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10 social media marketing tips for the holiday season

by Ana, posted 2 years ago
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Holiday season is just around the corner and although it is in fact the most wonderful time of the year, it is also the busiest for marketers. Whether you are running a campaign for Black Friday, Christmas, New Year’s or your mom’s birthday, integrating social media is a must.

Social media is influencing more and more the holiday retail journey of consumers each year. According to Market Track, 56% of shoppers are planning to use social media for shopping in some way. In the US alone, sales through social media have increased from $3 billion in 2012 to $14 billion in 2015, whereas 33% of consumers have acted on a promotion on a brand’s social media page.

Now, the question is, how could you integrate social media into your holiday marketing push? Take a look at some tips and tricks to help you out.


Assess your past campaigns

Take a step back and look into how your past holiday season campaigns performed. Take a look at what your goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were, what were the results, what content and medium performed well and what didn’t work. All these factors should be the baseline for your next big campaign and can save you a lot of time and resources when designing your next marketing move.

[Tweet “The results of your past Social Media Marketing campaigns are the baseline for the next. “]


Set goals

Setting clear goals for your social media marketing outreach this holiday season will help you focus on what matters. More than that, at the end of the season it will be much easier to look back and estimate what worked and what didn’t.

A good method for setting goals and KPIs is the SMART approach. This way, you make sure you set a clear and realistic set of objectives for the holiday season.

SMART Social Media Marketing goals (1)

The recent changes on major social media platforms, make it easier for consumers to purchase products or services straight from their social accounts. What this means to you? That you shouldn’t be afraid to set direct sales as your social media marketing goal. If you’re planning on experimenting with the recently introduced buttons on Twitter and Pinterest, Social Media Examiner has put together a really helpful guide. Check it out here.


Choose your platforms

Cross-promotion is great but in the busiest time of the year, and you don’t want to spread yourself too thin.

So instead, focus on the platforms that are likely to have the highest impact on the results of your campaign by targeting your audience where they’re at. A good strategy is to check which social media platforms drive the most traffic to your website. This way, you increase the chances of a successful social media holiday campaign.

Once you’ve set your goals and KPIs, it is time to decide on the social media platforms you’ll be using to amplify your message. Keep in mind that your focus should be on the platforms that have performed the best for your brand in the past and are more likely to drive the most impact.

[Tweet “Choose the best Social Media platforms for your brand based on your goals and target audience. “]

A few general points to keep in mind for some of the major social media platforms:

Twitter is heavily based on interaction and communication with your audience. According to Nielsen, 52% of people follow brands in order to stay informed of special promotions and discounts.
Demographic: 18% women and 17% men, whereas 31% of Twitter users are 18-29 years old.

Twitter users

Facebook is built for longer text usually calls for a more personal, casual tone. According to research, 45% of people like a brand on Facebook for insider knowledge and special deals.

Demographic: Basically all age groups use Facebook, even though the biggest group are millennials.

Facebook users


A lot of things have been heard about Google+ lately, and it appears that this platform is not yet ready to let go. is believed to be largely male and tech-driven and it is one of the fastest growing social media platforms for marketers. In 2014, 54% of marketers were actively using Google+ to amplify their content, while 61% plan on increasing their activities.

Instagram and Pinterest

Image-based social media such as Instagram and Pinterest have turned into the next big thing for social media marketing in 2014 and will continue to grow in 2015.

In fact, 65% of the world’s top brands have embraced Instagram, whereas Pinterest has been found to be driving more traffic than other social platforms.


Work on your message

The holiday season is a great opportunity for your brand to focus on its fun side. So do not forget to be entertaining while adding value to your audience. More than that, it is important to keep it positive. In general, social media posts that generate positive feelings such as compassion and empathy are in fact the ones that perform best in terms of engagement.

[Tweet “Social Media posts that generate positive feelings perform better.”]

John Lewis’ Christmas advert for this year is a great example of the right holiday brand message: positive, emotional, eye-catching.

Of course while you might not have similar resources to create something similar for your brand, you sure have creativity! Encourage audience interaction with contests, asking questions or simply replying to theirs and engaging images.

Visuals are an integral part of any holiday social media outreach as visual content is becoming more and more important for social media marketing.

In order to make sure everything goes out on time, list every task with a deadline and write down any time you might need to reach that deadline. Whether you are planning on an infographic, a video or simply images to compliment your social media posts, make sure you coordinate with your designer so that all assets are delivered on time.

If you’re more of a Jack of all trades, tools like Canva are so helpful for marketing visuals and very easy to use.

5 reasons why visuals work on Social Media


Schedule and automate

Preparing your content in advance will not only save you a lot of time but also a lot of stress while the campaign is running. In order to make sure, everything is produced on time, whether this is a blog post, a landing page or the copy of a Facebook post, list every task, setting specific deadlines for delivery and publishing.

This will provide you with a much needed overview of your content plan and all the things that need to be done until launch.

Tools like Buffer or Friends+Me are your best allies during the holiday season as they allow you to schedule and automate your content easily.

The schedule of your posts obviously depends on when you have the maximum engagement on your posts. For Twitter, I find this information by checking my Best Times to Tweet graph on Twitter Counter. This way, I can tell at a glance, on which days and times my tweets drive the highest engagement.

Best time to tweet

But don’t get carried away! Although it’s holiday season and everyone’s looking for a good deal most likely, make sure your posting plan reflects the 20/80 rule. This means that 20% of your posts can be promotional or related to your brand, and 80% can be third-party content.


Be consistent

If you’re running a campaign or even celebrating the holiday season as a brand on different platforms, it is important to maintain consistency in your content but also your visual elements.

All your channels should have a similar look and feel, conveying a consistent brand image, but more importantly you should have a common narrative across platforms.

Controversy or no controversy about holiday coffee cups, Starbucks is one of the most consistent brands on social both in terms of narrative as well as in terms of visual elements.



Pull a Don Draper

Competition during the holiday season is high as many brands try to catch the people’s attention. So if you’ve already set some advertising budget on the side, now is probably the time to use it. Social media ad spending continues to grow as consumers turn more and more to social during their purchase journey. So a little bit of extra push could give your holiday outreach the visibility it deserves.



Measure your success

Measuring and monitoring during your holiday season campaign will help you create a baseline for future marketing campaigns and will provide you with useful insights into what resonates best with your audience.

So make sure your Social Media monitoring system is in place. Be on the lookout for conversations and trending hashtags and join the chatter contributing relevant content.

But how will you evaluate the success of your holiday campaign on Social Media? Make sure website visits and conversions are tracked using UTM tags in your links. This way, once the campaign is over, you can easily assess which channels where the most successful and what content performed better based on your KPIs.

And of course don’t forget to keep an eye on your social metrics for insights on your audience growth and engagement rate during your campaign.



Pay attention to customer care

Social media plays an important part not only during the customers decision process but also post-purchase. Research shows that 67% of consumers reported having contacted a company via social media for support. Another study found that customers who engage with brands over social media spend 20% to 40% more with those brands than other customers.

More than that, 42% of the people that reach out to a brand on social media for support expect a response within an hour, whereas companies that neglect customer care via social media experience an average churn rate that is 15% higher than companies that don’t.

So during and most importantly after your holiday campaign it is important to really focus on providing great customer care! This way, you enhance customer loyalty and encourage your happy customers to spread the word about how awesome you are.

At the end of the day, what is important to keep in mind when planning your holiday campaigns is that that the holiday season is a great opportunity for brands to bring out their human side and engage with their customers in a meaningful way.

Have you started planning or implementing your holiday campaigns? Let us know in comments right below!