It’s that time of year once again…
The festive lights go up, holiday music starts playing everywhere, and the Christmas spirit comes alive.
It also means a giant wave of holiday campaigns arriving on our social media feeds.
Every business has a holiday campaign, and it can feel hard to compete – especially if your business is small, time / budget tight.
The thing is, though, these holiday promotions are totally worth it.
The Christmas season of cheer is a perfect time to engage your list of email subscribers, boost traffic, increase sales, and more. According to HubSpot, shoppers give back to retailers who help them get through the season of giving (think useful and timely content marketing).
The holidays are a huge time for sales. In 2015, 74% of retailers said at least 20% of their total sales for the year happened over the holidays. Needless to say, there are giant opportunities for business growth in November and December.
To start our guide, we’re going to take note from some brands on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram doing it right.
The one thing they all have in common?
They set out to delight their audiences first, and boost their bottom lines second.Brands with holiday campaigns should set out to delight their audiences first, and boost their bottom lines second. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
We’ve pulled ideas and inspiration you can use to brighten up your own feeds and holiday campaigns. And, we took direct inspiration from the 12 days of Christmas lyrical piece to craft the fun infographic below.
Enjoy. Let’s dive in!
Add Holiday Spice to Your Christmas Social Media Campaigns with Our 12 Days of Christmas Campaign Ideas (Infographic)
Just like the holiday tune “The 12 Days of Christmas,” we’ve got 12 festive ideas for your Christmas social media campaigns.
Try one (or two, or three, or all 12!) to get your holidays rolling. Read below the infographic for more how-tos, example, and links straight to free tools you can use to craft holiday-focused content.
Decorate Your Christmas Social Media Campaigns with 12 Days of Christmas Campaign Ideas
1. “Decorate” Your Social Profiles
Take a page from Penguin Books and spruce up your social profiles with some festive graphics. Theme them around your brand’s purpose to make it even more impactful.
Note that Penguin updated their header image with a festive photo that features some of their books. It looks like they’re about to get wrapped in pretty holiday paper and ribbon. Note that the images they post to their feed have a matching look, which helps tie it all together.
Another good example is how Starbucks jazzed up their Twitter page with a photo of their new “coloring book” holiday cups:
Some of the cups even look like a kid scribbled on them, which is endearing and sweet. That sets a perfect tone for a family-friendly holiday.
Another perfect example:
Ulta, a national beauty chain, gave their Twitter page a holiday twist with a bunch of women showing off festive holiday party looks:
Follow suit with your social media accounts, but try to make the “décor” relevant to your brand. (Hint: Don’t just put up a random picture of Santa – tie it into what you sell or offer!)
How to Use Canva to Easily (& for FREE) Add Some Festivities to Your Profile Images
You can do this super easily.
Canva, for instance, has customizable templates that are professional-looking and already perfectly-sized for your Facebook cover image or your Twitter header. To find festive templates, use the search bar to narrow down your options.
Or, if you love to DIY, first check out these sizing guidelines for creating images for your social media profiles.
2. “Santa Hat” Your Profile Pictures
A quick, fun way to inject some festive flair into your social media presence is to add a Santa hat to your profile pictures.
Check out these leading brands who did it to great effect:
If you go for the Santa Hat, just be sure it doesn’t look tacky (i.e. you don’t need anyone thinking your brand could only afford imagery thrown together with amateur Photoshop skills).
All of the above logos use Santa hats that mesh well with their graphic style.
To get the perfect Santa hat for your logo or branding, enlist the help of a graphic designer. (This could be a great project to hand to a graphic design student looking for some experience!)
The best part about this tip: Once you update your profile picture(s), all of your posts automatically get a touch of holiday pizazz by association. Can you say “ho, ho, ho”?
3. Host a Holiday Giveaway
There’s no better time to host a fun giveaway than the holidays. Everybody’s already getting into the gifting spirit – you should definitely join in and offer delightful prizes for your followers.
Plus, giveaway posts are massive magnets for engagement (who doesn’t like free stuff?), which could help you widen your following and earn some leads.
Luckily, a giveaway hosted on social media is much easier than it sounds.
Your 7-Step Guide to a Great Holiday Giveaway
Here’s a general, quick 7-step guide:
- Gather a few covetable prizes. They can be your products, something fun that’s related, or a prize pack with goodies from some other affiliates thrown in.
- Make sure you choose goodies people will actually want to win (preferably with some cash value).
- Create a post that explains your giveaway. Use an eye-catching image of the goods you’re giving away to help draw attention to it.
