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Social Media Marketing for the Holidays

Sean Peek
Sean Peek

Have you changed your social media marketing strategy for the holidays? Here's how you should.

The holidays are a great time to boost your social media strategy. Social media is the perfect place to promote your business during the holidays. People are looking on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for gift ideas and great deals.

With the right social media marketing strategy, you can boost holiday sales, engage with potential customers and spread holiday cheer. We talked to social media experts about how businesses can use social media to boost sales this holiday season. Here are four tips.

1. Use Twitter polls to identify customer pain points.

Social media platforms are constantly updating and adding helpful features. Twitter polls are an easy way to engage and connect with your followers online. You can use Twitter polls to connect with them over topics that are trending in global news or just topics about their everyday life or get feedback that can help improve your products or find out which products they prefer most. You can even use their feedback to find out the kind of posts they would most like to see.

Chelsea McDonald, senior social media strategist at DEG Digital, recommends using those features to identify pain points and then provide a solution.

"Another great tool to use is Twitter Polls," she said. "If you can identify a problem your customers are facing and solve it for them, you will create customers for life."

Twitter can boost sales by monitoring the competition and certain keywords as well. "We have a designated keyword stream on Hootsuite set up primarily to Twitter-butt into conversations when appropriate and let folks know that we have the products or blog posts they may be interested in," said Jason Myers, senior account executive at The Content Factory. "It's a tad more aggressive than we usually operate, but all's fair in love and holiday shopping."

2. Use Facebook Live, create events and run giveaways.

McDonald suggests hosting Facebook Live videos to give your followers the scoop on your deals for the holidays, what new products you have or what services you're offering. Along with Facebook Live, you should also use Facebook's events feature.

"Create Facebook Events for any in-store events you might be hosting during the season," McDonald added. "The sooner you get these out the better, and as people begin indicating interest or attendance, more people will become aware of the event and see it in their feeds."

Once you've hosted a live video or created an event, be sure to continue to post all your promotions on your social accounts.  "Post regularly to increase stay top of -mind, and if you have a paid social budget, be sure to reassess your strategy for holiday," she said. 

Another great way to engage and connect with your followers is with a giveaway contest. "People can use a little help this time of year and the chance to win a big gift that someone on their wish list may appreciate is a very attractive prospect," said Myers. "For the cost of one prize and some shipping, you can also work up a frenzy among your followers as they comment and enter for their chance to win."

3. Use Instagram stories.

Introduced in 2016, Instagram Stories quickly became a popular social media tool and marketers need to take advantage of this feature this time of year.

"Stories have nearly taken over the Instagram platform with their temporary availability and features that allow for product-feed integration and swipe up to shop, simplifying the purchase experience for users," said McDonald. "And don't forget about Highlights. Your temporary content can be saved to Highlights on your profile for the duration of the holiday season and removed come January."

While focusing on Instagram stories doesn't mean you should forget about posting regular pictures, it does allow you to supplement your content and post more frequently, McDonald suggests.

Instagram stories can help you showcase your products and their features. You can add links in Instagram stories that will take followers to your blog or homepage – wherever you desire. You can use clickable posts or offer your products directly from your posts.

4. Engage with followers and get creative.

While you use social media to market your business, your followers use it to have fun and engage with their favorite brands. Eileen McGovern, search coordinator at Efferent Media, suggests being creative on social media offering ideas such as running a contest, creating a holiday playlist for your business on Spotify or offering holiday tips.

"Tips for the seasonal holidays or winter season, in general, make excellent social media posts," McGovern said. "Whether you are discussing holiday safety or decorating tips, the holidays are a great time to give your business a personal appearance and voice."

Another idea to consider is a holiday eBook. It may seem like a mountain of a task, but in reality, it can be made fairly simple. You can do it a number of ways, like getting some of your most popular and influential followers to write your ebook with you or gathering and sharing e-books that teach holiday home decorating and cooking.

You should remember also that analytics are available for business with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other sites to help you know whether your social media approach should be adjusted.

In creating your company's social media strategy, keep in mind why customers are on the platform. Avoid being too salesy. Let them know you're a consumer, too.

