Guest Post by Kaitlyn Pierce, Pierce Social
If you’re thinking “Oh no, I can hardly rock my social media strategy during the rest of the year, nevermind during the holidays”, then don’t worry. I promise this post will leave you a better social media manager or business owner. Really, you’ll thank me later when holiday planning isn’t so daunting and, to be honest, all of these tips can be applied to any other type of social media campaign. It’s important to remember that if you spend some time now you can put your systems in place so the next time you need to put together a social media strategy around a particular product, launch, or holiday it will be second nature.
The holidays are a particularly important time for every business, as whether you are a B2C or B2B business this is a busy time of year. If your target is other businesses then this is a great time to showcase your value, how you can make the holiday season that much easier or more profitable for them. If you’re a B2C business, well then, you most likely know the drill - sell, sell, sell!
This season is also a last push to help reach your yearly goals and it’s a great time to start thinking about the new year and the ways you want to grow your business. Again, if you are a B2C business then use some of your New Year promotions to focus on helping your clients make the most of their next year in business with fresh starts, better systems, and more tools.
Let’s get started with your holiday social media marketing plan and dive into these 5 key things to jumpstart your social media strategy for the holidays!
1. Analyze - What Worked & What Didn’t?
Taking a look at last year or any recent campaigns you’ve launched can help you to better understand what worked, what didn’t, and what your personal pain points were during that time. Set aside some time to really look at this data. Make note of any posts that did particularly well with engagement, ones that saw high click throughs. You should be able to grab a lot of this data from the native analytics available in Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Once you have those posts rounded up try to narrow down why they were successful and use that during your planning. You don’t want to recreate the same campaigns exactly, but instead identify the elements that seemed to be successful. This could be the type of contest it was, the theme you chose for your giveaway, the specific types of products, the platform it was hosted on, etc. If this is your first year in business, scope out what your competition did for the holidays to see what worked and didn’t.
2. Goals - What Do I Want to Happen?
Of course we all want sales, but set some goals for yourself. Not only is this important to focus your efforts in social media during the holidays, it’s an important tool for you as a business owner to start to see an ROI on your time as well as give you something to strive for! Set weekly engagement, sales, or anything other goals. Maybe you’re launching a big product and you want to create a viral video. Set that as a goal. Don’t set yourself up for failure either, set realistic goals and then once you reach them set bonus goals! Setting goals that require work but are attainable is a huge boost for your confidence. This helps creative a positive attitude, which goes farther than you might think!
3. Plan Out Media - What Will I Post?
I think for many businesses it’s so important to think about the images and videos you can share ahead of time so you have time to produce quality media. Consider putting together some videos featuring your products, holiday DIY tutorials, or anything that your audience might really enjoy during the holidays as well as promotional videos for ads and timelines. You can do a lot of this yourself but if you can’t, consider teaming up with other businesses for styled photo shoots or videos. This takes time to coordinate so next year, I suggest you begin thinking about this at the end of summer (or earlier!) and get some plans in order so you have quality holiday themed content to share. For this year, there is still plenty of time for you to implement this, just create your goals and action items, then get to work! There are so many creative businesses willing to partner up to get styled photo shoots & videos created as well as offer guest blog content and other quality media that can help you market your products and services.
4. Plan Out Promotions/Giveaways - What Will I Give Away?
The other big thing to consider is any sales, special promotions, or giveaways you want to run during the holidays. Decide which platforms to promote on, if you will be running any social media ads, what your budget for these ads will be, and any graphics you’ll need to promote with. You can also use this as an opportunity to find other business owners to collaborate with, which can be a great opportunity to get in front of a whole new audience.
5. Timeline - When Should I be Planning & Posting?
Normally, I highly recommend sitting down with an umbrella drink in your favorite maxi dress and flip flops sometime in August to begin planning out your holiday marketing plan. This doesn’t mean you need to have it all filled out but creating a timeline for yourself (one that you can use over and over every year, I might add!) will help you stay ahead of the game. However, I said earlier, and I’ll say it again, there is still time to start now. Make some small, realistic goals, and get to work! Carve out a time to plan, a day to execute, and then time to schedule it across your platforms. Don't let another day go by without getting your plan in place.
You can create a simple Word doc or spreadsheet with your timeline planned out, and then you can fill it in as the ideas start to pan out and become finalized. This timeline will eventually serve as a template that you can reuse yearly and for any other holiday or special event.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed I encourage you to chat with some of your business besties and find some ways to tackle this together. You can do it! Happy Holidays!
About the Author
Kaitlyn is the social media unicorn behind Pierce Social. She demystifies and monetizes social media & PR efforts for creative entrepreneurs, taking on strategy and management and everything in between. She has managed social for large companies, like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, but her heart is with creative entrepreneurs. With Kaitlyn’s expertise in taking the stress out of social media & PR, creatives can spend their days doing what they really want to do—creating the products and services that they love.