2020 Holiday Marketing Ideas – Social Media Guide and More

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If you haven’t started it’s time to get started on your holiday marketing ideas! This is your 2020 Social Media Holiday Marketing Guide and More.

What should you post on social media during the Christmas Season?

What do you do on social media for the holidays?  

How do you get people spending that hard-earned Christmas bonus cash on your business?

Every business wants in on the trillion-dollar industry, and to get a piece of the pie in the crowded digital space.

When Should You Start Marketing?

Although many businesses get people thinking about Christmas products starting on November 1st, the base of your brand awareness and marketing should really start in the fall or earlier. This way you can use that audience to retarget again in November and December. In fact, some consumers are already searching for “Christmas Gift Ideas” in August thanks to Google Trends.

So really it turns out you should have already started. If you haven’t already started it’s ok and no point worrying about what could have happened.  Make the best of it and use your focus on getting started on your digital strategy now so you still have a chance. (hint: If you stay till the end we will give you an easy to follow accelerated strategy for one week) 

AND Yes you can start promoting your Christmas products right at the beginning of November 🙂

*Update – Holiday Marketing During the COVID-19 Pandemic*

So many changes have come unexpectedly this year, and that includes changes to the holiday season. So what are businesses doing to make the most of their marketing campaigns during this pandemic? Well for a start talking about mistletoe kissing is out of the picture during this socially distant Christmas. What doesn’t need to be obsolete is connection and emotion.  More now than ever consumers are reaching out online for their products and services over brick and mortar to stay safe and we can connect with those users.

Read More – Marketing During a Pandemic

ASDA’s Christmas Advert for 2020

Amazons Powerful “The Show Must Go On” Ad for 2020

Make Seasonal Products a Priority

You can’t expect people to assume you have a special holiday promo. Therefore, all your social headers, website galleries, and accounts should have your festive products front and center for people to see AND of course buy. If you are running ads ensure that they link to specifically designed landing pages that you are featuring this holiday and are easy to make purchases on. That means a landing page that is not cluttered and easy to ready purchase buttons. if you are a service-based business have an easy form for booking an appointment or making a call.

Start creating paid advertisements around those products as well.  If you have a Facebook Pixel set up you can target those audiences who have previously visited your site or purchased products with your holiday ad. You can also run retargeting ads on Google.

Here is a great example from Annie Cushing the founder of Annielytics  of how remarketing is fabulous for consumers:

” A couple of years ago, I left a couple of key gifts in the cart on one website but checked them off as bought.

The next day, I had a retargeting ad letting me know I left two items in the cart.

That ad saved Christmas for one of my daughters!” 

Read More: How To Not Get Your Facebook Ads Rejected

If you are a product-based business it is also highly recommended that you promote gift ideas either as standalone products or in themed collections. Do the work for the consumer and setup a desirable purchase to make it easy for them to find just what they need for that special person.

If you are a local shop you may also want to consider using Location-based or proximity marketing to lure shoppers into your store that is nearby.  I recommend a Facebook or Instagram ad for this method.

Share Some Sweetness

Everyone’s gushes for a sweet story around the holidays. With people (Well we like to think most people ha!) in the giving spirit, a sweet story is just the cherry on top to get them opening their wallets. There are so many stories about sharing and giving out there that you can share to bring warmth, comfort, and the true spirit of the holidays. Or maybe make your own movement of spreading love and kindness to others.

Hobby Lobby® 2019

Hallmarks – “Heal a Lonely Heart” from 2018

This video from Bouygues Telecom highlights how technology keeps families together throughout the holidays. 

Beautiful videos from EDEKA that touch us in “all the feels”


Run a Giveaway.

More than likely you have heard of the “12 days of Christmas giveaway” and many other holiday contests.  That’s because they really do work! Contests and giveaways can attract a large new following quickly and bring you visibility fast. In fact more than 63% of Facebook users say they are likely to share a link to a holiday contest or giveaway.

Need some giveaway inspiration? Well, thanks to Post Planner for sharing this great article on 12 Holiday Facebook Contests Ideas You Should Run This Week. 

