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Marketing Trends for Boosting Holiday Social Media in 2020

By Reading Time: 7 minutes

Depending on the timeline you prefer, the world’s been using social media for about two decades. It’s a tricky game to play—the good is great and the bad is awful—, but one that ecommerce entrepreneurs have to keep playing.

While 2020 has been quite an unusual year, Black Friday Cyber Monday is expected to be the main sales event of the year as well, with a particular focus on online shopping. And retailers have already started hinting that they will enter the Black Friday mode even earlier this year, to lengthen the shopping season.

The preparation should be a marathon, not a sprint, so you can never start too early. Keep reading to find out about the top three trends of 2020 to follow for holiday marketing success. Once you’re done, get started with your holiday social media strategy.

Heads up—I’m skipping over most social media industry stats and percentages. Let’s agree that we both know social media is (a) still growing and (b) still a major influence on retail sales and beyond.

1. On-brand social media stories

Social media stories—snippets of the day recorded by an individual or a company—have become a marketing staple. The videos or images posted on stories are visible to the public for up to 24 hours before disappearing into thin air. 

Stories work because they create a direct line of communication with followers. They’re the new shop window—you get to see the product as well as the person behind the counter. It’s more natural than seeing only polished marketing materials, and you get to see a more human side of the business.  

According to Instagram, over 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories every day—users can’t get enough of that behind-the-scenes feel. You can also crosspost to Facebook, but take into account that not all features from your Instagram story will carry over.

Pick a platform and a message

Once you’ve decided which platform works best for your audience (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube), get creative. Find a visual look that complements your brand identity—with so many filters, tagging options, gifs, emojis, and music to play around with, you’re bound to make something your audience is going to enjoy.

Below are a few ideas on how you can use stories for holiday social media:

  • Go live and share a teaser for an upcoming product
  • Remind your followers about deals, steals, and order deadlines
  • Create a poll to get feedback and crowdsource ideas
  • Share behind-the-scenes of your store—how you’re updating it or what a new product brainstorming process is like
  • Give a tour of your workstation, whether it’s your dining room table or a local coffee shop
  • Collaborate with an influencer or a partner—put together a story takeover, co-host a giveaway, etc.
  • Spread holiday cheer and show people how you’re preparing for the festivities
festive Printful Instagram story

Most stories look impromptu, but in reality they’re often anything but—they’re carefully constructed and curated. So use social media stories as an opportunity to live out a little directorial fantasy.

We know Instagram for its Stories, but the platform offers a lot more than that. If you want to go more in-depth on how Instagram can grow your brand, we’ve got a couple of useful resources for you:

2. A defined video content strategy

Video killed the radio star, and it’s nowhere near finished with its spree. 

The web is more visual than ever, and it’s unlikely we’ll be going back to purely text-based promo anytime soon, we’re way too hooked on the amazing videos being put out.

Decide on your message

The golden rule for any marketing campaign is, don’t hard sell. Your audience knows you’re after sales, and they’re not going to buy from you just for the hell of it (unless it’s an impulse buy). Give them something in exchange for their time and money. In the content world, it’s either entertainment or education.

Here’s Asos’ take on entertaining video marketing. This highly shareable video of theirs was a nod to the much-loved cards scene from the movie “Love Actually”:


Aside from picking the message type, you’ll also need to decide on a specific goal of your holiday video marketing campaign:

  • Gaining extra exposure (e.g. sharing holiday spirit through creative brand storytelling)
  • Increasing sales (e.g. showcasing new products or items that would make great gifts)

No matter what you do, focus on content that shows your brand personality and helps nurture relationships with your customers. The holiday season is the best time to let your guard down a little (figuratively speaking) and be more personal with your audience.

Read also: Social Media Best Practices For Ecommerce Store Owners During and After Covid-19

Choose a video editing tool

Creating video content used to be an incredibly pricey endeavor, reserved only for those who had the necessary equipment, knew how to edit footage, or could afford to outsource all of that. Thanks to modern technologies and market demand, plenty of video tools have cropped up to make the lives of marketers and small business owners easier.

Remember, your video doesn’t have to be complicated to be a hit! Keep it simple and sweet. These are the tools you can start with:

  • Lumen5—takes a blog post you’ve already written and turns it into video material.
  • Placeit (affiliate link, read more here)—this platform has a ton of photo and video mockups that let you place your own designs on the t-shirts.
  • Magistoshoot small video clips on your phone, then add captions, elements, backgrounds, and music.

Think mobile-first

People are going to watch most of your videos on smartphones—devices held vertically. If you come across a horizontally filmed video on your social media while on the go, how likely is it that you’re going to turn your phone to get the full viewing experience?

Compared to horizontally filmed videos, vertical video content takes up a proportionately larger amount of the screen (and looks nicer). So bye-bye 16:9, and hello 9:16—the vertical format is slowly becoming the new default for creating and watching videos for social media.

If you haven’t experimented with switching up the orientation for your holiday social media videos, now’s a good time to try it out.

Read also: How to Make Your Business Mobile-Friendly in 2020

Subtitle your videos

A lot of us are on our phones while in line at the grocery store, in a doctor’s waiting room, or on our morning commute. These are all situations you might not want to turn the sound on, and who has time for headphones?

Don’t let your hard work go to waste—subtitle your social media videos.

Here are some free tools you can use to create video subs:

Need extra help with your videos? Get in touch with the talented videographers of Printful’s Video Production Services team—they’ve got the industry know-how to make your brand shine.