- Post your giveaway with the rules (for instance, ask that people follow you and like the post in order to enter the contest). Make sure you set an end date for accepting entries, and specify when winners will be announced.
- Pick your contest winner(s). To do it, use a free tool like The Good Luck Fairy to help you randomly choose them. This type of tool comes in handy if you have a huge list of entrants. Or, if you use social media management software, check to see if a social media contest feature is built-in.
- Announce the winner(s) in a new post. Tag the winners and send them a direct message to make sure they get notified. Don’t forget to ask for their address!
- Send off the goods (and feel a little bit like Santa’s secret elf in the process).
Here are good examples of holiday giveaway posts from the lip balm brand, Lipsmackers (they’re cleverly calling it the #12Daysof KISSmas):
The season of giving is here! So to help make your spirits bright Lip Smacker will be giving away items from our 2017 Holiday collection for days straight! Two lucky winners will be chosen at random each day. . Our Day 1 prize for #12DaysofKISSmas is our Holiday Biggys! . To enter to win: 1. MUST BE FOLLOWING @lipsmackerbrand 2. Like this post 3. Tag 2 friends in the comments below Contest end: Saturday, December 2nd at 11 AM PST Winners announced on Instagram Stories Saturday, December 2nd 12 PM PST . Open to US residents only. #giveaway #Holiday2017 #LipSmacker #BestFlavorForever . . . NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED. This Promotion is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least thirteen (13) years of age or older as of the date of entry. If a participant has not reached the age of majority in his/her primary state of residence as of the date of entry into the, then the participant must obtain parental written consent in order to be eligible to enter the Promotion. Please visit http://www.lipsmacker.com/termsandconditions for Official Rules.
It’s day of our #12DaysofKISSmas giveaway! Today’s prize is our Lip Balm Trio Canes! To enter to win: 1. MUST BE FOLLOWING @lipsmackerbrand 2. Like this post 3. Tag 2 friends in the comments below Contest end: Monday, December 4th at 11 AM PST Winners announced on Instagram Stories Monday, December 4th 12 PM PST Open to US residents only. #giveaway #Holiday2017 #LipSmacker #BestFlavorForever . . . NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED. This Promotion is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least thirteen (13) years of age or older as of the date of entry. If a participant has not reached the age of majority in his/her primary state of residence as of the date of entry into the, then the participant must obtain parental written consent in order to be eligible to enter the Promotion. Prize will be given as an e-gift card. Please visit http://www.lipsmacker.com/termsandconditions for Official Rules.
4. Create and Share a Gift Guide
If you sell products, you’re perfectly positioned to highlight them for gift-giving during the Christmas season.
How do you do it in a way that benefits your audience? Gift guides!
Look at this gift guide post from Uncommon Goods for inspiration:
The gift guide works in a few ways:
- It promises to help alleviate gift-giving anxiety (a real thing!)
- It promises to help you find a unique gift
- It promises to help you stay stress-free (“cool as a cucumber”) during this hectic season
- And, finally, it does all of the above while highlighting the brand’s products (note that this is last on the list)
To do it, create a round-up-style blog post with lots of images and links. Include your own products based on how well they fit the list, along with products from other brands. (By the way, this is a great opportunity to plug some of your favorites and potentially get them to share your post.)
Finally, create social media posts on each of your accounts to share the guide. Remember to tag or mention any other brands you included in the blog.
5. Publish a Series of Gift Guide Posts
Another way to share a gift guide is to do it exclusively on social media. Here are some suggestions:
- Choose products around a theme that’s targeted for your followers.
- Round up links and pictures to share.
- Space out your gift guide over a number of posts.
- Do one post a day that highlights a product in your gift guide (any more might seem spammy).
- Explain why each gift idea could be perfect for that particular person on your followers’ lists.
- Tie it all together with a relevant, catchy hashtag (#12DaysofGiving, #GiftIdeasforMom, etc.).
6. Get Your Products in Other People’s Gift Guides
Similarly, getting your products featured in others’ gift guides is a great free plug for you. Look at how Club Ride and Apparel got one of their products featured in a blogger’s cycling gift guide:
To do it yourself, reach out to bloggers/influencers you love to read who are relevant to your business.
Note how the above brand reached out to a cycling enthusiast – they knew their products would be a perfect match for that influencer’s audience.
Never reach out to someone cold with a line that reads, “Hey, I think my product would be great in your seasonal gift guide.”
