The holidays are here and with them come new opportunities for brands to engage their audience on a deeper level. As you know, consumer spending increases during the holiday months, so it’s crucial to put a bit of thought into your marketing campaign around this time of year if you want a piece of the pie. Whether you’re selling a product or offering a service, a strong holiday marketing effort can attract eager new customers. Here are five steps to getting your holiday social marketing plan off the ground quicker than you can say “Feliz Navidad.”

Use what works

Analyze your goals and results of previous holiday marketing campaigns. If something worked well, do it again. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, especially in this busier-than-normal season.

If you don’t have past metrics to go by, sneak a peek at your competition. Check out their marketing efforts and see what seems successful for them. Take inspiration from other brands’ campaigns, and then add your own unique voice and message (this is vital!). Your result will be a proven marketing idea with your own branding.  

Get emotional

Now is the time to play on emotions. The holidays are a time for family, friendship, and an extra dose of warm fuzzy feelings. So get your prospects’ mascara running with a heartfelt campaign.

For example: put together a thirty second video of behind-the-scenes clips or photos from your office/projects/clients over the last year, add a nostalgic holiday melody, slap a #thankful hashtag on it, and you’ve just created a heartfelt connection with your audience.

Whatever you do for marketing this holiday season, try to evoke emotion: it’s what makes you stand out and builds long-lasting relationships.

Just get out there

In a survey by eMarketer, more than half of US social media users polled said that a brand’s social media presence “has at least some influence on whether they’ll buy from the brand during the holiday season.” So if you are struggling to decide what to post, just post! Consistency in your visibility is the most important.

To influence an audience that is in a holiday mood, create a holiday theme around your social media, use holiday hashtags, and incorporate holiday sales and discounts. Plan out your posts leading up to the holiday in one sitting then sit back, relax, and have some egg-nog while you watch your marketing efforts succeed. (Or become of member of Social Essentials, and we’ll write your posts and publish them for you.)

Create a sense of urgency

As the clock ticks closer to the lists-checked, gifts-wrapped deadline, customers are forced to make quicker decisions. By giving a time-restricted offer – using calls to action like “today only” or “don’t miss out on this one-time deal” – the customer feels a deeper need to act on a purchase. Create a one day sale, send out a coupon to loyal customers, or make a flash sale that disappears after a certain number of purchases.

Make sure your campaign is shareable

According to Adweek, 74% of consumers rely on word of mouth (friends’ recommendations) as the main influencer of purchasing decisions. So you want your viewers to share your promotions. If your content resonates with your audience, they’ll want to send it to their friends and family. Stay specific in your niche, message, and benefits. Make sure your sale emails have social icons attached for easy sharing. Ask followers to tag friends and retweet your content.

Your followers are your best advocates. Include them!