You can call me cynical if you like, I really don't mind, but for business large and small Christmas is a time for receiving... As much cash as you can pry out of as many hands you can. Legitimately, obviously.
It is usually around this time of year that many companies begin to stealth market their wares in time for the biggest thing to happen for traders since the bartering system was invented. I say 'stealth market', because there are still 'holiday' items still being peddled, for Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night is up after that (for those in the UK, at least).
Looking closely at supermarket shelves, you may notice the little things like Advent calendars and maybe even cards. These items are not as 'in your face' as the Halloween stuff surely is, but it is there nonetheless and once seen it is hard to unsee.
Social media platforms are an excellent resource for stealth marketing, but it is important that you do it the right way. By following the lead of bricks and mortar stores and outlets, you can get your product 'under the radar' of the shop weary consumer and take advantage of the fact that they are not being pestered by little Johnny.
Market your product, without marketing your product
It may well be October, and usually the time many people start buying for Christmas so they avoid the rush once the 'real' marketing starts, but there is still the 'it's only October for cying out loud!' mindset among consumers, and so it is important to approach your target audience as though you were stalking a deer.
Your savvy shopper is very skittish at this point of the run up to Christmas, and so it is important not to frighten them off with blatant promotions (unless your product is proven to save people money on other things - people love that!) and product pushing.
If you are selling a particular item, don't tell everyone you are selling - that part is perfectly obvious, and your post will largely go ignored (the only exemption to this is in the case of a large, very specific, following... Or your pictures were once on iCloud...). Instead, you could consider telling an amusing story that involved one of your products, or that of a competitor - just don't mention the competitor by name, unless the story is a negative for them, and be sure to include your own in some way.
Another idea is to talk about a completely different product that is complemented by your own. If you mention the manufacturer of that product, or a retailer that stocks it, there is a very good chance they will recipirocate as this is something that will benefit you both.
One idea could be to write a post about exploding smartphone batteries, this could be useful if you sell first aid kits or fire extinguishers... Or even insurance. The point is, you are not simply putting up your hand and shouting...
our <insert product here> are indestructible, our staff were touched by the hand of God and our prices would make Scrooge McDuck get his wallet out
Get creative, or get a lackey
October is the month to set out your stall, but it is not the time for the 'big push' - not with the likes of Halloween around, consumers are feeling hassled already so don't make it worse... On them, or your balance sheet. Get stealthy, get creative. If you find it hard to write that kind of material, find someone that doesn't.
Outsourcing is not just for getting your shed built properly in case you put a nail through your thumb, it's for getting the little (but important) things taken care of professionally, so that you can concentrate on the day to day side of your business.
Social media is the perfect place for stealth marketing, especially if you know how search engines work in tandem with certain social platforms. LinkedIn and Google Plus seem built specifically for this kind of endeavour, and in the case of the latter it actually was... To a do degree, anyway.
As a part of your new stealthy approach, it is important to get aquainted with the idea of 'communities' - whatever shape they may take on your preferred networks - and learn how to leverage them to your advantage.
How do you plan on tackling the Christmas crowd this year? A full on assault with the biggest gun you can find, or by donning your black pyjamas and climbing in through the kitchen window?