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Whether you are a restaurant operator who has just dipped your toe into the social marketing kiddy pool or one who has held your nose and plunged directly into the deep end, your social marketing efforts can be used to help drive your gift card sales through the holiday season. Here are a couple of suggestions how to use your social marketing vehicles to promote your gift cards:

Everyone is an artist – One way to engage your followers and fans is to create a “Design Our Gift Cards” type of contest and offer prizes for the most creative entries. This type of contest will help remind your audience that you have a gift card program and will get them actively engaged in helping promote it.

Single out your followers and fans – Offer a special 10% discount or buy one get one free program for your gift cards if your fans and followers mention your post or tweet when ordering. Word of this exclusivity will spread through your customer base as well as entice new customers to become fans and check out your offer.

Target business owners and managers – Promote a special discounted bulk rate for your gift cards to your followers and fans as a great way to reward employees.

Remember…paparazzi can be used in a good way – Engage your followers and fans to take pictures of the most creative environments where they are giving out your gift cards. Reward the fan who submits the best photo with free soft drinks for a year, the ability to name an item on your menu or a $100 gift card to your restaurant.

The great thing about social media is you aren’t stuck to one plan. You have the ability to try multiple strategies to find the right combination that works best for your target audience without breaking the bank. Don’t be afraid to try a variety of tactics and ideas to see which one your fans respond to the best.

What are some ways you are promoting gift card sales through social media in your restaurant? Is it working?

Jessica Lundberg, Senior Marketing Manager NCR