"Maintain some humility and gratitude," said Myers. "Be the type of business customers know, like and trust, and have fun with it, after all, if you're not enjoying the process, others likely won't either."

Social media holiday calendar in 2020 - 2021

To help you keep track of upcoming holidays, we created this list of holidays and relevant hashtags to add to your social media schedule. You can plan social content around the holidays most relevant to your audience to boost engagement and encourage users to follow you.

December 2020

  • December 1: World AIDS Day #WAD2020
  • December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities #IDPWD
  • December 4: National Cookie Day #NationalCookieDay
  • December 5: World Soil Day #WorldSoilDay
  • December 10: Hanukkah Begins #Hanukkah #Chanukah
  • December 10: Human Rights Day #HumanRightsDay
  • December 10: Nobel Prize Day #NobelPrize
  • December 11: National Salesperson Day #SalespersonDay
  • December 21: First Day of Winter #WinterSolstice
  • December 23: Festivus #Festivus #AiringOfGrievances
  • December 24: Christmas Eve #ChristmasEve #MerryChristmas
  • December 25: Christmas Day #Christmas #MerryChristmas
  • December 26: Kwanzaa #Kwanzaa
  • December 30: No Interruptions Day #NoInterruptionsDay
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve #NYE

January 2021

  • January 1: New Year’s Day #NewYearsDay
  • January 2: Science Fiction Day #ScienceFictionDay
  • January 4: National Trivia Day #NationalTriviaDay
  • January 11: Human Trafficking Awareness Day #HumanTraffickingDay
  • January 13: National Sticker Day #NationalStickerDay
  • January 13: Clean Off Your Desk Day #CleanOffYourDeskDay
  • January 15: National Hat Day #NationalHatDay
  • January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day #MLKDay
  • January 20: Cheese Lovers Day #CheeseLoversDay
  • January 21: Get to Know Your Customers Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay
  • January 24: National Compliment Day #NationalComplimentDay
  • January 25: Community Manager Appreciation Day #CMAD
  • January 28: Data Privacy Day #PrivacyAware

February 2021

  • February 2:Groundhog Day #GroundhogDay
  • February 2: World Wetlands Day #WorldWetlandsDay
  • February 4: World Cancer Day #WorldCancerDay
  • February 5: National Weatherperson’s Day #NationalWeatherpersonsDay
  • February 7: Super Bowl LV #SBLV #SuperBowlSunday #SuperBowl
  • February 7: National Send a Card to a Friend Day #SendACardToAFriendDay
  • February 8: National Boy Scouts Day #BoyScoutsDay
  • February 9: National Pizza Day #NationalPizzaDay
  • February 9: Safer Internet Day #SID2021
  • February 11: National Inventors’ Day #InventorsDay
  • February 12: Chinese New Year #ChineseNewYear
  • February 13: Galentine’s Day #GalentinesDay
  • February 14: Valentine’s Day #ValentinesDay
  • February 15: Presidents’ Day #PresidentsDay
  • February 16: Mardi Gras #MardiGras
  • February 17: Random Acts of Kindness Day #RandomActsOfKindnessDay
  • February 18: National Battery Day #NationalBatteryDay
  • February 20: National Love Your Pet Day #LoveYourPetDay

