4 Festive Tips for Holiday Social-Media Marketing

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The holidays are a special time of year, highlighted by the three F’s – family, food, and … fighting? I don’t mean fighting over who gets the last drumstick or whether Home Alone is better than A Christmas Story. I’m talking about retailers and brands fighting for consumer attention during the busiest shopping time of the year.

The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the biggest opportunity brands and retailers have each year, but it’s also incredibly competitive, so it’s crucial to reach and communicate with your customer audience in the correct way.

Related: The Holidays' Most Unique Big Business Social Media Campaigns

One way to do so is through social media. The holiday season is filled with social posts about gifts bought, deals found, and complaints of poor customer service. Now like never before, brands and retailers have the ability to connect directly with their customers and create a more personal shopping experience.

Here are four tips for how brands can get savvy with their social media marketing during this year’s holiday madness.

1. Drive that local cheer.

The holidays experience in New York is different than in San Francisco. Your messaging should reflect that. Leverage geo-targeting tools to know from where your customer is. Then you can create content they can relate to and messaging that resonates with a personalized brand experience.

2. All I want for Christmas is user-generated content.

How do you connect with audiences when they are already inundated with advertisements? You make them the hero. Businesses that can actively leverage user-generated content are the ones that will drive deeper connections with fans. Most people today are programmed to ignore ads. Showcasing authentic photos of your audience drives your intended message while encouraging a deeper, emotional interest from new and loyal fans alike. Relate to them with real people, in real moments, using your product and services.

Your featured fans get credit and interaction, audiences find trust in real people using your product or service, and your brand will better understand what motivates your audience. Everyone is jolly.

Related: Tis the Season to Be Savvy: 6 Ways to Optimize Brand Marketing

3. Deck the social walls.

The best way to harness a viral lift is to showcase your interactive experience. Remember, the more observable you make a campaign, the easier it is for your fans to imitate.

Create a social hub with aggregated content from multiple social channels on your website or microsite to capture audiences online. Your consumers can then share with their social community when you feature them, extending your reach. But don’t forget about in the store. Providing social displays, with easy calls to action at physical locations, are a simple, yet effective way to generate engagement.

4. Multiple chimneys equal multiple presents.

Facebook is still expected to be the channel of choice for holiday social spend, as 92 percent of marketers are planning extensive campaign efforts for this one platform. But 73 percent of marketing professionals think Instagram is going to be the breakout platform for this year’s holidays.

Don’t silo yourself to one social-media platform. Instead, create content on the appropriate channels for your audience, each with native content focused exclusively to that channel. Your Facebook posts, Instagrams and Tweets should drive the same idea, but the content should be customized to resonate best with each channel’s unique community.

Think of your various social media channels as your own little elves, and put them to work for you this holiday season. Utilize these tips and you’ll win the holiday retail battle while leaving your customers filled with joy.

Related: Tips for Running an Awesome Holiday Marketing Campaign (Infographic)