When it comes to Christmas shopping, there’s very little appeal in battling crowds on the high street and spending half the weekend queuing in a shopping centre. Therefore, it may come as no surprise that online shopping enjoys an annual boom over the festive period. So much so that specially-created events off the back of such buying habits have now become tradition, such as Cyber Monday.

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As Thanksgiving 2014 occurs this Thursday, with it arrives Cyber Monday; a highly-anticipated event which goes hand-in-hand with the US-originated Black Friday (typically regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping period). The idea behind the campaign first emerged when online retailers saw a spike in sales during this time, encouraging them to drive the now-famous discounts and promotions.

Last year, Cyber Monday hit a record $2.29 billion in the US, while the UK increased its online spend to over £600 million. One of the major players in Cyber Monday retail is Amazon.co.uk, reporting last year’s sale frenzy as the busiest shopping day in its history, together with eBay and Argos accounting for 30% of total UK website visits in 2012.

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So, with the busiest e-commerce day fast-approaching, what can brands and online retailers do in order to profit the most from this flurry of traffic? Consumers will undoubtedly be turning to social media in order to scout out the best deals, making Facebook and Twitter hotbeds of activity. Take a look at our handy guide below to see our recommendations when using these networks:

• Hashtags should be employed where relevant to give special offers and seasonal campaigns wider reach.

• Due to the ‘flash-sale’ nature of Cyber Monday, consumers will have limited time to deliberate over prospective purchases. Using strong calls to action will help them in the decision-making process.

• Bold messaging is a key tactic when it comes to copy, as consumers will need access to  exact details of how much they’ll save in order to swiftly move on to the next bargain.

Likewise, image-based platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are also worth considering as they can be utilised as user wish-lists, with consumers tapping and Pinning must-have products. This makes them great social networks across which to keep the latest deals and promotions front of the consumer’s mind.

• Images which creatively capture the desirability of a product are ideal.

• Copy on images which explicitly state a deal or promotion will provide consumers with essential information, making it easier for them to decide whether to purchase or not.

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The holiday period is often considered as “the most wonderful time of the year” and for online retailers, nothing epitomises that feeling more than Cyber Monday. Now that the shopping event is well-established, it’s important for brands and online retailers to think ahead of time regarding their social media strategies.

To see how Punch can assist with your brand’s seasonal social media strategy, give us a call on +44 (0)1858 411 600.