Facebook holiday marketing tips


When approaching any of the holiday times of the year, small business owners should take advantage of every opportunity to market their business.

Social media platforms like Facebook give you easy access to your target market, prepare your existing and potential customers for the holiday season by tailoring the messaging on your platforms effectively.

Here are some quick wins for your Facebook community:

Add some holiday cheer to your cover photo:

Update your current Facebook Page cover photo to reflect the holiday season. This is a simple, easy and fun way to connect with your audience, by reminding them of something you share in common - celebrating the holidays.

Get in the status spirit:

Make your content engaging by asking your fans to share their holiday experiences with you, i.e. “What’s your favorite holiday song?”

Deck the Facebook walls:

Facebook recently lifted the requirement of using a third-party app when running a Facebook competition. So, now you can directly (and easily) post fun company competitions and giveaways directly to your Facebook wall. Take advantage of this by creating a holiday campaign or promotion for your audience during this time.

Employee holiday highlights:

People enjoy interacting and doing business with brands they feel like they can relate to, so putting a face to your brand is a great way to do that.

Consider doing daily employee highlights during the holiday season, where they can share what they love about the holidays and your business.

Which social media marketing tips will you use these holidays?

This article has been repurposed for this blog. Original article can be sourced from - Social Media Today


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    Facebook is the most easily adaptable of all social media platforms and this adaptability lends itself to seamless and endless marketing opportunities. But the one thing I have learnt in doing social media strategies and reviews of current and potential clients is that most marketing efforts are more about advertising and a 'push' strategy and this is the biggest mistake any business can make with their social media activations.
    You need to have a clear goal and decide what you want to achieve for your holiday marketing. Before you do anything you need to outline your goals and what it is you want to achieve with your campaign. This goes for any sort of advertising and not just what you do at the holidays; otherwise you just have a bunch of tactics that are trying to get attention but aren’t really tied to an overall strategy or goal. And without that goal in mind you can’t have real success.
    When developing a content plan for the year 2 things are crucial to the effectiveness of the strategy : 1. Keep the content relevant - this means that no matter what the industry your business operates in you should link your business activities to the relevant things happening around you and this is where you can bring in the aspects of holiday seasons. In SA our main holiday seasons are April July and December - this means that people are thinking about various things iro the 'holiday seasons' ...its top of mind - people are making plans taking leave saving money spending money trying to finish up things at work working projects around public holidays etc etc ... the question you ask your self is : how does my company relate to the activities in the country? - this means that if you are a tyre shop you should be talking about how people check for whether they need new tyres before their Easter break roadtrip. The same analogy would apply to a Financial institution that markets their personal loan products as well as their investment options. Pharmaceutical companies can market their products based on how to use their products when on holiday ... headache tables get given a new concept of taking a tablet when family gatherings start to give you a headache or trying to finish up that last bit of work before heading off on leave. A diet product company can talk about 'how to cheat on your diet without gaining too many kilos or even which exercises burn off what calories. Any industry can make sure they relate to what is top of mind to the their target market ... holidays! 2. Use a 'pull' strategy - its a social media sin to use a 'push' marketing strategy. So this means that you have to find creative ways of drawing people to you your brand your products through your social media pages. Engagement is the holy grail of social media marketing and there is no other way to get optimised engagement rates other than providing a sense of value to the customer and ask yourself a question about your page :why would my customer or future customer want to like my page to receive what? These 2 aspects are critical in ensuring an engaged page
    So the content plan has been drawn up and you have linked the relevant holiday periods to the activation calendar now what? People are in holiday mode and mood ... why would anyone want to read and see overly serious things and obvious marketing pitches? Nobody does so its critical to ensure that as much as you link your content to the relevant things happening around you you also have to ensure that the content is not to 'heavy'. People are not in the mood for 'work' and even if you are a page of a brand that your customers love the products of it STILL means you have to keep it light and fun which will add to the relevancy of your post but also the relevancy of the brand
