It’s November which means Christmas music has already started playing in the stores.

As a retailer this also means your busiest time of year is upon you.  This also means it’s time to start thinking of ways to incorporate the holiday season into your social media campaigns.

Planning your Christmas Marketing Campaign

1. Start early.  There is a reason the shops have their Christmas decorations up as soon as Halloween has finished.  Use social media to create a buzz around your brand leading up to the festive season.
2. Plan ahead.  Create a marketing schedule and include each element of your campaign.  List every task with a deadline and allocate time for printers or web developers.  Include the design and printing of your marketing materials and your time spent on online activity.  Plan back with your delivery or ‘go-live’ date in mind.
3. Create a Christmas brand image.  Change your website and twitter background to show you’re prepared for the holiday season.  There are loads low cost graphic download sites if you’re not a designer, for example Fotolia or Shutterstock.  Store all your graphics elements carefully and re-use them each year.
4. Make sure your website is ready for promotional codes or offers.  There is no point printing flyers with a website discount code if your web developer hasn’t activated the code on your site.
5. Use QR codes. These Codes can be used on your printed, outdoor and in store publicity, linking people to your website or Social networks for special seasonal offers.

Christmas Facebook Ideas

6. Run a Facebook competition.  Giveaways are a great way to create exposure and a buzz around your product.  Take advantage of this and design your promotion be shared by users.  Encourage entrants to tweet or post their position to their Facebook profile for extra points or entries.  The more they’re involved, the more others will participate. Our upcoming feature of a Facebook Tab Creator will make it easier for you to capture customer data (Fan Gating or Like Gating).  This would allow you to capture email addresses, postal addresses, phone numbers, twitter accounts etc for future campaigns.
7. Measure your campaign success and statistics. You could use Sendible’s Reporting/Analytic feature which includes direct data from Facebook Insights.
8. Include a themed free gift daily prize draw campaign (for example, the 12 days of Christmas), to encourage your followers to visit the Facebook page and enter every day

Christmas Twitter Campaign Ideas

9. Come up with your own Twitter hashtag for bringing people together.  For example #MyStoreNameChristmasGifts.  If you have limited time or content retweet news and articles you find interesting in relation to your industry.  You may be a close knit retail community and could re tweet other store’s news. I’m sure they will do the same for you.  This will build up followers ready for when you run future campaigns.

10. People love to share their Christmas tips and hints.  Get people talking about their festive habits, purchases and activities.  Start discussions like; What was in your Christmas stocking as a child, what roast do you have on Christmas day, or what’s your Christmas morning tipple? If you ask a question you’re more likely to get a response and start an engagement.  You may even wish to automate these questions using Sendible and let it target for people whom have mention predefined keywords.
11. Track Mentions. If somebody mentions something you stock then tell them.  Make sure you include a unique hashtag and retweet the tips that anyone posts with this hashtag. You can use Sendible’s Monitoring feature to look out for keywords on the social web.
12. Make sure you have a ‘share on Twitter’ tab. Both on your content and product pages, so people can retweet about you.


Christmas You Tube Campaign Ideas

13. Give your followers great hints and tips for getting the best out of Christmas. Film something relevant to your industry.  Christmas food and drinks recipes are great if you’re in leisure and hospitality.  If you’re in retail you could film a “what’s in this season” feature.  For technology a demo of the top wanted gadgets for Christmas.
Get people to vote. This could be on the usefulness of your videos by creating online polls.
Create fun seasonal video campaigns with hidden offer codes. Let people know there is a discount code hidden somewhere in the video to encourage active viewing and sharing.
Get people to film. This could be their cooking attempts or their Christmas jumpers and link to your YouTube channel

Following up on your Marketing Campaigns

17. If you’re going to invest time and money into Christmas marketing its worth measuring your ROI.  Track all of your Social Media activity in one place
18. Measure the success of your campaign on a weekly basis and compare to your baseline figures. As you measure, adjust your strategy to do more of the things that work and less of the things that don’t.
19. Make sure your business is set up on relevant customer review sites. They are important brand assets, so you should regularly maintain them with up-to-date photos and products, linking back to your main site for more information. You could use Sendible’s bespoke review site monitoring feature provide you a sentiment analysis for your business on TripAdvisor, Yelp and CitySearch.
20. Remember, different demographic groups use different social media platforms. Try different things and adjust for each individual platform – your Twitter followers might be more technically savvy and enjoy posting content, while your Facebook followers might prefer to ask questions. Tailor your campaigns to suit.

Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to a successful Christmas.  However if this all sounds like a hard work, at what’s already a busy couple of months consider Sendible to lessen the workload. Find out more here.

DISCOUNT CODE: ‘SeasonsGreetings2012’ entitles you to 15% off any plan.


Vishal Pindoriya

Vishal Pindoriya is a social media enthusiast, strategist and writer. He lives in London, England and is particularly interested in the proliferation of social media around the world.

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