The end of the year is here, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off on your social media presence. We’ve looked before at the right way to balance your campaigns with the holiday season. Today, however, the Zebra 360 Online Marketing team are taking a closer look at the don’ts (and dos) of the Festive season when it comes to your social media marketing.

1. Don’t get the timing wrong!

Sure, most of the office are heading out on holiday. That doesn’t mean you should rush your campaigns, however, especially with the ability to pre-plan and pre-schedule posting through this period. And if you’re going to use themes that tie-in to moments through the season (like the 12 days of Christmas, or advent calendars) launch them at a time that makes sense, and not just as random ‘buzzword’ marketing.

Do this, instead:

Make this Christmas social media don’t a ‘do’ by keeping your Christmas theme marketing scheduled for the right days, and honour key events at the time they’re celebrated. Use scheduling tools to keep your posting to a regular schedule, similar to the rest of the year, so fans know when to expect new content and don’t forget about you.

2. Don’t leave people bewildered

Sure, this is the time of year you can let up a little on the formal brand persona and get a little more lighthearted. But that’s only a little. Random Christmas-theme decor that doesn’t suit your image, funny gifs, pithy religious posting, moans about the ‘war on Christmas’…. Leave it all for your private pages. Keep your seasonal tie-ins appropriate to the brand identity you’ve fought so hard to establish, don’t let ‘Christmas cliches’ overwhelm your branding, and keep your marketing goals in sight.

Do this, instead:

There’s nothing wrong with bringing a little festivity into this time of year- clients will love it- but keep it consistent with your brand image and persona. Make sure your company shines through prominently, and don’t let ‘Christmas’ steal centre stage. But yes, a Christmas themed version of your logo is adorable. Do it.

3. Don’t skimp on quality

We can’t decide what’s worse. Poorly proofed posts with atrocious grammar hastily thrown up, or endlessly recycled content that may be fabulous quality, but your followers have seen come around again and again. And above all else, don’t use the common misspelling ‘hoe hoe hoe’… unless you’re in the garden industry, those are words you don’t want near your page!

Do this instead:

Content can be more lighthearted at this time of year, but keep your editor and proofreader on call… don’t let things get sloppy. And while running a few pieces that have performed well before can be a great way to ease the burden on your creative team, don’t let the repeats go overboard.

4. Don’t get inappropriate

We’ve already covered bewildering- but the silly season sometimes brings out the worst in us. Inappropriate office party pics need to stay in the office, not on social media! You can’t delete things once they’re loose on the internet, either- there’s always the chance they will surface again. On a related note, don’t try to shanghai every Christmas trend into your business if it’s not remotely related to what you do.

Do this instead:

Lighthearted fun is great this time of year, and so is humanising your team, but make sure everything passes the ‘grandma’ rule. If you wouldn’t show her, don’t show your followers and audience! And if you can use a trend for a little advertising, that’s great, but it’s also fine to just express some seasonal warmth and leave it at that. Not every trend is suitable for every business.

5. Don’t mislead customers

This time of year gets tricky. Between annual leave and public holidays, there can be a lot of disruption to the calendar. Don’t let it adversely affect your consumers. Leaving a customer feeling ‘lied to’ because they didn’t get the service they expected will tank goodwill fast

Do this instead:

Update your trading hours, make sure people can clearly see what expected response time they’ll have on social media channels, and make sure any offers, competitions or other timed events are properly scheduled and happen exactly when you say.

The end of the year is coming, but there’s still time to make a social media marketing splash. You’ll notice most of our dos- from creating a classy Christmas integration into your overall brand identity to scheduling fresh content appropriately- rely on having a solid plan for your Christmas social media marketing. If you’re struggling to figure out an action plan, and scared you’re running out of time, the Zebra 360 Online Marketing experts are happy to help you get back on track!