How Hubspot’s Social Team Prepares for the Holiday Season [+Tips You Can Leverage]

The holiday shopping season seems to start earlier each year, with some brands rolling out festive promotions as soon as Halloween ends. This means that having a solid social media marketing strategy for the holidays is more critical than ever, as consumers turn to social platforms for gift ideas, deals, and shopping inspiration.

To help you sleigh your holiday social media marketing in 2024, we‘ve rounded up the top trends to watch and tips to implement. Leverage these insights to create thumb-stopping content, boost engagement, and turn followers into customers during this crucial sales period.

9 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch For the 2024 Holiday Season

1. Short-form video will dominate the social media landscape.

If TikTok and Instagram Reels haven‘t already made it clear, short-form video is the format of choice for social media users. This will hold especially true during the busy holiday season when consumers are looking for quick and entertaining gift ideas or shopping hacks.

Focus on creating vertical video content under 30 seconds that provides value and hooks viewers quickly. Incorporate trending audio clips, hashtags, and filters to boost discoverability. Don‘t be afraid to jump on viral video challenges or memes and put your brand‘s unique spin on them.

2. Social commerce and in-app shopping will be bigger than ever.

Social media platforms have been steadily blurring the lines between content and commerce. Shoppable posts and livestream shopping events will likely play an even larger role this holiday season as consumers seek convenience.

Tag your products in your organic social content wherever possible and make it seamless for users to go from discovery to purchase without leaving the app. Consider partnering with influencers for livestreams that showcase your products and offer exclusive discounts.

3. Consumers will expect to see inclusive marketing.

The holidays mean different things to different people. Some celebrate Christmas, while others honor Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other traditions. Inclusive marketing that recognizes this diversity will be well received.

Avoid using language or imagery that assumes everyone celebrates a particular holiday. Aim to showcase how your brand can help people connect with loved ones and share joy, regardless of which holidays they observe. Remember that representation matters, both in your visuals and the influencers you partner with.

4. Brand authenticity and transparency will be valued.

After the societal shifts of recent years, consumers are craving authenticity more than ever. They want to support brands that have a clear mission and purpose. Holiday marketing that comes across as gimmicky or inauthentic will fall flat.

Instead of just pushing products, focus on the "why" behind your brand. What drives you beyond making sales? How are you supporting causes that matter to your customers? Pulling back the curtain on your process or highlighting your company values can help you form deeper connections.

5. Social media customer service will be a must-have.

For many consumers, social media is now the first place they turn when they have a question or issue with a purchase. This will be amplified during the stressful holiday season. Offering exceptional social media customer service will be a huge differentiator.

Have dedicated social media managers ready to quickly answer questions and resolve problems. Use social listening to proactively address concerns before they escalate. Consider implementing chatbots or automated FAQs in DMs to provide instant answers to common questions.

6. Influencer partnerships will have a huge impact.

When it comes to holiday gift ideas and recommendations, many consumers trust influencers just as much as (if not more than) brands. Carefully selected influencer partnerships will be key for extending your reach and winning credibility.

Rather than just one-off sponsored posts, aim to create long-term relationships with influencers who really align with your brand. Focus on micro and nano influencers with highly engaged audiences in your niche. An authentic endorsement or gift guide inclusion from a trusted influencer can go a long way.

7. Augmented reality will enhance the social shopping experience.

With more consumers than ever shopping online and on mobile, augmented reality (AR) features that help people virtually "try before they buy" will have heightened appeal. We‘ll see more brands using branded AR filters and lenses this holiday season.

On Instagram and Snapchat, consider creating a gift guide that users can tap through and shop directly within Stories. Partner with an AR developer to create branded filters that let users see how products look on them or in their space before buying.

8. Social audio could play a supporting role.

While the hype around Clubhouse has certainly died down, social audio still has potential this holiday season on other platforms. Twitter Spaces and LinkedIn‘s new audio events could be valuable for hosting real-time Q&As or and gift recommendation discussions.

Test out hosting a social audio session to share last-minute gift ideas or highlight philanthropic initiatives your brand supports. The intimate, conversational nature of social audio can foster community and help your brand stand out from the visual content clutter.

9. Values-based marketing will resonate with conscious consumers.

The events of the past few years have made consumers more conscious of environmental and social issues than ever. Many want to support brands that give back or make a positive impact. Cause-based marketing that showcases your brand values will strike a chord.

Highlight if your products are ethically made, support small businesses, or are eco-friendly. Share how a portion of holiday sales will be donated to relevant nonprofits. Partner with influencers and organizations that are known for their charitable giving or advocacy.

Tips to Prepare Your Social Media Presence for Holiday 2024

Now that you know the trends to incorporate, here are some actionable tips for getting your social profiles ready for the holiday rush:

  1. Start planning early. Map out your content calendar months in advance, planning for key dates and shopping events. Leave room for flexibility, but having a solid framework will help you stay focused.

  2. Make your content as shoppable as possible. Tag products in feed posts and Stories. Set up Instagram Shopping if you haven‘t already. Regularly test that links and tags are working properly.

  3. Partner with relevant influencers early on. Reach out to potential influencer partners months ahead of the busy season to gauge their interest and availability. Focus on building genuine relationships vs. one-off transactions.

  4. Prioritize community management. Have a social customer care plan in place. Look for opportunities to surprise and delight followers with personal responses. Regularly monitor mentions and hashtags.

  5. Focus creative on thumb-stopping and on-brand visuals. Invest in high-quality product photos and videos. Incorporate motion, color, and an engaging hook to capture attention in busy social feeds.

  6. Have a paid strategy to amplify top content. Remember, organic reach declines during peak advertising periods. Set aside a budget to boost your best posts and ensure they get in front of your target audience.

  7. Think beyond the feed. Experiment with new formats like Reels and Stories or new features like Pinterest‘s AR Try On. Go live to demo products and answer questions. Stay on top of emerging opportunities.

  8. Regularly test and optimize. Social media rewards recency, so check your analytics daily. Retire underperforming content and double down on posts that are driving strong engagement and conversions.

With proper planning and a strategic approach, your brand can achieve social media success during the 2024 holiday shopping season. Focus on creating authentic, entertaining, and shoppable content that cuts through the clutter and provides real value for your customers.