10 Marketing & Social Media Tactics to Boost Holiday Sales

Tis the season for holiday sales!

Shoppers are flocking online in search of gift giving ideas. According to Mashable, "65% of shoppers tap social media looking for the perfect gift … and two out of three shoppers purchased a gift they found via social media."

So what are the best ways to cash in on seasonal sales with your business?

Whether you are a service-based business or sell products, here's some suggestions to get in the spirit with holiday sales.

1) Learn from the Ghost of Christmas Past

Look at metrics from last year's holiday sales. What products were bestsellers? Which promotions created the largest lift in sales? What special offers were a total bomb?

Discover what worked and did not so you can capitalize on it when you plan this year's promotions.

2) Make a Holiday Social Media Cover Image

Decorate your social media business pages with a specially designed cover image. It's the perfect place to announce special holidays promotions and deals.

Be sure to create one for all of your social media accounts.

3) Use Holiday Hashtags

Twitter shoppers may use hashtags to find their next purchase. So take advantage of hashtags to get discovered.

Some popular hashtags include: #blackFriday, #DIY, #holidaysssavings, #stockingstuffers, #holidays, #Christmas, #Hannukah, #Kwanzaa, #NewYears

4) Create Social Media Graphics for Promos and Deals

Everyone loves getting a great deal when holiday shopping. Make festive graphics promoting special promotions that make purchasing the perfect item irresistible.

Deals can include:

• one day only,

• limited quantity sales,

• buy-one-get-one free,

• special discounts or holiday coupons.

Consider offering a "12 days of Christmas" promotion with a special deal each day!

Canva makes it easy to make custom holiday social media graphics.

5) Boost Sales with Free Shipping

Consider offering free shipping for holidays gifts. Create highly visible buttons or banners promoting it on your website.

Or you can boost the order size by offering free shipping on orders over a bigger dollar amount such as $ 100.

Studies show that shipping costs are one of the largest detracts to making a purchase online so this one tactic could result in big returns for you.

6) Offer Gift Ideas

Holiday shopping can be frustrating when you do not know what to buy for the person who has everything. You'll want to promote your bestselling gifts.

Make gift buying easy by sharing gift suggestions like:

• 5 gifts for mom,

• 10 gifts grandparents love,

• 5 gift ideas for tech savvy teens etc.

Then offer links to purchase each of the items you mention on your blog and on social media.

Better yet, if you have a blog, write articles based on these topics and refer to your products within the article with links back to the purchase page.

7) Write Reviews

If you offer one of the hot new products of the season, consider writing and reviewing a review about it on your blog. In this review you could mention your own offers that would be a great gift accompaniment.

As an example, do a review of the top three smart phone accessories for Mom this Christmas and share pictures of them with a red bow on them along with a side-by-side features comparison. Then mention how your offer go great with these gift ideas while including links to purchase.

You could also incorporate your Amazon affiliate link for those products

8) Suggest Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Help idea stumped shoppers by offering suggestions for small items for everyone on their shopping list!

Write a blog post with the hottest stocking stuffers for the season. Share daily stocking stuffer ideas on social media using hashtags like: # beststockingstuffers2016 #cheapstockingstuffers #stockingstuffersforwomen

9) Reward Loyal Customers

Offer to give a $ 100 Gift Card to a randomly selected customer cutting posting a picture or video with your product on social media. Set up a campaign having them use a special hash tag like #christmascountdown.

This can help your promotional campaigns to go viral as customers share on their timeline and family / friends see their post.

10) Share Holiday Spirit

Connect to the spirit of the holidays in your customer's hearts. Engage your customers by asking them their favorite holiday tradition.

Get people to interact with your brand by asking them to share:

a. Their most-loved family recipes from Thanksgiving or another holiday event.

b. What their most loved Christmas song is.

c. DIY Christmas decorating tips.

d. Easy gift wrapping suggestions.

