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Festive Social Media Strategies

How To Win Christmas 

Christmas is coming.

That means the yearly traditions are rearing their heads. The mince pies are cold, the Christmas jumpers are itchy, it’s a bit wet out and we love every last part of it. But for businesses, the festivities mark the busiest trade period of the year as people flock to grab just a pair of socks or Furby’s eighth reincarnation to weigh down Saint Nick’s sleigh.

source: canalcourthotel.com


As the nights grow darker, it’s also time for the annual campaigns, some you’ve probably already seen. Queue the lonely John Lewis penguin and the Sainsbury’s take on the Christmas truce during World War One. With the campaigns done, it’s time to turn your attention to your own social media presence for the festivities.

Why?

A recent study by CrowdTap estimates that 65% of shoppers will turn to social media to find their sought after presents. A solid and clear social media strategy can boost sales and customer relations exponentially, especially with customers turning to social media to query businesses on products or deliveries.

Kurve’s managing director advises the following:  “Are you aiming to increase revenue by 20% or 30%? Or to receive 50% more website hit, or simply gain extra brand exposure? How you approach your festive strategy should be based on these aims, and everything you share, tweet or post from that point on must be underpinned by these aims.”

Strategy and Presence

A simple social media strategy will always work best. Just take a look at Costa Coffee’s attempts the last few years. Simple stylized cups featuring Father Christmas, a snowman and others rely on countless selfies, Instagram posts and Snapchats to help them spread.

As well as a simple strategy, companies have to maintain a constant presence leading up to the big day as consumers readily use social media to engage with companies. Zoodikers Consultancy estimates that 42% of people who take to social media to ask questions expect responses from companies within 60 minutes.

source: timeanddate.com

You also have to choose the right social media for your business. Facebook currently wins on campaigns, and in 2012 it drove 4% of all retail traffic through the site. Twitter takes the stage for promoting reviews of products and for having celebrities ranging from Justin Bieber to Wayne Rooney pushing products right down to the hashtag. I can unashamedly admit that I’ve taken to twitter numerous times searching for product reviews and it’s always been a successful method.

However, just taking advantage of the biggest names in social media won’t secure a success. Other outlets such as Pinterest - which focuses on images - has yielded great results in the past. Last year, Topshop launched their ‘Dear Topshop’ campaign which was dedicated to users posting a mood board about what would make their Christmas Day perfect.

Image based social media such as Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are perfectly suited to the festive season as consumers become very visually focused. They’re bombarded with the typical Christmas imagery such as trees, decorations and lighting. It appeals directly to consumers' visual relation with Christmas when they see that keyboard they’ve considered picking up for Dad surrounded by snow and yellow lights (though it can’t be good for the cables).

Timings

Timing is very important during the festivities. For more than just making sure you don’t overcook the turkey. Again.

The build up to Christmas Eve sees high streets littered with panicked masses who kept telling themselves they still have time. However, the same surge of demand for online retail ends in the weeks leading up the big day as clever customers leave ample time for delivery. This means that when you see those offensively early Christmas campaigns in October, you’ve seen a company that is timing itself well for Christmas. No longer shall we scorn the bauble on Halloween!

source: canteen.co.uk

More precise timing techniques are worth noting, such as the prime times for interacting with different social media. Facebook and Twitter are at their prime between 1pm and 4pm, Tumblr between 7pm and 10pm, Instagram between 5pm till 6pm, and Google+ bright and early at 9am to 11am.

Furthermore, during the early hours of the morning are when a third of all purchases are made. People have been sitting up, wracking their brains for hours over whether or not to buy their significant other that ski set because they went skiing that one time. Seven years ago. So it is important to maintain your presence at all hours and there are applications to do this for you, because who wants to wake up at 3am to tweet?

So there we have it: social media can help you win at Christmas. It’s not particularly difficult. Know your audience, know your timings and maintain your presence. You’ll have jolly Saint Nick coming to you for pointers in no time.

Me? I’ll just have another mulled wine. 



Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.
Festive Social Media Strategies Reviewed by Tom Welby on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Rating: 5
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