Holiday shopping is no longer a marathon – it’s something that happens in moments.
Instead of visiting different shopping malls and looking for the best offers, shoppers are turning to their mobile phones in hundreds of micro-moments that are happening every day during the holiday season.
In 2014 around 90% of holiday sales took place in stores, but 56% were influenced by mobile. According to Crowdtap around 64% of shoppers are going to social media to find inspiration for purchases, with Facebook influencing gift purchases at the highest rate of 59%. Pinterest and Facebook are considered to be the best social media platforms for inspiration, while 55% of shoppers continue to research on blogs.
Such trends are expected to continue to grow in 2015, so it’s more and more important for every business to be present at the point that influences, drives discovery and ultimately improves sales.
In case you haven’t prepared your social media to capture the attention of your customers and trigger Christmas shopping, it’s time to use these 8 tips that will make your social media festive and merry for the holidays.
Idea 1: Decorate Your Cover and Profile Photo
Your Cover Photo should always primarily represent the values and personality of your brand, but if you want to get your audience in the season spirit you have to change it to reflect the holiday season. People are browsing social media more than usual so fresh Cover Photos will motivate them to check your social media and look for special offers or gift ideas.
To start, try to picture the Cover Photo as your billboard and ask yourself what information you want to promote during the holiday season. Maybe you have some special holiday products you want to showcase or some special holiday deals your fans would like to hear about? Tell that to your audience with a simple and effective design that consists of a bold background color and playful combination of serif and sans serif fonts.
We suggest you try Arvo or EB Garamond as serif and Glober or Din as your sans serif fonts.
Even if your business cannot offer any special holiday discounts, post a picture of your office Christmas decorations and brand it elegantly with your logo to give an inviting and festive vibe to your social media.
According to research, each person has an average of 5 social media accounts but actively uses three so don’t stop on just one social media platform. Upload similar holiday-themed cover images to all your other social media accounts to create consistency and enable visitors to easily find and recognize your brand on their preferred social media network.
In a similar way you should shake up your Profile image and make people think about Christmas whenever they see your updates on the Newsfeed. If you cannot add a Santa hat, mistletoe symbol or some other holiday accents to your logo, you can always use festive-related hashtags and place them under your logo. Choose more generic hashtags such as #Wishlist2015 or #Christmas2015, or create your own hashtag as a part of the holiday marketing campaign, like Sears has been doing for several years now.
This will tie in all your social media accounts and help shoppers who are using Twitter or Instagram to research your offer in more detail.
Idea 2: Create a Very Merry Christmas Offer
Christmas is one of the biggest buying seasons of the year during which most retailers earn as much as 20% of their annual revenue, so a lot of effort is placed into attracting buyers to choose a particular brand.
Messages such as: one day only, limited quantity sales, buy-one-get-one free, special discounts or holiday coupons are among the most frequent deals used. To bring attention to the message make sure you place text on a background that will not be too distracting. Apply the principle of font hierarchy and give bigger font size to more important pieces of the information, such as the discount value.
One of the most popular shopping holidays in December is also Free Shipping Day (this year it’s December 18th) when businesses offer free shipping and guarantee that all orders made on that day will be delivered by Christmas Eve.
Offering free shipping is Amazon’s most successful recruiting incentive and also a number one reason that would influence people to complete a purchase on a social networking site during the holiday season. If possible, use Free Shipping Day as a perfect incentive to make people purchase from you and design a social media post that will place that information in the focus of attention with classic and confident font such as Chunk Five.
Another way to motivate a purchase is to have time-bound offers that will create a sense of urgency and inspire customers to act immediately, or risk missing out on a good deal. Accentuate your design with snowflakes, bows, a Santa Clause sleigh and other stickers you can find in Content Creator’s pre-designed Christmas templates.
Idea 3: Share the Joy of Christmas
Social media is meant to be social, so use the holiday season to give your posts some festive spin. You will get people excited not only about the season but also about your brand!
You can start by creating posts that ask people what’s their most memorable Christmas moment, favorite holiday food, best part of Christmas: opening presents, dinner or the post lunch feeling?
If you are in a business that can benefit from recipe posts, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to talk about food during the festive season. Share recipes or cooking tips, ask fans to share their own or to post a review once they make your dish.
People also love “this vs. that” questions, so you can ask them what they prefer to eat or drink around the holidays: cider or eggnog?
Whatever you choose to write about, make sure that your text is not invading the image. Use background shapes as a text holder so that the recipe is easy to read and experiment with fun and festive fonts such as Animatic or Toscuchet CM as they will perfectly capture the relaxed atmosphere of the season.
Your tips and tricks can go beyond cooking ideas. You can help your audience learn how to decorate their home, choose the best gift or perfectly wrap their gifts.
