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How Big Brands Are Using Twitter for Holiday Marketing

marketing-on-twitterBy Autumn Rivers – Contributing Writer, The Marketing Scope.

The holidays are here! And while you’ve been busy shopping online, wearing ugly sweaters, and overindulging on eggnog, your favorite brands have been busy on Twitter. More specifically, they’ve been following through on their carefully planned holiday marketing tactics, which mostly consist of hashtags, contests, and requests for user-generated content. Not sure exactly what this type of holiday marketing looks like? Here are a few examples of what some of the biggest brands are doing.

Office Depot/OfficeMax

Whether you go to the Office Depot or OfficeMax Twitter page (you know, because they have the same owners now, in case you forgot), you’ll be greeted by everything from gifting tips to contests and questions meant to engage readers. For example, when you see #GearUpforGifting, you can expect links to the company’s website so you can check out blogs and videos with tips on holiday gifting. The #GearUpforGreat hashtag leads readers to deals on products and hints on improving the workday. And then there’s #ElfYourself, which seems to be the most popular hashtag, probably because you can use Elf Yourself to make videos of yourself and coworkers, friends, or family members as dancing elves. So this brand has the classic mix of helpful content and…elf videos.


Starbucks might have caused a stir for neglecting to make this year’s holiday cups “Christmas-y enough,” but the brand is making up for that on its Twitter page. When you head to the Starbucks Coffee page, you’ll quickly see a variety of hashtags, each representing a different holiday-themed contest, drink idea, or suggestion for gifts and stocking stuffers. Examples of the hashtags used by Starbucks this year include #ChristmasBlend, #HolidaySpiceFlatWhite, and #StockingStuffers. But the most used hashtag is #RedCupArt, referring to the contest in which you can decorate your red holiday Starbucks cup and then tag it on Twitter or Instagram if you want a chance of it being displayed on the Red Cup Collection site.


Cat lovers – and their kitties – can rejoice this Christmas because even Friskies got in on the holiday social marketing fun. When you go to the Friskies Twitter page, you’ll be greeted by a host of cute pictures of cats enjoying the holidays by wearing a Santa hat, sitting under a Christmas tree, or sitting in Santa’s lap, as cats often do. Sure, most of the hashtags that are used are pretty simple and self-explanatory – like #Friskies and #cats. But the main one is #GiveFriskies, and for every person who uses that tag, Friskies donates two meals to shelter cats. So if you’re feeling some goodwill toward cats this year, feel free to get into the holiday spirit by tweeting a cute cat picture with the #GiveFriskies hashtag.

Southwest Airlines

Like some of the other popular brands with great holiday marketing on Twitter, Southwest Airlines has a few hashtags and contests just for this time of year. For example, at the beginning of December, the airline started the #12DaysofLUV contest, which encouraged fans to share pictures based on a different theme every day. So depending on the day, readers were asked to share photos of festive furry friends, holiday sweeties, holiday sweater selfies, Santa lookalikes, etc. This hashtag was followed up by #SouthwestHeart, which – as you might guess – is a pretty charitable tag, since it encourages readers to donate their Rapid Rewards points. The #WrapOff contest is another unique way this brand engages followers on Twitter. And check out the Tale of Bea Humbug for an interesting take on a classic story.

Which brand has really impressed you with its holiday marketing on Twitter this year?

By Autumn Rivers – Contributing Writer, The Marketing Scope
Email:, Twitter: @AutumnEditing