The upcoming holiday season can be a great excuse to get creative with your social media. Using the holidays -- and the associated good cheer -- to drum up sales or differentiate yourself from the competition just makes sense. So we asked eight entrepreneurs how they were capitalizing on this time of year for the greatest social impact.
1) Post Creatively
Say you work in the fitness and health industry, and a lot of your competitors are writing social media posts like, "Try to stay on track during the holidays -- be strong!" This is too aggressive and negative, so try something different. Be slightly controversial by saying, "Don't do anything today! You deserve it, you've worked hard this year." It will come as a breath of fresh air and help you stand out.
2) Pay It Forward
Come up with ways for customers to give back to other customers or people in need. Think up ways that are outside the box for people to share the amazing things they are working on and doing that are helping people around them and impacting the world for better. Highlight these and it will help your company more than anything else this holiday season! Focus on paying it forward.
3) Use Photos With Santa
If there's one thing we know about social media, it's that people love seeing photos of themselves. With the holiday season here, a photo with Santa is mandatory for many. Why not make the photo happen at your business and have the photo live on your website/social media page? Put your own spin on it to make it your own.
4) Conduct a Survey
Try to engage with your audience by asking questions or conducting a seasonal survey. Depending on your industry, you can ask questions that people will naturally want to answer, especially during the holidays.
5) Get Visual
During the holidays, people tend to take lots of photographs to remember special moments. Encourage your customers to share photos of their holidays and, if possible, the way your business is elevating their season.
6) Take Up a Cause
There is a way to stimulate sales and do good at the same time. Take on a cause for the holiday season and ask your customers to donate (and you should match the donations as well). My preference is that instead of donating to a large organization, donate to individual causes. Check out GiveForward.com. They do incredible work helping families going through tough times.
7) Celebrate Obscure Holidays
Have a holiday in mind that no one actually celebrates? Use that as an opportunity to promote yourself by being the one quirky brand that celebrates National Nut Day. Seriously. Your followers will be surprised, but will join in on the fun because you demonstrate that you're a brand that is actually likeable.
8) Design in a Timely Manner
The best content marketers are quick to tie their content ideas and style into current events, holidays or other trending news. Run a special promotion or create your next piece of social media content with a touch of the holidays. In a lot of ways, people almost expect it. This idea holds true for any holiday or event relevant to trending topics -- think Oreo during the Super Bowl when the lights went out.
These answers were provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
Originally published Nov 26, 2014 7:00:00 AM, updated December 05 2014