Get creative with your social media marketing for the holidays

13 min read
Lou Clarke

It’s that time of year again! Swirling snow is filling the air, twinkling lights are brightening up the night, and everywhere you go, there’s a sense of cheer and goodwill in the air. The holidays are here — and if you’re a business owner (or a social media manager!), you know that there’s no stretch of time more important to your success than the festive days and weeks to come.

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?

Don’t worry: I’ve got some ideas that will have you ringing in sales and the holidays in fun and festive style. Here are 15 sure-fire ways to light up your social marketing that are both effective and budget-friendly — just in time for the Yuletide!

Editor’s note: Eye-catching visuals are key to getting attention on social media. Use GoDaddy Studio to design high-quality images for social posts, sales and more.

15 festive ideas to spruce up your social media

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. Bring the seasonal spirit
  2. Celebrate more holidays than just Christmas
  3. Deck your visuals with boughs of holly
  4. Do some holiday shopping of your own
  5. Let it promo, let it promo, let it promo
  6. Run a contest or giveaway
  7. The weather outside is frightful — go virtual!
  8. Bundle up (your products)
  9. Ask a question
  10. Embrace the spirit of the season
  11. Share a recipe
  12. On the first day of Christmas … plan a “12 Days” sale!
  13. Create a gift guide
  14. Get your products listed in someone else’s guide
  15. Create some seasonal urgency

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

1. Bring the seasonal spirit

Remember all those magical holiday moments walking into a store that’s all decked out for Christmas? If you’re anything like me, the experience probably gave you the warm fuzzies — and you probably also ended up buying something from that store, too!

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

That same sort of thinking applies to business profiles on social media. The best way to get your followers into the holiday shopping spirit is to decorate your profile pages. Add some holiday spirit to your profile photos, covers and throughout your daily posts.

2. Celebrate more holidays than just Christmas

It can be easy to get caught up in the gingerbread and jingle bells of Christmas. But if all your focus is on snowflakes and Santa Claus, you’re not only missing out on additional business, but potentially alienating some of your most loyal customers as well!

Take some time to spread the festive cheer around and remember that we call them the “holidays” for a reason! Expand your audience and boost your bottom line by remembering to acknowledge and celebrate holidays like Hannukah and Kwanzaa alongside your annual Christmas goings-on.

Don’t forget about shopping-centric “holidays” like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.

These relatively new events have come to mean big business for retail success, so you’ll want to do everything you can to capitalize on them and hit the ground running as you head into the holidays.

You don’t have to stop there, either. The month of December is chock-full of fun holidays to celebrate, from Mitten Tree Day to Festivus and beyond! Fill out your content calendar — and draw new customers and businesses to your page all at once — by going above and beyond the Christmas cheer this season.

3. Deck your visuals with boughs of holly

Closeup of decorated Christmas coookies

Adding some holiday flare to your daily posts will give your content that festive holiday glow. You can do this by adding holiday decorations, snowflakes, nutcrackers, snowmen, etc. to your photos. One easy, social-first way to go about bringing the holiday magic is with stickers.

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.

4. Do some holiday shopping of your own

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, colourful, and full of festive design.

You can advertise your business in general or focus in on a particular product that you want to sell.

Here’s how to promote your posts on the big three social media networks:

Keep in mind that advertising on social media does come at a cost – but with more than 3.6 billion people making up the social media marketing audience, that cost just might be worth it.

5. Let it promo, let it promo, let it promo

Promoción de Cibermonday

Okay, “Let it promo” might be a bit of a reach, but it gets my point across! When it comes to the holidays, you want to make shopping from your social media platforms feel special — and sales promotions are a great way to go about making that happen.

Share promo codes out across your accounts to keep customers tuned-in and engaged.

Give out discounts to followers who tag their friends in the comments and share posts. Whatever approach you take, promos will make your holiday initiatives stand out — and in an avalanche of seasonal social content, standing out is key.

Related: How to sell on social media

6. Run a contest or giveaway

Running a giveaway on social media is a great way to gain followers and get them to interact with your business. 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 can give away an experience like a free mani/pedi.

Another option is to create an informative/educational download to give away; just make sure it’s something potential customers would find useful! You can even give something away to the 10th new follower or every 20th comment on a post — whatever feels right for you and your business.

For a contest, you could invite customers to post photos of themselves 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, and then use to help you choose a winner.

Related: Keeping up with your social media KPIs

7. The weather outside is frightful — go virtual!

Everyone loves Christmas parties and get-togethers, so why not host a holiday party online? With apps and experiences like Facebook Live and Instagram Live, this sort of experience isn’t just possible, but fairly simple to pull off, too. A couple of ideas for your online party.

YouTube Live stream

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.

