Many marketers see holiday social media posts as “fluff” – content that doesn’t really mean anything, but is easy to create and post. The truth is, holiday posts and newsbreaks during the holiday season can be some of the most valuable content you produce for social media platforms. And, with the right tools, it could be easy to produce, but it should never be overlooked as a crucial part of your social media marketing plan. Let’s look at the four main reasons why this type of content is so important to a social schedule, together with some tips on how to create successful social media posts.
Why are holiday posts and holiday marketing on social media so important?
This Type of Content Is Easy To Create
Original content creation can be resource-intensive, but celebratory content is easy to create – IF you have the right tools. The first thing you need is a reliable, well-built content calendar so you know what to post and when, whether you are utilizing Facebook, Instagram, or another social media site. There are a number of websites that offer information like this, and several social tools. You can also do research via social media channels and blogs.
You need a means with which to create visually appealing posts. Tools like:
can help you create great-looking posts without the need for a graphic designer.
Celebrations are a great way to connect with your social media audience. As long as you keep your audience in mind, and approach social media marketing with some heart, you’ll get the engagement you seek.
There is one tool (the only one in its niche) that is designed specifically to help you create, launch and maintain social media holiday campaigns. PromoRepublic has a library of templates that you can customize via a drag-and-drop tool. These templates, designed by professional graphic designers, match up with current celebratory days, trends, news breaks and more.
PromoRepublic also allows you to autopost right from the tool, so you can grab a template, drop in your logo and text, and then share it via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It’s easy to create content for your social marketing plan, and there are analytics tools to see how well those strategies perform. And they will perform well. Why? Let’s look into some of the reasons.
Holiday Social Media Posts Have Emotional Appeal
Matt Killingswath, the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar and creator of the Tracking Your Happiness app, collected data from more than 2000 people and discovered that, despite all the posts about seasonal depression, people are actually happier than average on holidays. Despite their religious leanings, people tend to be happiest on Christmas, with Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve not far behind. Of course, there are plenty of other holidays that make people happy. Best Friend’s Day, National Donut Day, National Social Media Day…there are so many holidays and pseudo-holidays that create wonderful emotional touch points in your marketing campaign for Facebook and other platforms.
Holiday posts also foster a sense of community. Sure, you might take this opportunity to offer a super deal to your audience, (people tend to spend more money around the holidays) but a well-crafted holiday post can encourage people to feel a part of something bigger. Especially when your post encourages them to give back to the community, to share for greater rewards, or to remind them what’s really important during the holidays. Interactive posts are also good for encouraging participation and community.
From a pure marketing standpoint, major holidays are usually bigger shopping days for most of your audience. And, since people make most purchase decisions with their emotions first, a post that appeals to them in that way has the best chance of converting a promotion into a sale. But, that’s not all there is to holiday marketing.
Let’s look at the next key reason why holiday posts are so important.
Holiday Social Media Posts Are Timely and Relevant
One of the biggest challenges facing a social media marketer is the creation of content that has context. That is, it is delivered to the right person, at the right time, via the right channel, and has the right message. We’ve all heard of brands who get too aggressive with their autoposter and let a “Merry Christmas” post slip through in March. That’s a bad sign to your audience that you are not engaged and not paying attention to what you’re posting. That’s why it’s important to post holiday messages in a timely manner. Don’t be too early or too late. You can certainly post teasers leading up to a holiday promotion, but don’t jump the gun on your powerful holiday post.
And, don’t miss an opportunity to promote a fun holiday in between national holidays.
Another important thing to remember about holiday social posts is that the same post doesn’t work every year. For instance, if the current Pokémon Go explosion is still a thing come Labor Day, feel free to create a related post telling Facebook followers to go out on their day off and find Pikachu. Next year? Probably not a good idea.
It’s also a good idea to post holiday content that is relevant to your industry. Commenting on businesses or sales that are wholly unrelated to your brand might spread some seasonal cheer, but will not flow organically with the rest of your marketing opportunities, and might even detract from your standard strategies.
Why else are holiday posts so important?
Holiday Social Media Posts are Sharable
People love to share holiday spirit posts. The Best Friend’s day post below encourages users to tag their friends. That increases engagement and, ultimately, can increase page likes. A caveat – no social post is shareable without:
- Stunning visuals
- A well-placed message
- An interesting call to action
Studies show that people who don’t post that often tend to post more during the holidays, with 30% saying they would post gifts they receive on social media. So, it stands to reason that if you give them engaging holidays outside the norm, they might be inclined to share those as well. Not buying that? What about this one?
Unless someone’s a Star Trek fan, they might be tempted to share this post. Holidays that bring people together provide you with an opportunity to create simple, visually appealing posts that are shareable.
As Star Wars Day indicates, you don’t have to wait for big holidays – events and reasons to post are everywhere! There is no real “perfect time”. You can use celebrity birthdays, trends, sports events, historical days and trendy holidays like the example above to get likes, shares, and sales.
And don’t forget that you can create Facebook Ads with holiday content, as well. An ad that gets shares is an ad that reaches even more people. Use a tool like AdEspresso to create a custom audience and see how your reach grows. Facebook Ads are only one of many Facebook holiday marketing ideas.
To help you monitor events and holidays, check out:
- National Day Calendar
- Days of The Year
How to Successfully Include Holiday Posts in Your Social Media Marketing Campaign
It’s a simple formula: know your audience, then aim to surprise and delight them. You can engage your fans and followers and generate more likes and shares with engaging content – and holiday and event posts are some of the most engaging. Tie them in with a sale, quiz, special offer, discount or another incentive to get a lot of oomph. Here are some posts that have done well:
1) Promote the Art of Giving to Seasonal Causes and Charities
Content like this brings positive attention to your business, because it suggests that your brand is committed to awareness, attuned to social needs, and is unafraid to draw attention to things that truly matter, rather than placing unending emphasis on your business. Promoting a local charity is one of the best ways to ring in the seasonal cheer, and can demonstrate to your followers that you are invested in more than just profits, and want to make sure that the holiday season comes along with plenty of generosity, compassion, and social awareness.
