First used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries, the advent calendar is now sleighing it in the modern digital world. With seemingly unlimited ways to get creative with this 24-day format, you’re likely to come across a range of fun advent calendar campaigns on social media this December.
From promoting products, boosting sales, and increasing audience engagement, to simply brightening up your social feeds around Christmas, there are many good reasons to get on board with the idea.
We’ve provided some social media advent calendar examples below, followed by step-by-step instructions for planning, creating, and sharing your very own. Ready to go and create your best ever Christmas social media campaign? Let’s make it rein. 🦌🛷🎅
Guide to using an advent calendar on social media
- Advent calendar examples
- Step 1: Define your objectives
- Step 2: Choose your channels and format
- Step 3: Plan your content
- Step 4: Promote your advent calendar
Examples of advent calendars on social media
Before going through the steps to create your own, let’s show you what we mean when talking about advent calendars on social media:
(Sources: @ireneforteskincare / @oak_bookshop)
As you can see, these accounts have posted each day throughout the month of December with creative, Christmas-themed visuals. Whether it’s to promote a product or drum up attention about a prize giveaway, it’s certainly an eye-catching way to get eyes on your content.
Step 1: Define your objectives
As is the case with all marketing campaigns, it makes sense to start by clearly defining what it is you’d like to achieve and what action you want your target audience to take.
Is your advent calendar just for a bit of festive fun? Are you looking for more engagement online? Perhaps you want to drive traffic to your website or promote a product or service?
Whatever it is, make sure that your objectives are always in the back of your mind when making decisions and planning your campaign. And while an advent calendar offers up a nice opportunity to share 24 separate messages, it’s usually best to keep things coherent and consistent to ultimately hit those defined objectives.
Just look at what Opus Energy did with their digital advent calendar. Their objective was to replace their physical Christmas mailers with an engaging online experience, so they used a branded game and online advent calendar to give away daily prizes to their audience!
Step 2: Choose your channels and format
In other words, where are you going to share your advent calendar? You may want to focus on one or two social media channels that already work well for you, or run the full gamut of popular platforms to support a larger campaign:
Some of these are better suited to simple images and captions, whereas the video-based platforms might be better if you’re running a video campaign. The platform and format will largely depend on the all-important objectives you’ve set out in step 1.
Now let’s take a look at a few ideas for social media advent calendar formats.
Daily image posts
Here you can use social media posts to reveal a new ‘door’ of your calendar. If you wanted to get creative and boost content on Instagram, for example, their profile grid format gives you the option to try out a pattern effect by separating your advent calendar posts with other images.
Daily video posts
We know that video content resonates with audiences online, so if your objective is to raise brand awareness and promote the fun culture of your business, creating video content can be the perfect way to showcase your brand personality. This could be a simple GIF, animation, or video of someone talking to the camera.
External interactive content
In this scenario, you’re linking from your social media accounts to an external location – ideal if your objective is to drive traffic to your website or an external contest or competition.
A great example of this would be a digital advent calendar, where you could use a branded online game to run a Christmas competition with daily prizes. This allows you to promote the competition on social media by announcing prize winners and encouraging your audience to take part and engage with your brand every day.
Step 3: Plan your content
If you’re keeping it simple with daily ‘advent calendar’ posts and no prize giveaways, all you need to do is plan your social media content so that your posts are good to go. If you have specific branding and messaging, be sure to weave this into the image designs to deliver on your original marketing objectives.
If you’re running a competition or using external interactive content (e.g. an online branded game), you might want to announce a competition winner each day. In this case, you could prepare a simple image post congratulating them by name and then link back to the game or competition to remind the rest of your audience that they too could win a prize.
It’s likely that you already use social media a fair bit, meaning you’ll probably have other Christmas marketing ideas and things you want to post about during the month of December. This will help to break up your feed and offer your audience a variety of content in amongst the advent calendar posts, and in fact some people are very intentional about how they do this. Instagram ‘checkerboard’ effect, anyone?
(Sources: @cerebralmist / @alice_e_stephenson)
Step 4: Promote your advent calendar (not just on social media)
Once you’ve got your plan in place, you’re good to go! Whatever the format of your social media advent calendar, the most important thing to remember is to actually get those posts out on a daily basis and drive home the messaging defined in the planning stage.
If you work as part of a team with several people covering social media duties, be sure to communicate and make sure someone is responsible for posting each day. If running a competition and announcing daily prize winners, remember to draw the prizes and create the supporting visuals for each daily post.
If you’re a pen-and-paper kind of planner, you can print out our free editorial marketing calendar to help you with scheduling from September to December 2021. ✍️
Aside from sharing your advent calendar on social media, you can also promote it in your email newsletters, link to it in your email signatures, and highlight it on your website. The more promotions the merrier!
Looking for more Christmas ideas?
If you’re in the market for more festive campaign ideas, check out some of our related Christmas content:
If you do decide to run a Christmas branded game campaign, it’s definitely worth taking a look at our free playbook: Game Time! Your Guide to Christmas Game Success. This covers everything you’ll need to know to deliver a successful campaign on a budget.
And that’s a wrap from us – we wish you every success on social media this Christmas!