🎶 Deck the halls with… Instagram tips!
Oh, yeah, you heard me right. It’s that time of year again, and these days who says “Christmas” means “Instagram” — you know I’m right!
Fact is, there’s no place like Instagram to get your community buzzing for an upcoming holiday or event. So you simply can’t let the potential go to waste this Christmas!
Want my top 10 Instagram tips for Christmas marketing?
Well, it’s your lucky day!
10 Useful Instagram Tips (Christmas Edition)
1. Create a custom hashtag for your holiday marketing
Let’s start this list of Christmas Instagram tips off with a cracker. That’s the only bad pun you’ll find in this article… I promise.
What exactly is a custom hashtag? It’s a hashtag which you, as a business, create for a specific purpose. In this case, that purpose is Christmas marketing. You’ll use this hashtag in every single caption for every Christmas-related post you share with your community, as well as encourage them to use it in their posts.
Why though? Using your custom hashtag in your own posts is interesting because it means that all your Christmas marketing posts will be clearly referenced under this one hashtag. That means anything you promote using this hashtag — like a special Christmas offer or promotion — will be easily searchable by your community. All you have to do is make it clear and apparent to your followers. Why not think about creating a special post to indicate its existence and asking your community to follow it?
At the end of the day, let’s face it: with over 100 million posts already referenced, there’s absolutely no point in using #christmas.
But I know we’re all going to do it anyway.
Creating your own custom hashtag is just to ensure that your posts will always be discoverable. By all means, use the fancy, popular hashtags, but remember to stay smart from a marketing perspective as well.
Suggesting that your followers also include your hashtag in their posts can be a great way to help you gather user-generated content. But we’ll talk more about UGC later. 😉
2. Use shoppable posts to showcase your products and inspire your followers
Ahh shoppable posts. I remember the days when these were just talk. From a business perspective, I’ll admit it, they seemed too good to be true. Or at least, too good to actually work. But what do you know, Instagram’s pulled it out of the bag again.
Because this feature rocks.
If you’re not in the know yet, shoppable Instagram posts allow people to buy your products with a simple tap, right from within the Instagram app. This feature makes the buyer’s journey shorter and more efficient, which is a win win for you and your customers. And the even better news is, the feature is nowhere near as selective as the “swipe up” function on Stories: you don’t need to be a big account to be able to make the most of it. Power to the small businesses!
You can even create a “shop” feed right on your Instagram profile, once you’ve created nine posts with tagged products, thus creating a simple display window that showcases all the products you have.
Did someone say “Perfect for Christmas”? I’d have to agree with you there!
3. Create a promotional offer especially for your Insta-community
A promo code is one of the easiest and most effective ways of directing traffic to your website. And that’s valid throughout the year, not just at Christmas.
Why not create a special offer just for your Instagram followers this Christmas? Like I said, it’s simple but effective for you, and will make them feel like they’d be stupid not to use it — especially if you make it exclusive to them.
How to promote this code? A traditional Instagram post or Story will do the trick, although you could go one step further and boost a post with the code in the caption if you’re feeling ambitious!
Christmas advertising, while tricky because of all the extra competition during the holiday season, is still a very powerful tool from a sales point of view. Look at it this way: 75% of Instagram users have taken an action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. So really, your only job is to stand out and make your ads prettier than everyone else’s.
Better get to work!
4. Get all hands on deck to ensure customer satisfaction
As you probably know, Twitter is the go-to social platform for customer support, but the holiday season will bring customers to all your doors, including your Insta-door.
Be prepared for support issues and equiries (which will naturally come with the extra attention your Instagram is receiving with all these amazing Christmas marketing posts you’re sharing 💝) and get some added help. If you don’t have a customer support team in situ, you can ask any other team member to step in and keep a watchful eye over your Instagram comments and DMs, even if they leave all the replying to you.
Bad press is not good, and the thing about social media is: news travels fast. So keep in mind that customer satisfaction is paramount.
5. Repost and reuse holiday UGC
User-generated content, as we all know, is like Insta-gold. It’s incredibly precious and valuable! 💎
It can also prove to be extremely powerful when utilized smartly. Today, 87% of brands use UGC for authentic (and free) content.
