The holidays are upon us, and that means social media campaigns and promotions are in full swing from the big brands. From just the basics, to truly keen thinking, to massive blow-out campaigns, the big guys are covering the gamut. I’ve compiled a few of my favorites below to demonstrate key ways to get the most out of the holiday season on social.

The “Hashtag Hijacker”

Pro tip: Don’t make up your own hashtag… then you’re responsible for creating all of the buzz around it. Hijack a hashtag that already has some buzz and build your campaign around it (shout out to @Anastasia_NYC for that one). Best Buy has taken over Twitter with #WinTheHolidays, which was a fairly well-used hashtag around the holidays in the past.  By creating a campaign around #WinTheHolidays, Best Buy is positioning itself as the one-stop shop for gifting needs. It’s not groundbreaking, but man does it get the job done #respect.

Why it works:

  • Consistent messaging – The company is including #WinTheHolidays on the majority of their product-related posts. As Twitter users respond to the posts, the #WinTheHolidays hashtag is receiving even more Best Buy play.
  • Landing page – A simple landing page utilizes a card design to help you find gifts for family and friends. You can sort by price, interest, age, etc. It even will tell you what to buy for your pets. Treat Cam, anyone?

  • Content – A nice array of custom content showcases some of their top holiday gift ideas, like this one:

Best Buy

The “Smooth PR Move”

There is always that one social campaign with a PR twist that makes you chuckle. This year, it was Reese’s with their response to accusations that this year’s Reese’s trees lack their signature tree shape… they simply look like blobs. Now, I am a big fan of seasonal Reese’s candy, because true chocoholics will tell you, it tastes fresher. That said, I did not notice the shape of said trees. BUT, many, many other people on the interwebs did. And, as they often do, they made a lot of noise about it. Even ABC Action News in Tampa covered it…

So, what did Reese’s do? They turned it right around with one hashtag, and started a whole campaign about it – #AllTreesAreBeautiful.

img class=”size-medium wp-image-22375 alignright” src=”×300.jpg” alt=”Reeses” /> Why it works:

  • Smart and clever – Nope, “smart and clever” is not something you can bank on. Sometimes it backfires, and badly, because others find it neither smart nor clever). It’s a risk, but Reese’s took it and wowed just about everyone, from Seventeen to AdWeek.
  • Opportunistic – They acted fast. Anyone who works with large corporations knows how hard it can be to turn on a dime. You have to be nimble and ready in social media, and this was a textbook example of why that’s important. I see many, many industry awards in their future.
  • Custom content – Their Twitter page is now flooded with fun ways to use Reese’s to make a variety of trees in different shapes and sizes. They honestly may have already had this content ready to go for the holidays… but add in the hashtag, and suddenly it’s another vehicle for their viral campaign.


The “Mover and Shaker”

Who is pushing the boundaries of social media this holiday season? Bet you’d never guess it’s a B2B giant… GE. The behemoth actually is a regular on that front – releasing a series of Snapchat filter ads at the end of November. But, that’s not why we’re here. This holiday season, GE is hosting a scavenger hunt on Instagram, linking all of its accounts in a #DigitalSnowGlobe. The fun starts when you access their main Instagram page @generalelectric. After watching a short video, you’re encouraged to visit each of the company’s Instagram accounts and find the hidden snow globe in their grid of pictures. Then, you comment on each image for a chance to win.
GE Digital Snow Globe

Why it Works:

  • Brand Messaging – Even if you try to bust through the promotion as fast as you can (like I did, admittedly), you still leave having a better sense of what GE does. From wind turbines to medical devices, GE touches us every day.
  • Strong Holiday Connection – Snow globes make you feel warm and fuzzy. It’s great to see GE embrace the holidays in a non-denominational way that still makes you happy for the season.
  • Leverage existing followers – The promotion starts on GE main Instagram account, @generalelectric, which has 205K followers and takes you through to nine other of the company’s accounts. Their goal is to boost followers on their other accounts, and this is a good way to do it.

But… as often happens with campaigns that try to break the mold, there are a few hiccups in GE’s campaign. While the round robin concept that takes you to each of their accounts is solid, the execution needs a bit more thought. Rather than tagging multiple accounts in each snow globe photo, the company should have tagged just one (a different one in each photo, which you would click to go from account to account until you end up back where you started). This would create a clearer path from account to account. I tried to enter, but I honestly don’t know if I made it to all nine accounts successfully.

And… there is no call-to-action to follow the GE accounts. While tracking new followers on all accounts, and cross checking them against those who entered would be tedious (unless you have a secret I don’t have, which, if you do, please share in the comments), so maybe just encourage them to follow the flagship account at least?

Overall, I’m still really impressed with the artistry and beauty of this campaign. That’s what Instagram is all about in my book.

Phew – long post. Would love to hear your thoughts below. Any other social campaigns you’ve enjoyed seeing this holiday season?