Seen a bunch of tips for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Independence Day already? So have we! Whilst each holiday has its own unique traits, just like the marketing campaigns that precede them - there are some general principles that you can follow for social media - be it Halloween, Labour Day or Christmas. With that in mind, we decided to create a one-stop shop, for you to bookmark and refer to whenever a holiday comes around.
All businesses, including SMEs and corporates, can run a successful festive social media campaign. In addition to personalizing your brand, you can gain higher engagement and/or sales. In the long term, you can increase customer loyalty and brand recognition with the help of successful social media campaigns.
10 Holiday campaign tips that work for all festive occasions
1. Create holiday themed content
This is your chance to shine on social media and have some fun. Plan a set number of posts to celebrate the holiday, be it one day or a period of a few weeks. You can create some original graphics with the help of a designer or do it yourself with an online design suite, like Canva. Once you come up with a design, you can optimize it for a number of networks - to help you, we have a handy size guidelines cheat sheet just for that.
— John Lewis (@johnlewisretail) November 10, 2016
2. Visualize the theme on your site, store, or app
Holiday campaigns are the perfect excuse to spruce up your website and social media channels with some festive cheer. Why not create a new header image for your social media networks in addition to the content you share?
If you have a developer handy, add some festivity to your homepage or application as well. You have a few options - from adding a quirky illustration to the logo, sidebars or areas that are usually empty, down right to special messaging on the website that uncovers a special offer.
'Tis the season for holiday volunteering and gift giving. 🎁
— Trello (@trello) November 28, 2016
3. Run a price promo
Price promotions may seem mundane, but they work. Your customers will appreciate the savings and remember that a small discount might be all that’s needed to nudge them into buying. It’s up to you to make the offer relevant and visually compelling for your holiday campaign. And it is a nice touch to relate the promotional amount or offer period to the theme itself - by running it for a certain amount of time (12 days of Christmas) or using numeric prompts like a 14% discount on Valentine’s Day.
— PlayStation Europe (@PlayStationEU) December 2, 2016
4. Offer something extra to social media audiences
Add a seasonal gift with each purchase or create a bigger, more attractive offer for your social media followers. It’s worth dedicating some budget to paid social ads to avoid being overly promotional on your page profile and in the posts that your followers see. There are a variety of social media channels that offering advertising space, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. So, take this as an opportunity to test if social advertising works for your business with the help of seasonal spikes in activity.
5. Organize a prize draw
Customers love incentives, especially if no purchase is necessary. If your budget allows and it’s appropriate for your business, run a prize draw. You can create lots of engagement with a hashtag contest on social networks like Twitter or Instagram. You can also encourage photo submissions or ask them to share your posts instead. Make sure that the dates and rules of the giveaway are clear and you have someone in charge of the promotion as these usually require prompt responses.
— Tiger Gin (@TheTigerGin) December 2, 2016
6. Schedule content and automation in advance
The longer and bigger the holiday, the more you should treat it as a fully fledged campaign. Scheduling content in advance will free up lots of time and introduce some calm to your schedule. Besides, you would rather engage in conversations your content creates than stress about what to post and when. Write a few relevant articles and schedule the publication for over the holiday. Write the social media posts for all the different platforms and select their optimal post time. Fill your content calendar now, so you can benefit from it later.
Solve These 5 Marketing Challenges with Social Media Automation https://t.co/Jj2rCp6BgZ
— Sendible (@Sendible) November 23, 2016
You can also boost the effectiveness of your holiday campaign by setting up some social media automation. Start conversations with those who are already taking interest in your product or service. Automatically retweet the mentions of your campaign hashtag or find new profiles to follow - automation helps.
7. Get involved with your community
Participate in a charity event, support a charitable cause or your local community. This can be virtually anything - from raising money for charity or spreading awareness by blogging or posting on social media. You can also take the time to thank your partners and project collaborators or opt for ordering from local vendors. It’s always good to thank others for the good they do and reinforce the values your company stands for.
— TheArsenalFoundation (@AFC_Foundation) November 29, 2016
8. Give advice - free of charge
This works best if you mainly deal with businesses day to day, as most of your services, even advice, are normally provided at a significant cost. Share actionable and educational advice in relation to the holiday, especially if you can’t run a big price promotion. You can also create a whitepaper or other types of useful, downloadable content to help your prospects with the problems they want to solve.
9. Send an email newsletter
Social media is a powerful medium, but as any marketing channel, it gets even more effective when using as part of a multi-channel campaign. One of the simplest ways to empower your social media campaign is to back it up with an email campaign. Inspire your clients for the holiday ahead by sending an email. Avoid being overly promotional and focus on being helpful instead.
Another avenue to take is to send a special promotion to your loyal customers only they have access to. Personalize the message and if you get it right, you will express your thanks, make them feel special and upsell!
10. Learn from the past & improve for the future
Yes, it' s important to monitor your performance to see how this holiday campaign activity has worked for your business. Let’s make sure we remember to track the effectiveness of our pre-planned and well-scheduled marketing activity. Monitor your social media and holiday campaigns, and don't forget to ask questions.
How did our promotion do? How many sales did we make? Did people join the conversation and take part in our hashtag campaign? And of course, have we removed the theme from the site (and social media networks), and are we getting ready for the next one? This is vital information that will allow us to tweak (or drastically change) and improve our activities on social media.
Take the time to plan out your holiday campaign, especially one that is the most important to your business. Start your holiday campaign with goals that you can measure, and make sure you measure them afterwards. So, these ten tips work for any holiday period, from Christmas and Valentine’s Day, to Chanukah and Labor Day.
So get out there and campaign your way through the holidays while still enjoying them!
- Create holiday themed content
- Visualize the theme on your site, store, or app
- Run a price promo
- Offer something extra to social media audiences
- Organize a prize draw
- Schedule content and automation in advance
- Get involved with your community
- Give advice - free of charge
- Send an email newsletter
- Learn from the past & improve for the future
If you need more inspiration, we’ve got specific tips for the bigger holidays too: