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How to Back to School with Social Media

The end of summer is here for most of us, which means that it’s time for back to school shopping and many people are turning to social media for help. Parents and students both are learning to make the most of what special media has to offer in back-to-school advice and tips.

Students can learn what’s hot and what’s not, plan their First Day outfit and share what they did for summer with friends. Parents of younger children can get organization tips, ideas for fun lunches to pack and of course, learn how to save on all of those school supplies!

Social media brings many great back-to-school deals right into our homes and makes it easier than ever before to get what you need and save a little in the process. Amazon even had a cool promotion for $5 off a $25 purchase that I learned about from a friend on social media (Thanks, Kim!)

As Direct Marketing News tells us, today’s consumers are informed consumers:

Online searches, including the term “back-to-school,” increased 75% for the week ending July 28, 2012, versus the same time period in 2011. Additionally, searches are up 13% total for the month over July 2011, indicating that people are preparing for the fall.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways social media and back to school go well together.

Twitter Rules for Back to School
When it comes to back to school deals, it seems like Twitter was the reigning social media champion for 2013. Tweets were atwitter with special deals, discount codes and people talking about the latest in trends, how much they spent on back to school shopping and more.

USA News tells us about some great Twitter deals for back to school from famous brands we all know:

On Old Navy’s Twitter page (@OldNavy), followers learned about the company’s sweepstakes to win a trip to Los Angeles and a $1,000 shopping spree. Over at @Gymboree, the children’s clothing retailer, Twitter followers get news about the latest 40 percent markdowns as well as the chance to win a $75 gift card. Three-ring binder inventor Wilson Jones (@WilsonJonesUS) is giving away an iPod Shuffle on Twitter and Facebook. Target (@Target) is giving away up to $5 million to schools with the help of Facebook and Twitter (customers vote on which ones).

But there is a lot more to it than just great deals. This is a prime time for business and brands to use the back-to-school season to build their social media networks, gain new fans and followers and connect with their customers.

“Everybody wants to better connect with and be liked by their consumers, so what you’re seeing is a lot of them doing contests or offering online gimmicks. It’s not just about sales, it’s the social currency they’re developing,” says personal finance expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox.

Businesses: Did your brand take advantage of this great opportunity to build your social media presence?

Parents and students: Did you find any great back-to-school deals on social media this year?

Fun, Fashion and Family
Another trend we are seeing today is that students now have more influencing power over what they get for back-to-school. Brands are tapping in to this fact as well and working harder to reach the young consumer. You might have your children asking for something they saw on a TV commercial for back-to-school or if your children are old enough to use social media, they may be begging for trends or deals they found online themselves.

This report from Experian shows that moms of students between the ages of 6 and 17 are highly influenced by what their children have to say.

Social media also makes it fun to shop for back-to-school in ways that you never had before. Older students can share with their peers and parents of younger students can look up activities, discounts, tips and other fun stuff using social media.

Pinterest is LOADED with cool back to school stuff and savings. All it takes is a couple clicks of the mouse and you have everything you need right in one place.

Businesses: Are you keeping fun, fashion and family in your marketing efforts for back-to-school season?

Parents and students: What are some ways that social media has made the back-to-school season more fun for you?

Back to School Social Media Tips
Now that you know the drill, how can you make the most of social media during back to school season? Here are some tips to help you snag the best deals:

Go to the social media accounts of your favorite brands and see what they’re offering
Set up online alerts so you find out about deals before they expire
Join online groups or networking communities that share these social deals
Some tips for brands:

A good review goes a long way- reward parents for leaving a good review of your product or company during back-to-school season
Remember that everyone is looking for a good deal
Remember that kids often influence shopping decisions, although parents typically foot the bill


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