How to Create a Social Media Holiday Campaign

How to Create a Social Media Holiday Campaign

It’s mid-November, your social media holiday campaign planning has to start now. As with all things in social media, you need a solid plan to make it work. Virality, new followers, increased brand exposure, and cash registers ringing like church bells don’t happen by accident.

A solid social media holiday campaign plan is an essential, and I’m going to take you through a few tips you’ll need. There will also be some real examples pulled directly from other businesses on social media!

Building your social media holiday campaign

With this MarketingLand article showing that social media will influence half of purchases made this holiday season, it’s easy to see why you need to build a holiday campaign that is geared to the strengths of social media.

This social media holiday activity can include:

  • reading reviews
  • going onto the Pinterest accounts of their loved ones to see what they’re interested in
  • watching Twitter for mentions from friends about what’s hot this year
  • looking for sales, specials, and promotions everywhere social media meets business

These are year round needs, but the holidays amplify them to much higher levels.

Step 1 in building your social media holiday campaign

Your first step in your holiday social media campaign is looking at any data from last year. You have to build on the success, and learn from the mistakes. Ask yourself if you met last year’s goals and see how you can improve on them. For example, look at this tweet from Hello Music:

Two retweets and 1 favorite are not numbers that are going to impress anyone. But what happened behind the scenes? Did lots of their fans click through and purchase? Was the code used often? Did they see website visits rise? Answering all of these questions will help them determine if they were a success or not. At the very least, they could think to add sharing as part of their holiday campaign this year.

If this is your first year using social media, don’t worry. You still have data to look at from the past. Look at your most successful content from the year. What did they say? What content was in them? What media did you use?

Finding out these answers will guide your social media holiday campaign for the year. Be sure to keep careful track of everything so you can make next year even better!

Step 2 in building your social media holiday campaign

Once you know what worked last year, or over the past year, it’s time to start creating your campaigns. As is the key with your offline advertising, plan to use lots of holiday themes on each platform. You can revamp your:

  • profile photo and header images to give them so holiday cheer
  • sale strategy by using limited time offers to increase pressure on shoppers
  • contests to have a ‘candy cane flavored’ appeal
  • Pinterest boards so that there are some that are all about the holidays
  • Facebook with holiday surveys asking your fans what they want
  • Twitter hashtags for more #holidaysale specific terminology

Do not underestimate the power of giving your holiday branding a bit more holiday push. I wonder if we can get the Devumi Gorilla in a Santa hat this year…

Here’s a popular pin (over 1700 repins) from the Made by a Princess blog that shows repurposed candy with some cute images:

starbucks social media holiday campaign

How easy is that? Any business can use a similar approach on Pinterest for their holiday campaign. Add in a ‘pin to win’ contest that gives out candy and you may have your hands full with customers. Hello Society has even more Pinterest specific ideas for you this holiday season.

Over on Instagram, don’t be afraid to do the obvious things. Associate your brand with popular holiday images and symbols to increase your interactions around the holidays. Watch what’s about to happen to this poor snowman cookie over on Starbucks’ account!

starbucks social media holiday campaign

126,000 favorites, and a whole lot of holiday cheer being spread, is nothing to ignore. Figure out how your brand can use the most recognizable symbols of the holidays to spread your brand message along with them:

  • A landscaper can take photos of incredible holiday lights
  • A computer store can put holiday themed wallpaper on their computers and use those photos in their marketing
  • Make up stores can give holiday inspired look advice and take photos of the final results
  • Even a boring old office supply store can have a holiday drawing competition

There’s something out there for every industry. Get yours involved in traditional holiday imagery in creative ways on social media, and everyone will get in the holiday spirit. And, hopefully, a purchasing spirit! A retweet package from us could be just the gift which gives your Twitter account the boost it needs these holidays, sparking others to RT your content!

Step 3 in building your social media holiday campaign

The last thing to consider is that it’s never too late to change course with your social media holiday campaign plan, or even start all over from scratch. Social media can be fickle, but your data will not be. If last year’s tactics are not working this year, change. Social media is a constantly evolving platform and you can adapt.

Remember back when you only had TV, the newspaper, and radio to really get your message out quickly? You would create a few radio jingles in November. Maybe you would have a TV ad on the local station that was shot in October. Your ad would appear in the paper every day. Then you’d just have to sit back and watch it play out. That isn’t what social media is about at all. You always have the option of changing your actions for the future, and it’s never too late to change.

Here’s one of my favorite examples of adapting to the current situation in your social media holiday campaign marketing:

The power went out in Toronto. My favorite comic book store (in Toronto, I have a whole list of ‘favorite comic book stores’) stepped up to the plate and offered some holiday themed cheer for those without power! It brought people into the store at a crucial time, December 23, and promoted some real togetherness.

They already had a great contest going on for the holidays that got them retweets and exposure:

But by adapting to the moment, throwing the script out, and appealing to their real fans, they brought some folks into the store. Never be afraid to go off-script with your social media holiday campaign. You never know when that moment will come along, and you can do some real time marketing that’s much more valuable than any plan.

devumi gorilla santa hat


*Only one Matthew was harmed in the placing of this hat upon the Devumi Gorilla’s head…

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