November 13, 2012 / by Laura Spaventa

Coming up with creative content week in and week out for social media can be a real scare. As the community manager of HARO, I feel the pain businesses endure as they wrack their brains on how to engage audiences and provide valuable information without sounding and looking redundant.

Fear not! The holidays are here to save the day. You’re probably grumbling to yourselves, “More like the holidays are here to add additional stress.” Perhaps that sentiment is true in some instances, but in the social media content realm, the holidays will become Santa’s little helper.

Here are a couple of ideas to give your social media efforts some holiday magic:

1.       Say Kris Kringle!

The holidays provide the perfect opportunity to drum up reader engagement by asking your customers to tweet or post pictures on your Facebook account. Ask for pictures of your customers’ kids in their Halloween costumes, their favorite Christmas ornament, or a picture of their family on Thanksgiving.

This will play into powerful emotions, such as nostalgia. Nostalgia for the most part makes people happy. If you can make your customers happy, you’ll be in a good spot.

Do not only ask for photos. The holidays offer you the chance to share your company’s culture. Will your company have a Halloween costume contest? Tweet a picture. How about a company holiday party? Post a picture on Facebook. Giving your customers a behind the scenes look at your company humanizes your brand and allows your company to connect on a deeper level.

2.       Holiday Spirit and Competitive Spirit Unite

It is hard to come up with an imaginative contest or promotion that will spark your clients’ interests during the year. However, the holidays will help open up your creative flood gates in the contest and promotions department.

Don’t just talk about special deals your company will offer during the holidays. Instead, get customers involved with your brand by offering giveaways that depend on their participation. The holidays present so many different ways to have fun with contests, such as the most creative Jack-O-Lantern contest.

Don’t forget to use hashtags to your advantage. This will help your contest or promotion reach a larger audience. For instance, using something cheeky such as #trickortweet for your Jack-O-Lantern contest will not only add another entertaining twist to the promotion, but will also categorize your contest and have the potential of drumming up a larger audience.

Here’s a Halloween themed promotion Target recently launched on Facebook:

Hosting some sort of charity contest or promotion is also a great way to foster good will with your customers, not to mention good karma in general.

3.       Candy Cane Content

Base your tweets, Facebook posts and blog posts around the holidays to give your content a change of pace, in addition to having fun with your customers. Keep in mind that the creative holiday content doesn’t necessarily have to center around your product or brand.

Take this recent tweet from Nordstrom for instance:

Yes, Nordstrom sells camo products, but they don’t directly tie this Halloween-related tweet to a specific product of theirs. The tweet doesn’t necessarily help their bottom line, but it still remains consistent with their branding strategy, while still having fun with their followers.

My best piece of advice is to look at the holidays as a help versus a hindrance. Avoid being a Grinch and plan out your holiday social media efforts, just as you would your traditional marketing campaigns. When coordinating, keep the following points in mind:

  •  Timing is essential: Preplan what you’re going to do and keep in mind how important timing is. What do I mean by that? I saw a Christmas tweet the other day and cringed. Don’t rush the holidays—you could turn off customers.
  • Be sensitive: Remember that your customers may celebrate different holidays than you. Be aware of this fact and include all holidays in your social media efforts, so you don’t ostracize customers.

Please share with us novel ways your company will use social media to spread holiday cheer for all to hear below in the comments section.

Image via Anirudh Koul (Creative Commons)

Tags : social media

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