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5 Ways Your Startup Can Kill It On Social Media During Public Holidays

By Mark Linsdell

Workers of the US rejoice! The holiday season is nearly upon us with Labor Day kicking things off on September 2nd. 

We all like to unwind with an iced tea (long or short) during the holidays. However, if you’re a startup or small business owner, the holiday season presents a chance for you to get really creative with your social media marketing.

This isn’t solely limited to public holidays either. Black Friday – the day retails workers fear the most – is edging ever closer. So is the less feared Cyber Monday. 

All these holidays are golden opportunities to grow your business on social media. And eat too much.

We’ll primarily be focusing on social media tips for the holidays (but I’m sure if you ask nicely, I can give you a recipe for a killer Green Bean Casserole):

Get organized on social media

This first point is something you should be doing from the get-go.

It’s good practice to use some kind of social media management system to plan the content you’re going to upload to your social media channels in advance.

There are a few reasons you do this:

  • It ensures you’re consistent
  • It stops you from posting duplicate content on different social media channels
  • It means you’re ready for big events ahead of time

This last point is especially true for the holidays. When you miss significant dates, your business runs the risk of looking foolish and out of the loop. It can be particularly damaging if all your competitors have something special planned for them. 

For example, if you’re an eCommerce business who sells computers and computer accessories, you’d look pretty out of touch if you didn’t post anything on social media during Cyber Monday. 

Moreover, if it’s a public holiday, it’s likely that some of your team will have time off. Therefore, it’s good to be prepared ahead of time. 

Offer (or promote) a promotion

I know what you’re probably thinking… “We’re obviously going to run a promotion during Black Friday… Why is this point in here?”

Yes, it’s more likely than not that you’ll offer a promotion for your product or service during retail holidays. However, why stop there?

This is when your marketing team can really get creative. 

Can you think of an offer to tie in with the specific holiday? 

For instance, say you’re a SaaS company that offers email marketing software, you could run a promotion on Labor Day along the lines of, “we aim to make the lives of working people easier. This Labor Day, get 50% off our software for the first six months. Hurry, this offer is only valid till the end of the holiday!”

This kind of holiday promotion is a powerful tool for landing new leads and sales.

Reward your existing customers

On top of chasing up some new business, the holidays are also a great time for you to reward your current customers and followers. 

How you do this largely depends on the kind of business you’re in. However, here are some ideas of what you could offer:

  • A free piece of gated content – if your business has some gated content on your site (an ebook or a white paper) you could email this out to your mailing list or send it to your Facebook followers. 
  • A social media competition – This effectively kills two birds with one stone. Not only is it a great way to give back to your loyal customers but it’s also effective in increasing social media engagement and gathering user-generated content. For example, say you run an eCommerce company that sends out organic artisanal food. Around Thanksgiving, you could set up a competition where people send in pictures of their Thanksgiving dinner with the hashtag #thankfulforfood. The winner could get a free hamper of food! 
  • A free gift – This only really works if the leads you’ve gathered have entered their address. However, a free holiday-themed gift is a great bit of marketing and to be honest, who doesn’t like receiving free stuff?

Theme your messaging and content around the holidays

The holidays are great for working on your brand image. 

Why? 

The wackiness and universal themes surrounding them are instantly recognizable to your target audience. 

Therefore, the social media content you share and your messaging can be more creative and light-hearted around the holiday season. Especially around Christmas. After all, tis the season to be jolly. 

Here are a few things your team could do during different holidays:

  • Labor Day – For Labor Day, you could ask your staff to recall their most embarrassing professional stories which you can then share on social media. This is great for giving your company a human face and helps your followers ‘get to know the team’.
  • Christmas – Post a photo album of your team to Facebook – but one where they are all wearing ugly Xmas sweaters. 
  • Halloween – Your team can send in their costume photos from October 31st. All of which can be shared on Instagram stories.

PRO TIP: Update your iconography so it’s holiday-themed. E.g. At Christmas, put a Santa hat on your logo. 

Analyze the results of previous years

Have you ever dabbled in social media marketing during the holiday season?

If so, it may be worth going over past performance.

This will help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your past efforts.

These are some of the questions you might ask yourself:

  • What content worked?
  • What content didn’t work?
  • What was the best time of day to post?
  • What gave you the biggest amount of engagement?
  • What marketing tools did you use last time? Is there something better available now?

It’s good social media marketing practice to constantly evolve and tweak your strategy month-by-month. The holiday season is no different.

Labor Day is a day where traditionally we put our feet up safe in the knowledge that Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are just around the corner. However, for you to be a success on social media, you can’t pop on your Ugg Boots just yet!

Follow these social media strategy tips for the holidays and a pair of socks isn’t the only gift you’ll receive this year.