    When posting things on social media and especially Facebook it is crucal to make sure that to remember what state of mind people are in when they are in holiday mode...even when they going to work the roads are quieter people around you are in a good mood meaning that people will click on things that appeal to them and their state of mind. In my previous post I spoke about keeping it light but also make it as fun as you can or that your industry culture will allow. Social media is generally not a serious space so even when not in holiday mode the rul of thumb for social media marketing should lend itself to a more casual-professional engagement. So it goes to reason that when you are in holiday season mode it will be light-hearted casual and fun that may poke fun at our culture our behaviours or even our phrases that are unique to South Africa.
    Nandos is known for their quick turnaround on their advertising when something major happens in the country especially when they have something to do with politics. Because we are a nation that is politically and sports charged we will click onto anything that has an engaging incentive to open up to see more if it is concerned with sport or politics - could you be your industry's equivalent of Nando's? Maybe not! BUT there must be something you can do to keep things relevant and funny while its also casual but professional ... what would that be?
    Interesting Yavi so what would be your suggestion for an effective strategy?
    Facebook is that social media platform where its also easy to upload pictures videos polls and surveys and text. Beacuse there are no limitations on Facebook ito content amount and type (so Twitter limits you to 140 characters and Instagram's main communication factor is a picture or video) it is tempting to add in EVERYTHING (but the kitchen sink) .... Please please please whatever you do please refrain from doing so. apply the principle of 'less is more' whenever you are tempted to add 'more'.
    I actually like the KISS approach - keep it simple light and fun yet get the message across.
    True that TheTastyChef.Aclear goal upon which you peg yourcampaignis quite crucial. What happens ifyou have a clear goal butthe trajectory is not forthcoming? This is often the questionposed by clients. I do think YaviMadurai's earlier point about facebook being adaptable is important to note because as an account manager you get to figure out where the tide is going and can facilitatethe directionaccordingly.
    I couldn't agree more realigning the message with the environmental demands may seem like intuition however it does require innovation coupled with a multiple angled innovative solution.
    Some tips on how to have a holiday yourself while still doing engagement with your target market : 1. Use a tool like Hootsuite to set upautomatic scheduling of your posts 2. Do your content way in advance and have it ready to go 3. You may use your Hootsuite tool all the time but you don't want anything to go wrong while you are on holiday so set up a test case a few days before so you can monitor it 4. Advise your regular clientele that they must please watch out for your posts so that there is an active search 5.Even though you yourself maybe on holiday try to have a look at the page activity at least once a day if you have access to your mobile and or internet ... don't only rely on notifications to tell you if something is going wrong 6. Think RISK. RISK. RISK ...always bear in mind that any part of your business that is exposed is open to risk so manage your social media risk they way you would manage any other risk element in your business.
    Your content planning and plan is at the heart of your holiday marketing. Its Easter holidays coming up shortly so lets use that as a scenario : Have you planned your content at the beginning of the year? Do you have seasonal products or year long products - this will determine your marketing mix as Easter heralds the season of Autumn in the Southern hemisphere and Spring in the Northern Hemisphere? Is there any product or service offering that is particularly suitable to talk about at Easter? This could be anything from clothing to cars to food to trave and credit cards ... the list goes on Align the suitable product or service to general Easter things (going to church making Easter Sunday lunch fasting and sacrifice on Good Friday and what to do with time off for non-Christians or those not observing the general practises of Easter) If there is a competiton or incentive do you have the prizes ? Can you post pictures of the prizes? Rule of thumb for social media marketing is pictures are great video is better so remember that people like to watch videos that are funny and unique to show family and friends that they may be hangning out with over the holidays
    I so love Hootsuite. You are so spot on. It is my trusted time saver when it comes to social media management tool.
    Yavi time for true confessions. I have always loved how Coca-Cola massages andpresents its ads. They give one a sense of affinity so much so that if you were all by yourself during the holidays- you feel the love in the air and like you are part of the human race. Their holiday messages are so universal. In my online trawls I came across an article entitled - 15 Brilliant Examples of Holiday Marketing Campaigns. Check it out if you ahven't already. Link: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/holiday-marketing-campaign-examples#sm.01452yll148if5s10851x1q4jbe7i