To achieve this, you can collaborate with a specific charity or cause, or you can simply select the cause that you are most likely to give to, yourself. You can amplify this type of content by promising to match donations, give 10% of profits to that charity for a certain period of time, or donate products to the charity in question.
2) Show Gratitude to Your Family, Friends, Colleagues, and Local Businesses
Virtually every festival and celebratory season involves gratitude in some form or another, and taking the time to express your gratitude for family, friends, colleagues, employees, and local businesses can help your followers recognize your business’ devotion to kindness, consideration, and healthy attitudes and practices. A Christmas post might involve making a video to express gratitude to employees for working so hard during a busy season, while a Valentine’s Day post might thank a local business for supplying plenty of chocolate or roses for those special someones we all know and love.
Showing gratitude plays the dual role of humanizing your company or brand, and connecting with followers of another business or company. It also improves your company image, as it makes it seem as though your business or brand is committed to kindness, rather than blindly chasing consumers and pushing for sales.
3) Create a Holiday-Themed Contest or Giveaway
Giveaways can turn a casual browser into a customer, because people are more likely to express interest in a product if they know they may be able to get it for free. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter giveaways are all enormously popular, and can help you gain a larger following in your target audiences–particularly if you take the opportunity to encourage potential customers to re-post your initial giveaway photo to their own social media channels, thereby increasing your reach.
To do this effectively, use an image (or multiple pictures) that feature your brand prominently, and the services or item that is being given away. Giveaway contests are often among the most popular posts put forth by companies, and can do a great deal to improve your brand’s reach.
4) Provide Special Holiday Offers
Companies that offer their users a chance to snag their products at a discount are far more likely to drive sales than companies who rigidly adhere to their initial pricing. A sale often encourages users to have been on the fence about purchasing to step up, and a simple Instagram photo can do a world of good in encouraging reluctant purchasers to leap on the offer of a discount, and finally take the step to purchase your products.
While large companies might offer 50% or more off of their products, small companies often do well when offering even a 5% or 10% discount, as most people recognize that smaller companies do not have the same resources as larger entities. Special offers can perform multiple functions and tie back into charity efforts, as a special offer might decrease the price by 5%, while also offering a 5% donation to improve awareness of a cause or charity.
5) Retheme Your Account for the Holidays by Changing Your Visuals
Changing your profile photos and social media ads to reflect the current season can make your accounts seem more current and user-friendly. Social media success relies heavily on brands remaining up to date and in the know, and social media campaigns that fail to keep themselves abreast of the seasons and their corresponding celebrations often fail.
Visual changes can be simple, such as adding a Santa hat to your existing logo, or can be larger, and include changing all of your branding (temporarily) to colors associated with certain days, such as pink or red on Valentine’s Day, or green for St. Patrick’s Day. Changing your standard branding can prove tricky if you do not take the necessary steps to revert material once the season has passed, so be sure to create a schedule to change materials back to standard branding once the celebratory season has passed.
6) Share Fun Holiday-Themed Lists
Humans are extremely visual creatures, with increasingly dwindling attention spans. The listicle is one of the most popular types of content found on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites, because it is easy and fun to read, and is essentially social media gold. Often times, readers are interested in learning, but only do so effectively if they learn in simple, straightforward instructions or lists.
Educating and engaging your audience is easy with themed lists, which can be as simple as listing bucket lists for a given season, or as complicated as identifying the different origins of a certain tradition associated with a celebratory season or day. Facebook and Instagram can take this process one step further by allowing you to create interactive lists and quizzes in Facebook and Instagram stories, simultaneously sharing compelling content and encouraging engagement.
7) Host a Fun Virtual Holiday Livestream
A livestream can feel like a personal invitation to a company party or soiree, and can help drive engagement, whether from the sense of intimacy that is often times delivered via such an event, or from a simple sense of curiosity about what might occur during the livestream. Livestreams can be used to host charity drives, teach classes or workshops, and simply act as a company-wide “hangout,” all of which can further drive holiday marketing efforts and capitalize on existing social media strategy.
Hosting these events can also help you maintain a solid social media presence, as you can base your entire social media content calendar around different events that take place, even if they are as small as “National Kindness Day.” Livestreams around these days can be as dramatic and over-the-top or simple and muted as you’d like.
Finally, a Word From The Field
We talked to a few marketing professionals to ask them why they think holiday posts might be the future of social media marketing. Here’s what they had to say:
Mike Alton, the genius behind The Social Media Hat and good social media friend of mine, had this to say: “As a coach and resource to other bloggers, I say that if you can identify just one holiday or season for each month of the year, and create rich, evergreen resources around that topic, you’ll enjoy steady traffic growth and interest over and over again.”
Elizabeth Fickenscher, freelance social marketer and copywriter, said that holiday posts provide a great way for her clients to engage with their social audiences without a hard sell. “So many of my clients want foot traffic, or for people to buy one of their products. It’s hard to balance those types of posts WITHOUT holiday and event-related posts. Holidays and special events give me the chance to create posts that people like and share, in a way that makes them feel good. I use this tactic with every client I’ve got, and always will.”
Don’t wait. Create themed content today.
Do you use holiday posts for social media as part of your overall social media marketing strategy?
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash
This is a post written on behalf of one of my marketing partners. All opinions are 100% mine.