[Case Study] How to Plan Your Christmas Marketing Campaigns With the Help of Data
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[Case Study] How to Plan Your Christmas Marketing Campaigns With the Help of Data

Theodora Stanciu
Theodora Stanciu

Table of Contents

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Which means that it's the perfect time for brands to start planning their Christmas marketing campaigns.

As the sweater weather season starts to enchant everyone with its festive spirit, social media is opening its floodgates, and brands are bombarding users with frenzy Christmas marketing campaigns.

Some of them are goofy, some of them make you nostalgic, but without a doubt, all of them are magical.

With all the magic flowing through the air, the festive season is still quite a challenge for marketers and SMM specialists worldwide who need to come up with new ways of catching the users' attention.

To give them a hand, we put together this list of steps they must follow to create a successful Christmas marketing strategy, some useful stats for data lovers, and inspirational social media Christmas posts.

Plan Your Christmas Campaigns

  1. Five steps to create the perfect Christmas campaign this year
  1. How to write the best Christmas posts on social media
  1. Five of the best social media Christmas campaigns

1. Five steps to create the perfect Christmas campaign this year

  • Define your campaign objective and create a message

The first step every Christmas marketing campaign should start with is setting the objectives.

As a social media manager, start by asking yourself what your brand wants to achieve this Christmas season?

Don't forget that every goal should be SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

After answering this question, and you know what your business objectives are, you'll be able to define and create your marketing message.

Make sure you include clear calls to action, even if it's just a 'check out our store' button leading to your website or social media accounts.

  • Understand your audience and create a schedule

Before starting planning your Christmas campaign, you should analyze your target audience.

See what they like, what they don't like, and when they are active on social media.

If your audience is more willing to see videos instead of images, you should create more video posts for them.

To save time, you can always use an analytics tool like Socialinsider. You'll be able to see your post types ranked by engagement and by average engagement.

Analyze your audience with Socialinsider to better plan your Christmas campaigns.

With a social media analytics tool, you'll be able to see the geographical distribution of your followers, a piece of very useful information that will help you know when your posts should go live on social media.

  • Create a Christmas offer

Now that you know your objectives and your target audience, it's time to create a Christmas offer that will align with these two.

Here are some ideas that might help you. You can create:

  • Discount codes
  • Gift certificates
  • Product packages
  • Reward features for your clients
  • Loyalty bonuses for your first clients
  • Free shipping
  • Specialized packaging

πŸ“Œ Note! Analyzing the competition is always a good idea, so make sure you check what offers your competitors are delivering on their website.

  • Attract your audience with paid promotions

Christmas is that time of the year where you can make the most out of your paid promotions.

These will help you to attract more visitors to your desired landing pages.

Even if they don't make a purchase, they will be introduced to your products, services, and offers, which will benefit you in other ways. Not just Christmas, but paid promotions should never be missed while planning a seasonal campaign.

According to our latest ads study, the average ad spend on Facebook has increased by 7.16% compared to last year, while Instagram has had an even greater growth in ad spend, of 8.69%.

YoY ad spend for Facebook and Instagram

This only confirms us that brands have started to invest more into their social media ads. Read the full study to discover how to make the best of your ads strategy and adapt it to your Christmas campaigns!

  • Analyze and report the performance of your Christmas campaigns

Every marketer knows that analyzing the performance of your past campaigns is a crucial step to improving your next ones.

This might take time if you do it manually, but here's the good part - you can use Socialinsider and analyze the performance for any campaign you run on social media.

You should know that an innovative and well-executed marketing strategy can drive substantial revenues on investment or ROI.

❗️With Socialinsider's campaign feature, you can compare campaigns across multiple social media networks.

Using this feature, you can:

  • Tag and report your competitors' campaigns
  • Track your influencers' success
  • Get a more in-depth content analysis with posts tags

2. How to write the best Christmas posts on social media

  • Boost your Christmas content engagement by picking the right platform

Before crafting your Christmas posts, you must decide your content calendar: what type of content is most engaging and, most importantly, where to post.