Conversation on any of these topics will make you look knowledgeable and bring you closer to shoppers.
People tend to remember information grouped in three so if you want to get your message across choose three main points and design them as bullet or number lists. It will help you communicate the information without making your design complicated or busy.
Idea 4: Make a Wish Come True
A classic way to encourage interaction is to organize a prize game on your profile page or through applications. Multi-day giveaways, in which you give out prizes every day for a certain period of time (such as “the 12 days of Christmas”) have the best engagement rate because they make fans come back again and again. Your prize game mechanism could be as simple as setting up a quiz with holiday related topics or inviting your audience to share photos in their worst Christmas sweaters.
Keep the conversation fresh by sharing posts with detailed information on prizes, counting the days till the end of the competition or announcing winners through a specially designed post. Use consistent images and fonts on all your promo materials as that will increase brand recall and help your audience differentiate promo posts from others. Bring some holiday spirit in your design by placing copy on different holiday-inspired background shapes that you can find in Content Creator’s Christmas pre-made templates.
In case you need to reinforce the brand, we suggest you place your logo in the corner of the photo so that it can make a quiet but consistent statement without being too distracting or overpowering.
Idea 5: Kick Off the Festive Season with an Event
If you want your event invitation to be noticed in the newsfeed or in an email inbox, give your design some extra kick with creative icons, decorative shapes and powerful colors that symbolize the season. Use holiday inspired fonts such as Titan One for the headline and opt for simple sans-serif letters like Bebas for the body copy that contains important information about the time and location of the party.
Idea 6: Show the Magic of Giving
The holiday season is a time to remind ourselves that we should be helping others more, so share that thought and your efforts with your audience. Prepare a special holiday eBook and encourage downloads by saying you will offer 100 dollars for every 100 downloads. Or create a special hashtag and promise you will donate 1 dollar for each shared tweet that contains such hashtag.
For inspiration take a look at the #MacysBelieve hashtag campaign that invites kids to send their letters to Santa at Macy’s stores. For every letter received Macy’s is donating a dollar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2013 the hashtag campaign ended up raising 2 million dollars!
When designing your posts, use a photo of people who will receive the help, as that will have the strongest impact on your audience. For better legibility place a transparent layer over your photo and contrast the color of letters with the color of the background. Use up to 2 fonts and play with their size and weight for more variety.
Idea 7: Shout-out to Everyone
Reaching potential customers means exposing them to what your brand has to offer this season. The only guaranteed way you can achieve that is to boost your important marketing messages through social media ads or online banners.
In case you decide on Facebook ads remember to avoid blue and white colors that can blend with the background, and make sure that your text covers a maximum of 20% of the image.
Online banners, on the other hand, do not have any rule regarding the size of the copy, but it’s important you build trust with your logo and place it on the top or bottom of the ad, depending on the placement of the copy. Don’t forget to inform the viewer on what you want them to do (shop, follow, download) with a clear instruction or call to action.
When choosing the banner image remember that it doesn’t have to be all about Christmas trees, green-red decorations or Christmas gifts. Instead, try to think about your audience. For example, if you are selling clothing, focus the ad on the party season and market your offer to those who are looking for new outfits for that occasion.
Idea 8: Wish Happy Holidays
If you are tempted to think that Christmas Day is a good time for giving your social media accounts a rest, think again. Your audience will be logging in to their profiles to wish family and friends happy holidays so this is a perfect opportunity for you to send out a “Merry Christmas” message from your business.
Find an image that has some holiday decoration but also a little bit of clear space for you to place your text. You can stick with green-red Christmas colors or add a touch of gold or silver for a more celebratory feeling. Write your copy by contrasting two fonts that will help each other speak. Script fonts such as Sign Painter or Wisdom Script will add affectionate and personal notes to your message, while sans serif fonts like Selena or Linear will keep it strong but friendly.
The best news about using applications such as Content Creator is that you don’t need to pull yourself away from the Christmas table to post your holiday post. Instead, you can use the power of the scheduling option in the application and schedule your post in advance so that your fans can check it between their holiday moments.
In the end don’t forget to take advantage of the after Christmas season when real sales and discounts are just starting. Play with bright colors and frame your post to focus the attention on the copy and your great offer.
For more inspiration and ideas on how to design a perfect holiday post, make sure to check out Content Creator app and our special Christmas pre-made templates that will help you create great designs in just few minutes. And now, over to you.
Do you have other ideas on how to get your social media ready for the holidays? Will you try the ones we have suggested? Let us know in comments below!
Guest Author: Aida Gadzo is a Social Media Strategist at contentcreatorapp.com. She helps small and medium businesses master the what, why and how of producing and delivering engaging digital and social media content that will activate audiences and drive sales.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Content Creator.