Christmas trees and ornaments are already bringing festive cheer to the malls, Starbucks' red coffee cups are everywhere and Black Friday is here.
Is your company taking advantage of the opportunity to market your products and services during the time of year when consumers typically spend the most? Are your company's social media channels decked out to share in the season's spirit? If your answers are 'no,' don't worry – it's not too late to join the festivities and produce unique and engaging content to drive traffic to your social media channels and website.
Here are 10 simple tips to get your social media platforms into the holiday spirit:
1. Deck your halls. Before you begin sharing seasonal content, incorporate holiday-themed images into your profile pictures and backgrounds to show your business is ready for the festivities. This will signal that holiday posts, images and videos can be expected over the next few weeks.
2. Share some tips. You can share general advice, but if your business can fill a specific niche, offer up unique tips. For example, you can highlight your restaurant's holiday menus by providing a recipe, a short video clip or photo series of how to elevate stuffing and brussel sprouts.
3. Seasonal hashtags. Be sure to include holiday-trending hashtags to be part of the larger conversation. You can also create and include a unique company-related hashtag that could be utilized by others such as #CompanyNameXmas, #CompanyNameHolidays, or #CompanyNameGifts.
4. Design a competition. Set up a holiday-themed competition on your platforms as a way to engage your audiences and share more seasonal content. For example, encourage followers to post their best themed photo, video, or meme, which will add to the content your company is already producing. Increase participation by offering an incentive such as a promotion or a prize for the winner(s). If it were a competition seeking the most likes or shares, that would encourage participants to share your social media profiles.
5. Holiday tradition discussions. Similar to a competition, initiate discussions and posts about people's favourite holiday traditions as a way to create dialogue between your company and potential customers. This could include such topics as "favourite childhood holiday memory," "best way to cook a turkey," "gift ideas for the person who has everything" and "most overplayed holiday song".
6. Daily prize or promotion. A free daily prize or promo giveaway will entice people to check out (and potentially share) your social media profiles. For example, you could randomly select a winner from new likes, shares or retweets (RTs) for each of the 12 days of Christmas or do a countdown to New Year's to stretch out the contest.
7. Employee features. Your employees may have deep networks on multiple platforms. Add a more personal touch by featuring your employees in your content, and they will likely share with their networks something in which they are featured. Have them share their tips, pictures or reasons why they love the holidays. This offers people a peek inside your company and makes it a little easier for people to relate to your business as being made up of people as opposed to a faceless brand.
8. Virtual tour. Stores will be decked out in the most festive holiday decorations. And often employees decorate their office space as part of the holidays. Share these images on your social media channels to develop a connection with potential customers. Challenge your audiences or even other businesses to share how they have added to the holiday cheer at work.
9. Social media ads. Since you have incorporated holiday themes in your social media content, apply the same approach to the ads you may utilize on these platforms. This way, you can highlight a holiday special or promotion and attract individuals to your website or physical business.
10. Remember your audience. You may be operating a number of social media platforms. If you're not doing it already, remember to tailor your content by platform to reflect the audience and demographics on those channels. While a potential post with a link and several hashtags may work on Twitter, it may be more effective as an infographic on LinkedIn or as copy and a picture on Facebook. While you can repurpose content, it's much more effective if you don't take a one-size-fits-all approach.
It's the most wonderful time of the year to raise awareness for your company's brand and to inject some creative and lighthearted content into marketing campaigns.
Jennifer Osborne is a digital marketing expert. She is the president of Search Engine People Inc. (SEP), Canada's largest digital marketing firm, which has been on the PROFIT 100 ranking of Canada's Fastest Growing Companies for the past five consecutive years and named one of PROFIT Magazine's 50 Fastest Growing Companies in the Greater Toronto Area. Jennifer has been named as one of Canada's top women entrepreneurs.