According to our database, the most engaging social media platform for last year's Christmas campaigns was TikTok, with an average engagement rate of 5.493%, followed by LinkedIn (with a score of 1.399%), and YouTube (with a score of 1.147%).

Most engaging social media platform in terms of Christmas campaigns.

This is only fair since TikTok is the social media platform of the moment, being extremely popular among the younger generations. However, TikTok is a real challenge, even for the most creative marketers, and is not a platform for all brands.

Considering this, we should look at the other social media platforms as well when putting together a Christmas marketing strategy.

Surprisingly, as can be seen in the graphic from below, Instagram was the app with the highest posting last Christmas (712,875 posts), followed by Facebook (with 320,251 posts) and Twitter (with 103,586 posts).

how-much-did-platforms-post-during-last-Christmas

What does this data tell us? Creating a 360' marketing strategy is important for every brand.

Of course, just creating content just for the sake of it will be of no use for any brand. The key is to understand each platform's audiences, features, and potential and create specific content.

Use the info to make some last-minute tweaks to this year's Christmas campaigns. If you want to connect more to the youngsters, go on TikTok, but if you're going to reach more people, don't forget about social media giants Instagram and Facebook.

  • Use more albums on Facebook and more videos on Instagram for better engagement

As demonstrated earlier, the average engagement rate per post on Facebook for Christmas campaigns is 0.314%, while the average engagement rate per post on Instagram is 0.302%.

On Facebook, brands should post more albums for a higher engagement rate (0.487%), mainly because it's easier to delimit Christmas posts from regular posts.

Engagement-rate-per-post-on-Facebook-for-Christmas-campaigns.

The Christmas campaign is one of those marketing campaigns that rely heavily on the visual aspect. It's also one of the campaigns that last the longest (usually for the whole of December, and sometimes, even before that), so having a separate album with Christmas posts is only natural.

Images come in second place, with an average engagement rate of 0.388%, followed closely by videos with an average engagement rate of 0.366%.

As our latest Facebook video study has shown, Facebook's video usage is increasing, reaching a percentage of 15.5% in 2021, so including this type of content into your Christmas marketing strategy is a must this year.

On Instagram, which is the most visual platform, videos perform best, with an average engagement rate of 0.383%.

Engagement-rate-per-post-on-Instagram-for-Christmas-campaigns.

And since one of our past Instagram studies showed that carousels posts get more likes on Instagram, these come in second place, with an average engagement rate of 0.303%, followed closely by images, with an average engagement rate of 0.29%.

  • Write short captions in your Christmas posts for better engagement

Short is the magic word when writing a caption. Remember to keep it on point, no matter which platform you're using. The fewer words you use, the better.

But how short are we talking exactly? Remember that each platform has its own particularities, so let's see what the ideal caption length is for Facebook and Instagram.

On Facebook, the best practice is to post images with longer captions of 40-60 words for the highest engagement rate per post - 1.374%.

FB-engagement-rate-per-post-by-caption-length-for-Christmas-campaigns.

Because we've seen earlier that albums are the most engaging type of posts for Christmas campaigns, another great marketing tactic is to post albums with even longer captions of more than 60 words, to obtain an engagement rate per post of 0.836%.

On Instagram, videos perform best with short captions, of less than 20 words, with an engagement rate per post of 0.908%.

Instagram-engagement-rate-per-post-by-caption-length-for-Christmas-campaigns.

This is because, by its nature, video content provides users with a significant number of details that are processed in such a short time, giving the consumer the feeling of saving time and discovering something useful.

And because Instagram carousels are on the rise, another great strategy is to combine carousels with slightly longer captions, of 20-40 words for a better engagement (0.87%).

  • Sprinkle your Christmas posts with emojis

Short captions tend to be completed by adding emojis to your posts. Using over 20 emojis brings higher engagement, according to data.