Instead, think about people you know, with whom you’re already networking or relationship-building. Reach out to them and offer them something in exchange for the plug.
7. Speak to the Emotions of the Season
This time of year, people want to draw their loved ones close and feel that sense of togetherness, especially if they live far away from each other. They also want to cozy up inside with family and feel warmth, peace, and joy.
If you can speak to the emotional side of the holiday season, you can draw on those feelings to boost shares, traffic to your site, sales – whatever your goal may be.
Here’s another example from Uncommon Goods that speaks to holiday emotions. In this post, they highlight one of their products that has an emotional pull for the holiday season:
The engagement on this post (over 1,000 likes and nearly as many shares) shows how much it has resonated with people.
Note that this post/video doesn’t sell the product. Rather, it focuses on the benefits: you can show people you’re thinking about them, no matter how far away they are.
During the holidays, that’s something that mightily appeals to just about anybody. The fact that Uncommon Goods just so happens to sell the product isn’t even secondary; it’s tertiary.
However, based on the engagement for the post, it’s safe to assume that the company boosted their sales for this one product. That’s a powerful post.
8. Share Recipes
Even if you aren’t in the food industry, recipe-sharing is a fun way to shake up your posts and offer something a little personal to your audience.
For example, sharing your favorite recipe for holiday dip, rolls, or even a festive cocktail is a warm way to connect with your followers over food – and isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
Here’s a good example from Yoga Journal:
And, here at EW, we recently shared our favorite pumpkin pie recipe on this Thanksgiving-themed infographic:
You don’t have to get fancy with this. It can be as simple as linking to your favorite recipe and adding a few personal lines explaining why it’s a hit with your family around the holidays.
The point is to send warm wishes to your followers with a simple personal gesture.
9. Ask for Your Followers’ Favorite Recipes
Along with sharing your own recipes, you can also dedicate a post (or two or three) to inviting your followers to share their favorites. Ask for Christmas cookie recipes, recipes for holiday drinks, or recipes for holiday dinner dishes.
Check out the engagement on this post from Mrs. Claus.
She asked for recipe favorites and got a great response:
Here’s just a small sample of the discussion it started:
People love talking about their holiday traditions. Invite this type of fun discussion in your own holiday post comments and see what happens.
10. Hold a Mini Contest in the Comments
Taking inspiration from recipe-sharing, why not hold a mini contest and reward the person who submits the best one?
Ask for your followers’ favorite holiday recipes, like in tip #11, but up the ante and offer a prize or personal coupon code for the best recipe submission shared in the comments. To get more traction on the post, tell followers they must also tag a friend who might want to join in.
11. Create Your Own Holiday Hashtag
An even easier way to get festive and inspire your followers is to create your own holiday hashtag.
Ideally, this hashtag will be one your followers can use to show off their holiday cheer in a way that ties to your brand.
For example, if you’re an online shop selling products, ask your followers to show how they’re wrapping gifts from your store using a hashtag like #[YourBrandName]Wrapped or #[YourBrandName]UndertheTree.
Check your tag and choose one submission to repost and feature on your feed daily. Remember to tag the person featured!
12. Align Your Christmas Social Media Campaigns
Your holiday social media posts will get more traction if you tie them all together.
For example, if you create a gift guide to share, like in tip #4, don’t just share the same link + picture to the post on all your social accounts. Take it a step further and highlight individual products from the guide in separate social media posts. Spread these posts across your different accounts.
For example, highlight one product from your guide on Facebook, another on Twitter, and post a fun image or video of one of the products getting used on Instagram.
These posts all tie to the same piece of content – the gift guide – but offer value in different ways to different sets of audiences. As a result, you could pull in more traction for the blog overall.
Look at how Birchbox aligned their posts on different social accounts for their own gift guide:
They highlighted a product on Instagram:
And they posted about it on Facebook:
They didn’t use the same image or wording, but the posts tie together. Try your own creative ways to tie together your different social posts for the same campaign.
For Best Results, Sprinkle Your Christmas Social Media Campaigns with Cheer
The keys to a great Christmas social media campaign are posts that speak to the best parts of the season. Tap into the spirit of giving, the emotions the holidays evoke, and the festive flair that makes people feel a corresponding warm flare of joy.
Even if their hearts resemble lumps of coal, people won’t be able to resist your Christmas cheer.
After all, the best way to spread merriment during this special time of year is to feel it yourself, first.
If you still can’t help feeling like a Grinch about your social media campaigns, we can help you write cheerful, merry posts that get you noticed. Check out our done-for-you social media posts!