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
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.
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!