With the Christmas season almost upon us, now is the time to start launching your seasonal social strategy. A concerted multi-platform approach to your social media campaign is crucial during this buying season.
However, without engagement, your social strategy will fall flat.
Engagement means your messages resonate with your followers and customers. It means your audience is actively digesting your messages, rather than simply scrolling past them on their busy social feeds. In short, it means that your followers are actually listening to you.
Evidently, a social strategy that gets engagement is something worth striving for as part of marketing metrics.
Read on for four ways to improve engagement levels with your seasonal social strategy, both for Christmas and beyond, in addition to behavioral segmentation.
Get Seasonal-Specific with Your Hashtag Strategy
Hashtags are the threads that tie all social content together. They get your content seen by the right people, increasing brand awareness and boosting social shares at the same time.
The best hashtag strategies are research-driven. An indiscriminate approach to hashtags just wastes time, resources, and valuable character length in your captions. Consequently, research using tools like Hashtagify helps you find those hashtags that are both diverse and relevant, optimizing your sell through rates as a result.
This is especially important when it comes to seasonal events. Just as search queries change according to different events, so too do hashtags. These are perfect for capitalizing on and using to drive engagement with your own seasonal social content.
While you likely already have a bank of hashtags to use in your out-of-season posts, it’s worth creating a separate set specifically relevant to seasonal events.
Highlight key seasonal events in your marketing calendar at the start of the year and spend some time researching hashtags specific to that event. You can then quickly look back to these when you start preparing your seasonal social strategy later on in the year.
Get Creative with Seasonal Stories
During the seasonal period, customers face a barrage of marketing messages from countless brands. As businesses up the ante in their seasonal marketing, it becomes a struggle to get your brand noticed above the rest.
But an effective and underused way to circumvent this is through your Instagram Stories.
Driving engagement to your posts requires diligent hashtag research and perfect content creation that customers want to see. But when you update your Story, you get pushed to the front of the line.
Due to the way Stories work, fresh updates push yours to the front of your followers’ Stories feed. This lets you push your brand to your followers’ attention quickly.
Of course, a solid Story still requires a little creativity if you want it to land. Instagram Stickers, colorful fonts, and engaging Boomerangs keep followers locked into your Story, rather than simply skipping past.
During each seasonal period, ensure every Story ties back to the event in question, like the example from Walmart below.
Source Image: Instagram
For instance, an advent calendar-themed Story series for Christmas (featuring competitions, discounts, and cool content) is a creative and engaging idea that compels followers to check in daily.
Embrace Influencers for a Seasonal Takeover
Influencers are a strong engagement tool that benefits brands all year round. But during seasonal periods, you can use influencers to drive more engagement by taking advantage of their relevant audience.
For instance, let’s say you want to drive engagement during Pride Month. By connecting with an LGBT+ influencer, you can increase engagement by tapping into an audience with a relevant overlap.
Of course, for more general seasonal events such as Christmas, this isn’t as simple — but it’s possible. Identify influencers with a relevant niche overlap and that your followers already engage with, just as you would for any other out-of-season influencer collaboration.
But during your seasonal strategy, give them full reins over your social channels. They can hold followers Q&As, discuss products they enjoy, or simply share the content they like (within your brand guidelines, of course).
This lets you ‘own’ a seasonal event, placing your brand right in the center of it and making it yours. Your social channels become a virtual hub for the seasonal event, urging customers to check-in and engage on a regular basis.
Become an Expert on Your Seasonal Event
Some seasonal events are ripe for highlighting your expertise and positioning yourself as a source of useful information for your followers.
During certain seasonal events, search queries for specific terms and queries shoot up.
Take Thanksgiving, for instance. Search engines often see an increase in queries such as “vegetarian Thanksgiving”, “NFL on Thanksgiving Day”, “things to be thankful for”, and so on. These queries offer an insight into your customers’ minds and provide inspiration for your own seasonal content strategy too.
Create content that addresses these questions and cascade them across social. This provides followers with useful information that they’re actively searching for online, positioning yourself as a knowledge hub for your chosen seasonal event.
Alternatively, use social to crowdsource responses to these questions to further drive up engagement.
Image Source: Facebook
Realtor.com used this humorously with their Thanksgiving-themed personality quiz, but this is just an example. You can take this further by encouraging your followers to provide in-depth responses to turn into further content.
For instance, you might create a questionnaire asking your followers what unique way they cook their Thanksgiving meal. This encourages responses and gives you a foundation for creating an entirely new piece of content in itself.
The tactics outlined are perfect for almost every seasonal event, not just for Christmas.
Start by conducting some solid seasonal hashtag research to make sure your content gets seen by the right people at the right time. Next, spend some crafting beautiful Stories that keep your followers locked into your Instagram.
Combine this with an influencer-led social takeover during the seasonal period, and you’ll have a strategy that will prove irresistible to your followers. Implement these strategies today and feel the benefits of increased engagement across all your social channels.
Published on Nov 15, 2019
Former data analyst and the head of Whatagraph blog team. A loving owner of two huskies, too.
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