challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, at what is traditionally their busiest time of year.


Devon businesses battle “biggest challenge”

It’s only six years since a record number of entrepreneurs launched new startups in Devon. There were 5,501 new companies formed in the county in 2014, bringing the total number of local business to 42,661. The number of new startups was described as “exceptional” at the time.

A report published on 17th November this year painted a very different picture, with the coronavirus pandemic presenting the “biggest challenge” to small firms in Devon’s history. One-third of small business owners have reported significant disruption as a result of the virus.

The Santander Group’s Cash Flow Revolution report reveals almost 70% of business owners are struggling with cash flow to some degree. Almost half (48%) have used their personal savings to keep afloat, while 31% have relied on business loans or credit cards.

This year has been described as “devastating” for Devon’s tourism sector, with hoteliers, attraction-owners and restaurateurs suffering a slump in business. Figures released by Visit Devon reveal the estimated loss in revenue for 2020 is £1.3 billion to date.


Christmas social media marketing

If you’re a local business owner who knows little or nothing about social media, online marketing strategies might seem daunting. Rest assured, it’s not too late to save your festive season, as there are some simple steps local brands in Devon can adopt to grow sales and improve brand awareness.

Research shows people use social media more over the festive period, with Facebook seeing a 26% increase in photo and video uploads between 1st November and 1st January. This means businesses have a better chance of reaching their target customers during this time.

Looking ahead, after Christmas is over: your marketing campaign can be modified accordingly, as social media is an ever-changing landscape.

If you’re looking to add some Christmas spirit to your social media approach,  contact the experts at The Devon SEO Co. We can help you reach your target audience at the right time, with the right messages. You’ll be amazed how much difference our strategies can make!