Every year, the holiday season seems to come out of nowhere! All of a sudden, you’re met with a flurry of tempting shopping deals and Christmas advertisements left and right.
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is considered to be a time of joy and togetherness, but also one of the biggest periods for online sales, and it keeps growing. Everyone, from big brands to small, is competing for the same space across social media, trying to reach out to their customer audiences and prompt them to act.
How can you stand out this holiday season?
1. Run a poll
As of November 2017, Facebook rolled out official polls for Newsfeed, with the option to add GIFs. Polls can be fun and festive, but also lend practical, valuable results. Compare two products against each-other or ask your followers for their opinion on something in the works!
There is no limit to how long your poll will stay open, so your holiday options are endless.
2. Bring out the visuals
So much of the Christmas spirit is represented by red and green festive decorations and magical images of a winter wonderland. Add images to your Facebook posts that reflect this, and tie in with the content you’re posting over the season.
Remember: All images, even Christmas ones, should be optimized for each social media platform for optimal performance.
3. Share a sweet story
‘Tis the season of joy and thankfulness. Use this time of year to practice the art of storytelling; tell a heartwarming story that will get readers into the holiday spirit, and encourage them to join the experience.
You can story-tell via a blog, an interview feature, a series of images or even a brief caption. The key is brand cohesion and a structure that invites your audience in.
4. Utilize key dates
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s aren’t the only events surrounding the holiday season. Make sure you’re aware of trending dates (such as #CocoaDay) that you can use to drive up engagement on Facebook.
Sendible has built an at-a-glance calendar for 2018 that highlights 114 of the most important events and days for marketers to schedule social media around! The calendar is color coded around event theme, and even includes month by month tips for marketers.
Don’t miss a trending date | Download our 2018 Social Media Calendar
5. Engage with your followers
If you’re already engaging with your followers and fans, bring some holiday cheer into the mix. A little personalization goes a long way. If you’re not actively engaging on social media, there’s no better time to start!
Use social listening tools, like Sendible, to keep track of people mentioning your brand so that you’re able to come back with outstanding responses quickly!
We can’t wait to see them onboard, Jackie! Thanks for trusting us with your precious cargo. ^LN
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) December 21, 2016
6. Raise the holiday spirits by working with a local business
There are many ways to share the love during the holiday season. One way is to partner with businesses in your city to create something magical. This could be an event, a charity sponsorship or even a product.
Proud to partner w/ @UrbanspaceNYC @ this year’s Holiday Markets in NYC and celebrate the entrepreneurs who carefully craft their items, bringing their visions to life and making sure that every gift is perfect and ready to give. Learn more: https://t.co/tBgpqSZzFd pic.twitter.com/wNK6SAZXSs
— Citi (@Citi) November 16, 2017
7. Run a knowledge sharing campaign with a unique hashtag
A unique hashtag will allow you to find and engage with participants quickly as well as track your results. Choose a hashtag that is festive and fun, but also represents your brand and/or the campaign. And if you’re stuck on what you should share, try answering frequently asked questions or research and publish some lesser-known facts about your brand or industry.
Introducing Ted’s Box Sets: A collection of blockbuster outfits for the stylish leading man. Packed with plenty of products for a great value gift, plus popcorn and two cinema tickets.
— Ted Baker (@ted_baker) November 29, 2017
8. Test paid ads on Twitter to invite users to visit your site/hidden promo
Running paid ads on Facebook is not only best practice but a necessity due to the continued decrease of organic reach. Not all customers actively hang out on Twitter, so you may want to give their paid ads a try.
With Twitter Ads, you can promote your already successful tweets (similar to boosting) to get more engagement in the form of retweets, likes and replies – the perfect fuel to power your knowledge sharing campaign or any other. You can also choose to advertise a hidden promo or direct people to your site and drive sign-ups or downloads. If you do have some spare budget, it could be worth giving Twitter Ads a try.
One delivery at a time, we’re spreading holiday cheer across the nation.
— U.S. Postal Service (@USPS) November 30, 2017
9. Hold a photo competition
Nothing says ‘Merry Christmas’ like a little friendly competition! There are several ways you can twist this; try something that involves using one of your products or something involved with your niche market. Post branded images on Instagram and circulate throughout the length of the competition. The winner can get a prize ranging from a free product or service to recognition on your blog!
