The holiday season is around the corner. For marketers, that means it’s time to plan your holiday social media campaigns.
Social media is an important tool in the arsenal of marketers and will help you achieve the business plan you have set for yourself. And there’s no better time than the holiday season to capitalize on social media—users are looking for gift guides, ways to connect with each other, and heartwarming stories.
In this article, we will look at five eCommerce brands who managed to leverage their users’ needs during the holiday season with their social media campaigns.
By the end of this post, you should be inspired to create your own social media campaign that will boost your eCommerce sales and online reach.
Amazon has the budget to go big with their holiday campaigns.
Their singing boxes YouTube videos warmed hearts in 2017, and they came back even bigger in 2018.
In the video, Amazon’s instantly recognizable boxes sing along to the Jackson Five’s ‘Can You Feel It?’ as people around the world send and receive Christmas presents.
The story and execution is simple—people are awaiting that Christmas feeling and nothing announces the holiday season better than Amazon boxes full of presents being shipped around the world.
To date, Amazon’s singing boxes video has over 10 million views.
Key Takeaways from Amazon
- Keep your social media campaign simple. If you want to create a similar video marketing ad campaign for your audience, you need to get to the heart of the matter. Because that is what the holiday season is about—heart.
- Your eCommerce platform may not be anywhere near as big as Amazon’s, but that fact only impacts the production quality of your videos, not the story. When creating a social media campaign video, don’t focus all your energy on the production of the video—instead, brainstorm the best stories that will attract viewers.
- Research your audience and compile the data to understand who your most engaged members are and what they have been responding positively to. Good vibes about Christmas may not float their boat—they may want how-to guides about cooking Christmas dinner, which you can create using an infographic template. Give your audience what they want to achieve maximum impact.
Tailor your video content to the needs of your customers and you will be able to increase engagement and sales over the holiday season.
Like Amazon, UPS is a massive ecommerce platform that ships worldwide. But they decided to go small with their Wishes Delivered campaign.
Wishes Delivered worked in two different ways—UPS asked followers to share their wishes using the hashtag. For each post, UPS donated to three charities—the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Salvation Army, and the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.
Additionally, UPS created videos that saw UPS delivery drivers and their young fans come together in heart-warming videos of children being mini-UPS helpers. Another video featured children realizing their dreams of becoming pilots.
They also reunited service people with their lost pets. Another video highlighted the generosity of people who had lost everything.
UPS featured these videos on Instagram’s then-new IGTV platform.
Wishes Delivered currently has thousands of posts associated with it on almost every social platform.
Key Takeaways from UPS
- UPS showed that it wasn’t afraid to tackle a new platform. While IGTV was still in its fledgling state, UPS used the service to get people into the holiday spirit. If you can leverage a new platform to reach your audience, or use an old platform in a new way, do it.
- Social media marketing is constantly evolving, and the businesses that do well are the ones that adapt to changes.
- Explore different options on social channels and do some A/B testing to see what works best for your brand and your audience. You will find more effective ways of reaching people on social media if you are open to experimenting with your options.
- You can see how UPS brought the community together with its campaign. Your social media holiday campaign should be focused on the same thing: bringing people together—either through an event, charity drive, or by sharing the stories of inspirational people.
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Family lifestyle brand JumpOff Jo may not have the biggest following, but they capitalized on the holiday season by partnering with an influencer.
Janene Crossley, a lifestyle influencer whose personal brand revolves around her and her family, has over 300k followers on Instagram.
JumpOff Jo saw a perfect fit and established a partnership with Crossley to boost their brand and increase their holiday sales.
The brand sponsored an Instagram post for Crossley, who in turn, shared their TeePee tent on her platform and hosted a giveaway on her website featuring a unique Amazon discount code.
Key Takeaways from JumpOff Jo
- Influencer marketing can do wonders for your brand’s reach. No matter how small you are, if you can allocate part of your budget to sponsor even one post by an influencer, you can see massive results.
- Research your influencers beforehand because not every influencer will work for your brand. Someone with a large following who has no connection to your niche will do nothing for your campaign.
- Find someone within the scope of your business and industry who can improve your brand’s reach. You don’t have to aim for the top influencers—JumpOff Jo perfectly aligned with Crossley, which is why their partnership worked.
