Who said holiday specials don’t have to start and end on your TV (or streaming platform). If you’re a business looking for a sales spike from some seasonal marketing, this can be a very merry month indeed. Besides the host of festivities that December packs, it also takes the mantle as the most expensive month of the year.
No kidding—from marketing cost to online shopping, people across the globe are on a spending high loading their carts with festive cheer, and both businesses and consumers running up huge bills. social media has only served to fuel this business behavior. Quelle surprise!
So while you’re busy decking the halls, here’s a quick question. Have you optimized your social media marketing efforts to channel all this holiday cheer? We know that’s a tough one, so while you’re chewing on that thought… we’re going to give you a set of ready and workable ideas that can be rolled out in the next few days to get you those holiday numbers you want! So let’s look at how you can add a touch of festivity to your brand and please customers this holiday season:
1. Add value to their spending
Adding value to your customer spending is the holiday equivalent of adding a dash of magic in their lives. Any value that can be counted, discounted, and has the power to reshape someone’s budget is a sure win this season. As a business, the most substantial thing you can do for your customers is to reduce the size of their holiday bills by adding more value to their spending.
It could be a free product sample, extra service, extended subscription, or slashed pricing. But remember to carry this effort into your social media channels—it gives you the opportunity to increase the engagement on your social channels and push your brand’s voice into the ongoing holiday chatter.
2. Help them with the season’s schedule
Of course, there’s more than one way to add value. If tweaking your sales strategy doesn’t fit your overall business plan, you can consider simply embodying the spirit of the holidays and helping your customers out. This is exactly the route that Barnes and Noble took a few Christmases ago. With a trending hashtag #BNGiftTip, they helped their audience with book suggestions and tips, using the hashtag almost like a Q&A forum and encouraging people to give books as gifts.
— Barnes & Noble (@BNBuzz) November 7, 2014
If you can’t directly slash prices or do giveaways, ensure that you offer value in some way. Keep a dedicated staff around to help with questions, ideas, and tips, and help your customers in ways that your regular business schedule may not give room for. Go that extra mile this season.
3. Add value to a cause
Maybe you don’t want to go down the same route everyone’s taking. Maybe giving big discounts or raining freebies on potential customers seems a little excessive, and you don’t have a lot of holiday staff around to help with an elaborate campaign. Not to worry.
You can try to make your holiday-branding more meaningful by working with a cause that means something to your business. For instance, Walmart in 2016 conducted a corporate social responsibility campaign during the holiday season called #WellWishes. For every Kraft product that was purchased, some of that cost would go as proceeds to the Children’s Miracle Network organization. By promoting a hashtag to send well wishes to its beneficiaries, Walmart caught the attention of the public by shifting their holiday focus to those who needed help.
Tis’ the season of giving, and that doesn’t end with just your customers. There’s a lot that brands can do during a holiday to add a dimension of meaning to their business and take it beyond the bottom line. Adding value to the season, sometimes also just means adding value to something that matters. Even if it doesn’t translate into direct sales, it helps build your brand.
4. Join in the festivities
Of course, we haven’t forgotten the additional expenses that you have to shoulder while running a campaign of any size, or by tweaking your sales pitch. Which is why, if none of the above is feasible right now, it’s time to just jump into the festive spirit and wear your Rudolph costume (or not). Sprinkle some digital snowflakes on your website, send a seasonal greeting, or even just throw in a decorative banner in your monthly newsletter. You can do just enough to gain exposure and social media brownie points.
Disclaimer – not every season needs to be a business priority for every single brand. It really depends on your bandwidth and your budget, besides just your brand personality and audience.
Let’s show you an example of how a brand exemplified this concept with minimalism. Nerolac India’s simple Christmas design is so good, it’s enough.
5. Crowd-sourced campaigns
A crowd-sourced campaign moves with the pulse of the social network, and is a safe-bet campaign if getting more engagement is the goal. If you’re a business that offers everyday goods and services-like FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods)-it is even easier to use this strategy to build up the tempo on your social channels and get a buzz going. Why? Because everyday brands are:
- Universally appealing
- More relatable for customers
- More widely discussed on social media
Crowd-sourced campaigns not only create visibility for your brand, making your followers feel like they are part of a trend, but it gives you a window of opportunity to understand your followers and their social media behavior more deeply.
The clothing company Anthropologie pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the #dearanthro campaign, which was rolled out a couple of Christmases ago. The campaign asked followers to send their wish list to the brand’s social media profile, and one would be selected at random and fulfilled. The campaign got thousands of people engaging with over 5,000 responses within just days.
— Anthropologie (@Anthropologie) December 17, 2015
It’s not easy building a holiday campaign, but when you realize that it boils down to just making sure your customers (and potentials!) are taken care of, it becomes a whole lot easier to find your gap—especially on a platform as dynamic as social media.