As pumpkin spice emerges and long summer nights turn into cozy evenings, it's officially time to switch gears. And we’re not talking about refreshing your sweater collection or baking pies—we’re talking about your social media strategy for the holiday season.
2020 has been a pivotal year for marketers. Annual social media strategies were traded for on-the-fly tactics to stay timely and meet new needs. Holiday strategies have always been locked down months (or even years) in advance—but 2020 is unique. Ecommerce skyrocketed, the cancellation of photoshoots made way for an increase in lo-fi content, and events went digital. Brands adapted to a new social landscape, quickly shifting priorities and introducing innovative tactics. It’s time to redirect your new approach to social media to your holiday campaigns and social media strategy.
In this critical time for brands across industries, social marketers are finalizing their approaches to a holiday season unlike any other. Brands are left guessing what the social and economic climate will be a few months down the road, making it even more challenging to lock down a holiday social strategy. To put your best foot forward, keep these tips top of mind throughout the creation process:
1. Our biggest piece of advice: stay true to your brand and speak from the heart. Now more than ever consumers are looking for authenticity and transparency from the brands they interact with. The holidays are the perfect time to reinforce your brand story, highlight what your brand stands for, and keep it real with your followers.
2. Celebrate holidays across culture and religions. Plan your content calendar around holidays and other important days for your diverse community. Tap into your team and your community to recognize the meaning behind each holiday and celebration.
3. Root your strategy in celebration and positivity. Avoid feeling salesy or pushy. It’s always tempting to focus your holiday strategy around products and promotions, but this year put forward an uplifting narrative that will build an emotional connection with your target audience to maximize ROI and brand loyalty.
4. Integrate your holiday strategy across social media channels. Consumers go to different channels for different purposes and it’s critical that your social strategy takes consumer behavior into account, especially during the holiday season. Pinners head to Pinterest to plan for purchases and users head to Instagram for inspiration and discovery. To meet consumers at each point of the buyer journey on their channel of choice, curate your holiday strategy with each unique channel and audience in mind. Social marketers need to curate Pins that educate and inform Pinners—and they need to do it before your holiday strategy launches on channels like Instagram and TikTok.
5. Leverage user-generated content (UGC) and influencers. Repurposing photos and videos created by your community and brand partnerships quickly became a core content pillar for almost every brand this year and will be equally impactful this holiday season. As you curate your holiday content, keep in mind how you can call on your community to get involved in your campaigns. Using this content on your feed and in your advertising can amplify the impact of your social strategy.
6. Add a link-in-bio solution. Send followers directly to your ecommerce site in a matter of seconds. Tools like LikeShop and Shoppable TikTok allow brands to create a second feed that doubles as a branded shopping experience for followers. The perfect addition to your holiday social strategy and a guaranteed revenue booster.
7. Leave room for last-minute changes. Social marketers have mastered the art of pivoting strategies and shifting content calendars to stay timely and meet shifting consumer needs. This still rings true this holiday season. It remains crucial that brands prepare to incorporate new messaging or shift narratives to stay relevant and thoughtful.
8. Start today. While it’s important to stay agile, it’s equally important to plan ahead and tease your holiday campaigns before prime holiday marketing season hits. Offer a glimpse into what your followers can look forward to and build hype as consumers start to plan their holiday shopping lists.
9. Engage with your followers in real time. Think: IG Live, DMs, and comments. Use the holidays as an opportunity to deepen connections with your followers and remind them of the team behind your brand. Stay on top of product questions, inquiries, and messages from your community while keeping the holiday spirit entact.
10. Get personal with your community. Leave room for reflection and forward-thinking. Don’t be afraid to talk about the biggest hurdles your brand has overcome this year and, more importantly, what changes you plan to make in 2021 and beyond.
The holidays will be filled with reflection, gratitude, and hope. It’s more important than ever that your holiday marketing strategy is meaningful and thoughtful. Forget pushing sales through your social channels and focus on positivity and celebration. Take a step back and reevaluate what worked and what didn’t this year and use these learnings to guide your holiday social strategy.