It’s almost time to put away those barbecue grills, tuck those roadmaps back into the glove compartment and say farewell to those starry, warm summer nights. The end of summer is near, and families and children are preparing to head back into the long hallowed halls of school.
Back-to-school season is a crucial time for businesses. Consumers are excited, inspired and ready for a brand new academic year. Moods and spirits are soaring high, making it the perfect time to leave a positive impression on your audience. Show them how your products and services will make their year go by with a breeze.
Back-to-School Predictions for 2016
The season is especially important for retailers. It is the second highest spending season for customers, after winter sales, making it the best time for companies to bring out their strongest social marketing campaigns. The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently released their predictions for this year’s back-to-school sales.
They found that the 2016 spending for K-12 and college, is expected to reach $75.8 billion; that’s almost a 12-percent increase from last year’s $68 billion. Lastly, the NRF found that 46 percent of consumers plan on doing their shopping online.
Are you geared up to get your slice of the pie?
Preparing for Back-to-School
Here are a couple things you can do to signal to your customers that there is no better place to make their back-to-school purchases, than with you.
AdWeek reported in early July that 60 percent of parents are planning to buy at least one back-to-school item on their mobile device and 30 percent plan to do a quarter of their total school supply shopping from their mobile device. And this is a growing number. Did you know that as of June 2016, there are 1.57 billion active mobile users on Facebook? With this many people checking social media on their mobile devices, it’s no wonder that they would wander into the shopping realm as well.
Make sure to maximize customer retention on mobile and sales by guaranteeing your website is optimized for use on mobile devices. Don’t lose any consumers at the last minute! A seamless mobile checkout system will prevent customers from getting frustrated and leaving their cart.
In 2014, 30 percent of consumers said that online ads helped them find what they were looking for, while another 53.8 percent said they found products from TV, print, radio or Internet ads. In addition, 63.5 percent said that they have purchased a back-to-school item that they saw on social media!
So, how should you utilize social?
Go Social for Back-to-School
It is without a doubt that social media has the power to influence consumers in this day and age. Brands should harness this power and use social platforms to showcase their message. Here are a few ways for you to leverage this back-to-school season.
Make the most of your ads by properly targeting them. While moms are not the only back-to-school shoppers, we know that they make up a large majority of those who will be surfing the web and hitting the stores. Start your social channel advertisements later in the evening or on the weekends when you know that they will be home.
Businesses can also get older students more excited about going back to school by creating ads with aspirational products and ideas. Remind them that they can achieve what they want and create positive connotations with your brand.
Tailor Your Content
Brands should always know who they’re speaking to. This back-to-school season, keep in mind that moms react better to deals while students prefer to speak their mind with engaging content.
While back-to-school is an invigorating time, it can also be a hectic one. Even if you are not a retailer, you can draw connections to back-to-schoolers through season-specific content. This could include sharing posts that teach better time management, organization, study tips and more. Companies can post back-to-school community events to create a greater sense of unity and involvement among their audience.
Utilize Social Resources
Social content can offer businesses various avenues to captivate and engage customers when used effectively. For instance, companies can use Facebook to spread the word about their sales and deals for school supplies by running a contest that tells consumers to “like” the offer for a chance to win a special prize pack.
We all know that hashtags (#) reign supreme on Twitter, so create unique hashtags for the back-to-school season and tell your customers to tweet it to enter a contest.
Spark Customer-Created Content
Let your consumers do the talking for you. Run a video contest on Facebook that requires customers to talk about their academic goals and how the use of your products will help them get there. Score the contest by the highest number of likes and reward the winner by helping them pay for their textbooks. You can also use these videos in future visual marketing efforts.