March 2021

  • March 2: National Read Across America Day #ReadAcrossAmericaDay #DrSeussDay
  • March 3: World Wildlife Day #WorldWildlifeDay
  • March 4: National Grammar Day #NationalGrammarDay
  • March 4: National Pancake Day #NationalPancakeDay
  • March 5: National Employee Appreciation Day #EmployeeAppreciationDay
  • March 5: National Day of Unplugging #NationalDayOfUnplugging
  • March 8: International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange #InternationalWomensDay
  • March 8: National Proofreading Day #NationalProofreadingDay
  • March 10: National Pack Your Lunch Day #NationalPackYourLunchDay
  • March 11: World Plumbing Day #WorldPlumbingDay
  • March 11: National Worship of Tools Day #WorshipOfToolsDay
  • March 12: National Girl Scout Day #GirlScoutDay
  • March 14: Daylight Savings #DaylightSavings #DaylightSavingsTime
  • March 14. Pi Day #PiDay #InternationalDayofMathematics
  • March 15: World Consumer Rights Day #WorldConsumerRightsDay
  • March 16: National Freedom of Information Day #FreedomOfInformationDay
  • March 17: St. Patrick’s Day #StPatricksDay
  • March 19: National Let’s Laugh Day #NationalLetsLaughDay
  • March 20: International Day of Happiness #InternationalDayofHappiness #DayofHappiness
  • March 20: First Day of Spring #FirstDayofSpring #SpringBegins #DayofNowruz
  • March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination #RacialDiscriminationDay
  • March 21: World Poetry Day #WorldPoetryDay
  • March 23: National Puppy Day #NationalPuppyDay
  • March 26: Purple Day #PurpleDay
  • March 27: Earth Hour Day #EarthHour
  • March 30: Doctor’s Day #NationalDoctorsDay
  • March 31: World Backup Day #WorldBackupDay
  • March 31: Transgender Day of Visibility #TDOV
  • March 31: Equal Pay Day #EqualPayDay

April 2021

  • April 1: April Fools’ Day #AprilFools #AprilFoolsDay
  • April 1: National Walking Day #NationalWalkingDay
  • April 2: World Autism Awareness Day #WAAD
  • April 3: Find a Rainbow Day #FindARainbowDay
  • April 4: Hug a Newsperson Day #HugANewsperson
  • April 7: World Health Day #LetsTalk
  • April 10: National Siblings Day #NationalSiblingsDay
  • April 10: Encourage a Young Writer Day #EncourageAYoungWriterDay
  • April 12: International Day of Human Space Flight #InternationalDayOfHumanSpaceFlight
  • April 15: National Tax Day #TaxDay
  • April 15: Get to Know Your Customers Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay
  • April 16: National Stress Awareness Day #StressAwarenessDay
  • April 16: National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day #PJDay
  • April 16: National High-Five Day #NH5D
  • April 17: Haiku Poetry Day #HaikuPoetryDay
  • April 18: National Columnists’ Day #NationalColumnistDay
  • April 21: National Administrative Professionals Day #AdministrativeProfessionalsDay
  • April 22: Earth Day #EarthDay
  • April 22: National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day #TakeOurChildrenToWorkDay
  • April 23: National Picnic Day #NationalPicnicDay
  • April 23: World Book Day #WorldBookDay
  • April 25: National Telephone Day #NationalTelephoneDay
  • April 25: World Malaria Day #EndMalariaForGood
  • April 26: Arbor Day #ArborDay
  • April 30: National Honesty Day #NationalHonestyDay
  • April 30: National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day #AdoptAShelterPetDay

May 2021

  • May 1: May Day #MayDay
  • May 1: International Workers Day #IntWorkersDay
  • May 3: World Press Freedom Day #PressFreedom
  • May 4: Star Wars Day #StarWarsDay #Maythe4thBeWithYou
  • May 4: International Firefighters Day #InternationalFirefightersDay
  • May 4: World Asthma Day #WorldAsthmaDay
  • May 4: National Teacher Appreciation Day #TeacherAppreciationDay
  • May 5: Cinco de Mayo #CincoDeMayo
  • May 7: Space Day #SpaceDay
  • May 7: World Password Day #WorldPasswordDay
  • May 9: Mother’s Day #MothersDay
  • May 12: International Nurses Day #NursesDay
  • May 12: National Receptionist Day #NationalReceptionistDay
  • May 15: International Day of Families #FamilyDay
  • May 16: Love a Tree Day #LoveATreeDay
  • May 17: International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia #IDAHOT
  • May 19: Red Nose Day #RedNoseDay
  • May 21: National Memo Day #NationalMemoDay
  • May 21: National Bike to Work Day #BTWD
  • May 28: National Hamburger Day #NationalHamburgerDay
  • May 29: National Paperclip Day #PaperclipDay
  • May 31. Memorial Day #MemorialDay #MDW

