Sahail Ashraf posted on 15 December 2016
So it’s that time of year again, a perfect excuse to put our feet up and enjoy some truly seasonal cheer. Having a holiday during the holiday season is essential of course. But if you’re a social media manager for a brand (or an agency with a client that has some definite social media presence), you need to have a battle plan of sorts to ensure you make the most of the holiday season.
It’s all too easy to let it go, and lose all that momentum you’ve been building up over the year.
Take note of the pointers below, and you should be well placed, with a social media presence that keeps on giving while everyone is celebrating.
If you’ve been shouting Bah Humbug around the office, then all of this advice is probably not for you. But for the rest of us, ensuring that we have a seasonal theme on our social accounts is the very first thing we should do if we want to have a good Christmas with our audience.
We recommend that you, at the very least, choose a colour theme that reflects the season. Red and green (or both) make for obvious choices, but it is important to make sure that you don’t let your audience think you’ve forgotten Christmas. Break out the new colours your designer has been talking about and go for a truly festive look when it comes to the hues you use.
We know that Christmas is a potentially stressful time with plenty of things that just need doing. But you can reduce much of the stress by working on scheduling your posts so that they go online throughout the festive season.
Not enough brands know about this and therefore suffer because they either try and post up until the last minute (creating what is basically a rushed mess) or they just ignore the festive period entirely. Don’t be either of these and think instead of the value of ensuring you have ‘posted ahead’.
Use any tool or native platform that allows you to post in advance. There are a number of them out there and many of them are cross-channel. Once you have a focus, you can basically send out clear, useful marketing messages, and do this via the scheduling. It allows you to develop a careful mini campaign across the holiday period, and therefore get more out of the process. Plan it carefully enough and you can slowly build up the hype and excitement for an event in the new year perhaps. It’s a great way to ease off the stress as well as build a purposeful campaign well in advance.
One thing you must do here though is look carefully at the times of day your audience is online. If you are posting ahead, this still means nothing if you are not posting at the right times. Take a few minutes to check when your customers are most likely to be online, and that is when you should be scheduling posts for.
You may well see a lot of brands running special contests around the holiday season. There is a good reason for this. Contests and competitions allow people to feel excited. It just gives them that extra boost. And the holiday season, when everyone is feeling happy and generous, is the perfect time to get a contest going.
Running a contest is probably one of the best ways to set up the Christmas period for fun. People will join in and engage with your brand through this. You don’t even have to give a huge prize to the lucky winner. Instead, you could quite simply offer a decent discount. The more lighthearted you make it the better. Most brands spend a good part of the year planning their Christmas contest.
If your contest has a truly seasonal theme, people will talk about it and share it. They’ll click on all the right places to ensure they have a chance of winning, and they will probably share it to their friends as long as the contest is attractive. The snowball effect can be considerable.
Remember to ask for likes and follows throughout the contest. The buzz of the holiday season will ensure you get these vital aspects, and of course, you don’t have to work over the holidays because you’ve scheduled this stuff, right?
Our last tip concerns the people who got you where you are today. Engagement is a funny thing and one of the very best things you can do (now and then) is to concentrate on your current and past customers.
Take the time over Christmas to run a case study or focus on a particularly loyal client. It fits in nicely with the Christmas spirit because you are reaching out to the people you care about.
This is one of the nicer parts of Christmas social media marketing, and it shows also that you really do value your customers. This, of course, could do some extra marketing for you, simply because it is warm and relatable.
The real principle here is to notice Christmas but essentially not make a big deal of it. Schedule your posts so that your audience gets some great content, but avoid tipping over to the commercial dark side. There are too many brands out there that are hammering followers and fans with heavy discounts and self-promotional stuff. You don’t want to be like them.
Instead, realise it’s Christmas, and customers and prospects want to see a brand that is enjoying itself. Make it fun, light and non-promotional. Make it about the customer.
And Happy Christmas from Locowise.