HO HO Holy moly, are we really writing about Christmas in early October? Well, if you don’t get a Christmas social plan in place soon then you risk getting a lump of coal from Santa this year. With US consumers spending 602 billion dollars last holiday season, it’s no surprise that 67% of marketers will be spending more on their social media marketing this Christmas than they did last year. There’s a whole lot of stockings to be filled, will your goods be in them?
Big Christmas campaigns can be remembered for generations and become anticipated events every year. High budget TV christmas campaigns can be great, but they’re not an option for everyone and they’re definitely not the whole story. A hall-deckin’, cracker-pullin’, Christmas-puddin’ of a social campaign can help to level the online playing field for brands of all sizes. If you don’t have a plan in place, or you’re looking for something to add to yours, then here’s an early present from SocialBro. These are some effective, affordable social campaign ideas that will help you to tra-la-la-la-land customers with your Christmas marketing strategy.
Have An Advent Calendar
Everyone loves advent calendars, and on social media you have the added bonus of curious users not being able to open all of the doors on the first day! Instead of chocolate behind a door, each day you can unveil a 24-hour competition, giveaway, discount code, or offer. If you don’t want to give stuff away every day, some amusing content like a quote, joke, or picture will still help to drive engagement and awareness as people are racking their brains for gift ideas. Here’s a couple of picks from last year to give you some inspiration:
Vogue Paris handed over the reigns of their Instagram account to glamorous influencers close to the magazine. Photographers, models, collaborators, and designers posted previously unseen Christmas related snaps. This gave their readers warm insights into some of the biggest names in the industry.
Vogue Paris Advent Calendar Day 2 with @davidjulien's Christmas treat for @VogueParis all the way from Tokyo "My Christmas Yeti" #VogueParisAdvent #JulienDavid #takeover
The music website Supajam came up with a supacool advent calendar, as they gave away free tickets to gigs, free downloads of tracks, discount codes, film screenings, exclusive videos and specially written blogs in their advent calendar. It was hosted on their site, but social channels were used to drive traffic towards it.
Today is the first day of our advent calendar! We have a free EP download, an exclusive video, and a 25% off code! http://t.co/QgjoEu2XUc
— Supajam (@Supajam) December 1, 2013
The iconic Royal Albert Hall celebrated the yuletide countdown with a series of facts about the historic venue that tied in with the date in some way. This wasn’t just an exercise in bringing joy to the world of trivia buffs, it also demonstrated the dexterity of the venue and posts about athletics and rock shows would open it up to a wider audience than it traditionally caters for.
— Royal Albert Hall (@RoyalAlbertHall) December 19, 2013
Integrate User Generated Content From Social To Expand Your Wider Campaigns
Make the most of TV, radio, or print campaigns by using the limitless social platform to add details that wouldn’t fit into restricted advert slots. You can create extended, or alternate, versions of the advert, you can make day specific ones with minor alterations, or you could invite your community to come up with their own twist on the advert.
Last year, department store John Lewis ran a campaign on YouTube alongside their major TV advert that invited musicians to upload their own version of the song used in the advert. The winner had their song used in a prime time TV slot, but this campaign had so many great social entries that they decided to make a mash-up video of their favorites. Every one of the videos submitted reminded viewers of the main advert, achieving a highly valuable viral awareness effect for the John Lewis brand.
Thanks for the hundreds of incredible entries to our ReWorked competition. Here are just a few of our favourites…http://t.co/IHFPDXKPZc
— John Lewis (@johnlewisretail) December 20, 2013
Hate to break it to you, but Santa doesn’t always bring you what you want. Luckily, shops can! Instead of writing wishlists to everyone’s favorite festive man, how about getting people to write their wishlists directly to you? Last year Topshop ran their #DearTopshop campaign on Pinterest that offered participants the chance to win shopping sprees around the store. This campaign gets people talking about the brand and positions them squarely in the middle of the conversation about Christmas gift shopping. It showed the desirability of their products, and it also gets people to specify precisely what they want to any loved ones who may need gift inspiration spelt out for them.
Even at Santa’s speediest, he can’t always get a late gift to you in time for Christmas morning. So make a big deal out of counting down when people can no longer order from you in time for Christmas. This will help jolt people into action to order some awesome gifts from you. Nobody wants to be known as an unreliable sibling/spouse/parent/friend/awkwardly-matched-secret-santa-colleague, so give them frequent nudges to remind them to get their shopping done in time.
— Amazon (@amazon) December 18, 2013
Gift Card Christmas Cards
Giving out gift cards as an example of seasonal generosity doesn’t just lead to shares and increased awareness. It can get you a larger return than most other giveaways due to the fact that people often end up spending way more than the gift card is worth. 61% of people spend more than the amount on their gift card, and 75% of those people end up spending 60% or more of the gift card’s value. It’s almost like you’re giving a Christmas present to yourself!
Find Out Where Your Brand Sits Under The Social Tree
If you sell turkey, wrapping paper, and chestnuts to roast on an open fire, then we probably don’t need to tell you how to market yourself at Christmas. But not every brand suits the holiday season as obviously as others, so working out how your brand fits into your audience’s Christmas will help to inform your approach. This one from Intel finds an angle where tech and the holidays meet and created a highly shareable Tweet out of it.
— Intel (@intel) December 21, 2013
Schedule A “Merry Christmas” Tweet
Nothing too complicated here. Nobody expects a brand to be overly active on Christmas Day, but scheduling a goodwill Tweet in advance is a great way to tip your hat at your followers on Christmas morning without seeming overly intrusive. It only takes a few moments to do, and keeps your brand in people’s minds when they’re planning their manic Boxing Day shopping trips. Just make sure you remember to check-in and respond to those nice, warm and fuzzy replies.
Merry Christmas! We hope you're spending time with friends and family. Feel free to take a break from the internet. We'll be here tomorrow.
— Denny's (@DennysDiner) December 25, 2013
Don’t Forget A Dash Of Christmas Cheer!
Poor John Lewis, when the Virginia resident joined Twitter in 2007 he probably had no intention of being on the end of an annual sled load of Tweets intended for the British retailer of the same name. Especially as their aforementioned Christmas adverts have become the stuff of legends in the UK over the last few years. But that’s what has happened, and John deals with it admirably. With wit and warmth he politely redirects people to the shop’s @JohnLewisRetail handle that their Tweets were intended for.
— John Lewis (@johnlewis) December 26, 2013
— John Lewis (@johnlewis) October 16, 2013
How does John Lewis (the shop) respond to all of this? By rewarding the other John Lewis with a laptop and a ton of other goodies for his good natured manner throughout the situation. Both sides came out winners.
Thanks to @johnlewisretail for sending me a new macbook and lots of other goodies, with a nice letter signed by lots of folks from JL HQ.
— John Lewis (@johnlewis) November 26, 2013
Now that we’ve filled your head with thoughts of mulled wine, Christmas dinner, and tinsel, we’d like to bring you back to reality with the reminder that it’s still over two months away. But that’s fine, because it means you still have time to put together a hum-dinger of a Christmas social plan before the bells start ringing. What are some other festive social campaigns you’ve enjoyed in the past?