People love producing photos and videos for the brands they love, so using it for your Christmas marketing on Instagram is totally legit — even recommended. So, for your holiday marketing on Instagram, why not showcase your most Insta-worthy products through top-quality UGC?
Friendly reminder: Always ask for permission before reposting someone else’s content as your own, and always remember to give credit to the original poster. 😇
6. Create posts that are holiday-themed (but stay on-brand!)
Might be harder than you think.
If you’re a good Insta-student, you’ll have spent some time thinking about your Instagram theme. That means how you want your Instagram feed to look and feel. So with Christmas coming up, the last thing you want to do is throw that all out the window to make way for posts which are all-red-and-green-with-bells-on. 🔔
To celebrate Christmas on Instagram while maintaining the theme you worked so hard to achieve, I’d recommend you don’t stray too far from the color palette you’re used to. This way, you’ll be visually recognizable and coherent in the eyes of your followers. If you’re worried this will mean your posts won’t feel Christmassy at all, you could also mix things up for the holiday period and go for a different theme in your Instagram Stories or even on IGTV.
Which leads us onto the next tip!
7. Make the most of Stories and IGTV
If you’ve never used Stories on Instagram, first of all, WHY?!
Secondly, it’s never too late to start.
Holiday Stories can be anything from a funny Boomerang to a quick snap of your office Christmas tree! Make them fun by using filter, stickers, GIFs and why not even make them musical! There’s nothing like the jingle of bells or to get people in the holiday spirit, so the Spotify integration could really come in handy for you this holiday season.
Also FYI: Instagram Stories have been shown to boost post ranking in the main feed. This isn’t actually official information, but it definitely seems to be the case. Basically, Facebook loves it when people use its new features, and rewards the accounts that do. Win-win! 👊
8. Write FOMO-inducing holiday captions
Quality captions are essential at the best of times. But during the holiday season, competition is tough and your followers’ attention spans are constantly being tested by all the extra-loud content being shared.
My advice? Keep your captions on-brand and calmly awesome.
Try to be the customer for a moment. The Instagram world is getting busy right now with loud, bright Christmas marketing posts with all-caps captions, each of them competing for attention in a ‘who can shout the loudest’-type way.
OK, I’m exaggerating.
But you get where I’m coming from.
What I’m saying is, be cool. Your community knows your worth and will continue to follow you for that. Same as with your visual content, if you tip the balance with out-of-character captions which are pushy and loud (provided that isn’t your existing strategy…!) you’ll more likely scare people away rather than tempt them with your products at this crucial time of year.
Creating FOMO in a relaxed way is a great way of captuing people’s attention without yelling at them. Perhaps tell a story over the course of 5 or 6 posts, using suspense to consistently draw your followers back to your profile. Or, maybe use a sales technique and share customer product ratings in your captions to sell the dream that way.
‘Tis the season to get creative with your captions. The options are endless!
9. Schedule posts frequently to stay present
Posting frequency and presence on Instagram are two major factors to bear in mind at this time of year. And the easiest way to achieve both, simultaneously, is to plan ahead and schedule your posts using an automatic Instagram scheduler.
Scheduling is a time saver any day of the year, but this season calls for a higher posting frequency, which may leave you running out of hours in the day for the extra workload.
Hold up. Higher posting frequency?
Holiday season means Christmas shopping. Instagrammers log in and search for a deal at any time of day or night. You don’t want to miss a random influx of shoppers (and potential new customers for you!) by just posting twice a week like you usually do. If marketing and sales is your game, you need to up to ante.
Start by posting once per day, then increase further if you have the time, material and are seeing good results. Continue to post at your optimal times, and maybe add in a few extra time slots throughout the week. If you see a drop in follower count or a lack of engagement, that might be a sign that you’re posting too often. It’s a fine art!
10. Start yesterday!
Oh yeah, I should probably mention: you’re already running behind. 😅
Don’t wait until after Christmas when the sales begin to start posting about your upcoming offers. Nowadays, everything is sales-focused, so don’t be afraid to start your marketing campaigns nice and early (because other brands won’t wait!).
And while you’re at it, start planning and thinking about all the big hashtag holidays and events you don’t want to miss in 2019! Iconosquare has just released a Social Media Calendar to help you plan out your communications and campaigns next year.
You can get it right here, right now! 👇
Any other Instagram tips for Christmas that you’d like to share? Drop us a comment below!