Social media content creates online chatter that leads to consumer-written reviews.

For marketers still coming out of their Thanksgiving turkey comas, it’s time to get serious about social media content leading up to the December holidays. The November – December 2012 season has already set new records, with comScore reporting $13.7 billion in online sales alone. Ecommerce dollars are up 16 percent year-over-year, and Black Friday raked in $1.042 billion by itself and earned the rank of heaviest online spending day this year. Black Friday sales represented an increase of 26 percent from the previous year.

Holiday shopping 2012Brands that want to claim a percentage of this year’s holiday sales should turn to the web. According to comScore, 57.3 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday – up 18 percent from 2011. While sites like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple ranked as the highest web properties visited Thanksgiving weekend, marketers can create content marketing strategies that drive prospects to their own ecommerce hubs by using well-written copy that encourages social chatter.

ConsumerSearch, a product review and recommendation site, published an October 2012 report that discovered reviews are the fundamental way U.S. internet users will use social media sites this holiday season. Approximately 41 percent of survey respondents said they chose reviews for researching popular gift ideas this year. Social functions like discussing gift ideas on networks came in at third with 11 percent of consumers saying they’d participate in this practice in 2012.

Marketers who want to drive more traffic to their ecommerce sites can craft custom content that encourages sharing across popular social sites. Perhaps the most attractive quality of social media is its wide reach and scope – there is a social network for almost every purpose. Brands who take content creation seriously can see the benefits of developing social media marketing strategies that publish visual media to Pinterest and Instagram, engaging blog content to Facebook and Twitter and industry-insight articles to B2B hubs like LinkedIn.

In order to capitalize on online retail traffic this holiday season, marketers must conceptualize campaigns that spread cheer across the web, and social media makes the job easier. Of course, content is key for engaging with traffic, but social media gives people a convenient place to chat about gift ideas, and brands can find this trend especially attractive this time of year.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.