As with any holiday marketing campaign, it's imperative that you start early and plan ahead. This especially rings true for the Christmas season, as the holiday spans over a more extended period and begins as early as Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals hit the shops.
And social media provides a simple but effective way to create a buzz around your brand during the festive season.
The best way to do this is to populate your December social media calendar with interactive posts.
It might sound intimidating, but the only thing you'll need to do is combine your creativity with the existing social media features. And our guide, packed with actionable tips and examples, will help you do just that:
- What are interactive posts
- 10 festive marketing ideas for Christmas social media posts
- How to create a Christmas content calendar
What are interactive posts
Interactive social media posts encourage users to engage with the published post by liking, commenting, saving, sharing or clicking on a link.
While each social media platform might have a particular feature that others don't, these posts usually come in the form of:
- Quizzes and polls
- AMA threads
- Tag a friend
- Giveaway or photo contest
- Product tags
- Clickable links
10 festive marketing ideas for Christmas social media posts
When marketers mention interactive posts, most people immediately roll their eyes as they know they'll have to organise a giveaway, contest, or another format that will bring immediate but short-term results.
But interactive posts are so much more than this! And most of them don't require significant investments.
The secret to creating a solid and engaged community on social media is continuously creating content that invites them to answer questions, share their thoughts, and pique their interest to learn more about a particular topic.
So, if you're wondering how to do it this Christmas season, you should check out these tips:
- Sparkle up your questions
- Pause a video to uncover the surprise
- Use carousels to create multiple-choice interactive posts
- Tag a friend to share Christmas magic
- Create an advent calendar
- Spice up your content calendar with a 12-day Christmas giveaway
- Piggyback on the festive content of others
- Create your perfect Christmas-themed Pinterest board
- Publish a poll to increase engagement
- Create an Instagram Story Quiz
1. Sparkle up your questions
Dressing up your social media posts in tinsel, sparkles, and snowflakes will set the right tone and atmosphere and create the perfect user experience. Synergising your social media header photos and other content with the Christmas vibe of your website or physical stores will make your brand recognisable and add to the perfect omnichannel flow.
But creating a cosy atmosphere doesn't necessarily mean your followers will automatically comment and like your posts.
So it would be best if you gave them a reason to do so. And one of the best ways is to ask them a question:
What is your elf name? You can easily create a list with the names of your products and ask them to pair them by the day and month of their birth. This way, you'll promote your business, introduce the holiday spirit, and engage your audience.
What's your favourite Christmas recipe/hack/tip? Use Facebook and Instagram Reels, as well as TikTok videos and YouTube Shorts, to share your favourite recipe, hack, or advice, and ask your followers to leave their own in the comments. This is a great way to educate and engage your target audience.
2. Pause a video to uncover the surprise
Short-form videos are one of the most consumed social media formats. So make sure to use them to the max this holiday season.
Instead of adding some glitter and animation to your Merry Christmas post, create a video with a spinning wheel, multiple images, or quotes that change rapidly. Then ask your followers to "pause the video to uncover what's their _____________ this Christmas Day" and let you know of the results in the comments.
Depending on your industry, you can choose to show outfits, movie characters, tips, advice, equipment, recipe, and much more.
3. Use carousels to create multiple-choice interactive posts
Carousels are the right call if you want to increase engagement and raise brand awareness.
Instagram Carousels get double the exposure as the algorithm shows them twice to your follower. The first time they'll see the first slide, and the next time, the one that performs the best. But keep in mind that you can also create one for LinkedIn! You'll have to export your content in PDF format and upload it as a document.
These multiple-image (or multiple-video) social media posts are perfect for your Christmas marketing campaign. You can use them to promote numerous products or services at once by dressing them up in holiday-themed colours. And to make it more interactive, you can:
- Create a quiz
- Ask a series of questions
- Invite the followers to rank them
- Encourage your followers to choose their favourite product/tip
4. Tag a friend to share Christmas magic
The entire holiday season is all about getting together. So why not use this as a simple yet effective social media marketing tactic?
All you have to do is publish a mesmerising photo or video and invite your followers to tag the person they'd like to share the experience with.
While you can use this opportunity to promote your Christmas sale, you can also opt for strengthening relationships with your customers and leads.
Share an image of your Christmas office party and ask them to tag their favourite colleague. Or publish your favourite drink or item and invite them to tag a person who would also like it.
5. Create an advent calendar
Everyone is familiar with advent calendars. So, how about a freebie or small gift every day for 25 days instead of chocolate?
It can also work with digital goodies and vouchers, but you must make each gift worthwhile. Vitally, you must promote your calendar every day on all marketing channels, or it will be quickly forgotten.
To create an interactive experience, you'll have to gamify this series of posts.
You could hide clues or items in each photo, post riddles, or ask questions. The first person to find, solve or answer it will get a freebie or a small discount. And if you want to spice things up, you can say that you'll announce the person that collects the most "points" on Christmas and reward them with a mystery gift.
6. Spice up your content calendar with a 12-day Christmas giveaway
Nothing spreads festive cheer as a social media contest. After all, it is the time of giving.
But, instead of creating one giveaway post that you'll sponsor everywhere, you can try to make 12 days of cheer and gifts.