June 2021

  • June 1: Global Day of Parents #GlobalDayOfParents
  • June 1: International Children’s Day #ChildrensDay
  • June 2: National Leave the Office Early Day #LeaveTheOfficeEarlyDay
  • June 4: National Doughnut Day #NationalDoughnutDay
  • June 5: World Environment Day #WorldEnvironmentDay
  • June 6: National Cancer Survivors Day #NCSD
  • June 6: National Higher Education Day #HigherEducationDay
  • June 8: National Best Friends Day #BestFriendsDay
  • June 8: World Oceans Day #WorldOceansDay
  • June 14: World Blood Donor Day #GiveBlood
  • June 14: National Flag Day #FlagDay
  • June 20: Father’s Day #FathersDay
  • June 20: World Refugee Day #WithRefugees
  • June 21: First Day of Summer #FirstDayOfSummer
  • June 21: National Selfie Day #NationalSelfieDay
  • June 21: World Music Day #WorldMusicDay
  • June 25: National Take Your Dog to Work Day #TakeYourDogToWorkDay
  • June 30: Social Media Day #SMDay

July 2021

  • July 1: National Postal Worker Day #NationalPostalWorkerDay
  • July 1: International Joke Day #InternationalJokeDay
  • July 2: World UFO Day #WorldUFODay
  • July 4: Independence Day #July4th
  • July 7: World Chocolate Day #WorldChocolateDay
  • July 11: National Cheer Up the Lonely Day #CheerUpTheLonelyDay
  • July 12: Malala Day #MalalaDay
  • July 14: Bastille Day #BastilleDay
  • July 15: Give Something Away Day #GiveSomethingAwayDay
  • July 15: Get to Know Your Customers Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay
  • July 17: World Emoji Day #WorldEmojiDay
  • July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day #MandelaDay
  • July 18: National Ice Cream Day #IceCreamDay
  • July 20: International Chess Day #InternationalChessDay
  • July 28: World Hepatitis Day #WorldHepatitisDay
  • July 30: World Day Against Trafficking in Persons #EndHumanTrafficking
  • July 30: Talk In an Elevator Day #TalkInAnElevatorDay
  • July 30: International Day of Friendship #DayOfFriendship

August 2021

  • August 1: National Respect for Parents Day #RespectForParentsDay
  • August 2: National Coloring Book Day #NationalColoringBookDay
  • August 8: International Cat Day #InternationalCatDay
  • August 9: National Book Lovers Day #NationalBookLoversDay
  • August 10: National Lazy Day #LazyDay
  • August 10: World Lion Day #WorldLionDay
  • August 11: National Sons and Daughters Day #SonsAndDaughtersDay
  • August 12: International Youth Day #YouthDay
  • August 13: International Left Handers Day #LeftHandersDay
  • August 15: National Relaxation Day #NationalRelaxationDay
  • August 16: National Tell a Joke Day #NationalTellAJokeDay
  • August 19: World Photography Day #WorldPhotoDay
  • August 19: World Humanitarian Day #WorldHumanitarianDay
  • August 20: National Lemonade Day #NationalLemonadeDay
  • August 21: World Entrepreneurs Day #EntrepreneursDay
  • August 26: International Dog Day #InternationalDogDay
  • August 26: Women’s Equality Day #WomensEqualityDay

September 2021

  • September 4: National Wildlife Day #NationalWildlifeDay
  • September 4: World Beard Day #WorldBeardDay
  • September 5: International Day of Charity #CharityDay
  • September 6: National Read a Book Day #ReadABookDay
  • September 6: National Grandparents Day #NationalGrandparentsDay
  • September 6: Labor Day #LaborDay
  • September 8: International Literacy Day #LiteracyDay
  • September 10: Stand Up to Cancer Day #KissCancerGoodbye
  • September 10: World Suicide Prevention Day #WorldSuicidePreventionDay
  • September 11: National Day of Service and Remembrance #911Day
  • September 12: National Day of Encouragement #DayOfEncouragement
  • September 12: National Day of Civic Hacking #HackForChange
  • September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day #TalkLikeAPirateDay
  • September 21: International Day of Peace #PeaceDay
  • September 22: Car-Free Day #CarFreeDay
  • September 22: Hobbit Day #HobbitDay
  • September 22: First Day of Fall #FirstDayOfFall
  • September 27: World Tourism Day #WorldTourismDay
  • September 28: World Rabies Day #WorldRabiesDay
  • September 28: National Good Neighbor Day #GoodNeighborDay
  • September 29: National Women’s Health and Fitness Day #WomensHealthFitnessDay
  • September 30: International Podcast Day #InternationalPodcastDay

