The holidays are fast approaching, so if you don't have your holiday social media campaign up-and-running, it's crunch time.

One of the best ways to make your holiday social media campaign is by getting inspiration from successful holiday social media campaigns from years past. 

So in this article, we'll show you our top 5 favorite holiday social media marketing campaigns from past holiday seasons. We'll discuss what these campaigns did right, and give you some top takeaways from each.

So without further ado: let's get started!

HotelTonight's 'Visit, Not Stay'

Using humor in your social media posts is great any time of year—and it works especially well during the holidays.

HotelTonight's 2016 'Visit, Not Stay' campaign encouraged holiday travelers to stay at one of their hotels when visiting family for the holidays.

It's not that they don't want you to see your family, but rather, they don't want you to spend too much time with them by staying at their house. Instead, HotelTonight's encouraging you to stay at one of their hotels.

The hotel booking company went all-out on humor for this campaign. It showcased the not-so-fun parts of going home for the holidays—like charades tournaments with your aunt—adds a bit of humor, and builds in a couple (subtle) sells for hotel rooms. 

What your brand can learn from 'Visit, Not Stay'

We recommend trying humor in your holidays social media campaign too. This gives your campaign a lighthearted feel, keeping up the holiday spirit.

Want to learn more about HotelTonight's campaign? Check out the full review we posted last week.

REI's #OptOutside

Believe it or not, there's a growing movement away from Black Friday and other huge shopping events.

Take REI for example: they close for Thanksgiving and Black Friday each year, and encourage their customers to spend the day outside with its #OptoOtside campaign.

What your brand can learn from #OptOutside

Consider doing the same with your brand.

Encourage your audience to spend the day reconnecting with family and friends during the holiday season.

Even though this takes the focus off your holiday sales, it will make your brand look favorable in the eyes of customers year-round.

UPS’s Your #WishesDelivered

UPS's #WishesDelivered campaign encourages its audience to give back this holiday season.

People are encouraged to use the campaign to share good deeds during the holiday season. UPS posts some of their own too, and makes awesome (and inspiring) promotional videos about them.

Even better? Every time someone uses the #WishesDelivered hashtag, UPS makes a $1 donation to one of three of its charity partners: The Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, or Toys for Tots.

What your brand can learn from #WishesDelivered

Do the same for your brand this holiday. Consider giving back when your audience uses your hashtag to share an inspiring story. This creates brand awareness and makes a real difference—it doesn't get much better than that.

Office Depot's 'Elf Yourself'

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Have your elf a merry little Christmas... festive wishes from the sales team here at Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre #ElfYourself #Christmas #seeyouin2019

A post shared by Carlo Zoccali (@carlozoccali) on

'Elf Yourself' is Office Depot's annual interactive holiday social media marketing campaign.

Upload photos of you and your friend's faces to the Elf Yourself website, and each face will be put in an elf. Then, the Office Depot website it will make a hilarious Christmas video for you. Then, you can share your elf creation to your social feeds.

Thousands of Elf Yourself videos are shared annually. This creates great brand awareness for Office Depot, getting their brand in front of new people.

What your brand can learn from 'Elf Yourself'

Consider making your own interactive holiday marketing campaign. Bonus points if you have the resources to give your audience a sharable deliverable like in Elf Yourself. This makes a memorable campaign that your audience will undoubtedly share with their followers.

Lush Cosmetics' #SwishUponAStar

Last year, cosmetics company Lush launched #swishuponastar.

This giveaway campaign offered up a trip to the Lush factory for two. Requirement for entry? Post an awesome piece of bath bomb art, tag Lush, and use the #swishuponastar hashtag. Then, the Lush team picked their favorite as winner. 

This created brand awareness for Lush, and was a creative way for Lush to give back to their audience during the holidays.

What your brand can learn from 'Swish Upon A Star'

eople love free stuff, so give back to your audience this holiday season and host a sweepstakes for your own audience.

But—like in 'Swish Upon A Star'—make your audience do something to enter. For example, you can have them retweet a post, use a hashtag, or tag your account for an a new post on your social network of choice.

This will spread the word about your company, and drive new leads and sales.

Keep these things in mind when hosting a sweepstakes this holiday season.

Bottom line

And there you have it: the best holiday social media campaigns of all time. Use these campaigns as inspiration when creating your 2018 holiday social media campaign. 

Now we want to hear from you. What's your favorite holiday social media campaign on this list? Did we make miss one that you love? Let us know in the comments.

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