The Christmas holiday is the most crucial time of the year for all brands. It is the one time of year where people are most willing to spend, and can generate a lot of foot and online traffic for your business.
The earlier you start your Christmas marketing, the better off you will be. So let’s start infusing your marketing with some Holiday Cheer!
Here are our 10 tips for a great holiday social media strategy.
1. Use Holiday Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to get your message in front of a large audience. During Christmas there will be a lot of seasonal hashtags that you can use like #christmas and #gifts which are sure to be popular. Find creative ways to incorporate these hashtags into your marketing messages to give your brand some holiday flair. I recommend using a site called hashtagify.me to help you research popular seasonal hashtags.
2. Follow Seasonal Trends
Trends are great for marketers because it lets you know what topics are popular with what groups. For example, this fall the trend was Pumpkin Spice. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing people talking about or making fun of Pumpkin Spice everything. Use that in your marketing messages as it will help you connect with your audience. Also, don’t be afraid to have a little fun with trends.
For example, say I’m a local gourmet coffee shop, here’s how I might use this trend say in a tweet: Hey @Starbucks, heard you had the best #pumpkinspice coffee. We beg to differ. Come try ours and make your own decision.
It’s light, playful and creates a little bit of a fun competition. The key is to be playful and fun but you don’t want to come off as rude or insulting. The other bonus of a tactic like this is that if @Starbucks responds to your fun challenge, your message has just now been seen by all of their followers.
This kind of marketing also gives your brand a personality which makes it easier for your target to relate to you.
3. Be Visual
Post lots of pictures. Christmas is a very visual holiday with all the displays, colours and lights. Did you hang decorations around your store? Post pictures. Do you have festive packaging for your products? Post pictures. Did you add a holiday design to your website? Post pictures.
The great thing about holiday marketing is that everyone wants to be involved in the celebrations. So here’s a great activity idea for your business if you have a retail store.
Encourage every customer that comes in to add a decoration. You can use social media to ask them to come help decorate your store by bringing in something to use, having some they can personalize and put up or even having a little craft section where they can make their own in a few minutes.
It’s fun, engaging, family friendly and will leave your customers with a unique positive memory of your brand AND it won’t break the bank!
4. Promotional Offers
Many businesses run promotional offers or sales during the holidays. Make sure that these offers are front and centre on your social platforms. Consumers like to spend at Christmas and they like a sale even more. A great way to take advantage of this is by offering discount codes that consumers can bring in or use online.
This is also an opportunity to get some early holiday sales. You can set a promotion for early shoppers and then slowly start to reduce the offer as time goes by. This creates a sense of urgency for the consumer to get the best deal possible from you.
Another benefit of these codes is that you can measure and track the efficiency of each of your social channels. For example, you may have one code that you are offering through Facebook, another through Twitter and maybe a different one through Instagram. Even though these codes might all have the same value, it makes it easier to measure how many of your promotional sales came from which site. This data will be valuable to you and marketers so they can make your next social campaign even more successful.
5. Pay Attention to Competitors
Pay close attention to your competitors and what they are doing on social media. You can see how many likes and shares their posts get naturally. Try to emulate the messaging of effective competitor posts in your messages. Also follow brands that run successful holiday campaigns. Coca-cola comes to mind as one example, they pretty much invented it. Macy’s in the US is another great brand to follow as they tend to have lots of engagement during the holidays.
6. Create a Poll
Christmas time is a great opportunity to run a fun, festive poll, both Twitter and Facebook allow you to do this. Create a few fun, Christmas related questions that are relevant to your business, or that are very debated topics like “what’s your favourite Christmas movie?” or “ What’s your favourite holiday drink?”
Post the link to your poll on all your social channels to try and get as many people involved as you can, and don’t be afraid to post the link more than once to try and maximize the engagement.
7. Create a Christmas Greeting
Create a holiday greeting video from your business to your consumers. This is a great opportunity for you to get your employees involved in a fun activity and gives you a chance to show your customers the human side of your business. Keep it fun, it should not be about your products or selling anything, but the spirit of the season.
8. Increase Sales by using Giveaways
Giveaways and contests can really help drive sales during the holidays, because who doesn’t want a chance to get something for free when spending a whack of cash? But, don’t just offer something for free, make the customer do something first. In most cases I would recommend asking them to sign up to a newsletter to be entered into the giveaway. This now gives you the opportunity to tell them more about your business and you can begin to send them personalized content through email and other channels.
9. Make Your Policies Known
Be sure to make your return and exchange policies known. Most people are not shopping for themselves and want to know what your refund and exchange policies are and when they can do it, as most retailers will only start doing exchanges and refunds after the New Year. Communicate any other holiday policies that you have. A lot of business offer free shipping during Christmas for online purchases, which can be a deciding factor for those online shoppers.
10. Carry the Momentum into the New Year
Now that you’ve worked so hard to make the most of your social media channels to drive sales, carry that positive energy with you into the new year. All of these principles can be applied to any time of the year to help boost sales, engagement and community.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday and a successful business season. Teach Me Social offers workshops, tutorials and social media account management to small business looking to grow their brand online.
Written By: Brent Carson, Director of Client Services.