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Social Native

3 Brands that Used UGC to Get The Holidays Right

October 18, 2018

Jackie Giordano

It’s not even Halloween yet, but ‘tis the season to lock down your holiday marketing strategies.

Social platforms have emerged as consumers’ go-to channels to research purchase decisions, talk about their shopping experiences, and interact with brands. This is especially true during the busy holiday shopping time. Case in point, according to Twitter, there were more than 80 million tweets about holidays from July 2016 to January 2017. What’s more, holiday campaigns on the platform generate $6.67 per $1 spent by advertisers.

So, whether you’re looking to engage shoppers in real-time, promote a big sale, or exceed end-of-year quotas, social media needs to be at the heart of your holiday marketing strategy. Below are some examples of how brands have used user-generated content (UGC) to fuel effective holiday marketing campaigns on social media.

Coca-Cola: Holiday Traditions

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Through a strong purpose and a focused strategy, Coca-Cola has managed to establish a long-standing connection between its brand and the festive season. After all, what would the holidays be without sweet smells of cinnamon, twinkling lights, and, of course, the iconic Coca-Cola polar bears? However, the brand needed a solution to complement their traditional TV and print ads with high-volumes of authentic, relevant, personalized social content. 

Coca-Cola leveraged their customers’ excitement and used it to drive organic buzz and increase engagement. The brand encouraged consumers to post photos showcasing how Coca-Cola brings added cheer to their favorite holiday traditions. In this way, Coca-Cola harnessed the power of real-life fans to scale the creation of diverse, emotive, quality social content.

For brands looking to follow in Coca-Cola’s footsteps, allowing great content to come from the customers themselves, rather than from your brand, is key to delivering truly native digital experiences that resonate with your target audiences.

KitKat: Holiday Recipes & Crafts

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The holidays are touted as the most wonderful time of the year, but they can also be stressful, especially for brands looking to stand out against the competition. Nothing about social media is passive, and users always have the option to keep scrolling. That said, in order for content to benefit your brand, it must provide value for your consumers.

One way to transcend typical sales-driven holiday campaigns is by inspiring your consumers to take action. For instance, as part of their 2017 holiday efforts, Kit Kat asked their customers to share how they incorporate the candy into simple holiday recipes and/or crafts. By taking a customer-centric approach to this campaign, Kit Kat was able to create clever, shareable branded content that was both informative and relevant to its target audience.

Looking ahead, brands can maximize the results of this year’s holiday campaigns by finding ways to creatively showcase their products. This is an excellent way to capture consumers’ attention and, ultimately, turn holiday cheer into sales.

Jet Puffed & Swiss Miss: Holiday Beverage Fun

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In the spirit of coming together, the holidays are also a perfect way to promote new and ongoing partnerships.

Just look at ConAgra's Swiss Miss Cocoa and Kraft's Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits. Over the holiday season, the two brands took advantage of the excitement to join forces, rolling out a dedicated, co-branded social campaign. The brands turned to their consumers as a source of creativity and content.

The brands prompted consumers to use their imagination for how to make the perfect cup of hot cocoa. By empowering consumers to generate content, ConAgra and Kraft created a win-win solution: enabling both brands to add dimension to their outreach efforts by engaging new, relevant audiences with social posts that speak directly to them.

While navigating social media may seem daunting, these platforms open the door to a new world of creative possibilities for marketers. Use the above examples to help your brand better connect with consumers through fresh, immersive social media campaigns this holiday season.