Running a social media campaign during festive seasons can go a long way to increase and strengthen engagement with your existing audience, attract new followers and help you get ahead of your competitors. The soon to be here Chinese New Year’s (CNY) is a big holiday season for marketers to take advantage of. Today, Chinese New Year’s is celebrated not only in Asia but all over the world over. So social media campaigns that tap into this holiday spirit stand to achieve tremendous marketing gains. For a long time, international brands have been ignoring this holiday. Now it is time for brands to begin seizing this great opportunity to join in conversations and grow their online reach.
Brands have to run a holiday social media strategy differently from the way they run their everyday campaigns. Whether you are an international brand or a Chinese one, here are a few things that you can include in your CNY social media campaign that will increase your chance of success.
Before you plan a campaign, understand what the CNY holiday is all about. This is important because Chinese culture is different from other cultures, and it would be detrimental to include some culturally unacceptableaspects in your campaign. Ensure that you understand the history and the cultural practices of the Chinese New Year season, then structure your campaign accordingly. This way, you will be able to attract a more targeted audience.
Before you begin your campaign, do research to find out where CNY conversations take place online. You will realise that not all platforms are good for such celebrations. This kind of research will help you determine which platform to use. Also considering this is a Chinese celebration, should you be targeting the Chinese market remember that mainstream platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the likes are not available in China due to the censorship law. It would therefore be more relevant to use Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo, WeChat, RenRen, QQ, Youku, Qzone and Tudou among many others.
As you conduct your research, also find out the current trending topics regarding Chinese New Year, and let them guide on the kind of content to share. Sharing the right content helps you to be part of the CNY conversations which will increase your brand reputation and sales. The right kind of content will also invite more participation because audiences will find it relevant and helpful and thus will want to be part of your conversations.
When creating your campaign, have a single theme that you will centre your campaign around. Ask yourself, “What message do I want to pass across as we celebrate CNY?” You could for instance focus on ‘spreading happiness’, ‘a year of success’, and so on. Once you have a theme, ensure that your messages and marketing materials reflect the theme. A theme is important because it makes your followers feel like they are part of something unique.
The best way to expose and spread your brand widely online is to use relevant influencers who are within the reach of your target audience. Influencers are like endorsers or the equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing. Once an influencer endorses your brand, their followers will consequently consider your brand just because the influencer has faith in your brand. Also, influencers are a great source of new followers and are also a great way of establishing trust within your target audience. The best influencers are celebrities. If you can find a celebrity who will endorse your product or service, the better for your brand. Just ensure that the celebrity is not controversial.
During CNY, there will be many people using specific keywords to look for products or services related to the holiday. SEO helps in ensuring that your name comes up top of the search results when people search terms online. How good your SEO is will determine how good your reach will be during the CNY season. Conduct a keyword search prior to the start of your campaign to find out which keywords your potential consumers use during this season, and ensure that you include them in all your online marketing material. Besides, make sure that your chosen keywords are unique and less competitive for them to be efficient in creating a wide reach by putting you at the top of the search rankings.
Encourage audience engagement by running topical competitions on various platforms. You can run one competition across all platforms, or you can have different competitions on different platforms. No matter which approach you choose, ensure that your competition(s) are relevant to CNY celebrations, and they are something that your followers will want to participate in. Also make sure that you offer gifts or prizes that will encourage participation.
Now that you understand why it is important to integrate Chinese New Year’s into your yearly marketing campaigns and how to leverage such holidays, you should be able to run a successful campaign once the CNY season begins. Remember to start planning early to make the best out of this season.