18 Dec Seasonal Social Media Triumphs and Failures
Advertising or just posting on company social media channels can get a little tricky around the holiday season. You want to share warm greetings and wish everyone a happy holiday, but social media audiences are diverse. We took a look at some of the best, and worst, examples of campaigns from major brands to see what works, and what doesn’t around the holiday season.
Keep it light
You typically can’t go wrong with the standard Happy Holidays. No matter who you are talking to, or what holiday they celebrate, this encompasses everyone without exclusion. But to take this one step further, a good way to wish happy celebrations is with a little humor. When done well, this is a widely successful way to spread a little cheer, and give your audience a break from the holiday madness with a laugh. One recent example came from KFC. Known for their humor and style across channels and communication styles, they found a way to insert themselves into holiday traditions in a surprising and effective way. Meet the KFC fried chicken firelog.
I’ll give you a minute to fully enjoy every minute of this wacky Christmas gift. The idea is hilarious, it feels very cheery, and the content on the page is hard to compete with.
“How can I make this fire a hundred bajillion times better?”
“May result in a craving for fried chicken. We know the fire log smells great, but please do not attempt to eat it.”
I mean…that’s pretty darn good. KFC artfully blends holiday with humor for an unforgettable campaign perfect for the holidays.
Steer Clear of Controversy, When Possible
Poor Starbucks just can’t seem to catch a break around the holidays. The highly anticipated cup design each year means the internet keeps all eyes on the coming of the cup and people have plenty to say. Let me just sidebar here and note how insane it seems to me that people get wound up over a cup. But this just goes to show again how much brand power and brand loyalty Starbucks has with its fan base. For years 2015 through 2018, Starbucks just couldn’t seem to design anything that didn’t offend someone. This is not to say the cups are offensive to anyone. They aren’t. But both sides of the argument have a lot to say about the color, images, and perceived meaning behind the cups.
Let’s take another moment and just remember. We’re talking about cups here.
Anyway, from those dastardly red cups to a mosaic of unity, Starbucks continued to feel the wrath of the internet until this year, 2018, when they ditched the solid colors and images and went straight up wrapping paper style. Thankfully for Starbucks, little was said about the cups, outside of the Iconic office noting that the styles aren’t the most imaginative things we’ve ever seen. But the internet sat quietly and everyone could go back to enjoying the magic inside of said divisive Starbucks cups.
Moving away from drinks and chicken, let’s talk about something that doesn’t happen on social media but everyone loves to talk about on social media. Store hours. So as a brand, what do you do – extend hours? Close early? Business as usual? This isn’t typically something smaller companies have to worry about, but what we should all worry about it is how we respond to people when asked questions or when concerns are raised online. What shouldn’t you do? Write a tweet like this one.
Yikes. At least try to write in complete sentences. Okay, so this tweet is bad. But Twitter is like a deep ocean of poorly written tweets that wash away almost as quickly as published. That might be true if this were the end of the problem. They used the same tweet, THIS tweet, over and over again in response to commenters. Okay, so mass produced tweet. We get it, they have a lot of ground to cover. This still isn’t the worst of it. Kmart, owned at the time by parent company Sears, sent many of these messages to people with Sears in the copy instead of Kmart. Whoops. Not only confusing but pretty embarrassing for both brands and their social teams. Needless to say, not the sharpest way to make an impression with your audience.
So as the holidays approach and you want to make sure your audience knows you wish them well, keep these examples in mind and be sure to navigate carefully, respond appropriately, and know your brand, your audience, and what you want to communicate. If you need some pointers or help with your social media message and strategy, we’re more than happy to help you navigate online!