How to Use Festive Giveaways to Drive Sales on Social Media This Christmas (5 Real Examples)

How to Use Festive Giveaways to Drive Sales on Social Media This Christmas (5 Real Examples)

How to Use Festive Giveaways to Drive Sales on Social Media This Christmas (5 Real Examples)

The holiday season is a time where people's thoughts turn to giving, and a period where the instinct to be just that little bit more selfless is stronger than it might be at other times of the year. It's also a time where people's sharing activity increases. On Facebook for example, people share 28% more photos and videos on mobile during the festive season, so make sure that you stand apart from other seasonal messages by using visuals that not only encourage discovery and purchases, but also contain an emotional element.

In this post, I'll show you 5 real examples of brands who are tapping into the emotional side of their customers this Christmas, specifically with giveaways; maybe they will inspire you to try something similar, however big or small!

1. Tesco Mince Pies Giveaway

UK Supermarket Tesco is delivering 1,000 free boxes of its mince pies to random people across England, knocking on their doors and wishing them a merry Christmas.  It's a simple gesture that spreads the festive spirit (and helps to promote the brand). 

2. Carlsberg's beer-covered Christmas tree

Carlsberg decorated a giant Christmas tree on the banks of the river Thames in London with beer glass baubles, candle-lit beer bottles, digital festoon lighting and beer hops. The first 100 visitors to the tree were given one of the hand-blown glass beer baubles, or ‘beerbles’, from which to drink free Carlsberg lager.

Carlsberg also used the tree as an opportunity to host a social media giveaway:

3. Harley Davidson's Trike giveaway

Harley-Davidson's Australian arm is looking for the “most deserving kid in Australia” to give away a unique custom-built tricycle as part of its holiday social media marketing push. A link from its Facebook Page reads:


Milk-spillers, food-spitters and mud-trudgers rejoice - this year we're celebrating all those kids that are curious, rebelious and free-spirited! 

We're giving a custom built Harley-Davidson trike to one lucky little minion of mayhem.

To enter, tell us in 100 words or less why your 3 - 6 year old deserves the most badass 3-wheeler in the Southern Hemisphere.

At the time of writing, the campaign video had racked up nearly 500,000 views and ver 6,000 shares.

4. Shangri-La's #worldofwarmth

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is spreading a #WorldOfWarmth among its Instagram community. Through an interactive advent calendar, it is offering its 32,000 followers a chance to win prizes for watching and interacting with brief Christmas videos. The continuity of the videos will encourage users to come back, which will in turn help the material go viral.

Each of the videos includes the Shangri-La Christmas star, which glows orange when it is held. Fans are encouraged to screenshot and regram the moment in which the star “glows with warmth” and tag #WorldOfWarmth and @ShangriLaHotels.

Participants have a chance to win 2,000 Golden Circle Award points - enough for a free night's stay at number of Shangri-La locations.

5. Three's Christmas Day Birthdays

The boy who was born on Christmas day

It sucks having a birthday in December right? Know anyone who does? Wish them a merry birthday.#makeitright

Posted by Three UK on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Having a December birthday shouldn’t suck! Comment below with your name, December birth dateand #merrybirthday to win the BEST.BIRTHDAY.EVER!

Posted by Three UK on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mobile phone company, Three, has gone for a humorous slant with its marketing, tapping into the large group of people whose birthday's fall in December, or on Christmas Day - nothing worse than a combined birthday and Christmas gift!

Over to you 

How will you be making the most of the holiday season in your social media marketing? Let me know in the comments below

Andrew Macarthy is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.

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9 Steps to A Successful Holiday Season Social Media Campaign

9 Steps to Have A Successful Holiday Season Social Media Campaign

9 Steps to Have A Successful Holiday Season Social Media Campaign

For many brands, the holiday season delivers an important boost in trade, so making the most of the busy few weeks in the run up to The Big Day is crucial. In this blog post, I'll share with you 9 steps to ensure that your Christmas marketing on social media is a success.

1. Establish a theme

Like all good marketing plans, you first need to define an over-arching theme. Whatever the content - text, images, GIFs, or videos, etc. - it should all point back to your chosen subject.

Currys PC World's holiday marketing theme is tied to its #sparetheact hashtag, encouraging people to spell out to their loved ones the gift they'd really to receive, thus avoiding the need to feign gratitude upon opening it Christmas Day.


