3 Ways Brands Can Spread Holiday Cheer on Facebook

Posted on by Patricia Odell

The most wonderful time of the year can present a brand both challenges and opportunities in managing Facebook communities.

On the one hand, there is more competition for fans’ attention on the News Feed coupled with an increased urgency to communicate the brand’s marketing message. It can be tempting to overload December’s editorial calendar with product-focused, marketing-speak that only makes content less likely to be shared and therefore, less likely to be seen.

On the other hand, the holiday season presents an enormous opportunity to be creative and upbeat. To take advantage of the occasion and produce something share-worthy, here are a few idea-starters:

Virtual Greeting Cards

Create an album of branded photos that feature different holiday messages your fans can share with friends and family. This works especially well if consumers regularly demonstrate affinity for, or loyalty to, the brand. Not only do virtual greeting cards promote positive engagement with the brand, it leverages the virality of sharing to spread the brand’s content beyond fans.

Kate Spade leveraged a similar idea for Valentine’s Day and encouraged fans to share photos as e-valentines. One of the photos was shared more than 400 times. Collectively, the album generated over 1700 shares.

Donations to Charity

Brands can increase engagement and do good at the same time by donating to a charity based on shares of a post or likes of a Facebook page. Not only does this demonstrate corporate social responsibility to fans and others, but it also garners a lot of positive engagement and attention for the brand and the charity. Both options adhere to Facebook’s page guidelines regarding incentivizing native actions.

Kraft Fight Hunger leveraged this technique to donate more than 1 million meals to Feeding America last Thanksgiving. Their post that promised 200,000 donated meals for every 1,000 shares received a whooping 63,513 shares within a week!

Gift Guides

Who doesn’t want to give the perfect gift? And what marketer doesn’t want to remind its fans exactly where to look? (Hint, hint.) There are a number of ways to create a gift guide on Facebook that’s share-worthy. Design photo albums that feature the perfect presents for each family member, re-create the gift guide that already exists on the brand’s website in a Facebook tab with more seamless sharing functionality, develop a series of posts that link to different gift guides on the web, or craft a promotion that encourages users to make their own gift guides and reward the most creative. The possibilities are endless and not many companies are taking advantage of the engagement potential a Facebook-optimized gift guide can offer.

While these ideas highlight some ways to get noticed on Facebook during the busiest shopping season, brands should feel empowered and compelled to come up with even more innovative content. What brands have you seen do a great job at getting noticed during the holidays?

 Jaime Hoerbelt (right) is social media strategist with Tenthwave, which ranked No. 73 on the 2012 PROMO 100. She can be reached at ‎jaime.hoerbelt@tenthwave.com.

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