Yes, there's a lot going on in the world right now, but it's also worth noting that Christmas is only 52 days away, which means that brands need to have their holiday promotions mapped out and in place, in order to maximize sales during the festive period.
And this week, Twitter's UK arm has provided some new insights, based on tweet activity, which could help you focus your holiday promotions, by getting a better understanding of how consumers see the 2020 Christmas period, and what they're looking for, and engaging with, around the event.
Because like all of 2020, Christmas is going to look a lot different this year. Understanding how could be key in shaping the best messaging for your campaigns.
First off, Twitter notes that people have been looking forward to Christmas all year, with mentions significantly higher than normal in 2020.
Pinterest reported similar in its trend data back in June.
And that makes sense - with the ongoing lockdowns and broader impacts of COVID-19, people have been hoping that Christmas could, maybe, be a time when they're able to catch up with family and friends in person once again.
But now, that's looking increasingly unlikely. Just this week, Germany, Austria, the UK, France and Belgium all announced a new round of nationwide lockdowns in order to avoid the respective collapse of their health systems.
That likely means that most regions will still face significant limitations over the Christmas period - but the data here does show that people are looking for some relief, for something to celebrate, and the holiday period, even in lockdown, could be a great opportunity to connect with people in a human, collaborative way.
It'll take more creativity in your planning, for sure, but the connective capacity of the season could be a valuable focus point for your campaigns.
Twitter's further conversation data reiterates this point:
If people can't physically get together, what can your business do to better facilitate connection?
Again, it's not a simple task, but clearly, this is a big focus, and considering this in your planning could be key.
The pandemic has also heightened our sense of community spirit, and supporting local and small businesses which might be struggling more than others.
Given this, it's important for brands to consider the role they play in the broader community, and how they can help to share the benefits of the peak shopping season.
For bigger brands, that may mean providing support for local charities, sporting groups or other forms of civic participation, while for SMBs, it could mean banding together with other small operators to launch co-promotions to help each other to maximize brand awareness.
The data clearly shows that people want to play a part in assisting their local communities, and as such, providing avenues through which to assist in this could be another important consideration.
Lastly, Twitter's data underlines the increased focus on health measures as a result of the pandemic.
As per Twitter:
"In-store health and safety is a key concern this holiday season. People on Twitter are talking about shopping early to avoid the crowds. Brands should rethink the timing of offers and be prepared to welcome customers earlier."
Ensuring that you have adequate health measure in place, and are taking additional safety precautions, where possible, is another important element to consider in your holiday season push.
Twitter also recommends that brands provide ongoing communication around their safety measures, in order to ensure it's clear that they're working to keep people safe during the pandemic. Even if it seems like a given these days, reiterating such can help to make your customers feel more comfortable about visiting your store/s, or buying your products in the period.
In general, no one expected the pandemic to still be lingering this long, and most people had pegged Christmas as a time of freedom, when we could finally resume our normal lives. But as times goes on, that, increasingly, seems unlikely - and as such, brands need to re-shape their messaging to align with consumer trends and interests, in order to maximize their end of year push.
These insights offer some valuable pointers in this respect, and while the data is UK-specific, the broader trends would be evident in all regions.
You can read Twitter UK's full report here.