Currys PC World's campaign clearly targets the many people who find it difficult to let loved ones know what they really want for Christmas, and gives them a fun and humorous outlet to deliver the message.

Real messages have been displayed in public places, like at bus stops, providing photo opportunities for sharing on social media. If you knew the person mentioned in the message (or even if you didn't), it would be tempting to share online in order to make sure the hint is well and truly received.

2. Choose your platforms and content types

Build cheer! Craft your own Christmas Tree with Rust-Oleum and PVC Pipe. Get the how-to on our blog!

Posted by The Home Depot on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A brand like Currys PC World has the money and resources to target multiple social channels with full gusto, but if you can't match that kind of effort, don't worry. With the Christmas period being so busy on social media, decide upon which social network(s) your efforts will most resonate and concentrate on maximizing your impact there.

In addition, consider the type of holiday-themed content you want to produce. Do your fans respond best to images, or have you had more success with video? Will data-filled infographics draw attention, or are your fans engaged by quick video tips and tricks? Fitting with its "build it yourself" mantra, Home Depot has a big focus on sharing holiday-themed DIY tutorials.

3. Provide great customer service

For all kinds of reasons, the holiday season can be a stressful time for people, especially if they are researching and buying gifts online. You can help to ease the stress just a little and inject a bit of Christmas cheer by delivering stellar customer service. If there has to be one time of year where you do not want to disappoint over any other, this is it. So, keep a close eye on notifications and messages and be sure to handle issues as swiftly and efficiently as possible. 

4. Customise your branding

One of the easiest ways to get your audience into the spirit of the holidays is to give your social profiles a Christmassy makeover - after all, your cover photo and profile photos are two of the most visual and prominent online marketing beacons.  

Macy's Facebook cover photo has been decked out with a Christmas theme and the slog "Believe in the magic of Christmas." And people have responded to this simple, yet effective change:

With thousands of likes and hundreds of shares, Macy's Christmas cover photo has had the intended effect.

5. Run a Christmas Offer

Christmas is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for businesses - and a period when people are more open to spending - so make the most of it by inventing an offer and promoting it on social media.

6. Show your charitable side

As much as Christmas has become synonymous with rampant consumerism, it is important to show your fans and customers that you remember the season is about giving as well as receiving. The simplest gestures can go far to show your brand's human side, which will resonate positively with your audience.

Spread the warmth of the season. Purchase a pair of holiday socks and we’ll donate a pair to someone in need #SocksForAll #GapLove

Posted by Gap on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

This year, Gap is doing its bit to spread some Christmas joy by donating a pair of socks to someone in need for every pair a customer purchases.

Of course, it's something they are keen to tell their fans about, celebrating its success and making its fans a part of the campaign.

7. Host a giveaway

As well as showing your giving side through charitable ventures, a competition or sweepstakes is a great way to build buzz around your holiday campaign, and to take part in the giving side of Christmas.

N a clever way to host a giveaway and promote its website, and the products offered by its partners and affiliates.

8. Promote content with social media ads

Fighting for the attention of users on social media using only organic reach is difficult enough at the best of times, but on Black Friday and into the holiday season, competition will increase significantly. So, if you already run ads, don't forget to optimise them for users looking for Black Friday deals - use relevant keywords, hone in on your targeting, and run ads at the time of day when most of your fans will be online to see - and act - upon them.  In anticipation of the stronger competition that you will face, perhaps also consider upping your ad spend or bids for a short period of time. If you've never run social ads before, now is a better time than any to start.


Clarins UK has used Instagram Ads to promote its range of Christmas gifts this year, complete with a dedicated campaign hashtag and a "Shop Now" call-to-action button.

9, B2B company? 

If you're a company that doesn't deal directly with the public, there are other ways that you can take advantage of the holiday season buzz on social media. Ideas include a "wrap-up of the year" blog post to reflect on the last twelve months - your progress and success, lessons learned, plans for the year ahead.; a peek behind the scenes at how your workforce celebrates the holidays; a personal story about what Christmas means to you, et.

Over to you

Are you planning a Christmas campaign on social media, or has it already begun? What kind of strategies will you be using? Let me know in the comments below!