Social media marketing is big business all year long. With Christmas right around the corner, amping up your social media campaigns is a great way to draw in new customers, bring back repeat shoppers, and start 2018 with a bang. A recent survey revealed that over 55% of retailers are planning to use social media as part of their sales strategy this holiday season. With more and more people using social media (Facebook has surpassed 2 billion users), advertising has become as easy as a few clicks on a computer or taps of a smart phone. Here are three ways social media and your sales strategy can be a match made in holiday heaven: 1. Offer an online exclusive coupon. Post an exclusive coupon code on your social media platforms and encourage your followers to share it with their friends. Your followers will love the feeling of sharing a deal with their loved ones, you’ll get more followers on your social media accounts, and an extra 25% off (or whatever it might be) will likely be the nudge that many people were waiting for to convince them that they need to shop or visit your business. 2. Be authentic. Whether you realize it or not, your small business has a vibe. Are you hip and trendy, funny and silly, or professional and classy? Whatever your business personality may be, embrace it. Social media is not a place for press releases or mission statements. People visit Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be engaged and informed. So give the people what they want. Add a splash of personality to your captions about an upcoming event. Or, post behind-the-scenes photos of your employees working on Christmas orders. Your followers want to engage with your posts so ask them questions, tell them something funny, or wow them with a photo of your products. The more engaged your followers are, the more likely they’ll tell their friends about your small business and the more likely they’ll come back to see your posts. Then you can engage them further with that 2-for-1 special you’re running at your restaurant or the amazing friends and family sale you’re having next weekend. 3. Incorporate images, video, and graphics whenever possible. Use visual elements as much as you can, and across all of your social media platforms. According to Lewis’ The State of Visual Communications in 2016, 67% of marketing professionals use visual content because it’s proven to increase engagement rates. Incorporating visuals including photos, videos, GIFs, and memes is easy. Just make sure that the images you are posting appeal to your audience and match your brand. As the holidays reach their crescendo and the new year begins, try implementing these tips to improve your connection with your customers and increase your sales.