The Best Social Media Holiday Campaigns by Brands in 2017

Holiday activations on social media are a great way for brands to stand out and win the business of consumers. Below are five festive examples of companies that really took the season by storm on Instagram. 🎄


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Winter Wonderland: A Harsh Reality

The holiday race is real: marketers the world over are vying for the attention of consumers, hoping to win their affections and land a coveted spot under their Christmas trees. Brands are more numerous than ever, and the whole landscape has changed since the arrival of social media as a marketing tool. Companies are now mandated to be more creative, to be more attentive, to be more engaging, to be more present. More, more, more, always.

The era of visual marketing has undoubtedly required businesses to raise the bar. And come the holiday season, if they don't bring their A-game, brands can be forgotten faster than you can say jingle bells. Christmas promotion ideas are nothing if they don't involve a social media campaign where the marketing plan is slanted mostly towards visual channels like Instagram to reel in consumers.

Year after year, holiday marketing is taken up a notch, especially as more companies begin embracing social platforms to tell their story and to connect with audiences. But that doesn't mean that every brand gets it right. It takes a lot of creativity, great analytical prowess, perfect timing, and a deep understanding of both the landscape and the medium to drum up a Christmas campaign to remember.

Of all the holiday marketing tips we can relay, remember this one: it ain't because everyone's buying that their patronage is locked in. Or maybe it is, but it's also in your brand's best interest to sway them with something that will make a lasting impression by creating a connection with them to conceivably turn newb customers into repeats.

Jingle all the Way

Instagram is a visual touchpoint that presents many advantages for businesses, namely because it's a stellar brand vehicle. Come December, it provides a great storytelling opportunity for seasonal appeal to ensure your brand stands out in the crowded space. Some companies put out their best marketing campaigns of the year in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year's Eve.

We kept an eye out throughout the month to see what were some of this year's best holiday social media campaigns. Here's what we found.

John Lewis

British retailer John Lewis has been hard at jingle belling, with each piece of Instagram content reinforcing the sentiment of its #JohnLewisChristmas hashtag, whether or not the posts include it in the caption. A balanced display of static images and videos serve to broadcast the brand's festive fervor, all while making a merch push.

The John Lewis content strikes that ideal balance of visual storytelling to contribute to a brand story that takes its consumers on a journey, and pushing product to sell for gifting (or for people to put on their own wishlists!). To complete the tale, the social team cross-promoted on Instagram Stories to bring even more value to their followers, also ensuring the brand gets more face time with them. As brilliant as smart gets.

Mulberry

The road to Instagram has been a rocky one for luxury houses, but Mulberry is on it, and the British brand is taking social visual marketing by storm this Christmas with a couple of creative campaigns. It has #MulberryGifts, where products are festively featured to elicit a lustful reaction, and #MyTrueLoveGaveMetoMe, a beautiful series of videos featuring the storied brand's new and iconic products.

The modern, cool, youthful twist of the video series ensures that the content appeals to the company's Instagram audience, while the elegant displays inside the still images reinforce its luxe image. These vibes are complimentary and serve as both a brand vehicle and an engaging method to draw consumers to product all at once. Not to mention put them in a festive mood.

Our Reston Holdalls are packed, where are you spending the holidays? #MulberryGifts

A post shared by Mulberry (@mulberryengland) on

Poo~Pourri

If you aren't familiar with the Pou~Pourri Instagram account, you're in for a real punny treat. The bathroom spray brand is a lesson in clever captions, and the social team has taken it up a notch this holiday season with the #MerrySpritzmas Christmas campaign, encouraging users to share their spray shots.

While the hashtag is not used in every post, all the visuals that have appeared on the brand's feed in December have been geared toward reinforcing Poo~Pourri spray as the perfect gift to give this season, complete with broadcasting 6 special deals. The brand created inventive thematic yuletide imagery, complete with cheeky, on-brand pun-filled captions to round out its storytelling.

The icing on the Christmas cookie? The brand's Instagram feed was peppered with repurposed user-generated content acquired through the #merryspritzmas hashtag to compliment the user journey.

Barbour

The renowned heritage brand has, ironically, been killing it on Insta with a high 1.19% average engagement rate. Barbour has also amped up its game leading up to the holidays, spreading a message of joy and cheer with a well-crafted, impeccably executed social media campaign encompassing nostalgia, glee, and product placement.

Barbour began telling its Christmas story at the end of October, really setting the festive tone for the gifting season ahead. By recreating the brand's classic original snowman cartoon, it's touching upon sentimentality and fondness for the past: an emotion that tends to resurface yearly around the holidays. The company has done a fab job submerging its audience in the Barbour world with #BarbourChristmas.

The countdown to something magical has begun… #BarbourChristmas

A post shared by Barbour (@barbour) on

Nordstrom

The Nordstrom Instagram account has been a lesson in social holiday campaigning this season. They took the idea of the advent calendar and ran with it, not only posting a different video every day counting down to Christmas, but kicking it off with a Céline Dion serenade. I meannnn.

A new festive video landed every day of December, really helping the Nordstrom audience to immerse itself in the holiday spirit. To complement each daily "door," the brand sprinkled product-focused posts (both video and static images) throughout the month to break up the countdown and to contribute to its narrative.

The abundance of video content feels very fresh and creative, and is lending Nordstrom an innovative flair. The execution of this figurative video advent calendar has helped establish the retailer as a content trailblazer and a festive leader. Consumers were undoubtedly entertained and likely persuaded to purchase.

Almost too pretty to wrap. #handbag #gifts

A post shared by Nordstrom (@nordstrom) on



Developing and executing an effective social media campaign is an elaborate undertaking, and there are a ton of added complications around the holidays that eclipse the fact that everyone's in a buying state of mind. Successful holiday campaigns need to evoke a special sentiment as well as be engaging while also hinting at product.

Today's marketing race is tighter than ever thanks to social channels that enable brands to create meaningful connections and interactions with their consumers. This requires companies to develop specific strategies for content creation and distribution, even more so at Christmastime when every marketer is aiming for similar targets.

If you feel like you missed the mark this year, there's no time like the present to make up for it in 2018. 🎊


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