Planning your marketing and social media strategy for Christmas

Planning your marketing and social media strategy for Christmas
Fin Wycherley
Fin WycherleySupersize Media

Posted: Thu 7th Sep 2023

In the holiday mood yet? It may seem too early to start planning your social media campaigns for Christmas, but preparation is the key to your overall marketing success.

I hate to be the first person to mention the C-word. But if Christmas and the festive season is one of your business's busy periods, now's the time to get your act together and really drill down on your holiday marketing strategy.

Remember that old adage: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail? Well, that's 100% the case when it comes to holiday marketing campaigns, whether online or traditional. You need a SMART marketing plan to deliver business results. Especially if you want a bumper Christmas and plenty of that holiday cheer.

However, I'm willing to wager 95% of my festive bonus that your business is still winging it on its social media channels. Hoping that this post will make the difference to the bottom line. The problem is, winging it isn't a plan. Neither is hope. And neither is relying on the intern, the receptionist or Uncle Bob's cousin's niece.

Why it pays to plan ahead at Christmas

If you don't have your PR and marketing plans in place by mid-September, you'll have totally missed the boat for those magazine and trade journal deadlines that are usually three months in advance. If you want to get into Christmas gift guides, there's no time like the present.

Guesting on podcasts? Pitching to conferences? Applying for awards? They are all three months in advance too. 

Or how about setting out your social media post ideas from now until Christmas? It would save a lot of heartache to map out a SMART digital and social media marketing plan that actually delivers. That means being specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Timing your festive marketing efforts appropriately is vital. Too early and no-one is interested, too late and you've missed the boat. Not only that: If you don't flesh out the type of content you want to post in advance, you'll be creating it in a rush with no clear understanding of why it's relevant to potential customers.


Watch this webinar to find out what your business should be doing not only in the run-up to Christmas but as we enter the new year:


How to create engaging posts for your seasonal marketing campaign

A lot of businesses get confused with how to measure a successful post on their social media accounts. Essentially, there are two types of marketing posts and they both have completely different DNA.

First are the ones that you publish merely to tick a box, leading to a pattern of posting more just for the sake of it. Then there are those that actually get in front of the target audience and crave a reaction.

Here's how to distinguish between the two:

  • A PR post is created as an announcement or written like a journalistic report to inform as many people as possible in a neutral and professional tone.

  • A social media post is created to solicit and engage opinions and reactions from a specific demographic, so an appropriate relationship-building tone is essential.

The key difference? Engagement levels.

The PR post scorns audience engagement. In fact, it elicits an internal "that's nice" type of reaction without anyone lifting a single digit to like, comment or share.

Whereas the social media content desires engagement. It craves customer engagement, which is in its  very DNA. It's the lifeforce from which it draws the energy to grow and multiply into a sale.

If there's no engagement from a post that you put up on your social media platforms, it's because you did a PR post. Not only did you raise no more than a "meh" from your target customers, but when the algorithms see it, they're primed to suffocate the post because of the damage it does in the newsfeed. All in all, bad idea!

Check your analytics

Don’t believe me? Check your analytics. The posts that the greatest number of people see are the ones that elicit the most engagement. If all you're doing online is publishing online, you won't get any marketing or sales results.

It's simple maths:

  • Social Media Post + High Engagement Rate = Massive Reach

  • Social Media Post + Zero Engagement Rate = Zero Reach

We've all seen what a mess happens when businesses wade into Facebook and LinkedIn groups with endless "pick-me" requests. It's the online equivalent of those people at networking events who have a wodge of business cards they're determined to hand out like free cookies. 

When it comes to building an online marketing plan for the holiday season and Christmas, make sure the business has the right strategy and benchmarks that lead to actual sales. Unless the business has a detailed plan, it's not a strategy, it's just a dream.

Relevant resources

Fin Wycherley
Fin WycherleySupersize Media
Followed by Barack Obama on Twitter, the Bank of England on her newsletter list and a whole host of celebrities, organisations and ambitious startups, Fin walks the walk of social media and digital marketing. An accredited Facebook Marketing Partner and Lead Trainer and a regular expert speaker on the BBC, Fin works with FTSE 100 and startup businesses to accelerate learning and take advantage of all the opportunities online.

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