One thing to keep in mind if you are not into attracting followers just for fun (duuuh…who isn’t)  is to offer your own product or services as the prize.  This way you are only attracting those that are interested in winning something from you instead of a cash prize, getaway etc.

holiday marketing ideas

It is important to make sure the prize and the time frame of the contest is stated in the description. Also, remember to add the rules of the contest clearly and include a privacy policy if necessary. You may want to consider using a tool such as Wishpond, if you are running a contest on Facebook which makes it easier to collect data and choose a winner.

Photo Competition

A great platform to start on is Instagram where users can post their photos to a unique hashtag. For example, a home decor shop might hold a photo contest for the best decorated Christmas tree in order to win a Christmas decor package. All users post their photos on Instagram and tag the business and include the unique hashtag.

Some businesses choose to do the 12 days of Christmas giveaway, a spin-off of the traditional story. By giving away an item for 12 days in a row the engagement is massive and repeated every day. As more users turn to online shopping and methods the giveaways are great for people who are staying at home to take part in a fun Christmas activity.

LL Bean did 12 days of puppies in 2018 and how could you not adore this contest! 

holiday marketing ideas 2019

Add Holiday Into Your Branding.

Tweaking your branding and products for the holidays to give it a holiday feel is a great way to stand out. There is no one obviously more famous for this than Starbucks.  I mean as soon as it comes out everyone talks about Starbucks new holiday mugs….and of course drinks.

Let’s take a look at the mugs over the past 20 years

What you can do for your business is to adjust your social media headers and pieces of your in-store branding to give it some holiday flair.

Team Up With Other Businesses

Everyone is busy at Christmas and has the same goal in mind if you own a retail business.  And the old saying really is true that two are better than one. Why not team up with other businesses to share each other’s special holiday products and you can even include each other’s giveaways. This is also known as co-branding or marketing synergy. By sharing each other’s content you can organically reach a much larger audience.

This method also works great when you are running a contest.  One example is a loop giveaway on Instagram. Each business adds a product to the pot to make the winning prize even more desirable. Typically followers need to follow each account, like the posts, and tag another account below.

Charity Posts

Charity is very important during the holiday season and shows your businesses part in either supporting a local charity or sharing their story. We should not just focus on products and spending but lend a helping hand. If you cannot help out the cause, sharing their stories on social media and promoting their charity is still a great way to spread the message. You may even want to start your own holiday charity or a giving campaign to get others involved. Examples include donating a portion of sales to a local charity or make your business a donation hub for items in need in the community.

The Body Shop & Ending Female Homelessness 

Helpful Videos and Advice

Many people are overloaded during this season and could just use some help from you. This is a great way to add value to your content and expose your brand at the same time.  Remember to keep them short and simple, especially because the limit on Instagram is only 60 seconds long. If you want to make a longer-form video upload it to youtube and share a micro clip on other social media platforms with a link to the video.

LEGO actually crated a Chatbox last year to help customers with their gift choices:

Ralph the Chatbox asks users for their budget, who they are buying the gift for, and gives them a free shipping code.

Christmas marketing ideas social media marketing holidays

Hobby Lobby Has a Special Gift Wrapping Video for the holidays:

Create a Themed Holiday Photo Collage 

Featuring an array of products that could serve your ideal customer helps them to learn about your line of products as well as how to pair them. For example, create an image of the perfect gift set or holiday outfit.

holiday marketing guide product collage

Important Holiday Dates To Remember

November 11 – Remembrance Day – Show gratitude and thanks to those who served in the war.

November 26 – American Thanksgiving – US holiday to show gratitude (Changes annually, always the 4th Thursday in November)

November 28 – Black Friday – The largest shopping sale of the year in the US where huge sales are offered  (Changes annually, always the Friday after Thanksgiving)

November 30 – Small Business Saturday – US day to promote shopping at small businesses  (Changes annually, always the Saturday after Thanksgiving)

November 30 – Cyber Monday  Online stores offer sales in the US. (Changes annually, always the Monday after Thanksgiving)

December 1 – Giving Tuesday – An American holiday to promote donating & volunteering to charitable causes (Changes annually, always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving)

December 21 – First Day of Winter  Also the shortest day of the year

December 22 – Hanukkah – Begins on the nightfall of December 22 and will end on the nightfall of December 30th.