Bonus: Promote your contest on Instagram Stories for extra reach.
10. Show off your holiday spirit
Connect with your audience by showing that you, or your brand, are just as in tune with the holidays as they are. You’ll get an audience that relates to you and is more apt to engage with this kind of content!
11. Maintain a theme
Serve your audience a consistent image throughout the holiday season by sticking to a theme, including colors and content. Marks & Spencer (M&S) is a lifestyle and home brand, so it’s fitting that they’re posting Instagram images that feature cozy, winter homes and quotes that play to a consumer’s senses around the holidays. It doesn’t have to be drastic, but your theme should be relevant!
12. Do a giveaway
Everyone loves a good giveaway, especially around this time of year when people are buying gifts for their loved ones! Think: What do you want to accomplish by having a giveaway? Are you looking for a brand ambassador, to raise brand awareness or to grow an email list? Think about these things when determining what you’ll give away and how you’ll set up the parameters.
Christmas Giveaway………. For your chance to win this beautiful GopherWood G700E guitar. Follow us @gopherwoodguitars Repost picture, tag us and 5 other friends. Leave a comment on why you think you should win this incredible guitar. Contest starts today Dec. 1st through Dec. 14th and winner will be announced on Dec. 15th. Heres your chance to own one of these phenomenal guitars. Ready Set Go!!! #giveaway #christmasgiveaway #G700E
13. Do a giveaway (Pt. II)
Instagram isn’t the only place to host a giveaway! YouTube is a notoriously popular platform for giveaways because of how relational it is. You can have an in-depth conversation with your viewers about products, tools and services – and then give them an opportunity to win them! You can even re-post these YouTube videos on other social media platforms to ensure maximum effectiveness and viewing potential.
14. Show off your favorite holiday products
Don’t hesitate to give an extra branding push through the holidays! Feature your own products, your clients’ products, products you’re affiliated with or products that make the holidays a little bit brighter. Show people why they need them by telling a story of where they come into use, or by giving a little demo.
15. Film a themed video related to your niche
Pick a theme and relate it back to your brand. Be smart here by utilizing topics that come into play around this time of year, such as thankfulness, joy and giving.
16. Try your hand at vlogging
Give the gift of insight! It can be seriously powerful to give people an insightful look into your brand, or one aspect of your organization, by taking things behind the scenes and allowing viewers to connect with you on a more personal level.
17. Share a bit of wisdom
LinkedIn is a platform built on connections and personal experiences. Share relatable quotes from your company page or a story on your timeline to connect with others and drive engagement. Equally, you can use this time to highlight the past year and what’s to come in the next. Keep it short, relevant and cheerful.
18. Showcase a charity
As mentioned previously, the idea of giving is at the forefront during this time of year. If there’s an organization that you’re affiliated with, promote this on LinkedIn to further drive impact and allow your connections to participate as well, or at least gain awareness.
Even if you don’t have a long-term affiliation, consider participating in a service project or charity event as a company over the holidays, and bring awareness to them on LinkedIn (and don’t forget to tag their company name for additional organic reach).
19. Promote a holiday solution
Do you have something to offer businesses? LinkedIn is a smart place to be promoting solutions for busy employees across several fields. Make sure you’re addressing a problem or a need your target market will have over the holidays, and provide a solution with your product!
20. Invite connections to a public holiday party
Why not? As we mentioned, LinkedIn is a place to connect with industry professionals and build working relationships. If there’s an opportunity to co-mingle with new people, old clients or current prospects – put it out there.
Go forth and make social media merry
The most wonderful time of the year is also a wonderful time to take advantage of growth opportunities on social media. Although implementing every idea on social media isn’t realistic, you could see great results from a well-planned holiday campaign with content that suits each platform.
If you keep these examples in mind, you’ll be on your way towards spreading holiday cheer for your business and your customers in no time! What’s the best thing you’ve seen on social media so far this season? Let us know in the comments below!
Phvntom, Inc. is a digital marketing company located in Boise, Idaho that creates websites, apps, and full-scale promotions/campaigns for other businesses. The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of its authors and were not written by Phvntom. This article was originally published by Sendible.