3. Personalized advertising

The battle to win customers’ attention has never been as competitive as it is today. If you’re not personalizing your advertising efforts, chances are you’re losing customers to competitors who have it sorted out.

Let’s look into a few personalized advertising methods.

Use social media retargeting

Retargeting is a form of targeted online advertising that allows brands to present personalized offers to visitors based on their on-site behavior. It can help build brand awareness, acquire new customers, or even steal the attention of your competitors’ customers.

Let’s say a customer viewed a few items on your website and left without taking an action. Using retargeting ads, you can showcase the same products on social media feeds. Even better, give them a special discount to encourage immediate conversion.

When it comes to retargeting ads, be flexible and patient. Just because a visitor hasn’t clicked on your ad yet doesn’t mean that they’re not going to. If your ads aren’t converting, change up your copy, design, CTA, or display frequency of the ad, and try testing different variations.

Read also: How to Convert Visitors Into Customers With Retargeting Ads

Cross-sell or upsell your existing customers

You probably have products on your store that go well together—make these product pairings a part of your store experience. For example, if someone has purchased a pair of yoga leggings, let them know they can get a matching sports bra and a sporty fanny pack to complete the look!

And if it’s been quite a while since your customer purchased, say, a t-shirt, reach out to them with an offer to get a new one. Or even better, if it’s getting colder in their neck of the woods, promote a hoodie or hat with a complementing design.

Boost sales with geo-targeting

Most social media platforms let you segment your audience by geographical location. This is a great opportunity to make your messages more relevant, depending on where your followers are. Here are just a few ways you can make the most of this targeting option and add new dates to your marketing calendar:

  • Thanksgiving campaigns for Canadians. Target customers located in Canada with personalized ads and Thanksgiving offers. Thanksgiving in Canada falls on Monday, October 12 this year. Why not send them a shout-out, thanking them for their business? Or perhaps a Canada-only discount or deal?
  • Chinese New Year. More than 20% of the entire population celebrate  Chinese New Year (falls on February 12 in 2021), explaining why more and more brands choose to mark it on their holiday marketing calendars. Athletic apparel retailer Lululemon followed suite and launched a Chinese New Year-inspired collection in February 2018.
  • Southern Hemisphere vs. Northern Hemisphere. When thinking of holiday ecommerce sales, northerners tend to think about beanies, sweaters, and scarves. However, those on the Southern side of the Earth are actually gearing up for their summertime. Try targeting a warm-weather deal to customers in Australia and New Zealand, for example. Or even better, match summer essentials with upcoming holidays. That’s what Startup Vitamins did by creating an “ugly Christmas t-shirt” line:

For more inspiration on how to celebrate your customers during the holidays and all year round, download our 2020 holiday calendar for ecommerce! You don’t have to create an entire product collection to celebrate each occasion, but putting together a marketing campaign for a select few will pay off.

Tell a story your customers want to hear

Whatever you decide to do for your holiday marketing campaigns, keep your customers in mind. As long as you think as they do, are on the platforms they use, and produce content they want to engage with, you’re going to do great!

Excited to try out some ideas for your social media channels? Well, then we’ve got a treat for you—we put together a set of free visuals you can use for your holiday social media. Use them as they are, or make a personal touch by editing. Have fun!

This article was originally published in September 2017; it has since been updated.


  1. Cathy Cawood

    You might not be aware, but Windows Movie Maker is…
    NOT free
    Not affiliated with Microsoft in any way
    NOT at all the same as the movie making software once included in Windows

    I discovered this after wasting a great deal of my time, and I’m still annoyed about it.

    The software strongly resembles the old free Windows Movie Maker in look and use as well as name, but it is owned by some other organization.
    ” Note: We are not affiliated with Microsoft. The windows movie maker software is also available on Microsoft official site.”

    You can download the software for free, but if you want to use it (like upload your videos to You Tube or somewhere) you have to register the software. Full price is $39.95, but it is reduced to $29.95.

    If you want to make videos for any commercial purpose it’s too bad because they don’t seem to have a business version, but…
    (From the T.O.S. – #2. Use of Materials
    “You may download, store, display on your computer, view, listen to, play and print Materials that publishes or broadcasts on the Site or makes available for download through the Site subject to the following conditions:
    The Materials may be used solely for your personal, informational, internal, noncommercial purposes.”

  2. Dell printer support

    The process is very easy but the changing is taken on a daily basis,, so you can improve the marketing term and the social media game is having the part in the video marketing field which is very much mortar.

  3. Inner B.

    I’ve been trying to boost sales with FB ads but with no luck. I might with video ads to see the results. So far, Instagram is my good to go. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Robiul Islam

      may be you won’t have the right algorithm of facebook boosting algorithm. That is the best reason to be get traffic & sells. Use best algorithm or can get a support from us.

  4. Rich Briggs

    I am going to reflect my age here, but I am often left with a lot of whys with regards to marketing and social media. There was a time when you opened a brick and mortar store, maybe bought some advertising and/or word of mouth, opened your doors and began selling. Today, you have so many, and maybe too many, social media outlets and it seems you spend more time marketing than you do creating, which entirely defeats the purpose. I am by no means a marketer. I am a creator. So how does one, like me, solve that problem, or get around it? Thank you.

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey, Rich, thanks for sharing this with us! I can easily understand how scary or even frustrating this can feel. There are two main roads that you could take—challenge yourself, try to learn this, and experiment as you go, or work together with someone who’s not a creator, but enjoys marketing. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but you have to understand what works better for you. 🙂

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