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7 Ways to Prepare Your Brand on Social For The Holiday Season

December is around the corner - cue the season of holiday campaigns. As you can imagine, this is a busy time for small and big brands that look to increase sales and engage with audiences before the year ends. Yet with traffic spikes on social media increasing by 73% over the holidays , and customer expectations set to an all-time high, how will you prepare your team and outshine your competition during the holiday season on social media?

Holiday campaigns take a lot of planning and analysis to get right.

Take a look at our 7 ways your brand can prepare for this holiday season on social media .

1. Prepare your content calendar

Make sure your content calendars are planned out ahead of time. Start by creating an editorial calendar, building out holiday-related content, and optimizing it before launching it. This way when the timing is right for content to go live, it is available and optimized.

2. Produce all marketing materials and start scheduling

Once the season starts, the last thing you’ll want to think about is getting graphics and content for your posts. Identify the channels you’re using (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - whatever works best for your brand),  prepare your graphics and copy, and schedule it for publication over the course of November and December. This will help save time when time is precious.

Also, when creating content keep in mind of holidays like Small Business Saturday, Black Friday, Free Shipping Day and Cyber Monday.

3. Plan your holiday campaigns well in advance

During the holiday season, most companies have at least one promotional campaign. Whether it’s highlighting discounts and sales or incorporating specials just for the holidays, customer delight should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts.

As you think about the goals for your campaign, think about how you can make sure you are delighting your customers. If you can revolve your campaign to show your appreciation for your customers , do it.

4. Think Mobile

Screen shopping is the new window shopping. In 2016 Mobile conversions have for the first time ever outperformed desktop globally, with 53% of conversions coming from a mobile device.

To capitalize on this growing opportunity think about mobile when planning your graphics and content for holiday social campaigns and advertisements. People expect a seamless mobile friendly shopping experience from seeing the advertisement online to the checkout on your website.

5. Prepare an advertising budget, and stick to it.

Social media advertising is a cost-effective way to magnify your message during your holiday campaign while reaching as many people as possible.

But be aware when budgeting your campaigns, know that your social media advertising costs will increase (averaging up to 70%) as you approach the major holidays. Prices start to rise after American Thanksgiving, so you’ll need to increase your bids on ad space.

6. Have staff on hand

From Thanksgiving to the New Year is arguably the most important time of the year for social teams. Customers will often use social media to contact you with questions or feedback. In fact, 42% of social media users who contact a brand via social media expect a response within a 60 minute window.

Make sure your social team is prepared to monitor channels over the holidays. If you’re struggling with holiday coverage of your website and social channels, we’re always here to help. Learn what icuc social can do while your team is enjoying a stress-free, work-free holiday.

7. Learn from the past

Take time to look into the performances of past holiday campaigns. What were your goals? How did your promotions do? Did people join the conversation? What content and medium performed well and what didn’t work? All of this valuable information should be the baseline of your next holiday campaign and will help save time when developing your strategy.

There you have it. These 7 tips will help build a strong foundation to a successful holiday campaign. Don't forget to develop goals that you can measure, and make sure you measure them afterwards.

Happy planning!