Posting Content Over Christmas Vacation?



Some content marketers see the last two weeks of the year as down time. Do you?

You may believe that consumers will be spending time with their families, engaged in conversation, and too busy traveling to see your brand’s content.

This may have been true in 1989. But now at family gatherings, even Grandma is checking her phone. Families will be showing each other things they like online, the kids will be on Snapchat, Mom will be sharing images of her festive food and holiday loot with absent friends and family on Instagram, and Dad will read some blogs while checking email (and playing Clash of Clans).


More Travel = More Time on Social

Traveling once meant brands could not reach consumers while they’re away from their favorite media for a week. But now every extra minute delayed at an airport or sitting in the back of the Family Truckster means more opportunity for content to be seen. And let’s face it, after days together with family, most of us need to escape into our devices. 

If the Griswold’s Christmas was happening now instead of 1989, they would all have their faces buried in their iPads and iPhones.


New Devices = More Time on Social

And speaking of devices, people are getting new gadgets! Lots of people will be spending quality time spent with their new iPhone 6S or new iPad Pro. Give them something new and interesting to read! And if they didn’t get the gifts they wanted, they’ll be diving into Amazon to buy something else.

cousin eddie2
Even Cousin Eddie will be on Facebook throughout his extended visit.


Tips to Win The Season

Your competitors and many brand marketers are not paying attention and may have left an opening for consumers to see more of your stuff.  In the fight for attention, there may be a great opportunity with more consumers on social and fewer brands on social! Some suggestions:

1. Schedule posts ahead of time. I’m not suggesting that you work 24/7 over the holidays. Schedule two weeks worth of posts now for all of your brand’s pages. If you need some help on this check out Manalto.

2. Double down on Facebook. Play the odds with the platform with the biggest audience. The extra online activity outline above includes a stop at Facebook. Your focus here should be sharing videos, native Facebook videos, not links to YouTube. Bonus – Here are 10 new tips from a Facebook Product Manager on publishing videos:

3. Holiday Reruns! If you don’t have time to create 2 weeks worth of content in the next couple of days, look back over the past few months and reuse some of your favorites.


Curated Content Is Like a Holiday Rerun


Just a few months ago, I was much more of an advocate for aggregating and curating content on social media channels. I saw the need for sharing content created by others as an important part of your digital marketing strategy.

However, it now may be time for many brands to tell their story more, and share others’ stories less.

Curated content is a rerun

When I speak with marketers about social channels and how content works with audiences, I frequently draw comparisons and analogies to television programming. Curated content is a rerun. As the holidays approach, TV networks will start relying more on reruns. What are they saying? That they’ve given up on having much of an audience at this time.

By running too much non-original content on your social channels, you’re saying the same thing.

Reruns aren’t all bad

Look at the huge ratings for constant reruns of The Big Bang Theory on TBS, and Seinfeld running in syndication for nearly 20 years. And every year networks trot out Rudolph, Frosty, Heat Miser, and the rest of the 40-year-old animated shows.

But it’s a rerun. It’s not original. When you share a lot of aggregated stories, your audience has probably seen it or something similar already. Worst of all, you may get a bit of credit for sharing the nugget, but your brand is not the star. You’re telling someone else’s story.

As mentioned earlier, I used to be much more of a proponent of posting content created by others, especially popular content. My aim was to promote the idea of just getting something on those empty pages – and with any luck, something popular. But now no one is paying attention to your Facebook page anyway; they’re focused on their Facebook feed. And hopefully you get a little portion of that feed where you’ll have the opportunity to get their attention.

Be the TV Programmer

So think of your page as your own TV network, and use curated content only to fill those holes when you don’t have a new blog post or original video or podcast to share. And when you do share others’ stuff, it may make sense to get share the work of business partners, channel partners, friends in the industry, and other marketers you know. Perhaps they will reciprocate on days when their programming is running dry too!


