Christmas campaigns are a huge deal. Each year after Halloween has passed, the festive floodgates open and in crashes the Christmas adverts, dozens of marketing emails and festive songs on the radio. The shops begin to fill with present opportunities for loved ones, and ultimately, the pressure is turned up for businesses to get customers in through the doors or onto their website.
In this day and age, we’re so used to seeing marketing campaigns at every turn; whether it be in our inboxes, on the side of busses, on message boards outside cafes or on social media. But when it comes to digital marketing, if you need proof that good Christmas campaigns are one of the best ways to increase social engagement, just turn to the long-awaited Christmas adverts from John Lewis and Marks and Spencers for example, who for the last couple of years have launched their adverts on social media even before showing them on TV. In doing so, these adverts have become a talking point for the online world to share popular digital content.
With this influx of information around the Christmas period, it’s becoming harder to dissect the good campaigns from the bad. So we are here to share some pointers on how to run a successful Christmas campaign without losing your head, your money or time.
Make your social profiles festive
There is no shame in changing your Facebook banner to an image of a reindeer or a picture of a dog wrapped in tree lights, but if your brand is a clothing shop, for example, take a moment and think how does this relate to your business? What is the aim of posting this image and will this draw people to your social media pages? There is no harm in changing your images for a more Christmassy approach, just make sure it’s consistent with the message you are trying to portray. If your business sells beauty items online, perhaps consider changing your profile images to a gift hamper of your own items for example. You don’t have to overthink it, just remember your profile reflects the message you want to convey to your audience.
Scheduling messages over the busy festive period
Engaging with customers over the holidays can be tiresome, but it’s also one of the most important things you can do. If you aren’t able to post content by hand, pre-scheduling messages using social media management software is a great way to save you time or if you’re out of office. It will show your customers and followers that you care, even when in reality you might be at home with your slippers on, eating a box of chocolates on the sofa. Just be careful not to rely completely on automated postings for more than a week. People like to know there is a human element of a company or a brand, and responding to messages straight away is important if an issue occurs.
Give your campaign a human touch
There’s no denying that people’s sense of generosity, love and emotions are heightened in the run-up to Christmas, and social media campaigns should aim to effectively tap into this and drive action towards your brand or website. It’s ideal to plan your Christmas adverts and posts weeks in advance to avoid any last minute stress or confusion. Christmas is about sharing, and in terms of social media, it primarily means sharing posts, images and videos in order to engage your customers on a daily basis. Think about your own personal experiences around the festive season, what could you do on social media that other people could relate to? Since people are in the spirit of giving, they are more likely to hand over their cash or their time if they feel a sense of connection with you.
Create voucher codes
Your social media platforms may not warrant millions of pounds to promote an advert or a campaign, but the overall aim is to draw people to what you have to offer, therefore increasing your brand awareness and overall engagement. Social media integration for ecommerce sites can be one of the biggest sources of traffic to a website. Whether you sell a product or a service, everyone loves a discount in the run-up to Christmas because let’s face it, it’s a very expensive time of the year. In producing a time-limited voucher, this creates a sense of urgency, therefore people are more likely to take action. You could even go a step further by promoting this code across all of your social media platforms to a product or service that isn’t usually discounted at this time of year. It’s always wise to ‘give back’ to your customers to show them you are grateful for their support all year round.
Play around with your posts
The great thing about social media campaigns is that there is always something new to discover. Whether you are exploring the wide range of advert opportunities available (carousel, video, photograph or slideshow Facebook ads) or posting polls on Instagram or Twitter to gauge your audience reaction, experimenting with your posts allows the opportunity to see what works well with your business. Instagram stories for example, is currently one of the most popular social media features online right now and people are using it to sell items with a tailored message. Research has shown that 98 percent of social media users have watched an explaination video to learn more about a product or service and from this, 74 percent said they subsequently bought the item they were watching. If you haven’t trialled social media for your campaigns before, now is the perfect time to do so.
Create a festive hashtag for your campaign
Marks & Spencer’s did this brilliantly last year. Their festive campaign in 2016 featuring Mrs Claus reflects how far people will go to get involved with a Christmas story. It was launched with the social media tag #LoveMrsClaus, which set out to connect the retailer’s emotion with consumers. Not only did this help to identify Marks & Spencer’s as an important retail brand, but further enabled them to monitor engagement through the use of a simple hashtag. By dominating this simple but effective social media tool, they were able to get free advertising from anyone retweeting or sharing the hashtag at the time.
We hope these Christmas campaign ideas will help if you’re thinking of starting an online campaign. If you’d like any advice on improving your business’s social media strategy, then do not hesitate to get in touch.