It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year! With Halloween around the corner and Thanksgiving a little more than a month away, the holiday season is creeping up on us and will be here sooner than you think. While it’s almost time to start planning gifts and get togethers, it’s also important to start planning your holiday social media campaign.  tips

Increase your social media engagement while getting your prospects in the holiday spirit with these 10 social media marketing tips and ideas:

1) Strategize early — Like I had mentioned earlier, the holidays will be here before you know it. Plan out your holiday marketing efforts now, because you know how easy it is to get wrapped up while closing out the year! Don’t let these opportunities pass you by amidst the chaos.

2) Brand your social media pages appropriately — Your home doesn’t have to be the only thing that’s decorated during the holidays! Keep your brand current by adding some cheer to your social media graphics, such as your Facebook and Twitter cover photos and icons.

3) Hold a contest or giveaway — Because who doesn’t like to win cash or prizes? It depends on your industry, but this is when your prospects are even more active on social media platforms. You have an increased chance of better follower visibility and engagement during this time.

4) Support a charitable cause — The holidays are a time for giving. Hold a campaign that supports your favorite organization. In addition, encourage your followers to volunteer or donate those in need during the holiday season!

5) Run a paid ad campaign – If you haven’t yet jumped into using social media ads, now is a good time. Increase visibility for your holiday campaign by sponsoring an update targeted to your desired audience or boost up page “likes” for an increased following in 2015.

6) Be on the lookout for trending holiday hashtags — Keep an eye out for popular holiday conversations going on in the social world and “hashtag hijack” when you contribute relevant content to the chatter. This will help get your social content in front of more prospects.

7) Encourage your followers to share their stories — Social media is meant to be social. Encourage your followers to participate in the conversation by asking about their favorite holiday traditions. For example: people love “this vs. that” questions, which make it easy and exciting to participate in a conversation.

(By the way… what do you prefer around the holidays? Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Comment with your argument!)

8) Share holiday tips and tricks — Throw some creative articles into your social marketing mix that will get your followers excited for the holidays. Share winter recipes for baking desserts or information about DIY home decorating projects. They’ll be more likely to share your content if it’s helpful and relevant.

9) Give your followers a behind the scenes look — Give your followers a look into your company behind the scenes by posting exclusive photos of your holiday decorations, parties, events, etc.  Don’t forget about Instagram and Vine videos, too! Show off your company culture and put a face to your organization.

10) Measure your success — Don’t forget to track your efforts to gauge the success and ROI of your campaign! Track your social campaign’s impact on your website traffic, volume of leads, number of followers and amount of engagement so that you can see what worked, what didn’t and improve your strategy for next time.

Planning a robust holiday social media campaign will help you close out a successful fourth quarter.