    I think its absolutely important to understand how to treat holiday marketing because it must be treated 'the same but different' if that makes sense. So it needs to follow the same processes and critique that all content goes through but it needs a different approach to the way other content is conceptualised designed and distributed. A checklist of sorts for you to have a successful Facebook marketing campaign for the holidays : 1. Clear objectives for messaging and measurement Have a clear goal and decide what you want to achieve - is it just awareness do you want to provide value (e.g. recipes for Easter if you are a supermarket or hints and tips about large family meals if you are caterer and then mention that your Easter catering meals serve all size families within the context of the content) 2. When creating the annual content calendar work backwards from the dates if you fail to plan then plan to fail - this MUST be your mantra if you are in social media marketing. The content is only as good as your planning. So holiday campaigns (as simple or fun as they maybe) needs to be planned properly in advance as you can't delay a holiday campaign by a day or 2 as it is date-specific. When things are simple and fun they require the same amount of design detail and content to be produced so dont make theassumption it will be easier. Create a spreadsheet with a column for each day and then a row for each marketing channel. Even if it doesn’t have a lot of detail it’ll give the team an overview at a glance. Then you can have specific dates highlighted in order make sure you hit all your deadlines. 3. What are you measuring and monitoring? You should judge the success of your marketing efforts based on what you were trying to achieve see point 1 above. If it were a sales strategy then its simple - total sales. Things get a bit more complicated for awareness and loyalty campaigns so decide the objective of the campaign and then decide what your measurements are e.g. if its a new page building a community is key so number of likes is important but if its an established page then engagement rates and sentiment would be the measurement as well as traffic to the website from your FB page amongst others 4. Have fun with images and videos So a really fun cover photo or profile pic and or video is a wonderful way to get your Facebook Page noticed during the holidays and also under normal circumstances but it needs to be extra fun for holidays. For example for Christmas change it each day and make it like an advent calendar with a daily 'reveal' of a 'witty' story comment quote idea etc etc. Use humour where it is appropriate but it is a quick and easy way to get your page some attetnion and may even get it to go viral if its done correctly. When people are in a good mood they’re more likely to buy and spend. So make your marketing messages entertaining lighthearted and humorous depending on your product and industry 5. You are a person first and a marketer second - you are a customer as well so think like a person not a marketer Regardless of what kind of business you’re in the key is to realizsthat people are on Facebook for personal reasons. They are also on Facebook in their 'downtime' when they are relaxed or want to be so they could be using it as a form of distraction. Really do you open your eyes in the morning and your first thought is about (insert brand company name here) is selling or advertising today. You don't do that and neither do your customers. So please bear that in mind when you create an activation where you assume that your customer is sitting there and waiting for your post. Its not about you (your brand and products) its about them - your customers are looking at things happening in their FB friends lives and if your post as a company is catchy and or funny or unique or.... it will get their attention. So your only question when developing your content should be what will get their attention in a sea of childrens 1st day at school birthdays club nights out or weddings and anniversaries with a sprinkling of racist comments and sports talk? Can your post stand out from all of that? Get them to show your post to a friend or colleague because it was special and stood out but it was also revelant and punchy.
    So I am a firm believer in 'advertising as we know it is dead' so how do you advertise in social media and on Facebook specifically? So how do you maintain a 'pull' marketing strategy on social media without resorting to an advertising 'push' strategy? A few FB 'advertising' tips that will assist in increasing engagement rates : 1. Align holidays and public holidays to your business and industry When planning your content calendar choose the holidays that align perfectly with your products business and industry and use the relevancy to optimise the brand. Schedule FB ads in advance 2. Use Facebook Lead Ads The objective is to get people to your other digital assets as quickly as possible to fulfill an optimised digital brand strategy. With FB lead ads you can take an interested person to your website with literally a single click of the button. I love Lead Ads as they are functional and can be very fun and engaging. Lead Ads featuring large clickable images text and call-to-action buttons seamlessly direct people from their mobile devices or desktops to any page on your site. 3. MUST DO : Target your ads Facebook has the amazing tools that allow you to create extrememly specific targets by demographics by geographical location by interests and so many more. You have no more excuses for not targeting the right customer at the right time and in the right way. provides you with tools to help you target and reach the right customers – new and existing – at the right time. Target test your content review test and activate. You will soon learn what works for each of your different targetted audiences. Same products but if you send a message to an audience that is relevant to them you will achieve an exceptional ROI. 4. Review and Renew (ongoing) for measurement : Understand what’s working and change what isn’t: Take advantage of Facebook’s Ads Manager to monitor and track the success of your ads performance. Ad Manager allows you to maximise your budget for maximum ROI and test your strategy.
