The run-up to Christmas sees a huge volume of content shared across social media, meaning it can be tricky to make sure your brand is heard. Strategic planning is vital to ensure you use social media effectively to support key selling periods.

This year we worked with longstanding clients Dickinson & Morris to craft a bespoke Christmas campaign designed to encourage both online and instore buying. Here, we share some of the industry insights which helped form our campaign strategy.

Using social media to support your key selling period

Don’t share content for content’s sake

Due to the distribution of Dickinson & Morris’ social media audience, we chose to host the campaign on Facebook. Changes to the Facebook algorithm have meant that branded content is deprioritised, so strategic spend is required to guarantee exposure to target audience.

As such, spending time crafting a sporadic and high-quality content series, and publishing with targeted spend behind each post, is more worthwhile than planning a content calendar full of posts with little or no spend.

For Dickinson & Morris, our content formed the basis of a set of targeted adverts, capitalising on Facebook’s sophisticated advertising capabilities which allow you to pinpoint users with a certain income, specific interests, or a named job title. We used a mixture of criteria to appeal to new audiences aligned with the Dickinson & Morris buyer, teamed with boosted timeline posts to cater for loyalists.

We supported the paid-for activity with minimal non-promoted posts linking to a website blog, to cater for the additional visitors to the page and create further opportunities to sell.

Using social media to support your key selling period

Outline your messaging

As Dickinson & Morris produce is simply the best, we ensured that the campaign content and delivery encapsulated the premium messaging behind the brand. We sought to position its team as experts, using Facebook as a platform for sharing expertise and tips for the perfect foodie Christmas. The quality of the produce was echoed throughout the content and messaging employed.

An additional strand to our messaging was sharing – our efforts were designed to align a Dickinson & Morris Christmas with a shared Christmas. We painted a picture of an indulgent, generous Christmas using plentiful buffet spreads, packs of handcrafted Mince Pies, and the hint of seasonal excess which so well epitomises the festive season.

Using social media to support your key selling period

Beware vanity metrics

While social noise, conversation and sentiment are valuable to a brand, what really matters during key selling periods is opportunity to sell. As such, website click-through was the central metric for the campaign, and all of our content worked hard to drive users to the website up until the last orders date.

We also targeted those who shop at external retailers of Dickinson & Morris products, to simultaneously encourage supermarket buying.

Using social media to support your key selling period

Theme your content

Themed content is both a time-saver in terms of photography/creation and a way to give your brand’s social feeds a distinct aesthetic. We planned a series of five images and one video featuring Dickinson & Morris’ hero products for the season. Our planned visuals had a distinct look and feel and and as such we completed our festive product photography in a time-efficient session.

So far our campaign has generated over 430 click-throughs to the website, both from existing loyalists and new users. Visit its website here if you’re in need of a delicious addition to your festive table!

Sasha Parkes - Senior Digital Executive at Wild West Comms

Words: Sasha Parkes

Senior Digital Exec at Wild West Comms