Christmas Is Not Too Commercial


Heat Miser
Mr Green Christmas, aka Heat Miser

It’s the first week of October and I’m writing a Christmas blog post. Too early? Maybe. But I want to draw out an over-used complaint that
Christmas comes too early and is too commercial.

At the same time, I admit to doing a bit of sensational headline-writing to emphasize a point about the need for Christmas to come sooner. Yep! I wanted to use Christmas to draw in some more clicks to this blog. I can’t blame traditional media outlets, TV commercials, and retailers for doing the same thing. This year more than ever, they need a little early holiday spirit from consumers to attract some attention and drive traffic early and often.
On a WGN radio call-in show last week, I heard callers complaining that Christmas shopping season is already creeping into their daily lives and how horrible it is to see Christmas items on store shelves already. One woman complained about seeing Christmas items in a retail hobby and craft chain so early. Hmmm…I think the Christmas Sweater-making crowd needs to get rolling on making their projects soon. So if you don’t want to see holiday goods yet, avoid craft stores.
Maybe that’s the solution for you if you regularly argue that “Christmas is too commercial”: avoid all commercial outlets. This includes all television, radio, movies, movie trailers, retail stores, restaurants, Facebook, Twitter, all other social media networks, and in fact, the internet altogether. Stay home, stay offline, and read a book set in the summertime, and you won’t have to worry about seeing or hearing about the holidays yet. 
But do yourself a favor and accept that Christmas is coming. Fire up some Bing Crosby, get some shopping done early, support your local merchants, and help get this economy rolling. Merry Christmas!

Bing Crosby David Bowie
Too early for Bing and Bowie? Nah!

Media Trends: Animated Christmas Specials

The animated holiday specials of the 60s and 70s had death, terrifying situations, and narration by actors so old no kid had ever heard of them.

In Christmas cartoons created in the past few years, you will not find any of the above tragedy and anxiety-inducing melodrama. For the past few weeks, I have been studying the Christmas specials of three popular current kids’ series (and by studying, I mean a constant viewing every evening with my daughter):

• Nick’s Diego Saves Christmas

• PBS’s Super Why and ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

• Disney’s Little Einsteins and The Christmas Wish

In these recent shows, I found no character’s mother dying, Misfit Toys, evil Burgermeisters, scary wizards, or killer magicians. All you find in the above three is positive messages, interactivity, learning, and good animation (well, not so much in Diego).


Now let’s talk about the best Christmas Cartoons of the pre-PC media era, filled with oddities and freaks:

#7 Frosty The Snowman

Nothing merrier than a cartoon where our star snowman melts into a pool of water and dies.  Merry Christmas, kids! Spoiler: He comes back to life in the end. 

#6 Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

I’m only including my wife’s all-time fave to keep peace at home this holiday season. It does have some catchy tunes by country-folkie Roger Miller and, yep, Momma donkey dies. Nice.


#5 A Charlie Brown Christmas

“Isn’t there anyone…who can tell me…what Christmas is all about?”

This poor bald kid had the first documented case of childhood holiday depression. Relax, Chuck. It’s all about a dog saving your crummy tree, Linus’ sermon which I always tuned out, and Dolly Madison commercials.

#4 How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Stop with the Jim Carey remake already and watch the original with narration by Boris Karloff.  Yeah not too freakin’ scary.

#3 Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Best line by Keenan Wynn as the deadly Winter Warlock: “Hey, maybe I’m not such a loser after all!”



#2 Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Cool: Island of Misfit Toys (yeah!) which is so weird yet cool that Verizon effectively uses it to slam AT&T 40 years later.

Not cool: Rudolph’s voice is the most grating sound of the holidays


#1 Year Without A Santa Claus

Five words: They. Call. Me. Heat. Miser.






****Honorable mention (not fully animated): ***
The Star Wars Holiday Special which included Wookies celebrating … something. But it did feature the whole Star Wars cast along with special guests Harvey Korman, Bea Arthur, and Jefferson Starship. I can’t make this stuff up! Hey, if you were a kid in 1978, this is why TV was invented. It was the closest thing to seeing Star Wars again in the pre-home video age.