    So now that I have given you the strategy lets talk about how to action it with actual ideas : 1. Recipes or DIY or similar Holidays are normally about the 3 F's : family/friends food and fun. So go with that ... how can you provide them with a piece of content that satisfies one of the 3 F's and in some cases all 3. Give recipes even if you are not a food company (Michellin is a tyre manufacturer but a chefs highest accolade is to recive a Michellin star) so don't be too rigid in your activations. Its crucial to link it somehow back to your product or service e.g. a training and conference centre can give you a 'secret recipe' of one of themost popular dishes or how to build an extra large table if you are hosting Easter/Christmas/Mother's Day/etc lunch and your normal dining table seats only 6. A bank could give you tips on how to entertain on a budget for the holidays giving a few handy tips of how to make things look and feel special for your guests without 'breaking the bank'. They could extend it to 'how to save for the next big gathering'. 2. Holiday Albums and photos This is for ALL businesses but its especially useful for companies who normally can't do fun marketing campaigns because the products or services are quite boring technical functional etc. Remember 'not all products require marketing but all marketing efforts need a product (of some kind)'. So when its holiday time you can show your staff in a festive mood or even better partaking in some kind of CSI project on behalf of the company. This goes a long way to building a brand positioning with depth and variety. Still doubtful? Photo albums get 180% more engagement than regular posts. 3. Opening your nostalgic memory box We all have thoughts and emotions about stories that or things that remind us of Easter weekends or Christmas Days where family and friends came together to make special memories. Our childhood memories are extremely powerful tools to use a marketing concept to position a brand or products. Even your local builders supply store can have a campaign that shows items from their store that can be used to build wooden cars or wooden swings that made up a huge part of our childhoods in SA. Campaign : put up a nostalgic picture with an appropriate filter to take you back and ask tell us your memory. Remember use the mood of the holiday season to appeal to whats relevant at the time. 4. Contests competitions and vouchers Hirsh does this really well by having cooking and baking competitions around holidays - Christmas cake or Good Friday Pickled Fish. Are you a chemical company that sells products to farrmers to keep their crops clear of pests that would compromise their crops and thereby food availability - Give a focus to the crops and what your product helps to attain. During holidays give ideas about how to give a spin to the traditional christmas trifle by adding citrus fruit or your secret ingredient for the best potato salad in SA - upload pic and recipe. They could win electric braai tongs worth R.... To be continued ...
    ...continued - More activation ideas : 5. Get into the spirit of the holidays Whenit comes to certain holidays there are particular things that are associated with them that you could utilise as a content directive e.g #12DaysOfChristmas or the issue of eating copious amounts of chocolate over Easter or even celebrating our diversity on Heritage Day. use the meaning of the holiday to drive your key messaging or showcase your products through linkages with the well known aspects of the holiday e.g heritage day can also be considered braai day in SA. 6. Ideas for gifts clothing jewellry and other cultural practices or objects So in SA we have so many different holidays like Freedom Day Youth Day and Heritage Day and then we have the usual common holidays like Christmas and New Years. Give ideas about how to give a modern spin totraditional clothing or a way of keeping and storing traditional jewellery or a modern version of the dance done at specific events. 7. This or that / Which one would you choose? / Post pics of similar or opposing items for the holiday season and ask the question this or that or which is your favourite e.g Trifle or steamed pudding for Christmas luch; Camping or hotel for the Easter weekend People love to show the world something of themselves so give them opportunities to do so. 8. Caption this Another quick and simple but hugely effective in gaining increased engagement rates is ask for the people to give a caption for a weird scary funny or just confusing pic that has to have something to do with the holiday. The best caption wins something but its merely a fun way of talking about products without direct in-your-face advertising.