Elevate Your Social Media Strategy for the Holidays
By Shannon Montoya
Many businesses treat social media as a one-way street. Consider all the brands that never update except to share company news or promote the latest blog post. Your brand can do better than that, and you absolutely should during the holiday season — a time, after all, devoted to sharing and caring.
Here are a few alternatives to the ho-hum social media marketing strategies that will get your followers saying “ho-ho-ho!”
Personalize Your Posts
At this time of year, the first thought of social media marketers worth their salt should be at least one post wishing followers a “Happy Holidays.” The downside: Anybody can take this very simple step, and your message (however sincere) will soon get overshadowed by similar sentiments from any number of others.
Instead, keep the season alive throughout your posts. At least some of the content you create, deals you offer, and ads you place during the holidays should tap into the themes of celebration, generosity, togetherness, and other elements that people love about this time of year.
Turn your social media profiles into a veritable advent calendar of holiday-themed content, and users are sure to take notice. This is especially true if you create and share timely and fun visual content (think infographics, quizzes, and custom images) and custom videos that tie in with the revelry.
This strategy applies to more than just your posts. Use all social assets at your disposal, such as updating your cover photo to show decorations on the interior and exterior of your office, share pictures from the office Christmas party, create videos of you and your staff getting in the spirit, and more.
Savvy social media marketers know the importance of showcasing a brand’s local connection. Event calendars swell around the holidays, making it a great time to share upcoming happenings with your followers.
But, when the time is right, go a step further: When you share events hosted by charities and other community groups, tell your followers what these organizations and their work mean to you and the community. Talk about your experience volunteering, or how they help your customers.
Users on social media identify with businesses and brands that focus on the outside world, not just on their bottom line. Being civic-minded at a time of year when we’re encouraged to think of others will encourage greater engagement with your profile, including posts both altruistic and those designed to generate website traffic and drive revenue.
Update Your Ads
It’s never too early to start driving new and returning business for the end of the year and the start of the next. With the holidays foremost on your followers’ minds, give them a gift that connects with their sensibilities by creating or modifying paid social campaigns to capitalize on the holidays.
From Black Friday, Cyber Monday to Christmas and New Year’s, your customers are looking to spend money. The question is where. By tapping into the holiday spirit in your ads – maybe suggesting that they give the gift of your products or services to their loved ones, you can provide them with an answer that points right to your door.
Nearly every industry can position paid social ads to take advantage of holiday trends. Again, go the extra mile by building a genuine connection: Outfit your ads with unique images of your office and your staff, and drive potential customers to you by hosting a special holiday event. Whether you’re promoting a special offer or trying to capture seasonal business on your year-round services, make sure the messaging, imagery, and (ideally) video assets convey the warmth and good tidings your customers expect.
Follow Trends, But Go Further
Hashtags are a great way to join a current conversation on many different social media platforms. The downside of hashtags, though, is that it’s easy to work them into a post without adding original value of your own.
Social media provides endless opportunities to jump on a trend. The best way to take advantage of these trends is to capture your antics for an online audience. Capture through imagery and video how your employees and customers are taking on ugly Christmas sweaters, awkward family photos, and other fun fads.
Internet memes are typically off-the-wall. The holidays often are, too, so why not get in on the fun by indulging in some comedy that builds camaraderie?
Camaraderie and goodwill are what people want on social media, especially around the holidays. Whether it’s an image, an ad, or a meme, all of these marketing strategies help your business build rapport and be celebrated by your customers.
Shannon Montoya is the vice president of account services at Page 1 Solutions, a website marketing agency representing doctors, lawyers and dentists throughout the US and Canada.