Photo contest goes a long way - especially if you're in the food, beauty, home decor, or visual arts industry.
Invite your followers to tag you in the posts they create for the giveaway and share them on your profile. You'll get tons of engagement, new followers, mentions, and high-quality user-generated content. All you have to do is choose the best contestant every day.
7. Piggyback on the festive content of others
"All I want for Christmas... is a new social media management tool !"
This is your chance to loosen up on social media and post fun updates by sharing lyrics from Christmas-themed songs, your favourite movies or events, and invite your followers to fill in the gap (All I want for Christmas is ________________) or share their favourite lines.
8. Create your perfect Christmas-themed Pinterest board
Spread some festive cheer on Pinterest by creating your perfect Christmas board. Focus on your industry or consider how you can relate a specific theme to add some of your products or services to the boards you create. Here are some ideas to get you inspired:
- Christmas food
- DIY presents
- Christmas Tree
- Home decorations
- Office decorations
- Gift wrapping
- Secret Santa presents
- Celebrating Christmas (different regions, locations and venues)
Source: Christmas Food
Pro tip: Remember to include a clear call-to-action and a link to the corresponding destination on your website.
9. Publish a poll to increase engagement
Almost every social media platform offers the poll feature, so why not use it as a Christmas social media post?
While Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn offer poll posts, you can use this format in Instagram and TikTok Stories!
This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about your target audience's habits, needs, and pain points while keeping it fun and engaging.
10. Create an Instagram Story Quiz
Quizzes are always a great idea as they're highly interactive. But have you ever tried using Instagram Stories for it?
Here's how to do it:
- Come up with a Christmas-themed topic
- Create a series of Stories
- Add the Quiz feature or Question feature
- Add three additional stories with results and add a link that leads to the corresponding landing page
Need an idea?
You can create a quiz with a/b/c items on each story. In the end, you can suggest complete outfits, makeup looks, decoration sets, or plans that match their answers.
Example: If you had most A answers, your perfect Christmas style is Retro Chic. Then link the result Story to the landing page with all items ready to be added to the cart.
How to create a Christmas content calendar
Here are the exact steps you need to take to create an effective plan that drives a high return on investment (ROI):
- Decide on the length of your marketing campaign
- Set measurable goals
- Decide on the theme and topics you'll cover
- Choose the social media calendar tool
- Plan the calendar
1. Decide on the length of your marketing campaign
Following the example of 25 days of the Advent calendar is a great idea! But you'll need to evaluate whether you have the resources to publish this many posts. Of course, you can also kickstart your campaign on the 1st of December and post every other or third day.
The second thing you need to consider is your brand's established social media presence. Is your or your client's brand well-known, or are they just starting? If the case is the latter, you might want to consider starting your Christmas marketing campaign right after Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday/Cyber Monday to get a head start.
2. Set measurable goals
Once you're clear on the duration, it's time to set measurable goals to help you track the results and spot optimisation opportunities.
When deciding the goals of your holiday season social media marketing campaign, you'll want to revisit your yearly and quarterly goals, as the purpose of your Christmas campaign is to help you reach them.
Some of the goals could be:
- Increase brand awareness
- Direct traffic to the website
- Generate new leads
- Improve engagement rate
- Increase sales
3. Decide on the theme and topics you'll cover
The holiday season and Christmas are the perfect times to unlock your brand's different sides, experiment with new approaches, and strengthen relationships with your customers.
And the best way to do so is to decide the theme and topics you'll cover with your social media posts and the entire content marketing strategy. Everything from your blog posts to email marketing campaigns should be synergised to create the perfect user experience.
In fact, your social media channels should be an extension of your website and content marketing activities.
This is why you'll need to get a very clear idea of what content pillars you should focus on and how you'll visually present them.
4. Choose the social media calendar tool
Before planning your social media content calendar, you must decide which format and tools work best for you.
If you're low on budget, you can use Google Sheets to map your social media posts together with visual materials and copy. If you have clients, make sure to add approval and comment columns for them.
Suppose you're looking for a more elaborate solution. In that case, you could use tools like Airtable or Asana to create a beautiful content calendar, assign tasks to various team members, and track the creation process.
Finally, you can opt for the most advanced solution - an all-in-one social media management tool. This type of tool helps you create posts, send them for approval, schedule them, and publish them on various platforms. Additionally, it allows you to track mentions, respond to comments, and track results.
5. Plan the calendar
Once you've covered all the previous steps, it's time to plan your Christmas posts.
How many interactive posts you'll include? Remember that interactive posts work best when they're a two-way street. This means that you'll have to step up your community management game, so ensure you have the resources.
Will you post about other December holidays? While Christmas is the highlight of the holiday season, there are other days you can celebrate as well, such as Worlds AIDS Day, National Cookie Day, Make a Plan for Next Year, Human Rights Day, Ugly Sweater Day, and many more.
Consider how many sales posts you will include, whether you have promoted a blog post or two, and if you should include a quick influencer marketing campaign. And most importantly - don't forget that each social media platform has different users with different habits and expectations. Rather than reposting the same content on all social media channels, figure out how you can repurpose and tailor it for each one of them.