The calendar might read September 1, but retailers are already busy planning for the holidays. As 1to1 Media Senior Writer Judith Aquino points out in this week's feature, "How to Overhaul Your Holiday Retail Strategy," although holiday spending is projected to jump by as much as 5.7 percent this year thanks to lower gas prices and declining unemployment rates, retailers will continue to remain under pressure to distinguish themselves from competitors and to find creative ways to engage with shoppers. For instance, as Austin Paley, director of corporate marketing at Blue Fountain Media points out in Aquino's article, "it's difficult to attract people with the draw of an excessive discount when everyone around you is also offering the same during the same time frame."
While personalization and relevant marketing should play important roles this holiday season, as Aquino points out, there are rich opportunities for retailers to help make their brands stand out in a variety of ways this holiday season. Last year, retailers such as Best Buy and StubHub took novel approaches in their use of social media.
For its part, Best Buy encouraged customers to "hint" for presents using the hashtag #hintingseason on social media networks such as Vine. According to Inc., Best Buy strengthened its engagement with target millennial audiences while improving their earned impressions by 111 percent in the month following Black Friday.
Meanwhile, StubHub urged consumers to share their ideal entertainment ticket gift on Twitter using the hashtag #tixwish where participants were also entered to win a variety of gift cards and prizes, leading up to a grand prize giveaway of $10,000 on New Year's Eve. According to StubHub, the promotion generated more than 500,000 mentions on Twitter through December 17, providing 1.3 billion impressions for the brand.