The holiday season is by far the biggest retail opportunity of the year and every brand wants and needs a piece of it.
Holiday retail sales account for 20 percent of total sales across the year with e-commerce sales leading the charge.
This year, holiday e-commerce sales are projected to grow 10% over last year’s holiday season, and customers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to inform and make their purchases.
Digital marketing expert Jeff Bullas describes the holiday purchasing process as something that happens in moments – or hundreds of micro-moments experienced via our smartphones and tablets.
It’s becoming even more important how brands manage those micro-moments particularly via social media, with more than 50% of users saying a brand’s social media presence will influence whether they’ll buy from the brand during the holiday season.
With that in mind, marketers need to stand out on social media during the holidays in hope of boosting brand awareness and sales.
Here are our top 14 ways you can get creative with your social media strategy this season.
1. Don’t forget to decorate
If your brand has a physical location, one of the most obvious ways to get into the festive spirit is to put up holiday decorations.
You should adopt the same approach for your online and social media presence.
Decorate your brand’s social media accounts by updating your profile and cover photos with festive-inspired imagery and text.
You may even like to use your cover photo as an opportunity to highlight a special offer or other holiday information such as extended opening hours.
Australian retailer Country Road gets into the festive spirit by creating beautiful images that feature their Christmas decorations.
2. Use festive hashtags
Using popular festive related hashtags, or creating your own, can help get your content in front of shoppers that use Twitter or Instagram.
Popular hashtags for Christmas include #wishlist #Christmas #christmasshopping especially in conjunction with the year eg. #wishlist2017.
3. Special offers
Creating a special offer and sharing posts to promote it is a great way to generate buzz and sales among customers.
Special offers should be for a limited time or quantity, and can include price reductions, two-for-one offers, free shipping or coupons.
You can also offer a series of special offers in a 12-days of Christmas campaign or something similar, which will bring your followers back to your page every day.
4. Create gift ‘hampers’
Who doesn’t love a gift hamper? Okay, well it depends on what’s in it, but the hamper is the ultimate go-to gift when you’re just not sure what to buy, or you want to add in something a little extra.
Why not create your own hampers at different price points to make shopping a cinch for your customers, and promote the hampers on social media? You can even use it as an opportunity to create video content of you preparing a hamper.
If your brand doesn’t have a large range of products to create a hamper, partner with some complementary brands and feature their products as well.
The idea of hampers don’t have to be restricted to just product-based businesses, you can also create virtual hampers by bundling up services and add-ons into packages.
You can still create social media images that present the bundles as a festive looking hamper.
5. Share the festive spirit
Engage your social media followers in conversation about the holiday season.
Share and ask for Christmas tips, bon-bon jokes, recipes, best holiday season movie or their worst Christmas present.
You could conduct a poll such as mulled wine vs egg nog on Facebook or make the most of Instagram’s latest poll features – in October Instagram introduced an interactive poll sticker for Instagram Stories that lets you ask a question, and see results from your friends and followers as they vote.
You can use Instagram’s creative tools to create a festive look, and create and share a two-option poll right in your story.
6. Giveaways and contests
There’s no better time of year to give away something to your followers.
You could host a competition and give away free products or services. Entries could be based on participation in a festive-related poll, quiz or user-generated content.
Ask users to post their own holiday themed content with a specific hashtag. Depending on your brand, you could ask users to get creative and feature your product in their posts.
If you don’t have products or services to give away, why not create a free download or exclusive video or audio content. This is also an opportunity to use the content as a lead magnet and boost your subscription list.
7. Create a wishlist
We all know what a challenge it can be coming up with gift ideas, so why not make it easy for your followers by creating gift wishlists.
For example, you could create the perfect wishlist for busy mums, business owners, active boys, the fussy friend – you can be as broad or as specific as you like depending on who your followers and target audience are.
You could include your own products and services in the wishlists, as well as your favorite gift ideas from other brands or partners.
This Secret Santa campaign by Pinterest is a great example of how to take a wishlist to the next level by recommending gift ideas based on what friends and family pin.
8. Help others
Highlight a cause your business is involved in or if you don’t have a cause you support, consider finding one.
Your team could participate in an activity such as running a gift wrapping service with the funds going to charity, or collecting gifts for the needy. As an organisation you could donate a percentage of sales going to a charity.
Choose a cause that sits with your brand’s values and is something that makes sense to your employees, customers and followers. Then make sure you promote your support in social media posts and use relevant hashtags.
9. Create festive landing pages
If you are promoting special offers, gift ideas, wishlists or hampers on social media, it’s a good idea to direct your traffic to dedicated landing pages for customer segments.
You should customize the page to what you know about your customer, focusing on their needs and wants. Use targeted imagery and copy to help boost conversion rates. Dedicated landing pages also give you an opportunity to re-target visitors via social media or online ads.
10. Advertise on social media
Further to the above, re-targeting visitors to your site via social media advertising campaigns can really boost your sales.
Using tools such as Facebook Pixels can put your posts or ads on the feeds of people who may have visited your site but not converted. Or you could retarget customers who did buy from your site, by offering them higher value items, special offers or related products.
Of course, the festive season is also the perfect opportunity to conduct regular social media advertising campaigns and boosted posts. You should make the most of the targeting features available on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and create your custom audiences based on customer segments.
MavSocial Agency and Enterprise users can also create and manage Facebook advertising campaigns from right within the app.
Remember to include relevant hashtags or copy designed to get the attention of festive shoppers, such as ‘gift ideas’, ‘Christmas sales’, or ‘special offer’.
11. Have some fun with stories
Instagram and Facebook stories are the ideal way to show off your brand’s fun and festive side.
Use it as an opportunity to bring customers behind the scenes and show Christmas preparations or festivities in your organisation. They are also a great medium for super limited special offers or fun polls.
12. Be visual
When sourcing and developing festive social media content, focus on visual elements.
Use attractive images, videos and animated GIFs to stand out and increase engagement. In Facebook and Instagram, consider creating carousel or multi-image posts for maximum flexibility and engagement.
Don’t know how to use Photoshop? You can quickly edit your photos easily in MavSocial and even add filters and text overlays.
13. Host a virtual festive event
Christmas parties and festive events don’t have to be limited to in-person events, with Facebook Live you can easily create a similar vibe and generate some holiday excitement.
Create a Facebook event on your business page and invite your friends and fans, and during the event you can announce special offers, and giveaways.
Conduct a live Q&A talking about holiday themed topics and gift ideas. You could also use Facebook Live as an opportunity to highlight a how-to workshop, such as how to make the best pork crackling, or perfectly wrap a gift.
If you are hosting an in-person event, broadcast it to Facebook Live and don’t forget to engage your virtual followers in the activities.
14. Schedule your content
Let’s face it, things can get pretty hectic around the holidays and no one wants to be posting to social media on key festive dates such as Christmas Day.
The easiest way to ensure your social media posts are taken care of is to schedule them ahead of time.
You can use MavSocial to schedule weeks’ or months’ worth of social media content ahead of time, manage multiple social media accounts and monitor everything via the mobile app so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your holiday!