8. Bundle up (your products)

There’s no better time for add-on purchases than during the holidays, so use your social channels to your advantage! Take the time to build themed gift “bundles” out of stand-alone products. You can share these seasonal creations out on your social media platforms to offer customers one-stop-shop solutions for everyone on their wish lists.

Maybe you put together:

  • A selection of sweets and candies for a “Visions of Sugar Plums” gift collection
  • Candles, a cozy blanket, and the best-selling book of the year for a “Warm by the Fireside” bundle

Bundles like these are a great way to boost basket sizes and even clear out tough-to-sell stock — so get creative!

Shipping tiers can be another way to encourage bundling up this season.

By offering discounts on shipping at various purchase price points, you’ll often encourage a customer to snag one or two more items to save a couple of bucks on their delivery — a win-win if I’ve ever heard of one!

Related: The nuts and bolts of small business shipping

9. Ask a question

Reaching out to your audience with a question or conversation-starter is a great way to increase your social media marketing organically (for free!). Simply create a post asking your audience a question about their:

  • Holiday traditions
  • Shopping habits
  • Family traditions
  • Recipes
  • Decorations

Then watch as the engagement starts to build.

If you want to take it a step further, follow up with additional questions in the replies to keep the conversation going. This will get the social media algorithms working for you, ensuring that your post (and your business!) will be seen by more people.

10. Embrace the spirit of the season

The holidays are about so much more than just shopping and presents. At their core, the holidays are about giving.

People volunteering

Lean into the spirit of the season this year and use your business to do just that.

Whether it’s bringing your team together to volunteer for a good cause or splitting a percentage off every purchase to donate to a worthy charity, these sorts of selfless acts aren’t just good for your content calendar — they’re good for business, too.

People spend and shop at businesses whose values align with their own, after all.

By getting out there and showing that your business is one that truly cares, you’ll be setting yourself up for success that goes well beyond just the holiday season.

11. Share a recipe

It’s a good idea to move away from promoting and selling your business on social media during the holidays. The best way to do this is often to share something personal with your audience.

Passing around one of your favourite holiday recipes is a great way to make an authentic connection with your followers. Sometimes, all it takes is a personal touch to push through that sales barrier that keeps people from buying.

A bonus to sharing out a recipe is that if your followers like it, they’ll share it with their friends and followers, who will share it with their friends and followers … all of which works to build the size and scale of your audience.

Just make sure the recipe includes an invitation to visit your website — you wouldn’t want all that organic engagement to go to waste, after all!

12. On the first day of Christmas … plan a “12 Days” sale!

One popular social media marketing strategy is to use the “12 Days of Christmas” theme.

People love the “12 Days” approach because it keeps them in suspense.

It also keeps them coming back to your social media pages to see what’s next.

Finally, this sort of approach is almost always a hit because, well, who doesn’t like a sale? This is also a great, low-commitment tactic to see which products or services your followers are genuinely interested in. And if you hit on a popular daily sale, it will probably get shared repeatedly, too!

13. 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

Gift box of scented candles


You can create a catalogue and share 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, but it will also send your audience to your website, too.

You can run even further with this idea by tailoring audience member-specific guides to help make shopping easier. Not sure what to get for Dad? No problem — you’ve done the legwork and compiled a great list of dad-friendly items for your customers to explore, click through, and purchase.

Santa’s own elves could hardly make holiday shopping any easier!

14. Get your products listed in someone else’s guide

Other businesses and social media brands that create gift guides tend to look for complementary products to put in their guides.

Look for those businesses that complement your business.

Simply DM (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.

This is a great way to gain a new audience, increase your followers and promote your business and products to people you probably would never connect with on your own.

15. Create some seasonal urgency

Okay, this last one might end up landing us on the naughty list, but there’s hardly a more successful sales tactic than creating urgency to purchase. This is particularly true when time is already as short as it is during the busy and hectic holiday season.

From Christmas countdowns (“Only 10 more days til Christmas!”) to short-supply messaging (“Don’t wait, stock’s running low!”), many a sale has been clinched by driving a message of urgency home to consumers.

Don’t just rely on hurry-up messaging to do the job, though.

Pair urgency tactics with product-solution messaging to really communicate to your customers precisely why they need to jump into action and buy today for maximum success.

Telling someone that some slippers are almost sold out is one thing. Telling someone that some slippers are almost sold out, and that they’re the only slippers fit for your dad’s kingly, always-kind-of-cold-but-also-sort-of-sweaty feet is another thing entirely.

Establish a cadence (and check it twice!)

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.

Additionally, if you make a promise to share something in a specific timeframe, be sure to keep your word. The fastest way to lose your audience is to not follow through.

These are just 15 ways to use social media to promote your business this holiday season. Try a few, 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!

Amanda Schewaga contributed to this article.