Social media conceptThe holidays are a massive part of the year for many reasons and for marketers it’s a big opportunity to leverage social media success. A study from MarketLive says that half of holiday shoppers will be influenced by social media this year and this shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Holiday shoppers take part in a number of social activities over the festive period – from product reviews and recommendations to hunting for gift ideas on Pinterest. A strong social presence at this time of year could make a great start to 2015 so its time to get your holiday social campaign off the ground.

How to choose your holiday strategy

Just like any other marketing campaign your festive strategy needs to be planned out for success. The right approach depends on the type of business you are and the services you offer. A social media campaign for toys at this time of year will vary greatly from a triple-glazing company and its important you understand the role of your services or products.

If it’s hard to imagine your products or services as a Christmas present, offer your customers the gift of a discount or special offer. Even if you’re generally associated with the summer months (eg: a marquee hire firm) you can send out offers for those Christmas and new year’s parties – as well as those summer wedding, which will already be in the planning stage.

The question you need to answer is, what does your audience want at this time of year? It could be free shipping on their gifts or guaranteed delivery before Christmas Eve. They may be simply hunting for the best deal available or to buy online and collect from your store.

Turning it social

Special offers, deals and postage perks are not the key to social success this holiday season, however. It’s a great place to start, but to make a success of your social efforts this festive period you need to get out there and get involved with your audience. First of all you need to tell them what you have to offer and how they can take advantage. Then you need to make sure they like, share and comment on your social offers.

It’s a tense time for many online shoppers and you can use this to create a sense of urgency about your deals and offers. Set a time limit on your special deals to drum up the hype and make full use of the fact that Christmas is fast approaching.

Don’t make it all about the sales though and focus some time to include your audience in the festive build-up. Get them to post advice for the holiday seasons, their best decoration pictures or whatever best suits your campaign, brand and products. If you can get them to picture or video themselves using your products you’re on to a winner. Find a way to improve the holiday period for your target audience and whether your services are relevant to this time of year or not, you’ll have made an impression they won’t soon forget.