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Sure, Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season are just around the corner, but top-performing brands and e-commerce stores already have their holiday marketing strategies wrapped up (if you don’t, it’s not too late to pick up a thing or two from one of our latest Cyber Monday blog posts). For these brands, marketing planning in November has less to do with Santa Claus and everything to do with Cupid. After all, we’re only a little over 90 days away from the February revenue spike known commonly as Valentine’s Day. To help your e-commerce shop find its perfect match, we’re sharing our favorite Valentine’s Day social media marketing tips.

 

The Cost of Love

Jennifer Lopez’s love might not cost a thing, but for most Americans that’s not the case: Valentine’s Day is the 3rd largest consumer holiday. Here are a couple of our favorite statistics to help illustrate the impact of Valentine’s Day on a store’s Q1 bottom line:

  • In 2018, 45% of people were expected to spend at least $50 dollars for the holiday.
  • That same year the average consumer was expected to spend $143.56
  • Altogether, Valentine’s Day drove rough $20.1B in sales in 2018
  • 13% of annual flower sales happen on or around Valentine’s Day
  • $4.7 billion dollars spent on jewelry
  • $1.8 billion dollars spent on chocolates and candy.

The bottom line, there is big money to be made on Valentine’s Day.

 

Drop the Valentine’s Day Shopper Stereotype

Today, the era of the stereotypical Valentine’s day consumer (male buying gifts for female partner) is no more. Now a day’s, a successful Valentine’s Day e-commerce strategy includes marketing materials and communication that appeals to all consumer types. And yes, this includes consumers who identify as single.

In 2018, three in ten adults planned to not celebrate Valentine’s Day. But these individuals weren’t Bitter Betty’s. A new social “holiday”, Singles Awareness Day, has re-shaped what it means to be single in February. Singles Awareness Day, taking place on February 15, is a celebration of consumers who opt for the single lifestyle, treating themselves to special gifts and purchases, which in turn leads to additional revenue generating opportunities for savvy e-commerce brands.

 

4 Ways to Leverage Social Media to Drive E-Commerce Valentine’s Day Sales

So, how can your e-commerce store leverage the power of social media to drive online Valentine’s Day sales?

1) Create and Publish Valentine’s Day Gift Guides

It doesn’t matter if your Valentine has four-legs or wings, is the love of your life, or is your Mom (again). Everybody loves receiving a something thoughtful on Valentine’s Day. While most people think of gift guides as something reserved only for the December holiday-season, many e-commerce stores have seen great success by creating Valentine’s Day themed gift guides.

Valentine’s Day Gift Guides are the perfect solution to the what-to-buy-them dilemma. When creating your guides, keep in mind the changing face of the Valentine’s Day consumer. Create multiple lists that appeal to a variety of consumers including:

  • Gifts for Him
  • Gifts for Her
  • Gifts for Your Bestie
  • Gifts for Mom
  • Gifts for Dad
  • Gifts for Pets
  • Gifts for Yourself

As you create your gift guides, be sure to publish and share them through your social media accounts. Be sure to make your posts shoppable so users can shop directly from your social content to streamline the sales process and keep potential customers in your funnel longer.

To help consumers fall even more in love with your gift guides, consider applying filters to each list:

  • Traditional – gifts for her, him, couples, teen, etc.
  • Theme – gifts for art lovers, by hobby, by events
  • Price Point – gifts under $150, $100, $50, etc.

Showcasing your products to potential customers in multiple ways encourages them to think of all of the special people in their lives that might enjoy a Valentine’s Day treat.

2) Showcase Couples Product Bundles

Social media is an ideal platform for announcing new product offerings.

Think about it: the typical e-commerce store has a social audience comprised of current and potential customers. Customers that already believe and support their favorite e-commerce store. Customers who are more likely to buy new product offerings, especially new product offerings that make it possible for both sides of a relationship to fulfill their Valentine’s Day gift-giving quota at the same time!

As a best practice, consider offering bundled products as part of your Valentine’s Day product mix. Whether it’s a matching set of sheets, coffee mugs, or pajamas, product bundles are a tactical method for capturing a larger-than-average order value.

As you create your product bundles, be sure to share them on to social media. As a best practice, avoid showing images of the two products side-by-side and instead opt for imagery that helps to articulate a story. Show images of models wearing matching pajamas, or a coffee table adorned with “His and His” coffee mugs.

The more life you showcase in your social media imagery, the stronger your post engagement rate.

3) Host a Social Media Contest

Show your customers how much you love them by sponsoring a contest promotion. Contests are a powerful tool for building both brand awareness and engagement. They can also aid in the creation of user-generated content (UGC). UGC is any content created by your fans in support of your brand.

There is a near-infinite number of Valentine’s Day contest ideas, but some of our favorite ideas are:

  • Invite your social media following to snap a shot of how they’re celebrating their Valentine’s Day
  • Likewise, have your single followers share a picture or two that shows how they’re celebrating themselves on February 15
  • Sponsor a high-value prize and invite your followers to share personal (true) stories on why their partners deserve to win that prize
  • Encourage your followers to tag their partner or their bestie in a post to each win a prize

UGC is great for driving social media engagements. In fact, social posts that feature UGC have a 28% higher engagement rate than standard brand posts which, in turn, leads to a higher reach count.

4) Launch a Consumer-Focused Advocacy Marketing Campaign

An advocacy marketing program is the perfect complement to your e-commerce store’s Valentine’s Day social media marketing strategy. In an advocacy marketing program, your best customers and biggest fans are encouraged and empowered to share your Valentine’s Day content directly on their personal social media accounts.

This means that in addition to potential customers seeing your latest V-Day gift guide via your brand’s Facebook page, they’re also seeing that same gift guide being shared by their closest friends and family.

On average, brands generate a 650% ROI for every dollar they invest in influencer and advocacy marketing.

The average consumer is connected to 400 – 600 individuals through social media. For every advocate that joins your program, your content has the potential to reach an additional 600 individuals. A 1,000 advocates in your advocacy marketing program means a potential reach of 600,000 individuals.

Advocacy marketing is so powerful that, on average, brands generate a 650% ROI for every dollar they invest in influencer and advocacy marketing.

With a little over 90 days to go until Valentine’s Day, your e-commerce store has plenty of time to get a consumer-focused advocacy marketing campaign up and running! Don’t believe us? Check out our 90-Day advocacy marketing launch plan here.

You can learn more about how advocacy marketing programs work here.

 

Be Our Valentine

Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to marry us, but we are asking you to reach out to learn how an advocacy marketing program can help your e-commerce store drive sales this Valentine’s Day.

At SocialToaster we offer an award-winning advocacy marketing program that is guaranteed to boost your brand awareness and increase brand engagement. If you want to learn more about what we can do together, call us at 855.62.TOAST, send us an email, or request a free demo!