The holidays bring with them an abundance of opportunities to bring new customers into your business. People are shopping more, spending more time with their loved ones, and trying to work off that extra helping of pumpkin pie – meaning that the holidays could be your busiest (or least busy) time of year.

The key is to find new and innovative ways to bring new customers in during the holiday season and make sure that you create the type of environment and experience that will make them want to come back again and again.

Make Referrals Something To Celebrate

The single best way to bring in new customers during the holidays (and, really, any time) is for your current customers to spread the word about your business to their friends, family and networks. Referrals bring your cost of acquisition down immensely, while also starting your new customers off with a warm feeling about your business.

There are those customers of yours that will invite their friends without you having to ask them to, but most of the time, incentivizing your customers with a discount code, a freebie or points in your rewards program (more on that later) can help give them that extra nudge toward referring their friends.

Plus, when referrals occur online (especially on social media), you’re basically receiving free marketing for your business. Whether your customers are posting photos of their experience with you or encouraging their social networks to visit you, social media referrals help to broaden your marketing reach online.

Up Your Social Presence for December

Social media is probably already in your marketing arsenal, but now’s the time to take it to the next level. This time of year, the cost of advertising is higher, so the more free marketing you can take advantage of, the better.

Think about hosting a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram campaign for the holidays. For example, for a yoga studio, you could do a campaign around “12 Days of Yoga”, prompting your current customers to share a photo of themselves in one of 12 different yoga poses. Running a campaign like this can help you expand your social reach (similar to how online referrals expand your audience) while also helping you directly interact with your prospective customers. The more you can interact with them on social, the higher the chance they’ll come in during the season.

It doesn’t hurt to add in some incentives to your social campaigns too. Consider offering a discount or prize to anyone who completes all 12 days of your campaign, or offering points in a rewards program for Facebook photos.

Integrate a Rewards Program into Your Customer Experience

One of the best ways to make sure that your new customers keep coming back to your business is to make a rewards program part of your overall customer experience.

A rewards program operates as a retention and engagement engine, incentivizing your current customers to come in more often and interact with you even when they aren’t at your business. Because you’ll often see new faces coming into your business during the holidays, having a rewards program to offer these new customers can help you retain them into the new year.

Plus, you can tie your rewards program to the referrals and social media posts mentioned above. Offering a high point value for referrals or Facebook photos will help your current customers take the plunge to bring their friends into your business and show off their experience online, while your rewards program will turn them into loyal customers.

How are you bringing in new customers during the holidays? Let us know in the comments below.