Black Friday has passed. Cyber Monday is over. We are officially in the craziness of the holidays, and with that, we are being inundated with holiday messages: “12 days of gift cards”… “Jingle Deals, Jingle Deals”… “Free holiday shipping day.” How does your business break through the holiday clutter?? Here are 3 ways to better interact with customers during the holiday season.

1. Use a multi-channel approach.

The top three marketing channels retailers will use this holiday season, according to Experian, are online display ads (59%), email (55%) and print (46%). Beyond these channels, consider including mobile coupons within your holiday marketing strategy, as they are redeemed 10 times as often as traditional coupons. They’re much cheaper than paper coupons and very convenient for consumers who don’t tend to remember to bring their paper coupons shopping. And don’t forget about leveraging social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Vine.

2. Provide great customer service.

If you can’t compete with the big-box retailers, what’s going to keep customers coming back after the holidays? The way they are treated. 70% of average Americans are willing to spend 13% more for the same product when accompanied by excellent customer service. Is your existing customer service less than stellar? Make sure you’re monitoring social networking sites. 26% of consumers post a negative comment on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and the majority of consumers expect brands to respond to these comments within one day. Responding to these comments could prove to either make or break the relationship between your brand and the consumer. Read more about digital reputation management in our recent blog post.

 3. Explore cause marketing – for the right reasons.

Cause marketing is a strategic marketing partnership that pairs a company or brand with a social cause or cause-related organization for mutual benefit. It can elevate buyer enthusiasm and boost total sales. This means your company can bring about positive change while increasing profits. In the 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study, 91% of global consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality. The holidays are the perfect time of year to run a cause marketing campaign. For example, collect toys in conjunction with Toys For Tots or a local shelter. Collect coats or shoes for families in need. Collect canned goods for your local food pantry. Offer a coupon, a discount, a free product or a thank you promotional gift for every contribution made and get your staff involved in the delivery or distribution of the collection. Create a goal and share your progress on social networking sites. It’s a win-win for your business and your cause.

Whether you are in a traditional retail business or a more service-oriented industry, the holidays can serve as a reminder that you need to find innovative, strategic methods for reaching your customer and for increasing customer loyalty. Discover what makes your company, product or service unique, and build on it to reach not only your holiday goals but also extend beyond the holiday rush.

  'Tis the season to be social.

‘ Tis the season to be social.