Holiday Insights: Creating Shareable Content Your Audience will Love
‘Tis the season for consumers to share even more than normal on social media sites. In fact, according to the RadiumOne Holiday Data Report 2016, 33% of consumers share more content during the holidays than any other time of year. Chalk it up to them having more leisure and vacation time, as well as being in a holiday mood.
Whatever the reason for this uptick in content shares, if you know what people are most likely to share this time of year, you could let your social media audience do your brand’s marketing for you.
But First: Who’s Sharing, Where, and When
Certain demographics are more likely to get serious about sharing during the holidays. For example, users aged 18-34, who share content every few hours, are most likely to be the sweet spot in terms of increased sharing activity. Women, too, are a majority of the sharers, especially when it comes to festive photos.
On the other hand, the over-55 set shares content only every few days. And the majority of overall content shares — 82%, in fact — happens on “dark social” channels: that is, those channels where the share isn’t publicly obvious, such as email, text, or instant messaging.
After dark social channels, comes Facebook, where 8% of all shares happen, followed by Twitter, holding steady at 3%.
There’s a steady increase from Black Friday until Christmas Eve in terms of how much people are sharing on social media and elsewhere, so be strategic about when you share different types of content to ensure its success.
Knowing who’s sharing, where, and when they’re sharing is critical for you to understand how you need to tailor your brand’s content this time of year to maximize its reach. Now, let’s look at the different types of content consumers are sharing with their networks.
Festive Photos and Videos
While a lot of what people share this time of year centers around shopping deals, there’s no comparison to the number of holiday images and videos that circulate right now. These images include everything from holiday decorations to silly insert-your-face videos like Elf Yourself.
How to leverage: During the holidays, veer away from the serious and instead share fun, festive images and videos. This is a great opportunity to let your contacts in behind the scenes with videos of your staff doing karaoke at the annual office party or your holiday photo shoot.
Even down to the last minute, consumers will be racking their brains to come up with gift ideas, and trust us: they’ll be looking online for inspiration. Because photos stop people in their tracks when scrolling through social media feeds, a photo of great present ideas is an excellent way to connect with potential customers online.
How to leverage: Write a blog post entitled “X Gift Ideas for [insert niche]” and zero in on a niche that other retailers won’t cover, like “your favorite hunter” or “firemen.” Include great photos for every entry, as well as a collage of all gifts that can stand front and center when shared on social media.
Sales and Promotions
Consumers definitely have shopping on the mind: 43% of content shares during the holidays pertain to deals. Consumers may share promotions with specific contacts on social media (“Hey Sal, I know you were looking for a new doll for Becca. This store is having a blowout sale!”) or to brag about their purchases, so make it easy for them to do so.
How to leverage: Keep in mind that consumers usually want a good reason to share sales or promotions publicly, so give them incentive by setting up a customer referral program. For every purchase that a customer gets for you through social shares, you can offer a discount on future purchases.
You can’t visit Facebook right now without running into a recipe for champagne cocktails or holiday cookies. If recipes make sense for your branding, get into the holiday spirit by sharing a few on a regular basis now until Christmas. Remember: it’s not about promoting your business but rather providing interesting (and tasty) content that is irresistibly shareable.
How to leverage: If you sell food products, leverage recipes that use your products. Otherwise, you could create a series of “kid-friendly recipes” or “stress-free holiday party recipes” to appeal directly to your audience.
Paper cards are so last year. Even e-cards have joined forces with technology to become veritable marketing tools: rather than just being able to email an e-card, you can now also share it on social media where more people will see it.
How to leverage: This will require a bit of a time investment in your graphic designer, but by creating free e-cards that anyone can send (with your logo tucked away at the bottom), you can get your brand out there through this act of goodwill.
This is a boon for ecommerce companies: by offering shareable wish lists, your brand is getting free promotion whenever anyone shares their list on social media!
How to leverage: If you don’t yet offer the functionality of wish lists, get it. Then make it uber easy to share with the click of a button.
Understanding what consumers like to share this time of year can and should guide your holiday content strategy. Pay attention to analytics to see what’s resonating with your audience, and incorporate the results in future holiday marketing efforts.