40 Seasonal Social Media Marketing Tips
The shops are filled with a strange mix of toffee apples, pumpkins and Christmas gift ideas – it can mean only one thing: the festive season has arrived. The festive season is about people getting together, having fun, and sharing festive treats (and tweets!). So, with Hallowe’en and bonfire night just around the corner, and the Christmas present-buying period about to begin, now is the time to incorporate seasonal marketing ideas into your social media campaigns.
Here are 40 tips on seasonal marketing using digital and social media:
Planning Seasonal Marketing Campaigns
- Do your research – look at the past seasonal buying behavior of your customers (sales activity or website hits) to see where you should focus your efforts. You can use your baseline website or sales statistics to measure the success of your online seasonal campaigns.
- Download a faith calendar and schedule in all the holidays. There’s a free BBC one here.
- Use your customer data and the national holidays calendar to pick out a manageable amount of specific holiday campaigns around which you can start planning your seasonal marketing campaigns. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll limit the amount of time you can dedicate to making each one a success.
- If you’re not familiar with seasonal marketing campaigns planning, there are a number of good free basic guides, such as this one from BusinessLink.
- Plan ahead – always work back from your delivery or ‘go-live’ date to create a schedule for producing and delivering your marketing materials, linking together your online and offline activities.
- Create a seasonal brand image – use a seasonal Twitter and website background or Facebook photostrip (Google does different one every day, but remember to keep your seasonal graphics changes manageable). Now is a great time to go for a Hallowe’en background (like mine – See my Facebook, Twitter and Google + Profiles), and Christmas is also a popular one, with wide reaching appeal. There are loads of free graphic download sites if you’re not a designer, for example Full Free Stuff and Brusheezy.
- Store all your graphics elements carefully and re-use then each year.
- Carefully plan all your promotional tools and make sure all your text and design elements are ready to go (it’s no good printing flyers with a website discount code if your web developer hasn’t activated the code on the site).
- Start early – don’t wait for the holiday season to start before you begin putting messages out – you can use social media to create a buzz leading up to your seasonal promotions.
- Join the Facebook Marketing Solutions Facebook group for tips and ideas on running successful seasonal Facebook campaigns.
- Download the Facebook Product Guide to see what advertising and promotional tools Facebook offers and see what is possible.
- Use Facebook ads for specially timed or targeted festive gift ideas.
- Familiarise yourself with Facebook Insights – the free user statistic and campaign measurement tool, which Facebook has recently improved and upgraded.
- Use Facebook Insights to carefully measure the success of each seasonal campaign, and note down which ones are worth repeating next year.
- Use the Facebook ‘send to a friend’ app, which enables you to send gifts and food items – perfect for seasonal social media campaigns. Take a look at this campaign by the Cheese & Burger Society.
- Use ‘Fan Gating’, where ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ gain entry to special discounts, content or pre-booking deals (although do make sure you don’t fall foul of Facebook’s rules around fan gating for special offers).
- Keep an eye open for Facebook Gestures (an extension of Facebook ‘likes’. Encourage people to share their opinions and create traffic to your Facebook page.
- Use Facebook competitions – people like to share and to communicate something about themselves. The prize is often secondary to this, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on prizes. Ask people to post pictures of their best carved pumpkin or their worst Christmas jumper. Some ideas about other successful campaigns here.
- Add a Facebook ‘like’ tab to your product pages, so people can share.
- Include a themed free gift daily prize draw campaign (for example, the 12 days of Christmas), to encourage your followers to visit the Facebook page and enter every day. Last year, MyDeco ran a highly successful ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed Facebook campaign, during which they gave away a product a day as part of a prize draw for Facebook followers. This was done alongside a number of other social media engagement campaigns to launch their Alice in Wonderland themed product range.
- Come up with your own Twitter hashtag for bringing people together. Using the same principle as ‘Follow Friday’, what about ‘Meet on Monday’ for Valentines Day?
- People love to talk about their festive season habits, purchases and activities, so start discussions based around this, for example their favourite components of Christmas dinner or the best present they received as a child.
- Encourage people to share useful tips and ideas – what about a ‘Tips Tuesday’ for time saving ideas at Christmas? Make sure you include a unique hashtag and retweet the tips that anyone posts with this hashtag.
- Where possible, link discussions to photo competitions – retweet photos of home baked Christmas cakes (or baking disasters!) posted with your hashtag, the top ten to be shared on a Facebook or website album or entered into a competition to win baking equipment.
- Host a Twitter ‘trick or tweet’ competition – the first follower to retweet each time you post a tweet with the word ‘trick’ or ‘tweet’ in gets a prize.
- Make sure you have a ‘share on Twitter’ tab on your content and product pages, so people can share.
- Tweet time-sensitive deals or special offer codes to your Twitter followers before anyone else – this gives a sense of immediacy and is more likely to result in a spontaneous purchase, or immediate sharing with friends.
- Use QR codes on your printed, outdoor and in store publicity, linking people to your website for special seasonal offers.
- Research keywords for seasonal ad campaigns – look at what your competitors are doing, and use the information to plan PPC seasonal ad campaigns focused on certain key search terms. Remember, they might not be obvious. Around Valentines Day, many people are searching about divorce! Think laterally for the most unique search terms.
- Give out useful advice for surviving the holiday season – shopping on a shoestring, budget travel, hosting dinner parties – and share your advice across all your web platforms. You can use YouTube to create tutorial videos.
- Get people to vote on the usefulness of your videos by creating online polls.
- If you don’t think your brand has anything to do with hallowe’en, what about posting a video of staff making one of your products into an amusing Hallowe’en costume? Make it funny, and people are bound to share it.
- Create fun seasonal video campaigns with hidden offer codes – let people know there is a discount code hidden somewhere in the video to encourage active viewing and sharing.
- Encourage people to post links to their own themed festive videos and retweet all those submitted through Twitter with your hashtag.
- As you go along, make sure you measure the success of your campaigns. Do this on a weekly basis and compare to your baseline figures. As you measure, adjust your strategy to do more of the things that work and less of the things that don’t.
- Remember, different demographic groups use different social media platforms. Try different things and adjust for each individual platform – your Twitter followers might be more technically savvy and enjoy posting content, while your Facebook followers might prefer to ask questions. Tailor your campaigns to suit.
- Ask customers to post reviews about your products – people use the internet to check reviews before buying medium-high priced products or services. Make sure you there are online reviews about yours. You can do this by featuring a review site link in their confirmation email.
- Provide a link to independent product reviews on your website to encourage future purchases and show that you are an ‘honest broker’.
- Include a ‘Check this review before buying this product’ link just in front of the ‘buy now’ button on your e-commerce site. Invariably, people will click the link, and if the review is outstanding, they will not only buy the product, but are more likely to tell their friends about it too.
- Make sure your business is set up on relevant customer review sites. They are important brand assets, so you should regularly maintain them with up-to-date photos and products, linking back to your main site for more information.
Seasonal Facebook Campaign Ideas
Seasonal Twitter Campaign Ideas
Seasonal Advertising and Sales Promotion Campaign Ideas
Seasonal You Tube Campaign Ideas
Following up on Seasonal Marketing Campaigns
Most importantly – have fun with your campaigns, and your customers will enjoy being a part of it!
I hope you’ve found these seasonal marketing campaign ideas useful and inspiring. Please feel free to share them with your friends and followers.
I’d love to hear about your successful campaign ideas – tell me about your seasonal marketing tips, ideas and campaigns in the comments box below.