This is how to plan your holiday social media campaigns

Too early to think about Christmas? Not if you’re a social media strategist. Here’s how to capitalise on the boom in users going online over the holidays

Now is the ideal time to take advantage of the positive emotions that characterise the festive season. Giving, gifting, gratitude and goodwill are in great abundance during this special time, providing brands with a perfect opportunity to connect with their target market. Creative and well-timed social media campaigns that resonate with the customer by talking to their needs, wants, dreams and hopes will evoke emotional responses, build brand loyalty and increase customer action/spend.

But this time of the year also means consumers are already quite numbed by overbearing advertising and marketing messages, so a brand’s messaging must be strong and unique to stand out from all the others.

How to create an effective holiday social media campaign

Use these 7 tips to create your powerful and valuable holiday marketing campaign.

1. Get your timing right

Get your promotional messages out there in good time so customers can take full advantage of your offers. Most people take a few days before the main holiday to do their shopping and decorating, so make sure your message hits them just before this. Pre-plan your content to roll out and use automated tools to schedule it in advance.

Also, don’t just share once and hope for the best. Develop a robust social sharing schedule to ensure you reach as many people as timeously as possible.

2. Theme it appropriately

Group of friends watching social media in a smart phone in a restaurant with the beach in the background

A holiday marketing campaign that appeals to and focuses on the key aspects and emotions of the season – family, friendship, home, sharing, celebration – will translate into success. Bear in mind, that your messaging should reflect a diversity of cultures, so choose images or symbols wisely. You can even consider creating a unified hashtag to use across all your social media platforms.

3. Make the visuals pop

Over the festive season, most marketing messages and advertisements will contain images with green, red, white and silver. And there will be a flood of images featuring Father Christmas, trees and wreathes, ornaments, reindeer and snowflakes. Dare to be different – use alternate images that are unexpected and surprising and go for other bright, bold colours.

4. Tell a story

Create some touching ‘feel-good’ stories that will appeal to your customers. Whether it’s about your brand’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, an employee’s achievement or personal story, or even a testimonial from a client, weave it into a story that talks to the holiday season. This not only builds goodwill, but also gives your brand credibility and integrity. Look at global consultancy PwC’s clever take on how to share information and simultaneously promote itself as a caring, considerate company, while creating an avenue for interaction with its audience.

5. Put faces to the brand

Personalise your content by showcasing employees to boost your campaign’s effectiveness. Create a post with a holiday message that includes photographs of your staff. Your audience will appreciate the chance to put a name to a face, and your employees will be keen to share it on their own social networks and with their clients. Here’s what we did last year:

6. Know your social media platforms

Identify the unique characteristics and abilities of each different social media platform and use them to maximise your engagement. Create a different approach for each one while still maintaining the overall campaign message across all channels.

7. Make it easy to share

When creating your campaign ensure that your posts are easy to share. People are more likely to read and interact with a post that has been shared by a friend, family member or an influencer. According to a 2014 study, 74% of consumers rely on word of mouth as the main influencer of their purchasing decisions. Add social icons to emails and in blog posts that will allow the reader to simply click and share.


Take a look at these five creative and excellent holiday marketing campaigns for further inspiration.

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