The holidays are a nice time to share warm season’s greetings with your social media community. The rest of this month will be filled with organizations and brands wishing everyone: Good tidings of joy. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Here’s to a Happy New Year. Some posts will have warm holiday scenes. Some will have fun holiday memes or dogs in ugly Christmas sweaters.
All that is very nice. But you can do so much more as a part of your marketing strategy. The holidays are a chance to go beyond surface greetings. It’s a chance to really make a connection to your social community. How? Glad you asked. Here are 8 ways to use your social channels this holiday to do more than send best wishes.
1. Get Personal
Both social media and the holidays are about making personal connections. It’s a time when we reconnect with family and friends – and even *Gasp!” talk to strangers. That makes this the perfect time to peel back the curtain and showcase the people behind your organization or brand. Find interesting ways to feature holiday traditions or greetings from actual humans.
For instance, let’s say you’re a large organization and you just happen to have a lot of guys named Dave. You could do the 12 Daves of Christmas, featuring one of your Daves each day sharing his holiday story, an interesting family tradition or something the organization is doing for the holidays. Sure, you probably don’t have 12 Daves, or even 12 Danielles, but you get the idea.
2. Invite Your Community In.
Sharing is a two-way street. You can look at that first idea from the opposite point of view. Tap into the time honored tradition of user generated content. Invite your community to share their holiday stories. But find ways to make it interesting and tie into what your community is.
For instance, if your community is made up of teachers, you might ask them to share a story, photo or video of the strangest, most unusual teacher gift they’ve gotten from a student. My mom was a 2nd grade teacher and I remember seeing some strange gifts she received over the years.
3. Create “Stories”
The Stories functions on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much everywhere else in some form or another provide a great space to tell your holiday stories. From a media and visibility standpoint, Stories are good because they are both more visible to your community than typical organic posts and they have become very popular in general.
Is there a holiday story built around your brand, organization or people within it? You can tell it either with a video or multiple frames in a “Stories” format. This gives you community a look into the soul of your company or organization. What do you and the people in your organization believe in?
Storytelling is an important communications tool. You could do a retrospective of how your organization has celebrated over time or show festive shots of people at your holiday parties over the years. This is a way to create real connections. People love looking at those nostalgic photos and this could be especially true this year when there won’t be big holiday parties.
4. Curate a Gift Guide
One way to generate interest in your content, provide something useful to your community and generate good will towards your organization is to curate a gift guide that is relative to your brand and your audience. If there is something you offer that would make a good gift, by all means, add it to the list – but make sure the overall list is about what your audience wants, not about you.
A good example of this is the gift guide we created for our client, Utica Education Association. It was “A Unique Gift List for Kids in 2020” and featured gifts that helped with remote learning and staying entertained at home. It worked because it played off the organization’s core values of education and the well-being of our kids, while also providing good information their community would find useful.
5. Create Holiday Themed Contests
Contests and things to vote on always drive engagement. Creating a holiday contest where members of your community must submit something usually does well. This could be something as simple as an “enter to win” button or something requiring more effort and creativity like “write and submit your own Christmas song parody.” But, you don’t necessarily have to create a contest that requires providing a prize and requiring extra effort from the people who enter.
One example is to have different people within your organization record a useful tip related to what you do, but have each wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Then you post them on your social channels and have people vote for both what is the best tip and who had the best ugly sweater. It provides something useful with an element of holiday fun.
6. Tie into Your Charitable Efforts
Does your company or organization have a specific cause or charity you support? This is a good time to highlight it and get your online community involved. It could be as simple as highlighting the charity and adding a donate button.
If you want to make a bigger splash, you could tie the giving you planned on doing into actions from your social media community. This could be something like “for every person who posts a photo of their holiday traditions/decorations/ugly sweater, we’ll donate X amount to this charity. Or it could be providing a matching donation effort.
You can cap your giving by having a max amount equal to what you had in your budget to give. Either way you are creating engagement and good will – while doing something good for a cause you care about.
7. Give Digital Presents
With most people having to stay away from big holiday gatherings this year, what can you give them to make the holiday a little cheerier? One idea is to create and offer free holiday themed Zoom backgrounds your community can download and use for those online holiday gatherings. Or you can create fun holiday memes or digital cards that your community can get from your social channels and share with their family and friends. Find ways to give something digital to help make the season bright.
8. Have Some Fun
It’s the time of year to be jolly, so a little silliness is certainly in order. Connecting with your community can be as simple as providing them with a smile or a chuckle. Humor is usually high on the engagement and sharing list, so don’t be afraid to just post some silliness.
Create and share a funny video. Create some fun holiday memes or stories, bonus if they actually relate to your brand or mission.
These are just a few ways you can create engagement on your social media channels this holiday season. There are many more. The idea is that you need to think beyond simply saying Merry Christmas or Happy New Year.
Use the human emotions that fuel the holiday spirit and create some deeper connections with your content. It may be more important this holiday season than any other in recent history.
We’d love to hear what has worked for you or what ideas you come up with. Feel free to add them in the comments or on our social channels!