Social Media

Is Your Social Media Content Inspiring Holiday Shoppers?

Get ready: the holiday shopping season in 2023 is gonna be one for the record books. The NRF predicts spending to jump by 3 to 4% from 2022, with total holiday shopping spend clocking in over $950 billion in November and December.

Why? There’s no doubt inflation is a factor, as is a slow but steady post-COVID upward bounce, but the real mastermind behind increased holiday shopping is social media.

Sales coming directly from social media platforms were over $990 billion in 2022, with current predictions claiming social commerce will hit $2.9 trillion by 2026. According to a recent survey, nearly half of Gen Z plan to use social media to directly do their holiday shopping. 

And last but certainly not least, 86% of Gen Z’ers polled said social media content has a direct effect on their purchasing decisions. 

The next obvious question, of course, is why? And, for savvy marketers, how?

Holiday Shoppers Are Begging for Recommendations

Women looking at her phone and a credit card, gifts stacked nearby

Social media platforms have become hubs of creativity and inspiration, and at no time is it more obvious than during the holiday season. Users flock to platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok to seek out unique and thoughtful gift ideas, to take advantage of curated holiday shopping inspiration to tackle their shopping list.

Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest tend to be most popular because of their robust in-platform shopping features, tools for create shopping gift guides, and the ability to link right to products.

The Questions You Need to Ask Your Marketing Team

Users and brands on Instagram are embracing curated gift guides, providing users with shoppable posts with recommended shopping lists for everyone on the list. 

Are we making shoppable posts? Nordstrom’s shoppable Black Friday post is a great example of how this kind of content works, and you can see pretty clearly why users find it useful. It’s simple, it’s visually appealing, and you can either save the post or shop right away. 

What’s our influencer strategy during the holidays? The significance of influencers continues to grow, with Instagram and TikTok serving as key platforms for influencer-led gift discovery. Brands strategically collaborate with influencers to showcase products, share reviews, and offer exclusive promo codes, amplifying their impact on consumer choices during the holiday season.

From gift guides and DIY holiday decor tutorials to festive fashion inspo and holiday recipes, influencers can incorporate brand products in a variety of content. This is a prime channel for creating a holiday atmosphere and driving sales.

Does our brand foster user-generated content? User-generated content (UGC) remains a powerful trend across platforms. Users love to share their holiday gift discoveries through photos, reviews, and personal stories. 

Community engagement, discussions, and Q&A sessions on platforms like Instagram and Facebook build a sense of community, and are a huge factor in influencing shopping decisions.

(Author’s note: Even if the focus isn’t on your brand, UGC is one of the best ways to increase awareness!)

The Content Benchmark report highlights that 26% of consumers prefer engaging with user-generated content (UGC) in their social feeds. This audience doesn’t just scroll past; they actively stop and engage because UGC resonates with them on a personal level, making it relatable and credible.

Tips for Brands Sprucing up their Social Media this Holiday Season

Spruce and holly sprig on presents

Here are a few recommendations for businesses to boost their social media impact during the holiday season:

Strategically collaborate with influencers who resonate with your brand, leveraging their authentic content and audience. Think gift recommendations, unique perspectives, and entertaining, shareable holiday content to broaden your brand’s reach during the holidays.

Optimize social media for direct sales through shoppable posts. Implement limited-time offers to create a sense of urgency, driving timely purchases and boosting sales during the holiday season.When deciding on the best social media platform for shoppable posts, it’s crucial to consider factors like user-friendliness and optimization. 

Instagram is often praised for its seamless shopping features, making it a no-brainer choice. However, Pinterest can be an excellent choice for visually-driven products. Platforms like Facebook and TikTok also offer shoppable options worth exploring. 

TikTok is the newest platform with the feature, so it’s not as widely used as the others…yet.  


Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Marketing (Part 1)


Keep your target audience top of mind. If your audience is mainly Gen Z, who practically live on TikTok, it makes sense to focus your shoppable content there. If you find your audience spends more time and engages more heavily on Instagram or Facebook (Millennials, in other words), that’s where your content should live this holiday season. 

What kind of content does your audience prefer? Images, videos, text? Short content, long content? Funny content, educational content? Knowing your audience top to bottom is key.

The Future of Social Media and Holiday Shopping 

Huge row of Christmas presents

But where are brands, users, and social media going to be not only in 2023, but in 2024 and years beyond? We’ve got a few predictions for future trends in social media’s influence on holiday shopping, mostly because, well, it’s fun.

Our predictions:

  1. AR filters and overlays will play a significant role in enhancing the immersive shopping experience during future holiday seasons.
  2. We’re going to see a continued evolution of live shopping events, with platforms integrating more interactive features. Think live Q&A sessions and limited-time promotions to take advantage of FOMO. 
  3. Brands will explore strategic partnerships and collaborations to expand their reach during the holiday season in new and interesting ways.

Will our predictions be right or wrong? We’ll just have to check back next year. But one tool for better holiday shopping numbers has never changed: strong partnerships with innovative marketers. If you’re looking to expand your social media marketing efforts to get more presents under the tree this year, reach out to Inspira Marketing today. 

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Written By: Alexa Sorensen, Client Engagement Executive

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