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How to Tie the Holidays Into Your Social Media Posts

100118 How to Tie the Holidays Into Your Social Media Posts

You know the holiday season is right around the corner, but what does that actually mean for your social media strategy?

Well, I could tell you to do steps X, Y, and Z to update your social media plans and all your woes will vanish! Christmas shoppers will rush to your website and the garland around your tree will be made of shredded $100 bills!

But that isn’t how this works.

I can’t tell you what’s going to work perfectly for your business in your unique situation. What I can tell you, though, is that Marketing Dive found that 80% of shoppers are planning to spend at least as much on holiday shopping as they did last year. The holidays are simply too lucrative not to plan for them.

So how do you learn what you need to do? You study the best. I’m going to show you some of the most successful holiday campaigns, explain exactly what made them such hits with their audiences, and give you some tips on how you can replicate those results.

Starbucks’ holiday cups have earned them a lot of attention over the years, and the 2017 holiday season was no different. The face of coffee let their customers design their own holiday cups and have a chance for their work to be shared by Starbucks by using the #GiveGood hashtag.

What’s their secret?
Starbucks has a huge fanbase of active, loyal customers. When they were given the chance to create content for a company they love, there was no hesitation. This influx of user-generated content (UGC) got Starbucks a lot of positive attention and plenty of fresh content for advertising, all without paying a dime!

#GiveGood was also a key part of their success. It showed users that Starbucks wasn’t thinking about themselves, but was instead focusing on the spirit of giving. That brought in a human element for customers to relate to, so suddenly they were getting into the holiday spirit and not just buying coffee from one of the largest corporations in the world.

What’s the lesson?
UGC is almost always going to endear you in the eyes of your audience. It’s also important to remember that, as the holidays come closer, you can’t beg your customers to buy from you. Show them your human side and let them be naturally excited about your brand.

2. UPS
UPS started a #WishesDelivered campaign to share real, touching stories from their customers of how UPS made a difference in their lives. Every time users shared or submitted stories with the hashtag, UPS donated a dollar to one of three charities.

What’s their secret?
The short version: people love stories. Everyone wants to feel good, and #WishesDelivered gave people a reason to spread the word about what a difference UPS was making. Combining easy charity donations with the chance to spread positive, holiday-themed news made this campaign an instant success.

What’s the lesson?
Tell your customers how you’re helping them! Even if you can’t afford a huge donation to charity right now, let your customers interact with your brand by telling stories of how you did right by them. Hashtag campaigns can work wonders for spreading your message.

Nobody said the holidays were all exchanging gifts and kissing reindeer. HotelTonight’s holiday campaign acknowledged that sometimes the holidays just suck, especially when family is involved! They posted jarring (in a good way) caricatures of unpleasant family members, and encouraged users to share their worst stories of staying with relatives.

What’s their secret?
HotelTonight was simultaneously funny and reminded its customers why they needed to book hotels over the holidays. It’s hard to say “I’ll just bunk with mom” when you’re thinking about your great-aunt Muriel’s Scrabble tournament!

What’s the lesson?
Holiday marketing doesn’t have to be happy. If your brand’s personality isn’t one that cares about Santa and eggnog, that’s fine! This is also a lesson that you should be establishing empathy with your customers wherever you can. Show them that you know what they’re going through, and they’ll flock to you!

You don’t want to copy these brands, but you should take the ideas behind each success story and make them your own! The holidays are a chance for your business to score some big victories, so don’t waste this opportunity with tired marketing strategies! Now get out there and show your customers why they need you this holiday season!

Did you find this advice helpful and want to see how else you can improve your marketing strategy? Reach out to The Go! Agency today for a free consultation!

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Summer’s Over – Is Your Holiday Marketing Plan Underway Yet?


Halloween.  Thanksgiving.  Christmas.  New Year.  Valentine’s Day.  Easter.

What do all of these holidays have in common?  They are wonderful marketing opportunities for your business.

While some of you may already be sighing, thinking that “aren’t these commercialized enough?” My answer: absolutely!  But that is not what my sentiment is here.  This is not about commercialization or fooling consumers into purchasing products or services that they don’t need or want.  What this is about is aligning your marketing message and position to align with the needs and emotions of the season.

I know it sounds a bit airy-fairy, but if you tying your message into a particular holiday season you may see yourself grab the attention of a consumer who may have otherwise passed you by.

So look at your marketing materials and plan, then see what holidays are happening around the same time.  For example in the USA, Thanksgiving is universally known as a time of giving.  Perhaps in your email blasts you can send out 10 tips to giving back during this holiday season.  Or in your print advertisement you can give an exclusive discount to those who order before a certain date, then give a certain amount to a related charity.

Also, offering discounts and specials around the December holidays will really grab the attention of your marketplace.  While this is not an extremely shocking thought…do you know that many small business owners overlook this?  Offer solutions and helpful tips to making it through the holidays – you will be surprised at the response!

This is also where you should be pulling out your marketing list.  I’ve written about this before, but just as a reminder a marketing list is a simple list of all of your marketing activities that you take part in.  So for example, this would be a strong marketing list:

  • Email Marketing/Blasts
  • Google Adwords
  • Coupons/Discounts – Flyers
  • Social Media Campaign
  • Billboards
  • Print Advertising
  • Press Releases
  • Media: Television, Radio, Print
  • Events/Exhibitions

If you look at the activities that you have coming up on your marketing list, see how you could come up with a short-run campaign to capture more interest while using the holiday angle.  At the end of the day, it is good to tap into the emotions of your audience during each holiday season.  By offering them solutions to their problems, you will not only grab their attention – but you might just grab their loyalty as well.

While this may seem like a fairly elementary article, I really wanted to share it with you to drive home the effectiveness of this marketing strategy.  Hope it makes you think twice when doing outreach to your target audience!  And get started today!  The months leading up to the December holidays go exceedingly fast – so you need to start your planning and budgeting yesterday.

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