Holiday Social Media Marketing: 10 Tips & Tools to #SLEIGH in 2021

Pumpkin spice season has officially commenced, meaning social media marketers are fully caffeinated and ready to hit the ground running with their holiday social media campaigns. The holiday season can be the most wonderful time of year for your business, that is, if your brand has the proper social media presence, of course.

With trending topics like inventory shortages, shipping bottlenecks, etc., this post-COVID holiday season is going to be different. In fact, nearly half of all consumers plan to kick off their holiday shopping before November, 57% of which plan on making their holiday purchases online this year. Sleigh, what?! That means that if you haven’t yet started your holiday marketing planning, you’re late to the game.

To help you catch up fast, we’ve gathered our top 10 tips to help you #sleigh all your social media advertising efforts this season:

Mark Your Calendar
The holiday season is a whirlwind! Make sure to mark your calendar with the holidays and events that are important to your brand and schedule content in advance. Here are a few dates to keep in mind this holiday season:

  • Thanksgiving— November 25
  • Black Friday — November 26
  • Small Business Saturday — November 27
  • Cyber Monday — November 29
  • #GivingTuesday — November 30
  • Hanukkah — November 28 – December 6
  • Christmas Eve — December 24
  • Christmas — December 25
  • Kwanzaa — December 26 – January 1
  • New Years day (IE: New Year’s resolutions) – January 1

Backend Basics
Set yourself up for success this holiday season by taking the time to review the backend of each platform in which you plan to advertise, ensuring that they are optimized and updated. First and foremost, double-check that your business’s pixels, website tags, and cross-platform integrations are connected and communicating with accurate reporting. Next, be sure to update billing, payment methods, and spend limits to reflect your budgets. Backend preparation is key to avoiding billing mishaps and lost analytics!

Set The Right Budget
The online advertising scene is fierce during the holiday season. To keep up with increased consumer demand, the advertising marketplace is inevitably bound to be saturated with new advertisers and increased budgets from already existing marketers in the ring. However, with proper preparation, you can set your company up for success this season!

With increased activity and competition in the marketplace, prices are bound to increase, meaning you are likely to pay more for ads than you would any other time of year. Keeping this in mind, be sure to review your business KPIs and consider adjusting your holiday advertising budgets to accommodate these circumstances.

Use The Right Platforms
Connecting with the right audience is vital to the success of your social media efforts, especially during the holiday season. To optimize your efforts, take a closer look at your KPIs and target audiences to ensure you’re meeting them in the right digital spaces.

Each social media network has its own set of features that present unique opportunities to reach your target audience. For example, Pinterest is a great place to target users with a shopping mentality and is proven as an effective platform to drive website traffic conversions. Twitter, in particular, is a valuable hub for addressing customer service and feedback. On the other hand, platforms like Instagram and Facebook are great assets if you are looking to showcase visual assets and create an engaged community of brand-loyal followers.

Be In The Know
One of the caveats of maintaining a social media presence is ensuring you stay up to date with the latest trends, system updates, and algorithmic changes. Prior to diving deep into your holiday advertising efforts, be sure to do your due diligence and review the latest and greatest features and trends on each platform. Thankfully, many social networks provide advertisers with holiday-specific tips and tricks to help you set your brand up for success. Check out these 2021 holiday resources from Instagram, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Prepare Your Inbox
It’s no surprise that increased user activity amounts to fuller inboxes, it just makes sense. But, fear not, there are several ways you can prepare for this potential inbox overload.

During the holiday season, it is likely that you will see an influx of customer service-related inquiries, questions about shipping dates and order status, and general post activity. Before launching your holiday strategy, ensure that you have a proper strategy and protocol mapped out to tackle these messages. If you have a designated comms team in place, creating a brand-safe spreadsheet of response templates is a great way to save time and ensure that your responses are consistent! For best practices, be sure to respond to comments and concerns (both publicly and through Direct Message) in a timely manner. This shows your audience that you are active and genuinely care about the integrity of your brand, plus who doesn’t love an extra boost in engagement?

Repackage & Repitch
The holiday season is busy enough to begin with, and there is no reason to completely reinvent the wheel for each platform. More often than not, we overthink our approach entirely and make things more complicated than they need to be. Instead, plan your holiday strategy around just a few strong pieces of messaging, focusing on quality over quantity. This rich content can then be repurposed for optimal performance amongst your various platforms by making minor shifts in asset dimensions, copy, and tone of voice. Not only does this approach save you time, but it ensures that your brand messaging is consistent and refined across all of the platforms that are a part of your current social media strategy!

Share The Love
The holidays are full of gathering, celebrating, and love! So why not tap into the spirit of the season and extend that cheer to your online community? Encourage your audience to share their experiences with your brand to their social network profiles, and be sure to engage by liking, commenting, and sharing when they do. As an added bonus, you can leverage these pieces of User Generated Content (UGC) and schedule them out as a part of your brand’s content strategy moving forward. Showcasing your community and what they love about your product reinforces your authenticity, boosts engagement, and cultivates a rich community of engaged users!

Stay True To Your Brand
It can be tempting to stray away from your usual messaging when crafting messaging during the holiday season, and many brands make the mistake of playing it too safe. Stay true to your brand’s unique voice and find ways to incorporate the familiarity of holiday messaging without compromising your zest. When it comes down to it, your audience chooses to engage with your brand because it is different, setting you apart from competitors and harnessing their attention. You must set yourself apart from the sea full of holiday advertisers. Stay true to your overarching strategy and have fun when creating your holiday messaging and creative assets!

Continue The Conversation
Holiday advertising is not for the faint of heart, so why let your efforts go to waste? Instead, leverage your newfound followers and increased community engagement and find ways to stay relevant beyond the holiday season. A great way to deepen this relationship with your audience is by converting them to email subscribers. Set aside a portion of your holiday advertising spend to run a lead generation campaign. Connecting with your audience through multiple channels keeps your brand top of mind and inevitably sends them further down the sale funnel!

‘Tis the season with these tips and your social media efforts are sure to be a success this holiday season!

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