It’s officially less than two weeks until Christmas! So how can savvy social marketers outshine their competitors, get their cash tills ringing heartily and enjoy a very merry social media Christmas? Well if you haven’t already showered festivities across your social media channels, now is the time to ramp it up.

Christmas is a busy time of year for many businesses and while this year may feel a little different, social media can provide businesses with the means of reaching a more targeted audience than offline marketing allows. However, it can sometimes be difficult to stand out from competitors.

Here are 10 tips to turn the social media novice into the savvy social marketer over the next few weeks.

1. Update your information ??

Social media has become the first point of call for people to find out information about businesses, such as current offers, developments and most importantly, opening times. The Christmas period brings a change from the norm, with many businesses having different opening and closing times during the holiday season.

Make sure you display your Christmas opening times clearly on your profiles’ ‘About’ sections; it may also be worth linking to a webpage showing the change of hours. Use a clear URL to make it obvious for your audience, for example: ‘www.yourcompany.com/christmas-opening-times’.

2. Schedule content ?

Everyone wants a little time off over Christmas, even if it is just for the day: this includes those who run social media accounts. But nobody wants ‘dead air’ on their feeds, either. This is where scheduling content comes in handy. It’s worth looking into scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, Sendible and Later.

It is also a fact that many businesses are busier than usual in the run-up to Christmas which can leave feeds neglected and risk followers becoming disinterested. Scheduling a few posts a week will keep the accounts active and give customers the content they crave.

3. Embrace real time ?

Utilise the Stories features on Instagram, Facebook and most recently, Twitter Fleets and LinkedIn. Companies can use this feature to give followers a preview of festive decorations, special dishes being developed for Christmas menus, or products released specifically for Christmas. Doing this will help consumers feel included in the company as well as building anticipation for things to come.

4. Christmas competitions ☃️

There is no doubt that competitions can generate a lot of engagement and interest on social media. Even those who simply follow for the purpose of joining in could end up converting if the rest of your social content is engaging enough. Therefore, it is worth running a Christmas-specific competition or two.

A caption competition is a quick and simple way to engage followers – this involves uploading a photo to your feed and the best caption from a follower wins a prize. Alternatively, you could go one step further and host a big ‘12 days of Christmas’ competition.

For example, a restaurant may start off by offering a free drink as the first prize, gradually increasing the value as the days go on, a bottle of champagne, a meal for two, a meal for four, a £200 gift voucher and so on. This kind of competition has the added benefit of enticing people to come back day after day, for a chance to win one of the prizes.

5. Encourage interactions ??

Not all content on business social media channels should be promotional. Diversifying the content on your feed is vital for keeping engagement and interest levels high. Therefore, among the promotional Christmas content, there should be some posts planned that are there simply to entertain or inspire your followers to engage.

A great way of doing this is by running a poll. These can be run on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and involve a multiple-answer question being asked of your followers, with the most popular answer being revealed in a separate post. For example, ‘What is your favourite Christmas movie?’, ‘Are you naughty or nice?’, ‘What makes the best Christmas dinner?’.

6. Add festive cheer to your pages ?

Effective social media usage can be as simple as making sure your accounts look the part. Take time to update your cover photos and profile images to reflect the festive period. This will help get followers in the Christmas spirit.

An image that is created for your brand would be more effective than a general stock image. For example, if you are a make-up artist your cover image could be made up of Christmas looks as a demonstration of your work.

7. Social media Christmas offers ?

As mentioned in some of the other tips – discounts and offers are a proven way to get your brand noticed with the aim of converting followers into customers.

Offers can be given in a simple post or, to inspire urgency, the offer can be exclusively revealed in your ‘stories’ on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. However, for the purpose of monitoring conversions from your posts, tailor your discount codes for each social network.

8. Consider customer service ⛄️

During the busy season, companies should expect to receive an uplift in customers turning to social media to ask questions. This makes customer service on social media a priority over Christmas. People tend to become flustered when gifts haven’t arrived in time, or they arrive damaged – they need to know when you are open, etc. This stress can be alleviated through diligent and attentive social media management.

Leading up to and during the festive season, it may be worth investing in a temporary member of staff dedicated to running and handling your social presence. This will require extra funding, but the benefits of having someone committed to posting content, answering questions and making your channels look amazing would be worth the investment.

9. Charity ❤️

As well as Christmas being the time for receiving gifts, it is also the time of giving. Particularly this year, it’s important to remember that so many of us will not be spending Christmas with loved ones. In fact, the repercussions of the pandemic mean many families are tightening their belts.

For this reason, it is important that businesses show their generous side by giving or supporting a charity during the festive season. A popular cause and charity event around this period is Christmas Jumper Day, raising money for the UK’s Save the Children charity. The day involves people wearing Christmas jumpers for the day, even at work. They then post pictures and use the hashtag #christmasjumperday on social media to be a part of the conversation.

10. Share, share, share! ?

Nothing says you are doing a great job on social media like your followers engaging with your content and creating their own user-generated content. For example, if you are an owner of a small business, such as a clothes shop, a photo of a customer wearing their Christmas party outfit bought from your shop will potentially send others your way. Make sure your user handle (your @name) and perhaps a personalised hashtag are easily found both online and offline; this will make it easier for you to track mentions and enable you to share the posts.

Want to up your social media game? Whether you’re an established brand or just beginning your business journey, at South Coast Social we work with start-ups and challenger businesses about to launch through to global brands, spanning a wide variety of sectors including health and beauty, fashion, media, finance, design and technology. 

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