Oct 14 5 Ways to Ensure Your Holiday Content Gets Discovered
The social media sphere is already an immensely busy arena, and it can be difficult for your content to gain traction on the quietest of days. Add to this the tremendous influx of activity that the holidays create, and you might as well kiss your content goodbye, right? Wrong! Have a little faith now. It’s true, if you don’t take certain measures to avoid it, your content can easily be buried in an avalanche of holiday content. If you follow a few rather simple precautions, however, you’ll find that your holiday content won’t only not be lost to the surge of activity, but might actually perform even better than you might have expected.
Stop ‘em in Their Scroll
It should come as no surprise that the holidays bring with them significantly increased activity across most every social media platform. That means, in simplistic terms, that whatever miniscule piece of the pie your content represented on an ordinary day of the year just got that much smaller. One easy and effective way to make your content stand out during this flood on social is to utilize media that will increase a user’s likelihood of stopping (or at least slowing) the momentum of his or her downward scroll. In the industry, we call it thumb-stopping, but what it boils down to is the vital challenge of getting your audience to take pause, absorb, and ultimately consume what it is you’ve put before them. But how do we do this? Great question! When, on an average Tuesday, your dynamic still image is enough to garner a fair bit of engagement, that same image is likely to be passed by (and passed by quickly) on Thanksgiving Thursday or Easter Sunday or any other major holiday. What you need to do, to ensure your holiday content doesn’t get lost in the swell, is to harness all of your creative prowess and potential into one or a few truly remarkable videos, GIFs, or other more compelling media styles. A short GIF, even just a few brief seconds long, can loop in such a way (if done correctly) as to ensnare your audience in an intrigue and curiosity that will have your holiday content standing on a veritable pedestal.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) November 7, 2015
Captain Obvious, Meet General Meaningless
Sadly, but truly, most first inclinations regarding holiday content are to offer your audience a well wish. ‘Happy Hanukkah,’ ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Fruitful Arbor Day!’ While these are the easiest, and certainly the least creative, ways to harness the holidays, they’re also the most likely to land flat. More than just getting lost in the great tide of holiday content on social media, these posts will more often than not be flat out ignored by your audience. Why might that be the case? Well, for one, the folks you’re wishing happy holidays to are (hopefully) busy celebrating said holiday, and not sitting idly by, waiting patiently for your courteous, greeting card remarks. And secondly, you’re not your audience’s great aunt, from whom they probably don’t expect much more than a well wish and a pinch on the cheek, or maybe a shiny new quarter. You owe them something more, and something only you, as the brand you are, can offer them. Don’t be general, but rather be as true to your brand as you can. Link the holiday with the brand your audience has come to know and love, and you’ll see just how much more they’ll appreciate the gesture.
Ask Yourself, “Should I?”
Another good method for avoiding losing content to the overwhelming gravitational force of the holidays is another simple, yet vital one to consider. Namely, is it absolutely necessary that our brand take part in the conversation surrounding x holiday? That is to say, would our audience find it odd if they didn’t hear from us on this particular holiday? Some holidays just lend themselves to some brands more than others. If you’re a candy company, then you’re pretty much champing at the bit year round for the excitement of Halloween. If you’re a company that does custom framing or installs in-ground pools, then Halloween isn’t necessarily in your wheelhouse. In fact, perhaps not odd, but it might seem like a stretch for either of the aforementioned brands to play their hand in that particular conversation. It will mean more to your audience to hear from you on a holiday when they feel that it makes sense to hear from you, and they’ll appreciate your absence, when it just doesn’t make sense, all the more. And, your content can’t get lost if you didn’t impulsively, obligatorily publish it in the first place. Remember, it’s quality (of holiday content), not quantity (of holidays acted on).
Holiday? More Like Holiweek!
When you’ve made the decision to take a stab at some authentic, on brand holiday content, you don’t want to wait until the day of to share the wealth. As we mentioned earlier, the first (and most consequential) reason for this is that most all of your audience is going to be a bit preoccupied on the day of most major holidays. Whether it’s a national holiday and they’ve been granted time off work, or it’s a religious holiday that will have them in a place of worship for some portion of the day, they likely won’t be on the lookout for branded content from you. Nor will they have what to do with it, because it’ll surely be more than a simple, uninspired well wish, right? Instead of waiting until the last possible moment, use the ‘birthday week’ philosophy and don’t confine yourself to just 24 hours of celebration. By posting up to a week or more in advance, you’ll give your audience ample time to consume and digest the holiday content that you’ve crafted for them, and you just might find that it’ll pay dividends. Not only will you have less traffic with which you’ll be competing for audience attention, but your audience will actually have time to act on some of the fun, informative, and possibly sales-driving information contained in your holiday content in the days leading up to the holiday, itself.
Content Series & Hashtags
Post early, and post often! Besides just getting your holiday content out a few days earlier than the holiday, itself, also consider implementing some relevant holiday content series, accompanied by your own brand-specific, yet holiday-tied, hashtag. By sharing a few posts along the same content direction, and doing so over the course of the days leading up to a holiday, you’ll give your audience a more than ample opportunity to happen upon, consume, and digest your holiday content. A grill company might share a content series featuring tips for manning the barbeque in the days or even weeks leading up to Labor Day. In this way, they’ll give their audience the opportunity to see the pattern in their holiday content and be on the lookout for still more. Similarly, by creating and employing a custom hashtag that ties together your brand and the holiday for which you’re creating content, you’ll be effectively fitting it with a life preserver to keep it afloat, despite the oppressive riptide that is holiday content on social. By using the hashtag #MerryChristmas on your post, you can basically kiss it goodbye. But by fashioning a clever, slightly more nuanced hashtag, which brings together your brand and some element of the holiday in question, you’ll prevent your holiday content from being swept away by a tsunami of other #MerryChristmas posts, but still link it to the holiday, and to the other posts you’ve created in your holiday content series.
There are surely a great many different approaches to ensuring that your content doesn’t get lost during the holidays, and these are just a few. Of course, as with anything in social media, no one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter solution exists, and so each brand must assess what will likely work best, given various specific criteria. However, the methods mentioned above can almost all be reliably shaped and contoured to suit your brand, and preserve your branded holiday content for longer than the millisecond it might otherwise last on its own, out there in the fierce winds of social. So, with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s all right around the corner, you’d better get thinking of how you’re going to keep your content from getting lost in the shuffle! Take care.