As with any piece of marketing that you do, holiday social media planning should ladder up to your brand’s holiday goals. There are various types of goals that your company could shoot for: goodwill, revenue, web clicks, shares, etc. Going into the holiday season with a goal in mind will help you build a more effective campaign.

Social media is a major part of any holiday marketing effort. As we get closer to Thanksgiving and Black Friday, there are certain key aspects that many companies are implementing to make their holiday campaigns successful. Before you start planning, address three key areas:

Know your audience

  • What do your analytics tell you about your audience? What types of posts are they engaging with? This information will help you effectively speak to your audience.

Know your channel

  • Is Twitter your strongest channel with your most active audience? Play to your strengths – you have all of 2015 to get your other channels up to speed.

Know your goal

  • If your goal is to drive sales during the holiday, great. Know that you will be competing with everyone else. Make your content thrive on the appropriate channel(s). To stand out in social media during this crazy time of year is a big win for your marketing team.

The tactics listed below can help you and your company reach the goals you set out to achieve.

Contests

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Who doesn’t want to win prizes around the holidays? Whether it’s something huge like a vacation, or a smaller prize like store credit, contests are a great way to get your customers interacting with your brand. A couple of key points that should be taken into consideration when brainstorming a holiday contest or sweepstakes are: does it ladder back up to your holiday marketing goal, and what is the level of effort for prize fulfillment? It would be wise to not create a lot of extra work for your team during this busy time of year.

Promote Holiday Sales

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Running a holiday sale is a relatively simple but incredibly effective tactic. There are many options to get the most interaction out of your sale. Some companies run a series of smaller sales that lead into a big sale, i.e. following the breadcrumbs. Other companies pre-promote a large sale that lasts only a small amount of time, thus driving demand. Whatever you choose to do, give yourself time to promote your sale in social media as well. Use attractive graphics to tease your promotion and video to make major announcements. The more interaction you can garner before your sale goes live, the better chance you’ll have for success.

Get In The Spirit

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Your customers are most likely dealing with stress during the holidays, so creating sentimental posts around the best aspects of the season usually drives more interaction to your page. By looking at your analytics, you should be able to tell what types of posts historically do well (and when to post to get the most impressions). Your social media content should be at its best during the holiday season.

Serve Your Community

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Even large, nationally recognized brands have a role to play in their home communities during the holidays. Your involvement could be philanthropic, like donating food or toys to families in need. There are plenty of organizations that would love the help. Another way to get involved would be to attend community events, like a tree lighting or sponsor a night on the ice rink. Using photo and video to capture your company’s involvement will go toward fostering goodwill during the holiday season.

Talk With Your Customers

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Social media community management is very important during this festive time of year. Brands that excel in social media are putting in extra hours during the holidays to ensure customer satisfaction. There are two ways to approach community management: reactive and proactive. Reactive community management is geared toward serving your customers’ needs. Your community managers should have a calm demeanor and be expected to solve your customers’ problems quickly and effectively. When done properly, reactive community management can help keep your customers and make them more brand loyal.

Proactive community managers are looking for ways to enter conversations surrounding your company’s offerings. For example, if you’re a glasses retailer, your proactive outreach would be based around glasses, people looking for new glasses, and new product releases. This allows you to connect with new potential consumers in a real way. It also allows your brand to be in conversations that it wouldn’t have been otherwise, which could lead to eventual thought leadership.

Regardless of your preferred method, we are entering a fun and creative time in social media. Enjoy the season and the opportunities that it brings to make noise in this space.

What tactics will your brand deploy during the holiday season?

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