Sunday, November 13, 2011
Recent studies about the amount of time users spend reading the Facebook newsfeed, the subsequent redesign of the front page of Facebook, and the findings that branded fan pages — and the updates that users see on them — are vastly more successful than other forms of Facebook advertising, make one thing clear:
Engagement is king.
In fact, there’s no better time to engage with fans than the holiday season. If you’re behind on planning your holiday social strategy (Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away!), we’ve got you covered with ten proven, holiday-themed social messaging ideas that will ignite holiday cheer.
(If you want to see these great holiday marketing strategies in action, join us for a webinar on Tuesday, November 15. Click here to watch the recording.)
1. Create a branded calendar with an engagement initiative that spans a series of days. Reveal something appealing each day. Then message your fans about each reveal.
12 Days of Christmas? 8 Days of Hannukah? 31 Days of Social Media? Have you ever seen an advent calendar, where windows open daily thru Christmas, each revealing a gift or special treat? We smell a great marketing opportunity here; one that doesn’t have to be limited to Christmas! Use the advent calendar idea and apply it to any holiday, enticing fans to come back and click on your page every single day. Here are some creative ways to use the calendar to maximize engagement:
- provide a new tip or trick each day
- give fans the chance to win a special prize on random days
- reveal a great coupon each day
- publish clues for a contest or other competition
Wildfire’s Page Manager - one of the tools in our complete social media marketing suite - offers several customizable, “advent-like” templates like one we used to greet November with a bang. We launched this winter-themed calendar with 31 days of social media advice.
2. Ask simple questions related to the holidays, but also related to your brand or its personality.
Spark a chat with your audience by asking simple, relatable questions that tie back to your brand and the holidays. In the examples below, Kraft Foods and Geico roused fan response by asking about activities already on fans’ minds.
3. If you’re running holiday-themed promotions, keep reminding fans to enter.
Holiday-themed promotions are a fantastic way to give your fans to an exciting and engaging treat, yet we sometimes see brands launch promotions to much fanfare and then...crickets.
Instead, reach out and nudge your audience to enter, and get them to take action by reminding them when the sweepstakes will end. Reminders also give users additional opportunities to re-post and share with friends.
4. The holidays are full of nostalgia: engage your fans with messages that encourage them to reminisce and share their stories on your page. They’ll connect the warm emotions they feel with your brand as well.
Every holiday has its own associated traditions. Take advantage of this commonality between the brand and the audience by asking your fans to reflect on their associated memories. Bonus branding points go to companies that tie in the memory prompt with the brand personality, as Nestle Toll House does below.
5. Highlight any limited-time or seasonal products or services you offer.
The holidays provide a great reason to run a seasonal promotion. Most brands release seasonal items or plan limited production runs around specific dates — use your Facebook messages to highlight these limited-time items, as Keurig does with a message about the three seasonal coffee flavors being released for the fall.
6. Help your fans out.
People love to feel like insiders, getting access to exclusive tips or strategic advice. The holidays are a great time to offer season-specific advice, especially if your brand strives to be a thought leader in its industry. Consider the example from HP below. They’ve isolated a customer group (those that take photos and might be interested in HP camera or picture editing technology) and written a helpful, holiday-themed article.
7. Surprise your fans with a special treat.
Break out of a ho-hum messaging routine by occasionally offering a surprise treat on your wall, like Vevo did by putting together a Halloween-themed playlist and sharing it with fans.
8. Reveal the people behind the brand, and how they celebrate the holidays.
One of the most successful ways to encourage and grow engagement is to humanize your brand. How? Reveal the people behind the brand, allowing users a glimpse at the folks who make your company great. In the example below, Levi’s tied in the Halloween holiday with a peek at employees in their costumes.
9. Provide holiday-themed uses for your brand’s products.
No matter what product (or service) you sell, if you can spin a holiday twist to its use, share the twist in a message! Though apple sauce can be used to make brownies any time of year, the Musselman’s page administrator takes advantage of Halloween as a chance to highlight one way to use its product.
10. Have fun with your audience!
You may be a serious marketer, but that doesn’t mean you have to take your brand so seriously. Any holiday is a chance to spread joy, fun, and be full of cheer! Show how your brand cares for users and fans by sharing digital holiday card or a Facebook photo. Better yet, get funny and creative like Silk did, in the example below. Can you spot the clever Photoshop job in the picture? 444 fans got a kick out of it!
Want even more strategic advice about how to conquer your social media marketing this holiday season? Sign up for our November 15 webinar recording, “Perfecting your Holiday Social Media Strategy!”