What do memes, Timeline, Pinterest, and Instagram have in common? Not only have they become household names for users this year, they’re also all at the disposal of social media content calendar creators during the holiday season for the first time in full force.
With these new options available to social teams this year, building or tweaking your social content calendars for the last weeks of December include more possibilities than ever.
Memes, specifically photo memes, have become a popular way from brands to shake their hair out, tap into the visual content trend, and spark an emotional connection to users. Building out posts for social networks over the holiday break can tap this trend and generate engagement in a fun way.
The most successful memes are related to your brand and aligned with the interests of your fans – and have a holiday twist for the season.
This holiday meme from non-profit Heifer International received 500 likes and 135 shares.
Dog treat company Dingo leverages memes throughout the year to engage users.
It can be argued that Pinterest was the golden goose of 2012. Jaw-dropping stats - including one study that said that among people with Pinterest accounts, 21% have purchased an item after seeing it on Pinterest – made marketers, especially retail and publishing brands, wide-eyed with anticipation. Pinterest now has 25 million users.
With thousands of brands in the full swing of using the platform and many taking advantage of the newly launched Pinterest business accounts, the holidays present unique ways to use the platform. This year marketers have Pin to Win campaigns (including those that integrate with Facebook) as part of their holiday arsenal, as well as the new Secret Boards, which allow brands to build a full board before revealing it to their followers. This makes it a perfect option for holiday countdowns, daily December sales, “12 Days” promotions, gift guides, and more.
Along with Pinterest, Instagram fueled the emphasis on photos social media content. With a jump in usage starting in January of this year, brands began to take to the platform. As of November 1, 54% of the world’s top 100 brands had official accounts. This will be the first holiday that Instagram has really been a household name.
Both the photos published by brands during the holiday season are engagement opportunities, as are the photos generated by user themselves, such as using hashtags on Instagram for holiday-related photo contests. And with a record-breaking 10 million photos uploaded by users on the last major holiday, Thanksgiving, this angle could prove a promising way to leverage the app this holiday.
Facebook: Timeline, Ads, and Post Targeting
It seems like just yesterday that companies were in a flurry to build their new Timelines after Facebook discontinued the Facebook wall. Now, nine months after Timelines were activated for all Pages, this will be the first full holiday season that admins will have full reign over using the features of Timeline to connect with their fans. Facebook contests and sweepstakes are still a popular tactic, as well as apps that are integrated with other social networks, such as Pinterest and Instagram. Facebook post targeting, which allows admins to tailor post delivery to the News Feed by demographic and interest criteria, can be used to make posts about gift guides or location-specific holiday events resonate more with sub-segments of the fan base.
Pair this with the variety of new options for paid media on the site, including Promoted Posts, Facebook Offers, and mobile ads, as well as the newly released Facebook Exchange and Custom Audiences services. These new tools can help target customers and supplement the engaging content you’re posting to your Facebook Timeline, while also driving trackable traffic to e-commerce sites and retail locations.
Not until after the holidays will we truly know how these new tools impact a holiday shopping season. What’s your prediction? Which of these new tools do you think will see the best ROI this holiday? Tell us in the comments.
Holiday campaigns will soon end, but the value they bring to your brand can continue well into 2013. Join Shoutlet Wednesday, December 19 at 2pm ET/11am PT for a free webinar about keeping the holiday momentum going.