Capturing the holiday magic on social media: authentic or cringeworthy?

What would the holidays be without brands capitalizing on/exploiting seasonal cheer? I don’t remember a world without red and green Hershey’s Kisses wrappers or a December commercial without faint sleigh bells in the distance. Honestly, for some people, over-the-top holiday spirit is half the fun – I mean, how else do you explain that inflatable Santa in your neighbor’s yard? However, as merry as your intentions, how do you draw the line between authentic and cringeworthy when it comes to your holiday content? 

  1. On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…NOTHING – stop it with The 12 Days of Christmas posts! As much fun as it is to count an absurd number of birds, no one wants to hear it as a part of your holiday promotional campaign. Plus, don’t we all stop after five golden rings anyway?
  2. The season of giving doesn’t mean it’s the only time you give. Giving campaigns are abundant this time of year, and the disingenuous ones are easier to spot than you might think. Organizations pledging donations to a worthy cause is sometimes nothing more than a way to get customers to purchase a new product. And believe me, your 25-cents-per-gingerbread man promotion isn’t fooling anyone, and it certainly isn’t making a dent in the red Salvation Army bucket. (Also, giving only because everyone else is giving is just as noticeable as the other 11 months when you’re not.)
  3. “Give the gift of…” ceasing to use this and many other cliche holiday phrases. I’m serious, no more “‘tis the season of deals,” “give the gift of [insert product name]” or “‘twas the night before savings.” Additionally, tread carefully with your overzealous ho ho ho’s and fa la la la’s. Overuse of words like these make your holiday posts seem forced and more like a radio station playing Christmas music in November rather than a brand trying to enjoy the spirit of the season. We all have access to a calendar; you don’t have to point out what month it is in each post.
  4. STOP DISTRIBUTION! Seriously, just because you scheduled your social media post to go out on Black Friday doesn’t mean the new algorithms will know not to show it the Monday afterwards. Nope, your audience could be seeing Cyber Monday deals well into the first week of December – and nothing diminishes that holly jolly feeling like having to pay full price for something. 

A few parting words of wisdom: Presenting anything as a stocking stuffer makes it look lackluster.he gift emoji is overdone. And putting a beat behind jingle bells is cringe-y and 15 years too late. So, may your days be merry and bright…and may all…your…social posts…geeeeet liiiiiiife.