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Social Media Holidays 2021: Preparing for the Holiday Season

Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at coffee houses everywhere, and you know what that means -- it’s time to start preparing for the holiday season. During this period, which ranges from October through Christmas, social media is filled with people looking for gift ideas, decor inspiration, DIYs, and holiday recipes.

After what feels like spending ages locked indoors, customers are now savvier with online shopping this year than ever before. Google cites a 1.3X year-over-year increase in mobile searches for “where to buy/find/get.” More than 50% of holiday shoppers are open to purchasing from new retailers.

Now’s the time to start building your holiday social strategy to take advantage of the year of the super shopper. Here are 12 tips to help you prepare for social media holidays in 2021. 

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#1 Plan Ahead

A lot has changed since the year 2020, but the extended holiday season is here to stay. Businesses will likely get busy fast, and the last thing you want is to get behind on your social media strategy. The key to success? Start planning now. Map out your social strategy for the holiday season. Identify your holiday content buckets, set your goals, create a social media advertising strategy, and identify social media holidays to include in your strategy.

Related: Q4 Content Calendars and Important Dates

#2 Plan Your Holiday-Themed Content Now and Schedule it

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to break out the holiday music and decor early, here’s your excuse. To get ahead of the game, you need to make your holiday-themed content now. Hang the tinsel, create your content calendar, and schedule your posts now so you have one less thing to worry about when the holiday rush arrives and you are busy filling orders. 

#3 Get Your Ads Ready to Go

Hootsuite reports that Instagram Ads reach 96.6% of Instagram's active user base every month. 

Everything takes longer when platforms are swamped, and ad approval is no exception. To get the most out of ads this holiday season, submit them for approval early and schedule them for later. 

#4 Prepare Your Budget

The online advertising marketplace is bustling with new advertisers during the holiday season. Prices will likely go up, so be prepared to pay a bit more for ads than you would on a regular day. 

After establishing your budget, set a bid cap on Instagram and Facebook ads. This will keep you from going over budget on a per-action basis, and help your budget work for you.

#5 Tease Your Sales

Launching fun new products or special holiday sales? Get your audience excited about them now. Customers are already online researching gifts to buy and hunting down the best deals. Keep them informed, and give them plenty of time to make their buying decision. Sharing your special sales ahead of time might inspire a customer with their eyes on a competing product to wait for your sale instead.

#6 Host a Holiday Giveaway

Holiday giveaways are the perfect way to boost reach and engagement while giving back to your audience in the true holiday spirit. On a larger scale, you can host a “12 Days of Christmas” which provides 12 giveaway opportunities. Or on a smaller scale, feature a giveaway on an Instagram post and have every tag be an entry. 

 #7 Give Back and Show It

Incorporate posts that showcase any charitable/community activities you’re partaking in this holiday season. This shows your audience you care about the community and are doing what you can to spread joy, give back, and make a difference. 

#8 Ask Your Audience What They Want to See This Season

It’s always a good idea to ask your audience what kind of content they want to see on your Instagram account. You don’t have to wait until the holiday season to start asking. Throw up a question box in an Instagram Story so your followers can help you brainstorm content. 

#9 Don’t Forget the Warm and Fuzzies

Promotional content is necessary, but genuine, warm and fuzzy holiday messages are an important part of connecting with your audience. Plan authentic content that will get your audience in the holiday spirit. Engage with your community by asking holiday-related questions, posting holiday-themed “this or that” polls to your Instagram Story, and etc. Spread that holiday cheer by letting them know you appreciate them and want them to have a happy holiday season.

#10 Get Ready for Inbox Overload

Your social media inboxes may explode this holiday season. To prepare for the inevitable inbox overload, clear your inbox ahead of time and create a strategy for staying on top of messages when they start flooding your inbox. Plus, responding to messages shows your audience you care about their concerns. 

PLANOLY Pro-Tip: You’ll likely get lots of questions about shipping dates, order status, and general product information, so it’d be helpful (and a time-saver) to keep a spreadsheet of reply templates for common questions and concerns. 

#11 Establish Your CTA Strategy

It’s no surprise that the pandemic changed the way we shop. More and more stores are adopting hybrid business solutions that merge online and in-store shopping. Make sure your audience knows how they can get their hands on your products, and create a social post CTA strategy that directs them to where they can buy your products. 

#12 Get Your Products and Services Out There-- Discovery Commerce

According to Facebook’s 2021 holiday guide, the pandemic resulted in about 45% of shoppers sharing product discoveries on social media. Your potential customers are on social media searching for products to buy. It’s your job to get your products in front of them with a stellar content strategy made just for social media holidays 2021.

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Schedule Your Social Media Holidays 2021 with PLANOLY

Ready to start scheduling content to prepare for the social media holidays 2021? You’ll want to make PLANOLY’s Instagram Planner the gift you give to yourself this holiday season. 

Our IG Planner takes the stress out of social media planning. It’s an all-in-one Instagram management tool that lets you draft, plan, schedule, and auto-post your Instagram content. Learn more about our IG Planner here. 

Once your content is out in the world, use our analyze metrics to evaluate and adjust your content strategy as needed. You can also share your content to Facebook and Twitter with the toggle of a button. It’s the ultimate multi-purpose marketing tool to ensure you’ll have fantastic Instagram content consistently posted rain or shine this holiday season. Plus, it takes the hassle out of Instagram planning so you can carve out some much-needed family and friend time. 

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Carrie Boswell

Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

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