The rise of social media has unquestionably changed the digital marketing landscape.
Over the festive period, brands left, right, and centre will take to their social networking platforms to battle for the same space and consumers during the biggest online sales period of the year.
During this highly competitive time of year, distinguishing yourself from your competitors on social media is absolutely crucial. In this blog, we give several tips as to how your business can stand out this Christmas.
Facebook - get visual
It's widely accepted that the use of images on social media will draw people in more than a big bulk of text. As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. Christmas messaging is no exception to this.
When our thoughts turn to Christmas, we think of images such as a magical winter wonderland, time spent around our families, or a glorious Christmas dinner among dozens of others.
When producing content on Facebook over the holidays, your business should be looking to add relevant images that tie in with the rest of the Christmas content you push out this year.
Crucially, when adopting images within your Facebook messaging, you must be looking to optimise them towards this social networking platform. Predominantly, your consumers will see your content in the form of landscape ads and desktop newsfeed images, for this content you should be looking to create images that are 1200 x 630 pixels in size.
Facebook - storytelling
Everyone loves a good story over Christmas, particularly ones that bring a tear to the eye and warms their icy heart.
Christmas is the perfect time of year for your business to show off its storytelling skills, whether that story is told through a blog post, an interview, a short video story, or even a series of images, is entirely up to you; each form of storytelling has its own merits.
Your stories should be aiming to get your readers into the holiday spirit or possibly join in with your Christmas experience.
The key with storytelling on Social Media is that, whatever story you choose to tell, it should tie in with your brand and the rest of your messaging in a cohesive manner. It should also be well structured and thought out, presented in a way that draws in your target audience.
Sharing joy and love are well-established staples that we associate as the spirit of Christmas.
One way your business may look to capitalise on this within your Twitter messaging, and wider social networking platforms would be working in tandem or collaborating with other local businesses.
There are a variety of ideas you can adopt when pursuing a collaborative approach to social media, we've listed a couple of brilliant ideas below.
- Running a Christmas-themed event together.
- Promoting a worthy charitable cause through sponsorship or fundraising events.
- Collaborating on a product that you create together.
Collaborative work, particularly when associated with a good cause, is endearing to customers as well as being an excellent way of capturing the hearts and attention of the local community that you operate within.
Twitter - key dates on social media
Perhaps more than any other social networking platform, Twitter is the place to capitalise on social media events taking place over the month.
It would be naive if your business was to not think beyond Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve in your messaging this year. There are a whole host of events taking place throughout December.
Finding a way to capitalise on these events within your Christmas messaging while remaining on-brand and on-point is an excellent way of extending your reach and ramping up your engagement this Christmas.
We've created a small guide on all the social media events happening across December this year which you can download for free by clicking on the link below.
Youtube - show off your favourite products
Don't be shy about creating an extra branding push this Christmas, every little helps!
If your business happens to be B2C focussed, consider creating a video around your staff showing off their favourite products made by the business.
Undoubtedly, if your business happens to be B2B focussed, this can be a little more tricky. So, instead of promoting your own products, you could promote your staff's favourite products made by your clients (they'll appreciate the free promotion), products your business has affiliated with, or even just your staff's personal favourites.
Make sure that whatever approach you take with this, your staff are telling viewers a story of how the products featured can be of use, provide a short demonstration of how to use the product, and why your staff think they deserve a place on your viewers' Christmas wishlist.
Youtube - try your hand at vlogging
Don't underestimate the gift of insight. More and more, you will find that your customers have a vested interest in the day-to-day operations of your business, how it's run, and the individuals behind it.
Vlogging can be an extremely powerful medium in giving your consumers this insight into your business as you take them behind the scenes. Hopefully, this Youtube strategy will help your consumers in connecting with your business on a more personal and human level.
Just steer clear of vlogging your Christmas party!
Linkedin - showcase a charity
As we've already said several times over our 12 days of Christmas blog series, the theme of giving is at the forefront of consumers' thoughts during the most wonderful time of the year.
If your business happens to be associated with a charitable organisation, LinkedIn is a brilliant platform for promoting that association and the charity itself.
LinkedIn as a platform can help ensure that your affiliation has an impact on your fellow professionals, or at least raises awareness of the charitable organisation you're associated with.
Regardless of whether the affiliation is short-term or long-term, consider participating in a service project or charity event put together by the affiliated organisation to promote awareness of them as well as your own company and the values you hold.
Linkedin - promote a holiday solution
It's entirely possible that this holiday season your business may well have a strong Christmas-themed business solution or even a holiday promotion that you wish to advertise.
LinkedIn is a smart choice for promoting such offerings to fellow busy professionals within your connections as they may not have the free time to browse extensively for such a solution.
If you do choose to promote a product or solution on your business LinkedIn page, you must ensure that you're actually presenting a solution to a problem or that is relevant to a target market that will resonate with your connections this holiday season.
Instagram - photo competitions
Christmas is prime time for your business to be hosting a friendly competition amongst your social media followers. Being a very visually centred platform, Instagram is the ideal social network for hosting such competitions.
There are several ways that your business can use such a competition to extend its reach via the image-sharing giants.
It may be that your followers have to do something with one of your products and advertise it on their page to enter the competition. If your company happens to be B2B focussed, it may be that to enter your competition, your followers have to do something associated specifically with your niche market.
If you choose to use a photo competition on your Instagram page, you should be promoting the competition as posts, stories, or possibly even boost your posts through Instagram ads to achieve the maximum possible reach.
You may choose to give competition winners a free product or service, possibly even public recognition of their own activities, for example, a personal blog.
Instagram - giveaways
Similar to competitions, giveaways are a great means of raising awareness about your business and Instagram is a great platform for running them on.
Before running any giveaways, your company should think long and hard on what you'd actually like to achieve through running a giveaway. Are you simply looking to raise brand awareness? Maybe you'd like to use your giveaway as a means of beefing up your mailing list? Perhaps you're looking for the winner to become a brand ambassador?
Other key considerations when running a giveaway on Instagram include:
- What prize are you actually going to use within the giveaway?
- What parameters are you going to set up to moderate entries?
Instagram - show off your holiday spirit
If you're really looking to connect with your Instagram following over Christmas, then one of the best ways to do this is to show off that you, and your business, are just as excited about the holiday season and the joys it brings as your followers are!
If the content you produce is relatable and endearing then your engagement with prospective consumers on the platform will invariably receive a welcome boost.
The more your audience engages with your brand, the more likely it becomes that they will bear you in mind when working through activities such as Christmas shopping. Particularly if they feel that your brand shares their values.
on the Eleventh day of Christmas, adido gave to me...
Eleven tinseled social tips,