Get creative with your social media marketing for the holidays

Use these 10 ideas now

Most businesses see the holiday season as an opportunity to boost their annual sales and increase their following on social media. Business owners have come to understand that a good social media marketing campaign can actually do both, but where to start?

Here are 10 ways to amp up your social marketing that are both effective and budget-friendly.

Related: A beginner’s guide to social media for small business

10 festive social media marketing ideas

If you’re subtle about it, social media is an excellent place to find potential customers. Try one or more of these ideas to get started.

  1. Decorate your social pages.

  2. Turn up the heat on your visuals.

  3. Buy ads.

  4. Run contests or giveaways.

  5. Host a virtual event.

  6. Ask a question.

  7. Share a recipe.

  8. Plan a 12 days sale.

  9. Create a gift guide.

  10. Get your products in someone else’s gift guide.

Ready to make social media work for your business? Keep reading.

1. Decorate your social pages

Think of a time when you walked into a physical store that was decorated for Christmas. How did it make you feel? It probably gave you the warm fuzzies and you ended up purchasing an item from that store.

Social Media Marketing Holiday Decorations
Sprucing up your social profile pages instantly puts visitors in the holiday mood.
Photo: Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

The same can be said for business profiles on social media. The best way to get your followers into the holiday buying spirit is to decorate your profile pages. Add some holiday spirit to your profile photos, covers and throughout your daily posts. Use this cheat sheet to make sure your image sizes match the latest social media recommendations.

2. Turn up the heat on your visuals

Adding some holiday flare to your daily posts will give your followers that holiday glow. You can do this by adding holiday decorations, snowflakes, nutcrackers, snowmen, etc. to your photos. One easy way to do this is with stickers.

During the holiday season, the more posts you have the merrier.


You can also incorporate holiday-related products into your posts. Just remember the social media marketing rule: only one of every five posts should directly promote your business. The rest should be entertaining, informative or helpful how-tos.

3. Buy ads

One of the best ways to gain sales and followers is to boost your posts through the social media platforms that you are marketing on. Make sure the post you plan to promote is bright, colorful and full of festive design. You can advertise your business in general or a particular product that you want to sell.

Here’s how to promote your posts on four networks:

Keep in mind that advertising on social media does come at a cost. But 50 percent of Gen Z (18- and 19-year-olds) and 42 percent of millennials (20- to 36-year-olds) think social media is the most relevant channel for ads, so the cost just might be worth it.

4. Run contests or giveaways

Running a giveaway on social media is a great way to gain followers and get them to interact with your brand. More interaction means greater interest. But what to give away?

  • Product-based businesses can choose one of their most popular items to give away.
  • Service-based businesses such as salons could give away a service like a free manicure.

Another option is to create an informative/educational download to give away — just make sure it’s something potential customers would find useful. Or maybe you give something away to the 10th new follower or every 20th comment on a post.

For a contest you could invite customers to post photos of them using your products (have them tag you in the photo) for a chance to win a free product or service. You could also have your followers like your page and answer a question that you asked in your post. Then use to help you choose a winner.

5. Host a virtual event

Social Media Marketing Virtual Event
Facebook and Instagram have opened up a whole new avenue for retailers with live broadcasts.
Photo: Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

Everyone loves Christmas parties and get-togethers, so why not host a holiday party online? You can do this live through Facebook Live or Instagram Live. A couple of ideas for your online party:

Share gift ideas

Showcase your products through a live online event. Explain what each product is for, any special features and why it would make the perfect Christmas gift (and for whom).

Announcements and giveaways

You can use Facebook Live or Instagram Live to make special announcements, do giveaways or simply to have a Q & A session discussing holiday-themed topics and gift ideas.

6. Ask a question

This is a great way to increase your social media marketing organically (i.e. for free). Simply create a post asking your audience a question about their holiday activities, shopping habits, family traditions, recipes, decorations, etc.

The secret sauce is answering every response to your post.


If you want to take it a step further, when you respond to each comment, ask another question to keep the conversation going. This will get the social media algorithms working for you and your post (and your business) will be seen by more people.

7. Share a recipe

It’s often a good idea to move away from promoting and selling your business on social media. The best way to do this is to share something personal with your audience. Sharing one of your holiday recipes is a great way to make a personal connection with your followers. Sometimes it takes a personal touch to push through that sales barrier that keeps people from buying.

A bonus to sharing a recipe is that if your followers like it, they will share it with their friends and followers, which in turn will increase your audience. Just make sure the recipe includes an invitation to visit your website.

8. Plan a 12 days sale

One popular social media marketing strategy is to use the “12 Days of Christmas” theme … and it is popular because it works. Audiences love the 12 days because it keeps them in suspense. It also keeps them coming back to your social media pages to see what is next.

Lastly it works well because, who doesn’t like a sale? This is also a great way to see what products or services your audience is interested in. And if you hit on a popular daily sale, it will probably get shared repeatedly.

9. Create a gift guide

A gift guide is like a catalogue that you showcase on all your social media channels. It is a great way to sell your products to your followers.

You can create a catalogue in a PDF format and host it on your website, then promote it in your social media marketing for the holidays. Share one page from your gift guide daily on your social media channels with a link to the whole catalog. Not only will this get your business and products noticed, it will also send your audience to your website.

10. Get your products in someone else’s gift guide

Other businesses and social media brands that create gift guides tend to look for complementary products to put in their guides. This is a great way to gain a new audience, increase your followers and promote your business and products to people who you probably would never connect with on your own.

The easiest way to find people to collaborate with is to search your social media.

Look for those businesses that complement your business. Simply direct message the business and ask them if they have a gift guide that you could participate in. Or ask if they would like to collaborate. Keep in mind that this opportunity might have a financial cost attached to it.

Now put your plans in writing

Regardless of which ideas you use for your holiday social media marketing, the best way to guarantee success is to make sure you schedule all your posts in advance. Your audience will respond better if you give them what they want to see at regular intervals. And if you make a promise to share something in a specific timeframe, keep your word. The fastest way to lose your audience is to not follow through.

The lowdown on holiday social media marketing

Social Media Marketing Gift
Photo: on Unsplash

These are just 10 ways to use social media to promote your brand and business this holiday season. Try as many as you can, then put what you learn about what works and what doesn’t into next year’s plan. Most of these are free, so you have nothing to lose.

Happy holidays!

Image by: Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash

Lou Clarke
Lou Clarke is a multiple business owner, speaker, author, teacher, online creator and columnist. Founder of Martin Clarke & Associates, she has over 20 years’ experience in business consulting and accounting. Lou also supports, educates and celebrates female entrepreneurs and speaks throughout North America on time management, money mindset, business development, and bookkeeping. She received the 2014 ’20 under 40 Business Award’ from Business London Magazine, and 2014’s ‘Who’s Who Among Women in eCommerce’ with WE Magazine. A mom of four boys, Sara is passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed, so they can travel their own path and be there for their families. You can find Lou on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.