The iPhone 4 – New Features, New Design, Brand New All in One Gadget

The new iPhone is finally here. More technology packed then ever before, it sets new benchmarks for other mobile phones manufacturers that have been overwhelmed by the success of Apple's iPhone.

But I guess you're more interested in the features of then new phone rather than the impact it has on the business world so let me share with you the novelties it brings along.

Design:

The new iPhone is thinner, sleeker and better looking then its predecessors. The stainless steel looks good and refined giving it a more futuristic look. The metal buttons add to the overall feel of sturdiness without dramatically increasing the weight. It is heavier then the iPhone 3GS by only 0.1 ounces and it feels great in the hand.

Technology:

But the most obvious improvement is by far the new screen. The "Retina" is a 3.5 inch display which looks absolutely superb, mainly because its pixels are only 78 micrometers wide. It has four times more pixels then the previous version and it is by far the best display I have ever seen on a handheld device. The zoom is flawless and not a single bit of detail is lost in the process.

The "camera system" (as Steve Jobs called it) is comprised of a 5MP capturing device on the back and a VGA one on the front. The image can be shifted between cameras at any time during a video call. Apple calls this "Face Time" and although it has been praised by company officials it is pretty hard to believe it will revolutionize mobile communications or set a trend for other manufacturers to follow. It is undetected a clever feature but it is overshadowed by other technological marvels such as the flawless screen.

iMovie:

iMovie is an app that allows complex video editing like nothing I have seen before on a mobile phone. You can trim out a section of a movie, add a musical soundtrack to any clip, insert pictures in movies and many more. It costs $ 4.99 in the Apple applications store but it is really worth the money.

Conclusion:

The iPhone 4 is a great device with major improvements from the previous versions. Technology packed but also a looker it will unduly become a favorite among geeks and fashion savvy teens alike. A true all in one that certainly describes your attention.

Top 50 Christmas Quotations

  1. "Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years … Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart. " - George Matthew Adams
  2. "The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting." - Louisa May Alcott
  3. "Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. - Bess Streeter Aldrich
  4. "The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!" - Charles N. Barnard
  5. "Gifts of time and love are certainly the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." - Peg Bracken
  6. "The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung." - Phillips Brooks
  7. "I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses. " - Taylor Caldwell
  8. "Remember, if Christmas is not found in your heart, you will not find it under a tree." - Charlotte Carpenter
  9. "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." - Calvin Coolidge
  10. "Christmas, in its final essence, is for grown people who have forgotten what children know." Christmas is for whoever is old enough to have denied the unquenchable spirit of man. " - Margaret Cousins
  11. "Without we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska will not make it 'white'." - Bing Crosby
  12. "Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. faith again. " - Grace Noll Crowell
  13. "It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one's fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit." - Isabel Currier
  14. "Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget." - Hugh Downs
  15. "They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart." - Mrs. Paul M. Ell
  16. "Christmas, my child, is love in action." - Dale Evans
  17. "Do give books – religious or otherwise – for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal." - Lenore Hershey
  18. "My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still." - Charlton Heston
  19. "At Christmas, all roads lead home." - Marjorie Holmes
  20. "My idea of ​​Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. - Bob Hope
  21. "The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas." - WC Jones
  22. "A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away; While quite lonely, it grows small." - Eva K. Logue
  23. "Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become absolutely alive." - Robert Lynd
  24. "Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." - Hamilton Wright Mabi
  25. "The merry family gatherings – The old, the very young; The strangely lovely way they harmonize in carols sung. For Christmas is tradition time – Traditions that recall the precious memories down the years, The sameness of them all." - Helen Lowrie Marshall
  26. "There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions." - Bill McKibben
  27. "I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month." - Harlan Miller
  28. "Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence." - Joan Mills
  29. "Christmas is, of course, the time to be home – in heart as well as body." - Garry Moore
  30. "What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. - Agnes M. Pharo
  31. "Mankind is a great, an immense family … This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas." - Pope John XXIII
  32. "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Do not clean it up too quickly." - Andy Rooney
  33. "Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intimate that it is like a fragrance. day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. " - Augusta E. Rundel
  34. "Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone." - Charles Schulz
  35. "As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas bought to be, Christmas is." - Eric Sevareid
  36. "Christmas is the day that holds time together." - Alexander Smith
  37. "Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion." - Ralph Sockman
  38. "Christmas … is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart." - Freya Stark
  39. "Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends." - Margaret Thatcher
  40. "At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year." - Thomas Tusser
  41. "What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic." - Unknown
  42. "Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wrought in smiles." - Unknown
  43. "If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away." - Unknown
  44. "Until one dreams the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display – so much tinsel and decorations. Firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again. " - Unknown
  45. "Many banks have a new kind of Christmas club in operation. The new club helps you save money to pay for last year's gifts." - Unknown
  46. "Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world – stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death – and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love ? Then you can keep Christmas. " - Henry Van Dyke
  47. "Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts." - Lenora Matttingly Weber
  48. "Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance – each beautiful, unique and too soon gone." - Deborah Whipp
  49. "Somehow, not only for Christmas, But all the long year through, The joy that you give to others, Is the joy that comes back to you. your heart's possessing, Returns to you glad. " - John Greenleaf Whittier
  50. "Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall." - Larry Wilde