- Consider partnering with a number of smaller influencers—micro influencers—which could be a more effective marketing strategy for you. Micro Influencers may not have massive followings, but they are more likely to be budget-friendly and have more involved followers who will engage with them and your brand.
Use Instagram’s Shoppable posts option to make the buyer journey faster and more user-friendly. Shoppable cuts out the middle-man, as it were, by allowing users to purchase directly within the app.
By partnering with the right influencer at the right time, you can amp up your social media campaign’s reach and see discernible results.
While most offline and ecommerce stores stay open on Black Friday to maximize sales, REI tried a completely different tactic: they closed up shop and went outside.
REI’s OptOutside campaign began in 2015, and was so popular that they have continued the tradition every year since.
The campaign has gone on to attract 15 million people worldwide, alongside 700 organizations. They have also partnered with organizations and universities to study the positive effects of going outdoors.
The brand has leveraged a simple statement: don’t stay in, go out and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful nature around you.
Key Takeaways from REI
- Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. REI have shown how powerful being different can be. Look at your niche and see what your competitors are doing—how can you do something different to make you stand out on social media?
- Remember not to focus on being contrary just for its own sake. REI have reiterated that the concept of #OptOutside is a core part of their ideology. Dig deep into your brand’s philosophy and what image you want to project on social media—that core goal needs to be what you highlight.
- REI wanted to highlight the fact that people can make choices, and they gave them the option of going outside instead of staying indoors to make purchases. This shows a deep understanding of one’s customers.
Study your customers and target segments when brainstorming a marketing campaign for the holidays. This is what will help you give your audience what they need while still allowing you to be different.
Because being different isn’t enough to make your brand stand out from the crowd, your customers need to see some value in your different take on a holiday campaign.
Understand your audience by analyzing popular posts and reactions with these growth hacking tools, and decide on a campaign that will speak to them.
5. Macy’s Pinterest 360 Globe
Far too many brands treat Pinterest like the unwanted step-child of social media. But a few brands, including Macy’s, leveraged the platform to cash in on the holiday season.
Macy’s 360 Globe on Pinterest gave users the opportunity to explore a miniature snowglobe, from the inside, to find hidden gifts and decor.
Users were given the option of shopping for the items they’d found immediately, or to create a gift guide for their friends and family.
To ensure Pinterest users knew about the globe, Macy’s promoted their campaign through Pinterest video ads.
Key Takeaways from Macy’s
- Don’t be afraid to try out new technologies to engage people on social media. Research how much monetary investment and labor is required to adopt a new technology and weigh it against potential benefits.
- New technology isn’t all that Macy’s did right with their 360 Globe. What worked with the Macy’s Globe was its interactivity and personalization. They gave users a fun activity to perform. Everyone loves a scavenger hunt. Interaction should be a top priority for your social media campaign—passive likes and shares are no longer a sign of great posts. You need to make your posts interactive and engaging.
- Macy’s Globe was also personalized to display gift guides for the specific person users wanted to buy gifts for. Getting personal is great for business in 2019 and for your marketing campaign. You should be looking at ways to create personal connections between your brand and your customers. Understand your customers and segment them according to their interests.
Tailor your social feeds and social advertising to ensure that the right content reaches the right people.
Even if you don’t have the ability to make an interactive game, you can create personalized email outreach campaigns, and hold a Facebook contest that will make the holiday shopping experience more fun for your customers.
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These five social media campaigns were not only popular but innovative in concept and execution.
While it isn’t possible for ecommerce startups or smaller eCommerce stores to put aside the immense budgets that the above stores have access to, there is still plenty you can learn.
- Amazon’s video may be extraordinary but its message is simple and about the heart.
- UPS created a campaign about making connections within the community and giving to others.
- JumpOff Jo highlighted the importance of partnering with the right influencer at the right time.
- REI stepped outside the norm with their social media campaign, and made it about their core values.
And finally, Macy’s 360 Globe was a fun, interactive experience that personalized the shopper’s journey.
With these five points in mind, you can create a social media campaign to make the holidays special for your customers.
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About the Author
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. She enjoys writing about productivity, design, social media, the digital world, as well as pop culture, and diversity. Twitter: @Venngage