You may feel like the upcoming holidays are far away and put off social media plans. But then, the holidays arrive, and you may feel rushed. No worries—these holiday social media planning tips can help you prepare right now.

Every year, marketers and brands alike face the impending excitement and chaos that is the holiday season. And it’s already upon us.

There’s a huge amount of pressure to connect with your audience via social media during the holidays when people are at their computers with their wallets already open and their credit card numbers half-memorized.

People are ready to spend because they’re looking for the perfect gifts for themselves and their families.

Now it’s up to you to make sure they notice your products and services. 

Table of Contents

  1. Social media strategic planning
  2. Social media ads
  3. Budget for surprises
  4. Sales and product teasers
  5. Genuine holiday content
  6. Inbox overload

There are a lot of marketing platforms that you’ll need to take into account including PPC campaigns and email marketing. So, keeping up with your organic social media marketing can be hard.

However, some of your holiday success hinges on social media because it’s the place people go to when they’re looking for awesome gift ideas. That’s why you have to prepare your social media for the holidays now.

Be sure to do the following tasks right away for holiday marketing prep on your social media accounts.

1. Do all your social media strategic planning now

Social media calendars and scheduling tools are essential for this time of year.

You’ve got more on your plate than usual, and it’s difficult to keep up with it all. When that happens, social media is one of the first things to go.

You can’t afford to let this happen.

Social media content calendar for the holidays

To fight back, create a fully-developed social media marketing calendar and plug posts into that calendar right away.

You want every single post to be scheduled to go live at peak posting times for optimal traction. (And you don’t want to have to manually do it yourself.)

Holiday marketing prep: Using Instagram stories

When creating your social calendar, be mindful of planning sales and promotions. Your campaigns will be strongest if you intentionally coordinate them well across multiple platforms. This includes featuring products on Stories and in-feed posts, and showcasing that social media content in different ways.

Wiggle room for the upcoming holidays

Want to leave room to adjust your social media strategy as the season goes on? That’s fine. But map out the big important posts you know you’ll want to go live, and add the others later.

how to prepare social media for holidays

You can add more generic holiday content in your queue under a “holiday” category and then place time slots when you’d like this content to go live. Doing so will keep your calendar full with less management on your part.

conquer social media inbox with agorapulse header image

2. Get your social media ads approved ahead of time

If you want to run social media ads to increase sales by both targeting cold traffic and running retargeting campaigns, one of the best social media planning moves you can make is to get your ad campaigns approved ahead of time.

Create your social media ads today and submit them for approval.

Social media strategic planning of ads

You can schedule the start and end dates for each ad campaign you create on most platforms, including:

Your campaigns won’t go live until the designated dates as long as you set them, so there’s no risk of accidentally launching early.

holiday marketing prep

The same isn’t true for waiting until the last minute.

Long ad approval times during the holidays

The marketplace is busy this time of year, and some platforms may take longer to approve your ads than normal.

You don’t want to risk losing even a few hours on a prime selling day (let alone an entire day or two) because your ads took too long to get approved.

And if your ads are rejected, now you have time to figure out why and get it right.

3. Budget for surprises (make room to spend more on social ads)

In addition to getting your ads approved ahead of time, you’ll also want to brace yourself for how much those ads will cost you.

Costs go up during the holidays

PPC costs typically go up this time of year because there is more competition.

More advertisers are coming to the marketplace, and even more are willing to bid higher to secure those valuable placements.

holiday marketing preparation social media

CPC costs will go up. Raise your bids as high as you’re willing to go (though never more than is profitable).

You can set a bid cap limit on Facebook and Instagram Ads to make sure that you never pay more than a set amount on each action.

4. Start teasing sales and new products early

Roll out your sales and announce them before they happen.

Get your audience excited about big events or promotions that you’ll have coming up. Showcase those stocking stuffer bundles. Flaunt that you’ll offer free shipping in December.

prepare social media for holidays

Customers now are doing more research than ever before, especially this time of year.

While some impulse shopping can and does happen, a lot of people go into holiday shopping with a game plan. If you share appealing offers upfront, you’ll be part of that game plan, too.

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5. Come up with genuine holiday social media content

This tip falls under the “have a calendar ready” section but I wanted to single it out here.

In addition to having all of your promotional content, it’s good to have a few genuine, authentic-feeling holiday messages.

Ask users what they’re doing for the holidays, or just thank them for their loyalty and wish them a safe and happy holiday with their family.

These messages can be humorous, sweet, or sentimental. Just remember to put the holiday season at the forefront of the message. Don’t make it overtly about sales.

holiday marketing prep

These posts can yield engagement, which is a plus, but most importantly they can go a long way in improving how people see your brand and their relationship with it.

6. Prepare yourself for a flooded inbox

You can’t do much for this one except know that it’s going to happen.

Clear out your inbox ahead of time and commit to having someone ready to tackle the in-flux of incoming messages that typically happen this time of year.

People are going to be messaging you asking about shipping dates, order status, product information. You’ll get requests about changing shipping speeds or locations after the order has been processed.

If you’re able to stay agile in your inbox, you can increase sales and create more positive experiences for new and returning customers alike.

Make sure that you’re making great use of Agorapulse’s Inbox Assistant features.

inbox assistant

Set up automated rules to filter out the most important requests and address them quickly.

You can also create saved replies for users asking the same generic information (like shipping dates). Assign different messages to team members if needed, and make sure that no message gets ignored.

holiday social media planning

Wrap up your holiday social media planning far ahead of the holiday season!

Let’s get ready!

Holiday marketing prep needs to be a priority before you’re stuck in the middle of the holiday season with no posts, no campaigns planned, and ads that aren’t getting approved.

Take a few hours today and go through all of the steps above to make sure that you’re ready for the holiday season because it’s here.

Having a cohesive plan in place and content ready to be published will allow you to focus on everything else that falls on your plate this time of year.

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Get started on saving time and energy on your own social media management! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts.

Holiday Social Media Planning Checklist: What to Do Right Now