It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As we begin to look back at 2012 at what worked, what didn’t and what will be the big trends of 2013; we can’t deny that social media was one to watch in 2012 and is sure to be an on-going trend for 2013. In this festive period, I thought I’d share a tip or two on social media I’ve learnt from Santa himself.

Ho Ho Ho!

Probably the most recognizable words in the world. Santa’s tagline has become an integral part of his personality along with his red and white suit and his beard. Globally recognized and with a reputation wider than his sleigh, Santa has created a brand many can only dream about. But how has he done it? Santa has created a number of key messages (think mince pies and reindeer) and personally projected these around the world. You only have to look at his Twitter and Facebook pages to learn about his likes and current projects. Creating a brand personality is fundamental to a successful social media campaign, and more importantly sticking to it. No one would see Santa the same if he changed the colour of his suit. Your brand must resonate with your audience and have aligned content and messaging.

He’s making a list and checking it twice

Imagine if Santa gave Barbie to a child asking for Batman. Well, making lists to prepare your campaign is just as critical a task. As journalists and consumers look to social media more and more for up-to-the-minute information it’s important that you have the right followers and are on the right ‘following’ lists, that those most important to your campaign see what you have to say. Checking out Santa’s Twitter he’s got all his top people in his list – Mrs Claus of course, closely followed by his head elf. Sending key media your client’s social media handles so that they can add you to their list accomplishes a number of important things – they can check your status updates or tweets for short comment or analysis and keeps your brand front of mind. Just one thing to remember – you don’t want to share details of dormant accounts as then you’ll be on the naughty list!

Santa’s little helpers

Santa starts preparing his Christmas Eve journey months in advance, and has his route clearly planned (http://www.noradsanta.org/en/). In today’s crowded social media space your campaign has to stand out, and you’re going to have to work a little harder than Santa to get attention. The glowing Christmas tree in any campaign is having great content presented in an interesting and engaging way. However, it’s important to remember that not all campaigns can be the same. You need to plan, plan, plan – are your spokespeople trained to communicate on social media? Will you use social media to simply post information or will you engage in active communications? And most importantly, you have to deliver on time. Santa wouldn’t have the reputation he does if he delivered a few presents late and social media is the same. Deliver your message too late and you’ve missed the boat (or should I say sleigh!).

It’s all about the presents

As we all know, giving is what Santa does best. He gives the world the presents they want. This is the main principle behind every social media campaign. We must give the audience not only what they want but what they need. By providing content that is useful, unique and informative it will ensure they keep coming back for more.

We wish you a very #merrychristmas!

Sophie Ryan