Article written by Lucy Spooner.
Christmas is an exciting time. As the nights draw in, it’s only a matter of time before your favourite Christmas tunes are accompanying you as you wander around town in preparation for the season.
It's also a great time to engage with your audience on social media in various festive ways.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking of ways to engage with your audience over the holidays.
But that can be quite tough, especially if you leave it to the last minute.
That's why I'm going to share with you 12 ideas for social posting during the most wonderful time of the year.
When it comes time to put the Christmas decorations up, you need to think about the profiles you’ve established across your platforms.
Some platforms have more scope for personalisation than others, allowing for cover photos as well as profile pictures.
There are several ideas you could choose from - traditional festive colours of red and green, a snowy winter wonderland style, silver and gold for a bit of Christmas glamour, or a specific theme built around your brand identity.
Make sure your chosen theme is consistent across all your platforms, and that you have a plan in place for how long it’s going to be visible.
During the holiday season, many brands create a hashtag to be used in their social media when sharing Christmas content.
Such hashtags are usually time-sensitive and exclusive to the time of year - some examples include:
John Lewis: #MozTheMonster
James’ holiday wish came true. Not just for him, but for a secondary school in Kenya. #WishesDelivered 💧✨— UPS (@UPS) November 28, 2017
Hashtags like these go hand-in-hand with unique seasonal campaigns, such as Christmas adverts or competitions. As well as developing your own brand hashtag, you can also use popular ones for the time of year to boost your content.
Everyone’s looking for a bargain at Christmastime, and a great way you can engage with your customers is to provide special offers and discounts on products and services you provide.
You could go the ‘advent calendar’ route and offer a different deal every day while customers are shopping around for gift ideas in the run-up to the 25th, or take advantage of the lull between Christmas and New Year to promote special offers.
If your brand has a physical store presence as well as being online, you can also encourage customers to visit you during that time - give them something to look forward to between the two big days!
Holding a competition - or more than just one - for your audience to participate in is a great way to engage during the festive period.
Some ideas for competitions could be encouraging followers to share their festive anecdotes or photos, providing a photo of your own and requesting they ‘caption this!’, or doing a daily quiz question with a prize for the correct answer.
A more simple option could be simply setting competition entry requirements as ‘like, comment, and/or share’, to increase your engagement.
You can combine competition prizes with special offers, offering a further incentive for followers to take part. Make sure you have clear and well-publicised competition rules in place!
An alternative spin on the competition idea, this allows followers to engage by sharing with you want they really want for Christmas.
Encourage your audience to share their wishes with comments and images on the relevant posts, and do the same for yourself! Creating your own brand’s wishlist adds a nice personal touch.
It’s also possible to set up a ‘wishlist’ option on your site, similar to ‘favourites’, where visitors can add items they like the look of to a list of their own. You can even make it so if they create a wishlist in this way, they’ll be entered into a special draw to win their wishes!
It’s always nice to get a bit of a helping hand at Christmastime. If your audience needs present ideas for obscure relatives, the way to cook the perfect turkey, decorating advice, or any other tips to help them handle whatever Christmas throws at them, you’re in the perfect position to provide them.
A series of posts with numbered tips could go down well, or a list of several for followers to pick and choose from.
You can also engage your audience further by asking them to share their own advice for holidays.
Gift guides are very common with brands at this time of year - online stores divide their sites into sections based on the recipient, and magazines fill pages with choices for different family and friends.
You can do the same! Create your gift guides for him, for her, for kids, parents, pets, whatever you like.
Make sure to include a broad range of gifts that also vary in price, so you have something to catch the eye of a wider audience rather than a niche section.
Gift guides can be posted on your social channels in plenty of time for Christmas, as well as during the few days beforehand, as last-minute present-buying is also very common!
Expand on your special offers and discounts by giving something away absolutely free!
Whether it’s big or small, everybody likes to get something for nothing, and at a time of year when some of your followers might be trying to pinch their pennies here and there, offering them a freebie is a great opportunity.
You can turn it into a chance to win something for free with a giveaway, or create a buy-one-get-one-free offer on certain products.
Posts with predictions for the new year ahead can give your audience an insight into what you might be up to over the next twelve months.
If you research upcoming trends for brands in your industry, it’s also a great way for you to gain opinions from your followers, helping you preempt a trend’s popularity.
You can also use posts like these to engage with your followers and ask them what their own plans or hopes are for the new year.
On the flipside of number nine, you can also create a post or series of posts that look back over the last year. What new products have you introduced, if any? What were some big trends or moments in your industry? Did anything newsworthy happen in which you had a say?
The past twelve months will have been eventful for your audience, too. When you post about your brand’s year, make sure to encourage your followers to get involved in the discussion too.
Create a call-to-action for them to share their own stories and moments, as well as their favourite news from your brand - this can help you get an idea of what goes down well with your audience that you can replicate with future posts.
Once Christmas Day has been and gone, it’s time to start thinking about the new year beginning.
Do you or your brand have a New Year’s Resolution? Create a post around it, making sure to make it stand out. If there’s more than one, you can do a simple post series, with a CTA for your followers each time so they share their own resolutions.
Sharing your resolutions for the new year with your audience also means they get to see the promises you want to keep as a brand, helping you re-establish what you’re all about, and reminding followers of why they want to engage with you.
It’s the season of goodwill, and that means connecting with your followers, encouraging their brand loyalty, and giving them a big thank you for all the support they’ve given you during the year.
You can not only thank your followers, but also take the chance to individually thank members of your team and share their successes with your social media audience. Followers get to see who’s been helping them throughout the year, too.
Letting your audience know how much you appreciate their support will keep them coming back to you for the excellent services you provide.
Getting festive with your social media shows that you are human and not just 'anybody' behind a screen. You'll build a better relationship with your audience as the majority of people love the festive season.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any other social media tips and best practices for your festive updates.
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