October 2021

  • October 1: International Day of Older Persons #UNDOP
  • October 1: International Coffee Day #InternationalCoffeeDay
  • October 1: World Vegetarian Day #WorldVegetarianDay
  • October 1: World Smile Day #WorldSmileDay
  • October 2: International Day of Nonviolence #InternationalDayOfNonviolence
  • October 3: National Techies Day #TechiesDay
  • October 4: World Animal Day #WorldAnimalDay
  • October 4: National Taco Day #NationalTacoDay #TacoDay
  • October 4: World Habitat Day #WorldHabitatDay
  • October 5: World Teachers Day #WorldTeachersDay
  • October 10: World Mental Health Day #WorldMentalHeathDay
  • October 11: International Day of the Girl #DayOfTheGirl
  • October 14: World Sight Day #WorldSightDay
  • October 14: National Dessert Day #DessertDay
  • October 15: Global Handwashing Day #GlobalHandwashingDay
  • October 16: World Food Day #FoodDay
  • October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty #EndPoverty
  • October 24: United Nations Day #UNDay
  • October 25: National Greasy Foods Day #GreasyFoodsDay
  • October 30: National Publicist Day #NationalPublicistDay
  • October 30: National Checklist Day #ChecklistDay
  • October 31: Halloween #Halloween

November 2021

  • November 1: World Vegan Day #WorldVeganDay
  • November 1: National Author’s Day #NationalAuthorsDay
  • November 1: National Cook for Your Pets Day #CookForYourPetsDay
  • November 3: National Sandwich Day #NationalSandwichDay
  • November 4: National Candy Day #NationalCandyDay
  • November 7: Daylight Saving Time Ends #DaylightSavings #DaylightSavingsTime
  • November 8: National Cappuccino Day #CappuccinoDay
  • November 8: National STEM Day #STEMDay
  • November 11: Veterans Day #VeteransDay
  • November 11: Remembrance Day #PoppyDay #RemembranceDay
  • November 13: World Kindness Day #WKD
  • November 14: World Diabetes Day #WDD
  • November 15: National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day #CleanOutYourRefrigeratorDay
  • November 15: America Recycles Day #BeRecycled
  • November 19: International Men’s Day #InternationalMensDay
  • November 20: World Children’s Day #ChildrensDay
  • November 21: World Hello Day #WorldHelloDay
  • November 25: Thanksgiving #Thanksgiving
  • November 26: Black Friday #BlackFriday #BlackFridayDeals
  • November 27: Small Business Saturday #ShopSmall
  • November 29: Electronic Greeting Card Day #ElectronicGreetingCardDay
  • November 29: Cyber Monday #CyberMonday #CyberMondayDeals
  • November 30: Computer Security Day #ComputerSecurityDay

December 2021

  • December 1: World AIDS Day #WAD2020
  • December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities #IDPWD
  • December 4: National Cookie Day #NationalCookieDay
  • December 5: World Soil Day #WorldSoilDay
  • December 10: Hanukkah Begins #Hanukkah #Chanukah
  • December 10: Human Rights Day #HumanRightsDay
  • December 10: Nobel Prize Day #NobelPrize
  • December 21: First Day of Winter #WinterSolstice
  • December 23: Festivus #Festivus #AiringOfGrievances
  • December 24: Christmas Eve #ChristmasEve #MerryChristmas
  • December 25: Christmas Day #Christmas #MerryChristmas
  • December 26: Kwanzaa #Kwanzaa
  • December 30: No Interruptions Day #NoInterruptionsDay
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve #NYE

Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Image Credit: Zephyr18 / Getty Images
Sean Peek
Sean Peek
business.com Contributing Writer
Sean Peek has written more than 100 B2B-focused articles on various subjects including business technology, marketing and business finance. In addition to researching trends, reviewing products and writing articles that help small business owners, Sean runs a content marketing agency that creates high-quality editorial content for both B2B and B2C businesses.