It’s Already Time to Start Thinking About Holiday Social Media Marketing

September 5, 2017 Marketing

Holiday sales topped $1 trillion last year in the US.

Another interesting stat from last holiday included the fact that 76% of shoppers used a mobile device to shop.

People continue to spend time online. They’re shopping online. They might not always buy online, but they’re using their phones and computers to discover and research.

We’re only in September, but for many businesses the holidays have already started.

A big part of the holiday marketing push involves social media marketing.

Here are some tips for getting your business prepared for the social media holiday season.

Tip #1. Assess Resources

All hands on deck!

Not really, but not totally out of the realm.

Things get hectic during the holidays. Everybody is doing more than usual. Social media can kind of get lost in the shuffle.

As a general rule of thumb plan on doing 2-3x as much social media marketing during the holidays.

That means if you have a social media person working 50% of their time now on social media then you’re going to need them doing 100-150% of their time on social.

Obviously that means you might need to find a few other people to help out. They could be from within the organization or you might need to bring on an intern or two to help. Maybe a freelancer that can work just during the holidays.

Tip #2. Look Back To Last Year

It’s easy to forget what happened last year during the holiday season. It’s already been about 9-10 months. A lot has changed since then.

But a great place to begin your holiday planning is to look at what you shared on social last year. See what got the most engagement. Comments, likes, all of it.

Then go and look at your competition and what they did last year. Same thing; look at the engagement.

At the least this will give you some ideas for this year and your brain will be storming with ways to build on what worked.

Tip #3. Create A Schedule With General Themes

You don’t have to plan out your social strategy for the holidays down to the last detail. But it does pay off to brainstorm some general themes. Then let the social media manager fill in the details.

You can start by looking at what’s going on in pop culture. Music. Movies. Celebrities. See how your products and services might tie into the themes people are paying attention to.

What other themes are people interested in right now?

Mindfulness? Local Food?

Check out this Pinterest feed to find some more key themes.

Tip #4. Repurpose Content

Chances are you and your team have been creating content to use in areas that aren’t social media.

Catalogs. Billboards. Video commercials. Blog posts. Guides. White papers. All kinds of things.

You can certainly just share links to these things on social media. But that’s a given.

There’s an extra step that most don’t take.

Take that video that includes a few tips and break it up into snippets. Then share those snippets on social media on their own.

One video can turn into 5 social shares.

One blog post could turn into 20 social shares.

I used to work for a shoe retailer and one holiday I sat down with a merchandiser and they handed me a report they’d written with all the trends for the holiday season. Probably 20 pages of great information.

I turned that into 100+ things to share on social media and it could have been even more.

Tip #5. Mix It Up

It’s easy to get in the habit of posting the same type of content everyday.

“We love this! Shop the link today!”

A photo of a cool product. A link. Maybe a hashtag. Then another product the next day. And the next.

People get bored with that. It’s fine to the same strategy. You’ll get some engagement, but people like change. A little mystery about what you’re sharing makes people pay attention to you. They have to check out your feed everyday because they don’t know what’s coming next.

There are so many things you can share on social media:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Quotes
  • Links
  • Memes
  • GIFs

You can do them all. Mix them up and keep people guessing so they are programmed to check your feed all the time throughout the holidays. This ensures they’re looking when you do share your product links.

Tip #6. Engage With Other Brands

There are probably some brands you’re friendly with. Probably not the competition, but brands that are complementary to yours. Maybe even partners.

Let’s say you’re an etailer. You sell all kinds of brands. Interact with them on social during the holidays.

Comment on their cool posts.

Like their posts.

Mention something cool they did recently in a post of your own.

Ask them a question.

Share a review you got that mentioned their brand.

Consumers like when brands interact and it widens the audience for both of your companies.

Tip #7. Change Feature Images Often

Don’t just mix up the content you’re sharing. You want to change your featured images more often than usual to keep people interested. Header images. Profile images. Create them ahead of time.

When people are looking at your feed they’ll become immune to noticing your featured images if you have the same thing.

Especially the profile image. Changing the profile image make people stop and say, “What’s that?”

And that can be enough to get them engaged with what you’re doing on social through the holiday season.

Tip #8. Engage In All The Major Hashtag Events

There are always hashtag events going on during the holiday. Look for the trending items on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and engage when it makes sense for your brand.






There are always things you can jump in on.

Tip #9. Show Your Personal Side

The holidays are a personal time. Make sure you take some photos around the office so your followers on social can feel connected to the team that works hard behind the scenes.

A team photo on ugly sweater day. People smiling as they eat all the goodies that are brought in to the break room. People love that kind of stuff.

Tip #10. Try A Few Weird Things

Finally, try a couple crazy things.

Maybe another brand did a crazy thing on social media. Something you’d never normally do with your brand. Then try it. Why not? What’s the worst that could happen?

You can get a little crazy during the holidays. It might bring you a bunch of engagement.

Or it could fail, but so what. People will be paying attention to something else the next day.


It’s already time to get ready for the holiday social media season. You still have time to work through these tips so that things are even better this year on your social channels.