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How to Prepare Your Holiday Social Media Marketing Plan

The leaves haven’t even started changing colors yet (let alone the temperature is still in the 90s!) but it’s already time to start thinking about your holiday social media strategy. Just how the summer seemed to fly by, so do the months of Fall leading up to the holidays. That’s why it’s a smart idea to get a head start on your holiday marketing campaign so that you can stay on top of your strategy without scrambling or worse—falling behind.

Nowadays, holiday shopping is not just centered around the major holiday dates. Consumer holidays like Black Friday, Prime Early Access, and Free Shipping Day have become well-known super-sale dates on the calendar. And while some consumers like to get their holiday shopping done early, many wait until the last minute. So, it’s important to accommodate both in your strategic plan. Here are some of the major dates to highlight in your social media management platform.

Important Holiday Dates for Social Media Marketing

October 10-11 Prime Early Access Days

No, this isn’t a “formal” holiday, but clearly shoppers are starting to do their holiday buying earlier and earlier—and big brands like Amazon are emboldening that practice. While it’s hard to compete with heavy hitters like Amazon, small brands can offer an online sale during these dates, encouraging consumers to shop small. Or, capitalize on Amazon Prime’s “free shipping” factor. Did you know that 62% of consumers won’t make a purchase unless free shipping is an option?!

November 23 - Thanksgiving

Some brands are starting their Black Friday sales so early they bleed into the Thanksgiving holiday. This feels a bit excessive to us…Take the holiday to spend time with the ones you love, and save the shopping and spending for…every/any other day of the year. Of course, schedule a post for Thanksgiving, but don’t push sales or promos. Remind your followers—and employees—the real meaning of the holiday.

November 24 - Black Friday

Historically, the day after Thanksgiving has always kicked off major holiday shopping. Black Friday got its name in Philadelphia when police were so overwhelmed by the congested traffic coming into the city for Christmas shopping it was considered a city-wide crisis. To optimize the chaotic day for your brand, offer a promotion, gift with purchase, or free shipping as a shopping incentive.

November 25 - Small Business Saturday

Unlike Black Friday, Small Business Saturday was a date ‘created’ by American Express to encourage consumers to shop from small businesses during the crazy holiday season. You can keep your Black Friday promotion or simply create content reminding your followers to support small businesses—like your brand—today. We recommend having one or a few hands on deck to handle customer service on this weekend date. 70% of consumers intentionally shop from small businesses, so don’t miss out on capitalizing on this special day.

November 27 - Cyber Monday

Focus online either with free shipping or BOGO promos or by creating a special discount code for your digital offerings (e-Books, asynchronous courses, etc.). More than 80% of the US population shops online (millennials being the majority). Read up on how discounts and free shipping impact online sales.

November 28 - Giving Tuesday

The holiday season isn’t all about shopping. As we’ve noted in recent blog posts, people care about what your business stands for—beyond just what you’re selling. Show your audience how you’re giving back this holiday season through a financial donation to a local charity, offer of your services free of charge to a certain population, or collection of canned goods, toiletries, or winter coats at your brick-and-mortar store.

December 7 - 15 - Hanukkah

December 11 - Green Monday

The second Monday in December is typically brands’ ‘cut-off’ date for shipping items by the Christmas holiday. If you decide to go with this date, ensure you make this known in your social media content and online store leading up to December 11th.

Mid December - Free Shipping Day

Online sales peak during the month of November, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a last minute push in early December. Free Shipping day isn’t a specific date, but is a typical promotion for most businesses at some point early/mid-December (i.e. ensuring delivery before Christmas). Just over half of Americans prefer to shop online. Free Shipping Day will be a perk for them while also persuading traditional in-store shoppers to make an online buy.

December 23 - Super Saturday

Super Saturday is the last Saturday before the Christmas holiday week—usually the ‘last chance’ for people to get their Christmas shopping in (and this year, it’s down to the wire!). If you’re looking to further boost your sales pre-Christmas, consider offering a discount online or in-store to make the most of the day.

December 24 - Christmas Eve

For the next three days, feel free to celebrate or acknowledge the holiday with a post, but forgo being salesy…your holiday work is done!

December 25 - Christmas

December 26 - Day After Christmas

6 Ways to Prepare Your Socials for the Holiday Season

Now that we’ve gone through the critical dates of the holiday season, here are some content ideas to supplement any holiday discounts and deals:

1. Link your social channels (m-commerce)

Purchases via social media have skyrocketed 75% in the past couple of years. Incorporate hyperlinks and swipe-up features in your social media posts and stories to enable easy access to online shopping. The more seamless it is for a potential customer to shop, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

2. Schedule out your holiday content

Use a social media management app like Planoly to pre-schedule your holiday content. Since these posts are already pretty set in stone, you can plan them in advance (even deciding exactly what time you want them to go live) and shift your focus to other tasks like customer service and responding to comments and DMs.

3. Treat your social media followers

With an extra promotion or personalized note in their package. This shows you value your followers and may lead to more UGC (user generated content) like unboxing videos and tagged posts. 40% of consumers are more likely to convert (go from passive viewer to active buyer) when an ad features UGC. Just remember to ask permission first.

4. Encourage engagement

According to GWI’s 2022 flagship report 41% of online shoppers claim that positive reviews are the leading factor in making a purchase. Bolster them by incentivizing customers to leave a review on Google, Yelp, Amazon, or comment/DM with a little discount code for their next purchase.

5. Set up a loyalty program

Getting shoppers to make a holiday purchase is great. Keeping those shoppers coming back over and over again is even better. Set up a loyalty program where returning customers can earn and redeem points and get access to exclusive deals and discounts.

6. Optimize your website

Clear copy, hyperlinks, and calls to action facilitate greater conversion of web viewers to customers. Also, nearly 70% of the US population makes purchases via their mobile device. Hop on your phone to make sure all your website features are user-friendly. Fit Small Business notes that, “Some of the impediments to mobile shopping are security concerns (42%), pages and links being too small to click (67%), interruptions from messages, apps, and other programs (36%), and difficulty finding what shoppers are looking for (36%).”

Need more help creating and curating content for the holiday season and beyond? Join Media À La Carte’s Content Calendar Club. Planning now will save you when the holiday season finally hits. Put in the work now and you’ll be grateful you did!


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