Can You Really Lose As Much Weight As a ‘Big Loser’ Each Week – And Would You Want To?

With shows like the Biggest Loser getting massive reviews and viewer numbers, clearly its hitting a chord with the general public. The show encourages massive weight loss on a weekly basis. How do we know how much is a reasonable amount of weight to lose? Is it true that you can only lose half a kilo per week. Let's take a look at what is realistic – and achievable – for you …

First off, is it really possible to drop fat as quickly as the contestants on The Biggest Loser? Can the man on the street (or you :) take these kind of losses without a team of trainers, nutritionists and camera men following their every move? Or are the massive and speedy losses on the show nothing more than clever marketing and a not-so-subtublic manipulation of the viewer?

I did a little research to find out just how much weight some of our contestants have stacked up. At the time of my research the show was airing Week 11. Here's a summary of total weight loss for the final four contestants at that time:

Sam: just over 40kg (88 pounds)
Cosi: close to 48kg (105.6 pounds)
Alison: around 36kg (79.2 pounds)
Gary: close to 59kg (129.8 pounds)

The weekly weight loss (divided by 11 just to keep it simple, although obviously they would have lost different amounts each week) is shown here:

Sam: 3.63 kg p / week (7.9 pounds)
Cosi: 4.36 kg p / week (9.6 pounds)
Alison: 3.27 kg p / week (7.2 pounds)
Gary: 5.36 kg p / week (11.8 pounds)

Just in case you're interested, this averages out at a body weight percentage loss of around 2.8 weekly. If you matched this to the 'average' 70kg woman, that would equate to 1.96kg per week, and for a 90kg man it would be around 2.66kg per week.

Does not sound like too much, really, does it? I'm sure many readers out there would be thrilled to lose this amount of weight each week, and not necessarily consider it extreme.

But let's think about that. In my experience most of you have heard over and over that healthy weight loss is around 0.5-1kg per week. In fact, every health expert, resource or study I've mentioned that a 'healthy' (as in mainly fat, and sustainable) amount of weight loss is just that – around half a kilo per week for women, and 1 kilo for men. Extremely overweight people are said to be able to lose 1.5 kg per week.

If we take this as a gospel (for now), then clearly the BL contestants are losing weight much faster than they should be in order to keep it off. According to Anne Collins, fat loss expert extraordinaire,

'When we lose weight we do not just lose fat. We lose a combination of body fat, and muscle tissue. Studies show that when we diet, the weight we lose is on average 75 percent fat and 25 percent muscle. (Also) remember water accounts for about 70 percent of the total body weight of an average person, with muscle tissue containing roughly 75 percent water (plus 20 percent protein and 5 percent minerals), and body fat containing roughly 50 percent water. '

How is this relevant?

