Last Minute Social Media Tips for the Holidays

Every year, the holidays somehow arrive sooner than expected. One minute, you’re recovering from a Halloween-induced sugar hangover. The next, you’re surrounded by tinsel and Christmas carols.


Consumers are more than familiar with last-minute holiday shopping. But if you’re a business owner, panic sets in around mid-to-late November. That’s when you suddenly realize that you forgot a key component of your holiday marketing game plan.


Thankfully, the digital age has made it easier than ever to build out a holiday marketing strategy on the fly. Social media, in particular, is an excellent venue for seasonal marketing, especially if you’re working with a reduced time-frame or a small budget.


If you’re making last-minute adjustments to your social media strategy for the holidays, we’ve collected four tips to help you make the most of the season.



Spruce Up Your Page for the Season

Most brick-and-mortar businesses decorate their physical location for the holiday season. If you haven’t already done the same thing for your social media pages, you should.


These spaces are virtual homes for your business, and they deserve the same treatment as a physical location. If you want your customers to associate your business with holiday cheer, your online presence should reflect the spirit of the season.


While you’re giving your social media feeds a holiday-themed makeover, it’s a good idea to do a little virtual housekeeping. Many holiday shoppers spend a lot of time researching their purchases, and they are inclined to visit your social media page as part of the research process. Make sure that your business information — your address, hours, and contact info — are all prominently displayed and up-to-date.



Help Customers Find the Perfect Gift

Programmatic advertising delivers exceptional ROI all year round, and the holiday season is no exception. During the holidays, when customers are primed to purchase, but are also bombarded by offers and deals, targeted and retargeted ads can be especially effective.


Whether you’re targeting shoppers who are researching your competitors or retargeting users who recently visited your website, social media is an ideal venue for programmatic ads in the lead-up to Christmas.


Shoppers not only browse social media feeds for holiday deals, but in the lead up to the holidays, many are using sites like Facebook and Instagram to connect with family and share photos of seasonal events. This makes social media the ideal place to find holiday customers.



Deck Your Feed with Holiday Deals

During the holidays, consumers are not only attracted to deals. They’re actively seeking them out. Social media is the ideal space to announce holiday-themed sales, discounts, and special offers. Many shoppers actively look for deals through social media, while others are attracted to hot offers that pop up in their newsfeed.


It’s important to keep in mind that the internet is flooded with deals in the month between Black Friday and Christmas. To attract clicks, brands need to stand out from the pack.

Unsure how to market deals and discounts this holiday season? Here are four concepts that you might want to consider:


  • Create an advent-type calendar of deals, with a new deal revealed every day in your feed.
  • Share holiday-themed promo codes via social media that customers can use in-store.
  • Design a seasonal discount for customers who create and share content on social media.
  • In the week before Christmas, share last-minute gift deals for late shoppers.



Spread Some Holiday Cheer

Social media is a great venue for holiday marketing, but brands should be cautious not to overwhelm shoppers with too many sales-heavy posts. Users expect a combination of non-promotional and promotional posts from brands. Most brands find they get the best results with a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of non-promotional to promotional content.


So, take advantage of the Christmas season to spread some holiday cheer. One of the best ways to approach social media at this time of year is to adopt a spirit of giving. You can use your social media feed as a platform to promote your vendors, your customers, or local organizations that you support.


These kinds of promotions are a great source of holiday content. They’re also a great way to boost engagement on your page, since the people or organizations that you’re promoting are inclined to share this content.



Getting Your Holiday Marketing Strategy In Place


Right now, most of the world is recovering from the back-to-school transition or getting ready for Halloween. But for national brands and digital marketers, now is the time to plan ahead for the holiday season.


1 in 5 retail sales occurs during the holiday season, and according to a 2017 survey by Deloitte, more than 50% of holiday spending now occurs online. An effective digital marketing plan could make the holidays your most profitable time of the year. But without a proper game plan in place, consumers could leave nothing but coal in your stocking.


As you develop your digital marketing strategy for the 2018 holidays, we’ve compiled four tips to help you plan ahead for the season.


Examine Every Touchpoint for Consumers


When planning your digital marketing strategy for the holidays, it’s important to keep in mind that people don’t just spend more at this time of the year — they also spend differently.


Here are three key points to keep in mind for the holiday season:

  • Consumers are hunting for great deals and discounts during the holiday season, especially in the time around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Many purchases at this time of year are gift purchases for other people, which changes the way purchasers evaluate services and products.
  • Shoppers are bombarded by ads and offers during the holidays, making it harder to capture and hold consumer attention at this time of year.



Spread Cheer (and Deals!) Through Social Media


Social media is a great way to build brand awareness and generate sales during the holiday season. So if you don’t already have a November and December content calendar in place, now’s the time to get started.


In terms of paid posts, social media is a great avenue for programmatic marketing during the holidays. (We’ll touch on programmatic ads in a moment.)


Meanwhile, your organic social media efforts over the holidays should include a mix of engagement-friendly seasonal posts, plus offers on seasonal deals and discounts. Healthy engagement metrics are important on platforms like Facebook, so try to post at least two engagement-focused posts for every promotional one.



Harness the Power of Programmatic Marketing

Programmatic marketing is a highly targeted method of digital marketing, and it’s one that’s ideally suited to holiday season.


These campaigns take user-specific data — pages they’ve visited, searches they’ve made, geographic and demographic signals — and then use this data to show users the most relevant ads possible. For example, if a user searched for “winter boots on sale” within the past hour, a programmatic ad campaign can show them an ad for your BOGO offer on snow boots.


Programmatic ads have impressive engagement and conversion rates all year long, but they’re especially effective during the holidays. Consumers are more inclined to make impulse purchases at this time of year, which these types of ads encourage. Programmatic ads are also a great way to recapture users whose purchasing journeys were interrupted partway through — a common issue for holiday shoppers.



Create a Holiday-Focused PPC Strategy


PPC advertising is most effective when consumers are in a purchasing mindset. So, it should come as no surprise that November and December are some of the best (and most competitive) months for PPC marketing.


One of the easiest ways to optimize your PPC campaigns for the holidays is to take existing keywords and add seasonal modifiers. Holiday shoppers will often search for deals and discounts using search terms like “holiday discounts on ________” or “Christmas sale for ________.” When tied to an appropriate seasonal promotion, these types of keywords can be dynamite for holiday retailers.


When planning for holiday PPC campaigns, keep in mind that competition ramps up at this time of year. Keyword bids are higher, and PPC budgets need to be adjusted to accommodate this competition.