It’s that time of year again; the snow is beginning to fall, shops are playing festive music, and shoppers are searching for special gifts to buy for all of their loved ones. That’s right, the magical holiday season is upon us. With so much holiday shopping going on, it’s the perfect opportunity for your business to boost sales.
But consumers aren’t only shopping in malls and retail stores these days, they’re shopping online too. In fact, according to eMarketer, foot traffic in US retail stores fell by 7.5% in 2017. The convenience of online shopping is just too hard to resist for many.
So, if your target audience is shopping online, your business needs to be online as well, whether you have an eCommerce business or a brick-and-mortar store. By promoting your business online, you can drive traffic to your website or through your front doors.
And don’t worry, you don’t have to buy a bunch of online ads in order to attract customers to your business. Instead, you can simply spread a little holiday cheer on social media. Much of your target audience is already on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Plus, many people check these platforms multiple times a day—18% of US consumers even made a purchase directly through social media in 2018. So, by boosting your presence on social media and celebrating the season with your audience, you can attract a ton of new shoppers to your business.
Here’s how to create a holiday social media strategy that delights your followers.
1. Review last year’s holiday campaign
First, before you start planning this year’s holiday social media campaign, you should take a look back at your holiday social media strategy from last year. Obviously, if this is your first time creating a holiday social media strategy for your business, then you can skip this step.
But, by reviewing the success of last year’s holiday campaign, you’ll be able to see what worked and what didn’t so that your holiday campaign this year will be even more successful.
You’ll want to take a look at a number of different factors such as what types of content received the most engagement from your followers. Perhaps there were certain visuals or copy that got a ton of likes and shares? If so, take note of it. If one type of content made a bigger splash than the others, that’s a good sign that it resonates with your audience and you’ll want to do more of the same this year.
You should also take a look at which social media platforms brought you the best results and focus on those channels for continued success this holiday season. You don’t want to waste your time and efforts on a platform that isn’t working for you or your audience.
2. Set goals for your holiday social media strategy
Next, you need to decide exactly what you want to achieve with your holiday social media strategy. When you set clear goals for the holiday season, it will help you create a more focused campaign and you’ll be able to track your results better.
And remember, not all businesses have the same goal of selling a ton of products to holiday shoppers.
For instance, Bank of America doesn’t sell any products that could be given as holiday gifts, but they still share holiday-themed posts on social media to boost brand awareness.
So, what’s your goal? Is it to boost brand awareness? Sell products? Increase engagement?
Choose your main goal, write it down, and keep it in mind throughout all stages of planning your holiday social media strategy.
3. Check out your competitors’ holiday campaigns
Once you’ve reviewed your previous holiday campaign and set your goals, it’s almost time to get started. But first, take some time to check out the previous holiday campaigns of your competitors too.
With so much content posted on social media during the holiday season, it’s important that you keep up with your competitors—and more importantly, that you stand out from them.
Pick a few of your top competitors and scroll back to this time last year on their social media profiles. Take a look at what type of content they posted, what hashtags they used, what worked best for them, and what didn’t work so well. Use the insights you discover to shape your holiday social media strategy; there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
4. Decorate your profile for the season
Now it’s time to start decorating. During the holidays, you should be switching up the cover photos on your social media profiles to match the season. Doing this will give your profile a festive feel. Plus, your followers will know right away that your business is in the holiday spirit because the cover photo is often the first thing they see when they land on your profile.
You can switch your cover photo to a holiday-themed image, a holiday version of your logo, or you can display some of your holidays offers like the coffee shop Second Cup does below.
You can easily create a holiday-themed cover photo like the one above using a free tool like Canva. On social media platforms that don’t have cover photos, like Instagram for example, you can simply change your profile photo or add a holiday message and holiday emojis to your bio.
Bonus Tip: It’s important for your brand to be consistent online, so consider decorating your website to match your social media accounts by swapping out your regular images for festive ones or even changing your WordPress theme to a theme designed specifically for the holidays.
5. Create holiday-themed content
Next, you need to start creating holiday-themed content that you can share weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Day. According to Statista, 64% of US consumers do their holiday shopping between November 16-20. So, you can’t wait until the week before Christmas to start sharing holiday content. You need to get them in the holiday spirit weeks ahead of time. That means you need a lot of holiday content.
But, don’t worry. Creating holiday content doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, take a look at this Instagram post from Lush Cosmetics.
Sharing simple holiday-themed images along with festive captions is enough to capture the attention of your followers this season. Just don’t forget to add a call-to-action like Lush does by letting users know to shop for gifts by clicking the link in their bio.
As previously mentioned, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Creating a ton of original holiday visuals is time-consuming and sometimes costly. So, you can always take advantage of free, quality stock photos from sites like Unsplash and Pixabay. Then, you can just lay your logo or text on top of them so they better represent your brand.
Aside from festive images, you should also consider these other joyful content ideas for your holiday social media strategy:
- Posting holiday-themed GIFs and videos
- Promoting seasonal offers and discounts
- Crafting and sharing holiday-themed blog posts like gift guides
- Holding a social media giveaway
- Running social media ads
Remember, your holiday social media strategy isn’t just about getting likes, you want to drive more people to your website and generate sales. So, strategies, like running a giveaway and sharing holiday-themed blog posts, will lead more shoppers to your site.
6. Schedule your content
Once you’ve got your holiday content created, you need to schedule it. The last thing you want to be doing during the holidays is rushing to the computer to post content each day.
Instead, using a social media scheduling tool like Buffer or Sprout Social, you can schedule your holiday social media content and post it automatically to all of your social media platforms at once. By scheduling your content with a social media scheduling tool, you can easily plan out the entire month of November and December at a glance.
When scheduling your content, don’t forget to consider the best days and times to post on social media.
Posting your holiday content at the best times will result in more eyes on your posts and more engagement.
7. Monitor and track your success
That’s it right? It’s time to sit back and watch the magic happen? Well, not quite. Throughout your holiday social media campaign, keep a close eye on your social media analytics.
The data from your social media analytics is like direct feedback from your customers and followers; you’ll be able to see what your followers like and don’t like in regards to your holiday social media campaign. Track metrics like reach, impressions, shares and mentions, click-through rate, total purchases, and more to find out if your strategy is on track. You can even make slight last-minute adjustments to your social media strategy based on your analytics if you need to.
Over to you
The holidays are such a busy time of year, that’s why it’s so important that you plan your holiday social media strategy ahead of time. Planning your holiday social media campaign in advance won’t just give you peace of mind, it will also increase your chances of reaching your goals this season, whether it’s to boost brand awareness or generate more sales.