When you lose weight quickly, your body will shed muscle and water before it lets go of fat stores. This is because your body views rapid weight loss as a threat to your survival – your physiology assumes that you must be low on resources (food), or on the run. Why else would you starve or over-exercise yourself?

In order to preserve life (yours!) Your very intelligent body gets rid of the less important stuff – like muscle. Yep, that's the metabolism boosting stuff in case you forgot. After all, fat stores will keep you alive for longer.

So the long and short of it is that losing weight too quickly will not only mean you lose muscle and water over fat, but you will also (at least semi) permanently lower your resting metabolic rate, meaning that the same amount of food you used to eat will cause you to gain more weight.

This is where the concept of the 'yo-yo effect' comes in to play – the idea (reality) that most diets result in a bounce-back effect that leaves the sorry soul in question more overweight than when they started.

NOT good.

But that's not really the full story. Here's where it gets even more confusing (or interesting, for the thinkers among you).

o If your body is under a lot of stress, you can not safely lose weight. Basically, your body will not allow you to. This is because stress is a threat to your survival – and your body can not distinguish between our modern day stress of a demanding job or unsettled relationship, and the stress of a threat on your life. Therefore, your body views all stress as a threat to your survival – and attempts to give you a fighting chance by keeping a protective layer of fat that will not go away regardless of what you eat or how you exercise.

o According to William W. Wolcott, author of The Metabolic Typing Diet, 'It is not uncommon for people to gain weight in response to stress. Weight gain literally represents a protective layer, an insulator, against the pain and suffering of the stress. In such cases, diet, nutrition, and exercise are powerless to resolve the problem '. Solution: put steps into place to detoxify stress. This includes eating correctly, but also taking time out.

o Ironically, cutting back calories to an extreme or doing high amounts of cardio exercise can also prevent you losing weight.

o Even if you are losing weight at the 'safe' rate of, you will still find your lean muscle mass decreases to some extent. In the long run this means you will lower your metabolism and possibly gain weight back. The only way to counteract this is to perform resistance exercise. I'd recommend at least 1-2 half hour sessions per week, for maintenance, or more if you're looking to gain a significant amount of muscle.

o A final spark of hope – Over the years I have known clients to 'lean up' in an incredibly fast manner. Without losing a significant amount of muscle – and I'm not just talking abut extremely overweight people. I'm going to finish this article with my hot tips for maximizing weight loss from fat.

MAXIMISE YOUR FAT LOSS

1. Eat correctly. Trust me on this – pill popping is NOT how the human body achieves true health and weight loss. Choose natural, minimally processed sources of carbohydrates, fat and protein.

2. Sleep correctly. Numerous studies have shown that building up a sleep debt will result in rampant stress hormones that cause your body to store fat. Regardless of how you eat or exercise. I've written many articles on the topic myself.

3. Think correctly. I do not care how 'airy fairy' this sounds – your thoughts do have power. If you believe and tell yourself that you can not lose weight, you WILL NOT lose weight. Positive thinking on its own may not cut it, but it sure is not going to hurt. Build confidence and promote positive action by telling yourself that you can and will improve your health and weight.

4. Reduce stress. We've spoken about how stress hormones cause you to store fat. If you really can not change your lifestyle, put steps into place to relax and recuperate. Using your one free hour pounding the treadmill is not always the best option. But ask yourself this. Can you REALLY not change your lifestyle? If your life depended on it I bet you would walk out of the job, relationship, situation or whatever it might be. Guess what? Your life does depend on it.

I guess when all is said and done, the rapid weight loss of Biggest Loser contestants may not be possible or ideal for most people. This next I believe the show does a brilliant job of inspiring people to reach, to fight, to do whatever it takes to achieve their dreams. I think if you asked them, the BL contestants would tell you that they had definitely been living life.

How 'bout you?

Life is Now. Press Play.