5 Ways a Brand Should Leverage Holidays for Their Social Strategy

By: Sofie De Beule

February 18, 2014

Tags:
brand awareness
Customer Engagement
gamification
social ROI
storytelling

Starting conversations from scratch on social with your audience isn’t easy. It acquires thorough knowledge of your target audience to dive into the topics that capture their attention. Even getting your customers to take notice to your social efforts is difficult.

Most brands know holidays are great conversation-starters. But, how should brands really use holidays to leverage their social efforts?

First things first, if a company isn’t keen on incorporating holidays into their social strategy, think again. A little bit of holiday-themed storytelling never hurt anyone, and it’s all people talk about in their social feeds. So, if you want to stir things up a bit, joining the holiday excitement is your best bet.

Here are 5 ways a brand should (or more importantly, shouldn’t) leverage holidays for their social strategy:

1. Don’t Force a Sales Pitch, Capture People’s Minds

Tying in with the holiday buzz is a great way to raise brand awareness. It’s not about pushing your product on your audience so they will notice your newest product releases or service features. Holidays are the perfect occasion to keep your brand on your audience’s mind, so give people a small reminder that your brand is still relevant amidst the holiday fever.

2. Be Straightforward in Your Brand Messaging

Don’t overdo on Easter, Valentine’s Day, or Thanksgiving fluff. Jump into the holiday buzz without making too much fuss about it, otherwise it will come across as forced and disingenuous. This is when a social blunder is born! If you know what the holiday’s characteristics are, you can instantly give it a nice spin.

Whatever connection you’re trying to make ensure it’s relevant, so don’t deviate too much from the topic. The following Cadbury Creme Egg Facebook post is the perfect example of a witty, straightforward message that needs no further explanation.

3. Don’t Stick to Every Holiday

There are no clear rules for why you should (or shouldn’t) incorporate a holiday into your social strategy, and it’s primarily determined by using your common sense. If you feel like a certain holiday doesn’t relate to your brand’s story, you should just skip it. More occasions will come! You can already do some brainstorming on the next holiday event, and make sure you really nail it.

4. Mix Things Up

Not every holiday has the most attention-grabbing potential. However, pulling out all the stops for a really important holiday (such as Christmas or Easter) forces a brand to not only focus on their dedicated social media content, but also on the overall look and feel of their social pages and website. How can your brand really deliver brand experience?

Complete the picture for your audience like PetSmart brilliantly did:

5. Add a Pinch of Gamification

If you already came up with a brilliant holiday campaign, include some gamification elements to increase engagement with the brand. Get fans to continually revisit your page so it can lead to more unique views, community activities, and time on site to really pitch social ROI.

A couple of years ago, Marks & Spencer UK launched the ‘Pass the Parcel’ Facebook game and tapped into the childlike anticipation of unwrapping a present. When you received a parcel, you opened it by clicking. If you didn’t receive anything, you could pass it on to a friend. In just 12 days, 1.1 million parcels were passed and M&S added 115k new fans on Facebook.

So whatever your ideas are for the coming holidays, make sure you plan in advance what your ultimate holiday tie-in will be. If it lacks a connection with your brand and audience, just wait and plan for the next holiday! Easter is just around the corner, so what have you got in mind?