So you'll think 20 emojis or more is excessive, but it's really the opposite. They are easy to spot and understand, and they're ultimately a fun way to add some color to your captions.

most-used-emojis-on-Facebook-for-Christmas-campaigns


Facebook and Instagram bring on the Christmas spirit and joy. Christmas emojis were the most used ones in last year's campaigns.

The most used emoji by brands on both platforms were the Christmas TreeπŸŽ„, followed by Santa Claus πŸŽ…, present 🎁, and sparkles ✨.

most-used-emojis-on-Instagram-for-Christmas-campaigns

3. Five of the best social media Christmas campaigns

It's not always easy to come up with new, fresh Christmas content ideas. The fear of using the same ideas repeatedly might slow down the process of creating your content calendar.

This is why we put together the ultimate pack of social media Christmas ideas for inspiration and reference.

  • Oreo

This year, Oreo started spreading the Christmas jolly a bit earlier. And Christmas lovers couldn't be happier.

Oreo is well known for its themed cookies and varied recipes, so they came up with a special edition for this year's Christmas campaign.

They released a limited edition with five "cool winter designs." The cookies come in festive packaging and have a red-colored creme but taste the same as the regular Oreo cookies.

Oreo's Christmas post on Instagram.

They also brought back their legendary OreoiD collection so that cookie enjoyers can customize their Oreos with all sorts of Christmas decorations.

Here's an example of Christmas post from Oreo's Instagram.

  • Costa Coffee

Costa has always had a great festive presence when it comes to Christmas marketing campaigns.

From launching Christmassy hot drinks in stores to their adorable Christmas cup characters, we are all waiting to see what other Christmas ideas this brand will bring to the table.

Last year, the brand released one of my favorite Christmas commercials. Their YouTube videos have a warm and magical feel to them, and they represent a classic in terms of successful Christmas marketing strategies.

  • McDonald's

McDonald's is one of those brands with an impeccable social media presence that consistently crafts its posts with care.

Last year for their Christmas campaign on Facebook, the brand started the festive month by posting an image with their famous soda dressed in a festive sweater.

McDonald-s-Christmas-post-on-Facebook

Right after Christmas, they made a very intimate post with a list of things to do during winter to keep yourself warm.

Here's an example of a Christmas post from McDonald's Facebook.

  • Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is, without a doubt, the top-of-mind brand when it comes to timeless Christmas marketing campaigns.

We've all grown together with Coca-Cola's Christmas commercials and fell in love with their main character: Santa Claus.

This year, the brand took this Christmas tradition even further and announced on their Twitter channel that they're going to hold a live streaming session with Santa itself!

Coca-Cola-Twitter-post-for-Christmas-campaign

The brand even has a separate Twitter account dedicated to this special character, called Coca-Cola Santa.

Coca-Cola-s-Twitter-Christmas-post

  • LEGO

Around 2017, Lego launched a touching Christmas campaign called #BuildtoGive, asking parents to build a Christmas ornament with their children and share it on social media with the hashtag.

LEGO would donate a set to a child in a hospital, homeless center, or children's home for every share.

Lego-s-Christmas-post-on-Instagram

This worldwide campaign has created a truly Christmas campaign fueled by the power of social media. More than 10,000 posts on Instagram feature the hashtag with Christmas ornaments. Β 

Another great Christmas marketing campaign launched by LEGO is called #LEGOBuildDay, which has become a tradition to many families, according to the customers' comments.

Final thoughts

Regardless of the industry you are in, there's always something special you can do on social media for your Christmas marketing campaign.

Remember, the idea of the perfect Christmas post is relative. But with the help of data, you might just craft the perfect post for your own audience!

Christmas social media campaigns require time and dedication, but a little help from specialized tools can work wonders for your brand's exposure.

This holiday season is about getting closer to loved ones, so it also means your brand should be closer to its followers, no matter the platform.

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Theodora Stanciu

Theodora Stanciu

Content Writer @Socialinsider

I am a curious sociologist with an analytical mind and a passion for everything social. I like mixing words with data and documenting social phenomena and human behaviors.

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