Social Media Around the Holidays 2017

by Becca Jackson

Do you hear what I hear? It’s the chiming of jingle bells! The whisper of hooves through freshly fallen snow! The collective “ums” and head scratching of thousands of social media managers as they try to think of fresh holiday content!

For content creators, this time of year brings more issues than just what to buy for the holiday White Elephant: What should my brand(s) post around the holidays?

Enter my simple rule of thumb: When in doubt, don’t post. Now, before you label me a Grinch and close this blog, consider how many brand posts you typically see around the holidays. The market is completely saturated with holiday greetings, sales, giveaways, gift guides, and more. Organic posts rarely get seen anymore, and around the holidays, there’s no guarantee that paid posts will do any better, simply due to the number of brands vying for the space. Does your brand really need to post a holiday message? Is there something new, different, or important to be said, with the necessary money to back it? If not, consider staying quiet. It’s a hard conversation to have, but ask yourself – does the general public really need holiday wishes from a sock company, washing machine, or peanut butter?

If you do decide to post, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Stay secular
    • It’s best to leave religion out. Regardless of your personal beliefs, or the CEO’s beliefs, you never know how it could backfire. Stick with something safe, like happy holidays or season’s greetings. Or a pun! Come on, give puns a chance.
  • Be inclusive
    • Needless to say, in general, you should try never to offend or exclude people with your brand’s posts. Double down for the holidays. Expect some flak if you specifically wish only one group of people a happy holiday.
  • Ignore the haters
    • That said, don’t respond to the haters (and there will be haters). People will find something wrong with anything you post, no matter how respectful you try to be (see: rule of thumb). Responding to them and trying to explain yourself can’t go anywhere but downhill.
  • Stay on brand
    • Make sure your message is still coming from you. Write how you normally write, post something fans won’t be surprised to see you posting. Have fun with it, but a holiday post is no time to try to become the next Denny’s.
  • Get in the spirit
    • Now, if you do decide to post something, keeping all of the above in mind, make sure it’s FESTIVE! Don’t add to the holiday clutter with yet another stock image of holly and “Happy holidays to our fans!” If you’re a born-and-bred Texas company, re-write the lyrics to “Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland” to include armadillos, tortillas, and yellow roses! If you sell pasta, make a gif of noodles turning into snowflakes! Sports equipment store? Make a time lapse of ice skaters’ feet. Go ahead, break my rule of thumb – but make sure you’re breaking it with something that will get a smile out of even the grumpiest Scrooge.