This was a topic discussed on Talk Social With Wahine Media, a weekly radio segment on The Matt DiGeronimo Show

Ho ho ho! As we quickly fall into the Holidays, ‘tis the season of marketing temptation for business. Wanting to boost sales, the go-to solution is to clutter social profiles with the red and green “shop here” and “buy me” pitch. And if you’re willing to throw a hefty Ad budget into that stocking, you may be lucky and drive a few sales from that approach.

But this year, ‘tis the season to ditch the outdated pitch and nail your Holiday campaigns on social. This year brands will compete for $640 billion in consumer spending, up 11% from last year—wouldn’t you like a piece of that nutmeg and cinnamon spiced pie?

What you can do on social media is very different than what you should do. Social only really works when you strive to build lasting relationships and loyalty to your brand. So this year, ask yourself a few questions before you launch that holiday campaign.

Does this get people involved to create content? Is it using features people are already familiar with, like the hashtag? Is this something that is surprising and people will not expect? Does this remove the sell, and focus on bringing people into the Holiday spirit?

Let’s take a few lessons from big brands who are nailing their Holiday campaigns this season. The first one is from Target. Using the hashtag #MyKindOfHoliday, Target encourages fans to post about their own unique Holiday traditions, on whatever platform they are on. The campaign also promises weekly Instagram challenges, how-to photos and videos to inspire creative gift giving, and last minute shopping tips on Twitter.

Another great example is Coke Zero’s Ugly Christmas Sweater generator. Users are encouraged to create their own ugly sweater using an app housed on their website. People can vote on their favorite, and the top 100 sweaters are produced and sent to the winners. What does this have to do with Coke Zero? Not much, but apparently there was so much enthusiasm that the website had to shut down due to traffic overload.


Lastly, and my personal favorite is what Maker’s Mark did last year. To encourage the gifting of Maker’s Mark from their special group of brand evangelists called  “Ambassadors,” they sent three specially printed boxes that were meant to hold a bottle of Maker’s. They served as decoys, and had labels such as “chest hair waxing and tanning kit”, or “vintage fruit cake”. You can imagine the questionable looks on the recipient’s face, and the relief when they opened it. In a special note, the giver was encouraged to take a video of the reaction and post it on the Maker’s Mark Facebook page.


Moral of the story? Don’t use social to post your 10% off deals, or come in for a free sample coupons. Leave those as an added bonus when someone actually comes in to your store. Rather, it’s all about creating the most interactive campaign that will get people saying, “that cool thing that Brand X did.” Tap into the spirit of giving and give your fans and followers a reason to get excited about the Holidays through your brand. These campaigns are the ones that will ultimately drive the sales you are looking for.

Do you need holiday campaign inspiration? All you have to do is ask! Post your questions below, using #talksocial on Twitter or on the Matt DiGeronimo Show Facebook page, and we’ll be there to help you fine-tune your holiday campaigns.