social media marketing

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and the marketing festive floodgates have sprung wide open! The world and his wife are gearing up for the frenzy of Christmas consumerism that’s just around the corner, and any forward-thinking digital business will be looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. One way brands can do this is by using their social media channels to full effect – but the holiday season may call for a fresh approach. Here’s how to put some sparkle into your social media this Christmas…

Remember size doesn’t matter

The best presents from Santa sometimes come in small packages, so the humble SME shouldn’t allow themselves to become intimidated by the budgets of bigger brands. Of course, it’s all too easy to become somewhat demoralised when reports from last year revealed the likes of John Lewis and Burberry are spending an estimated £7m and £10m respectively on their elaborate Christmas campaigns; just thinking about blowing a fraction of that money is enough to make my wallet go up in smoke.

Last year, the Independent reported that UK companies would spend an estimated £5.6bn on marketing in the run-up to Christmas – £300m more than the year before. However, by harnessing the power of social media, smaller brands with smaller budges can still make an impact. While they may not have the financial muscle to emulate and compete with the big boys, they can learn from what makes those big-budget campaigns so popular and use that knowledge to inform their own.

Find your Christmas spirit

While my Christmas spirit of choice is a large glass of whisky, the most successful Christmas marketing campaigns aim to draw out the spirit of joy and goodwill from the audience. John Lewis knows exactly how to hit us right in the feels, making its name on OTT tear-jerkers – who can forget the bear’s first Christmas? I certainly never will.

Marks and Spencer’s also tugged at our heartstrings last year with their #loveMrsClaus social media tag. It was expertly designed to show how far people will go to make Christmas special and served to build an emotional connection with their customers. It also got people sharing and contributing content of their own.

People feel emotional at this time of year. Christmas is the season of giving, spending time with friends and family – tap into these warm and fuzzy feelings with relatable human moments. If you can make that connection at this lucrative time of year, people will look on your business more favourably when it comes to splashing the cash.

One size does not fit all

Don’t forget to tailor your campaign according to platform. Twitter is ideal for encouraging users to have their say or post their own content – why not encourage retweets or generate conversation with a Christmas giveaway? Dulux UK launched a hunt for the best Christmas front door of 2016 and it went down a storm as people uploaded their festive pics in the hope of landing some goodies. Don’t forget to include a well-crafted hashtag!

Facebook users often want to ask questions about your products and services, so why not schedule a Live Q&A with a seasonal theme? Meanwhile, the Instagram community love a sneak peek behind the scenes, making it the perfect platform to spread some Christmas cheer with your Stories.

Christmas is time sensitive

Sorry to sound cynical, but the season of good cheer has a short shelf life. However, you can use this to engage your audience with time-sensitive voucher codes and discounts that remind them the time for action is now!

However, despite the fact that the most wonderful time of the year has a transient nature, you’ll want to ensure you put the effort into retaining any new customers. Perhaps treat repeat customers to a special seasonal gift, and make sure you keep an eye on your channels over the Christmas period itself so that you don’t lose the momentum you’ve gathered.

For help with your social media marketing at any time of the year, contact M2 Bespoke.