The holiday season in full swing, and digital marketers are focused on finishing out the year strong. Get an extra edge with these actionable tips from some bona fide social media experts - in this post, you'll find ideas for holiday campaigns, bidding strategies, organic options to help drive traffic, and more.
I'll start with my own tip -- and it's one that's good year round!
1. Larry Kim - CEO/Founder at MobileMonkey
Go into 2019 with at least one "intentionally delusional" marketing initiative in mind.
There's this idea that growth is made up of a lot of little steps forward, but that thinking is a trap. A hundred incremental improvements can't touch the impact of just one big shift.
Overly realistic thinking leads to unremarkable results. Act on the revolutionary ideas and kookiest creative.
My suggestion? Start up a brand new channel using Facebook Messenger chatbots.
Going big is how you find your unicorns.
2. Neil Patel - Co-founder of Neil Patel Digital
"My number one tip for this holiday season is to give your "top fans" on Facebook a special promotion no one else can get.
If you send an email blast and let people know that you're doing this, it will generate more engagement, which will help you get more top fans.
The more top fans you have, the more viral your content will go on Facebook when you promote anything (even after the holiday season)."
3. Mari Smith - Facebook Marketing Expert
"Stories are the future," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explained on a recent quarterly earnings call.
The Stories format on Instagram and Facebook is growing 15x faster than feed content -- Stories consumption will soon surpass feed content consumption.
Marketers should create Facebook and Instagram Story ads to share their Holiday specials.
But don't think like a marketer. Think like a storyteller.
Focus on people's real experiences - put the spotlight on your happy customers and showcase their success stories.
Feature relatable stories from your staff members or key vendors. Frame your storytelling Story Ads as something your audience wants."
4. Virginia Nuessey - Content Marketing Director at MobileMonkey
"Keep feeding your social media machine.
It might be hard during the holidays, you might want to justify a break for a million reasons. But on the flip side, everyone's thinking that time off sounds real nice right about now - ergo, this is the perfect time to gain an advantage while everyone else is on mute.
Quick win: Set up Facebook Messenger drip campaigns to automate engaging messaging all season long.
Give yourself the gift of a strong finish for 2018."
5. Brent Csutoras - Managing Partner at Search Engine Journal
"For this holiday season, I highly recommend that companies pay more attention to Reddit, a social media site with over half of all Americans visiting it monthly.
Something many people are not aware of is that there are numerous subreddit (micro Reddit communities) that focus 100% on product sales and deals - over 3,000,000 Reddit users are subscribed to sales and deal related subreddits, like /r/Frugal, /r/ThriftStoreHauls, /r/frugalmalefashion, and /r/deals.
With Reddit, you definitely want to spend time getting to know the type of products people are posting successfully, and the tone in which the titles are written. You also need to understand the various Subreddit specific rules you need to follow."
6. Lisa Buyer - The Buyer Group
"Use augmented reality. Create seasonal and branded geo filters and lenses in Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Add in seasonal and festive emojis, memes, and gifs.
Also, create a curated holiday gift guide, synergistic with your audience, as part of your chatbot content strategy."
7. Lee Odden - CEO at TopRank Marketing
"Business solution buyers may not make the spontaneous, emotion-driven purchases that holiday shoppers are known for, but that doesn't mean they can't get into the holiday spirit.
In fact, emotion is exactly why a holiday theme can be effective for a B2B social media campaign.
Here are a few ideas:
- Launch a video campaign on LinkedIn featuring your staff talking about your business solutions wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. Include a voting option to pick the worst sweater and best presentation.
- Use a famous holiday story, like 'The 12 days of Christmas', as a metaphor to drive a countdown social media campaign featuring useful content around your business solution
- Offer holiday-themed gifts or extras for new demos, trials or customer signups during the holidays
- Promote your brand's charitable giving, and launch a matching offer for new clients that sign up during the holidays. A holiday theme, plus humor and goodwill, can open doors for a fun segue to talk about a company's business solutions that can inspire leads and sales."
8. AJ Wilcox - Founder of B2Linked
"If you're in the U.S., and in B2B, pause your campaigns entirely for the whole second half of December.
So many of your users will be traveling, which causes available ad inventory to become depressed. At the same time, all the big brand marketers are bidding up to finish the quarter strong, causing the competition to rise. These two forces cause CPCs to spike considerably.
Meanwhile, every lead you do generate is worth less, because inevitably they'll all tell your sales team, "Let's pick this conversation up after the New Year," which means your leads will cool down considerably over the holidays.
So you pay more for the leads that are worth less. It's best to sit this season out."
9. Pam Moore - Founder of MarketingNutz
"The holiday period is a great time for social marketers to get creative and think outside of the digital gift wrapping box.
Consider creating a pinnacle piece of content that really grabs the attention of your ideal customer and drives them to a desired action, which excites both them and you.
Create a round-up piece of content from top leaders and influencers in your market niche that includes their favorite recommendation, tip or product that you offer. You can then publish this content in multiple formats, such as visual infographic, text with visuals on a blog post, YouTube video, Facebook Live video, Instagram and even a series of Instagram Stories.
This one piece of content could literally be the foundation for easily 20-50 pieces of content, if done right.
Plus you'll get tons of links back to your site, and help in getting more attention and brand awareness by tapping into the power of the OPC (other people's content and community)."
10. Mark Schaefer - Author of Businesses Grow
"Create limited-time offers to encourage customers to buy now. Scarcity is a tried-and true tactic."
11. Andrea Vahl - Co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies
"Use Facebook Ads to reach your "warm audience" with a special offer.
Holiday times are filled with promotions so you want to focus more on your "warm audience" by using retargeting tactics in Facebook Ads - create audiences of people who've visited your website, people who've watched your videos and people who are fans of your Page, and have a special offer just for them.
Plus with retargeting, you're going to capture the online shoppers who'll then see your ad come up right away, and remind them what they were looking at (which also makes it challenging to keep gifts a secret if you are browsing with your family nearby).
You'll also save money by only advertising to a narrower group who is more likely to buy from you".
12. Logan Young - Cofounder at BlitzMetrics
"In Q4 the cost of paid traffic will rise on social from increased competition.
Videos get lower CPM than static images, so use short videos with strong CTAs to get a reasonable CPM while still getting conversions."
13. Lilach Bullock - Social Media Specialist
"The holidays are a perfect time for giving, so why not hold a contest or giveaway to get your audience to engage with you, and hopefully also help spread the word about your business and contest?
Think of a prize that works with the holiday theme, but don't forget about your own business goals either. Try to come up with a prize and contest to help support your goals (more brand awareness, more engagement, more leads generated, etc.), while also being relevant in some way to the holiday season."
A version of this post was first published on Inc.com.