December 24 – Christmas Eve – Usually characterized by night before Christmas Day

December 25 – Christmas Day  Global Christian holiday to commemorate the birth of Jesus, also a universal holiday for gift-giving both in the US and Canada.

December 26 – Boxing Day (Canada) – Huge sales are offered both in stores and online.

December 31 – New Year’s Eve – Celebrate the last day of the year and look back at your entire year and plan ahead.

January 1 – New Year’s Day – The first day of the new year.

Remember when I told you I had a little surprise for you at the end? For those businesses in a pinch, it’s ok I got you covered!

Here is what you can do in the next 7 days to accelerate your marketing for Christmas.

holiday marketing ideas

Create a Last Minute Christmas Strategy For Social Media in a Week

Day 1 – Choose Your Products, Ideas, and Budget

Sit down and brain dump all the ideas that you have for holiday promotions in your business and narrow it down to a few items.  This is where you will decide if you are doing a giveaway as well. Once you choose your promotion or feature items then you will outline your campaign headlines,  videos, blog post topics, and website content depending on your budget.

Day 2 – Photos/Videos

Take photos or mini video clips for your website, online ads, social media, and blog posts AND make the edits.

Day 3 – Graphics 

Use the edited photos and videos to make graphics for social media content, social media headers, emails, and for your blog post or video images.

Day 4 – Content 

Add a new page to your website if necessary for the holiday campaign. Also record videos today if stated as part of your strategy on Day 1. (We are not talking super polished videos here, an iPhone video of yourself talking about the business is just fine at this point.) You will also write out blog posts for the holidays and on the videos you created. (Holiday tips, holiday news, etc.)

Day 5 – Schedule Content

Schedule all your content today so it is published accordingly. You will want to research and plan and schedule out all social media posts and blog posts.  This includes images, videos, links, and anything else you want to send throughout the holidays.

Day 6 – Write Emails 

Create Email Campaigns (Add all blog posts and images into email campaigns with links to your landing pages.)

Email Marketing works! According to Shopify email marketing accounted for 24% of sales during the 2018 holiday eCommerce season.

Day 7 – Make Contact and Network

Now that your promotions are established and all your content is published or scheduled for future dates, use this day to make contact with other local businesses and partners. If you are running a specific giveaway geared towards charity ensure you contact local news outlets. If you have a giveaway that other businesses would be interested in letting them know. Also, consider partnering up with other organizations to cross-promote products and services.  Let the world know what you have to offer so be anything but silent going forward.

Need Some Templates and Tools to help you along with all of this?

ALL of this and tons more comes in the Marketing Biz Bundle


And that’s a wrap! Phewf, thanks for sticking around, and hope this helps you with your business.  For more information about your digital marketing strategy please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

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23 Responses
  1. It sounds like the best strategy is to start planning for the holidays in the summer and adjust or tweak based on what is trending. Then start promoting in the fall. Thanks for all the ideas. what do you recommend for a new business selling lip balm?

  2. Ohh, I love the tip to focus on connection stories.

    I started a bit late for all the graphics and such I need, but I’m working on that. This is my first year really focusing on holiday stuff, so it’s a learning curve.

    At least I wrote my blog posts in September! Phew! (Batching ahead of time for the win.)

    I’ll be pinning this for future reference for sure. Thanks!

  3. Love all these holiday marketing ideas! This is the first year I’m focusing on holiday marketing by creating gift guide blog posts linking to affiliate products. Trying to make a big push for some extra blogging income, and your post gave me some great ideas! Really appreciate the breakdown you gave of Important Holiday Dates To Remember. So helpful! Thank you!

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About Annelise

Hey there I’m Annelise. I am a digital guru and lover of all things social! I work with businesses and other social managers to create strategies that convert online.  I also provide resources and templates for those who want guidance with their marketing strategy. At the end of the day I am passionate about connecting with more than just accounts – but people!

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