How to Sleigh Your Christmas Social Media During a Pandemic

Devising relatable content while having little idea of what Christmas will look like this year is a difficult feat. In these times, rarely has there been a better time to lift the nation’s spirits. 

Customers want to feel connected, engaged, and maybe even distracted. However, brands need to make sure to find the right balance with social media marketing, combining realism with sensitivity.

As we settle into our second nationwide lockdown of 2020, now more than ever, brands need to approach all of their marketing, social media included, in an intentional way. 

A recent report revealed a spike in Christmas mentions of the season in the last three months. The topic has been trending with over 525,000 mentions, as the public has expressed nostalgia and reminiscence during lockdown.

Christmas has become a vital communications period for brand building, but how should brands navigate a Covid-19 impacted Christmas?

Spend time listening 

Facebook saw a 70% increase in usage of all of its apps in March. People are turning to these apps to keep them entertained, connected, and informed while they’re spending more time at home.

If you want to engage your customers, you must create ads and posts that speak to your audience’s needs and wants, and make them your top priority.

Do you understand them in their current state? Marketing relies heavily on empathy, which comes from knowing your audience. Consider the demographic – age, location, gender, interests, income level, and put yourself in their shoes. 

Stay on top of trends, customer sentiment and feedback. Gage the audience’s mood by examining comments and looking at what competitors and other influencers in the industry are portraying.

It may also be a good time to revise your SEO strategy for social posts. What keywords are being used now surrounding Christmas and your market that may not have been relevant pre-pandemic? Knowing your hashtags will ensure your content is seen – and seen by the right audience.

Work with the audience

Don’t try to think too far ahead, as your social media will need to be reactive to the ever-changing landscape of the UK during the pandemic. Instead, make an effort to revisit your campaign regularly and make your comms and marketing genuine, considered and timely. 

If the trend for your audience is ‘self-gifting’ you can tailor your comms around that, or if people are searching for bargains, get highly involved with mega sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Even with people tightening their purse strings, sales are looking to be big – so if you’re a retail brand, early bird offers are a great retail social strategy idea.

For many brands, Christmas is a crucial sales period, with between 50% and 80% of total revenues often generated in these last few weeks of the year.

It’s the ideal time to look for new opportunities to meet your audience’s changing needs. If you’ve wanted to expand your strategy to Snapchat, TikTok or Instagram, and your audience is now at home on these platforms, now’s the time to go for it.

Update your social information

Did you know there are now over 3.2 billion social media users worldwide?

The chances are, the majority of your audience is on social media and waiting to hear from you. 

When looking at your social media, remember it’s often the first place people will turn to to find out information about your brand (such as deals and opening hours). 

The Christmas period – with or without a pandemic – brings about changes to the norm, so be sure to update your social platforms.

Review your presence. Is there anything in your current messaging that could be perceived as insensitive during the current pandemic? 

You may also want to add some cheer to your social media profile by updating your logo and social headers with a festive touch.

Laughing through adversity

Finding the bright side and providing escapism through shared laughter is an extremely viable and popular option in Covid-19 times.

Making people laugh is important, yet being funny is often brand-specific. Put together a strategy that strikes the right tone for your brand and audience. 

Always consider the context in your content and if humour doesn’t work for your industry, you can still show humility by simply engaging with your customers.

Engagement

Brands should consider new and creative ways to embody the festive spirit and show that their personality, such as:

  • Competitions are a great way to promote engagement and get your name out there – ‘caption this’ style always works a treat, as does ‘tag someone who’.
  • Go Live! This might seem daunting but it’s a fantastic way to give your social media engagement a boost with demonstrations or behind the scenes exclusives. 
  • Create story adverts to bring your brand’s story to life. Stories allow you a creative outlet to provide your target audience with an immersive experience. Not only this, but by delivering unique, relevant content should result in higher conversions.
  • User-generated content is an ideal social idea when you have a theme such as Christmas. Take for example the twelve days of Christmas or elf on the shelf – how can you tailor a theme to your own brand? You could even simply ask customers for videos using your products. Now is the best opportunity to get customers on board as they have more time on their hands to engage with you.
  • Ask questions. Christmas is something that every family does differently, and we all have a love for our own varying traditions, which creates great talking points. Create polls to generate a conversation, asking questions such as ‘What makes the best Christmas dinner?’
  • Social media is social, it’s in the name. Be creative, fun, use plenty of emojis and hashtags to get your content noticed.

Giving back

63% of global consumers prefer to purchase products and services from brands that stand for a purpose that aligns with their values and beliefs.

There’s no denying that this year has been full of hardships and uncertainty, and in the season of goodwill, what better time to share your values and actions, demonstrating how you have responded during these difficult times.

Whether you’re partnering with a local organisation, giving back to the community with charity initiatives or delivering presents to local hospitals, your audience is always keen to learn how you’re making a change in the world.

Take pictures of your team on Christmas Jumper Day, and share your success stories of fundraisers to help out those who have suffered the pandemic’s consequences.

What not to do:

  • Be unrealistic – Being on the cusp of a recession means that anything which is pushing too hard for sales should be avoided.
  • Be ignorant – acting like nothing is wrong and like it’s ‘business as usual’ is not the right way to go and will dehumanise your brand. 
  • Overdo it – Don’t bombard your audience with only posts about the pandemic, either. Find a happy medium and stay there.

Although the ultimate goal with any marketing activity is to generate a ROI, this year must be different. Though your efforts may lead to conversions, you need to look at the wider picture and remember that the relationships you build through effectively knowing and meeting customer needs will endure long after the crisis is over.

There is no guidebook or ‘one-size-fits-all’, and the most important thing is to be authentic, making your social communications considered and relevant, and always gage the emotional health of your audience. 

Times are tough, and Christmas will mean something different to everyone this year – yet don’t be afraid to celebrate, as social media and advertisements often play a key role in getting people in the festive mood, and delivering a well-needed dose of sparkle. 

Fly High Media is here to help you. Contact us to find out how we can create, execute and manage engaging Social Media Marketing strategies for your brand that get you results.

Matt Pyke

Matt Pyke

Matt is the Founder and Managing Director of Fly High Media. He is also a public speaker and digital marketing trainer. Matt has been featured on publications such as Social Media Examiner and Prolific North. He also enjoys creating weekly video content for Fly High Media's YouTube channel.

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