It’s December, which means that brands are snowed under – metaphorically and possibly literally – trying to keep up with the Holiday rush. But publically you need to present an image of festive cheer – and you need to be there to help your customers who have presents to buy, family to accommodate, meals to plan, and not enough time to do it all! According to Mashable, 65% of shoppers turn to social media to find the perfect gift, so be there to welcome them with a glass of eggnog and a plate of Pinterest-inspired reindeer cookies.

If you haven’t yet turned your attention to your Holiday social media plan, here are 5 tips to help you wrap it up just right!

1. Decorate your social media channels

Nothing puts people in the Holiday mood more than the right decorations. All the stores have decked their halls, trimmed their trees and hung their mistletoe, so make sure you do the same! Change your cover photo to something that reflects the season: you can go all-out or simply give your logo a festive twist, like this one from REI’s Facebook page:

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2. Create a Holiday Pinterest board

At the Home Depot, they understand that women (and men!) everywhere need inspiration for what to buy the men in their lives. So they’ve put together a ‘Christmas Gifts for Him’ board and moved it to the top of their profile to help out. The board has an incredible 37,000 followers, so it’s clearly just what shoppers want to see, and the pins link right back to the Home Depot’s site. What could be easier?

3. Think visual

If you have seasonal products, make sure you share them on your social media sites – and add a call to action. Posts that pick up on current sentiment are hugely engaging, and a call to action will bring your brand to the forefront of customers’ minds during this high-spend time. On luxury chocolatier Hotel Chocolat’s Facebook page, there are plenty of photos of delicious-looking festive treats. This chocolate Santa doesn’t just get people in the Holiday mood, he also helps to engage customers by asking them to comment with which chocolate goodies they would like to find under their tree this year.

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4. Holiday competitions

At this time of year people like brands who give back. Holiday competitions are a great way to get your brand noticed amongst all the Holiday ads and high-spend marketing, and show your customers you understand the spirit of giving!

Whole Foods are giving away $250 gift cards to help towards your Holiday party by asking fans to pin their Glitter and Gravy image (below) to a Pinterest board and then fill that board with their favorite party recipes and pictures – with a helpful nudge towards their own images, of course! Not only do fans get to have fun putting their own party board together, but Whole Foods get to have images of their party food shared across Pinterest and their brand takes center stage in people’s minds when they are thinking about where to go to buy their party food.

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5. Check out what’s trending

This is a high-stakes time of year, and if you want to share your holiday promotions and engage customers it’s worth checking out what’s trending right now so you can tailor your message accordingly. Don’t just jump on any trend going. Your message should be relevant and fit with the discussion organically. But browse the popular hashtags to see if there is a fit for you to be useful to your current and potential customers.

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The Holiday season is a busy time for marketers and social media managers, so make sure that you not only have a strong strategy for reaching customers at this all-important time, but that you have enough support behind the scenes to run your marketing smoothly. Increasingly, customers are turning to social media to ask questions and report problems, so make sure you have enough trained staff to deal with the increased volume of customer queries – making customers happy at this time of year is a top festive priority.

Originally published in RingCentral blog