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Ho ho ho! Meeeerry Christmas! ‘Tis finally the season to flood social media with cringe-worthy corporate Christmas cards, done-to-death sales campaigns, and last but by no means least, scores of photos with employees swarming around eggnog and a pathetic Christmas tree.

This Christmas, I’m giving you the gift of inspiration so that you, in turn, can give your audience the gift of creativity and engagement. We’re looking at a random number of awesome Christmas campaigns on social media and what makes them tick. Onward, Blitzen!

Your Products + Christmas = ?

Instead of slapping a Santa hat onto your brand of cookies, adding a Merry Christmas caption and calling it a job well done, think about what mixing some Christmas into your product might result in. Is it a new flavour, is it new packaging, or can it become more?

Our packaging twinkles like holiday lights. Color your own #OreoColorfilled wrapper and gift it at #USonly

A post shared by OREO (@oreo) on

Christmas is about enjoying the little things and we’re all a little bit more open, a little bit more joyful and a little bit more playful around the holidays. Oreo took advantage of this and created a packaging you could colour, however you like. Through this very successful campaign, they managed to use digital to amplify their message, offer a personalised experience for their fans, and engage them offline through the final product.

Embrace the Digital Christmas

Christmas is one of the few holidays that reaches out of our homes, stores, through our streets, all forms our media and even our communication channels. So why not embrace it through and through?

Our new Christmas Snapchat filter is in store now! So make like a robin and fly on down today. #CostaChristmas #Snapchat #Costa

A post shared by costacoffee (@costacoffee) on

Custom Snapchat and Facebook filters are a really cool way to engage your audience with your products, contributing with key branded elements to help fans build stories that endorse your brand. They are particularly popular among Millennials and seem to be used more and more, so why not give them a go?

Build On Who You Are

There aren’t many brands out there who are as true to their identity as Desigual. From their designs, to their content, models, and campaigns, Desigual celebrates diversity and individuality every single time. So, it’s not surprising, they’d come up with a different way to gift, last Christmas.

Find another way to gift someone #GiftDifferent

A post shared by Desigual (@desigual) on

Using a company trait or a brand value, you could put together a corporate social responsibility initiative or just an awareness campaign that puts things like sharing, kindness, being open, honest, etc, in the context of Christmas. Now, this is stuff that most brands have in one form or another so you’re not really stretching the truth here.

Get Into The Holiday Spirit

Understanding that your audience is more likely to be interested in sharing, giving, and having a positive impact can give your Christmas campaigns direction.

Together with the @todayshow we are asking fans to share goodwill this holiday season and help us reach 1 million acts of kindness. Share your stories using #sharekindness

A post shared by LEGO (@lego) on

Like LEGO, you can fully embrace the holiday spirit, driving the creation of content you know your audience is already into producing, as well as consuming. Tell the story within the personality and identity of your brand and you’ve got a really nifty campaign in the making.

Keep it Simple & Honest

If all you have are Santa hats and pretty decorations then don’t oversell your assets. Instead, use the features within the social media channels where you’ve established a strong presence to tell simple stories of how you and your employees are celebrating Christmas; actually, celebrating Christmas, without any fluff or overly complicated captions.

Christmas EVE EVE! Our lobby is ready…. 🎄🎄🎄#regram @wonderful_u #thehoxton #hoxtonhotel #shoreditch #london #christmas #christmastree

A post shared by The Hoxton (@thehoxtonhotel) on

The more you simplify the story, however, the more you need to boost the quality of the assets you use. That means you can’t get away with blurry pictures or low lighting, something I wouldn’t advise you to try and get away with anyway. If all you do is use photos and some hashtags, then make them high-quality and eye-catching.

The Bottom Line

As soon as Christmas is in sight, brands jump at the chance to post cheery, inspirational posts that, unfortunately, don’t say much and often lead nowhere. Instead of being just another me too brand, this Christmas, try to get a bit more creative with your content. Replace those cringe-worthy group photos with content that represents your brand and engages both the people who work for you and those who work with you.

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