Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tweet

November 21, 2012 2:44 pm

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tweet

Social media twitter flying birdTwitter is a highly accessible way to appeal to a wide audience of readers. Nearly 500 million tweets are posted every day, so brands need an edge in order to stand out and win attention from readers. This is particularly crucial in the build-up to the Christmas season, with consumer spending high, and competition huge.

To look at the ways in which readers interact and view twitter feeds, we investigated using advanced eye tracking technology to determine where readers looked and to gain insight about how users interact with a Twitter feed. From these findings, we were able to uncover some tips on how to stand out with Christmas tweets.

To read this article in a pdf session you can go here Twitter festive branding

In summary:

  • Using festive keywords and hashtags catches readers’ attention
  • Readers are drawn to look at the first few words of a tweet, reading more if their attention is captured or they are interested.
  • Readers tend not to read URLs
  • Prompting people to join in discussions around Christmas can engage readers
  • Putting a Christmassy spin on products (e.g. in the context of gifts and presents) opens up the customer base

Getting into the Christmas spirit

The festive spirit offers a great opportunity for boosting sales through promotion, but how can brands stand out above the crowd when competing for readers’ attention?

1. Interaction prompts

Links posted to Twitter are typically only seen by a fraction of the total follower base. In addition to this, any one link will probably only appeal to a proportion of these followers. For wide customer bases, followers may know this and not direct attention towards links. Rather than posting a link to an article or product and risk readers failing to engage with the content, prompting interaction from readers can increase interest and retweets as well as building relationships with the customer base.

Tweet from Argos

Prompting interaction from readers

Particularly around the Christmas season, the opportunity to involve readers within your publicity soars. Opening up the floor for readers to interact with the brand can appeal to readers who might otherwise not have engaged or become interested in what is being offered. For example Argos’ hashtag ‘#argoschristmas’ is an environment for followers to discuss and share interest in seasonal offers and products.

2. Use hashtags

Readers are drawn to look at hashtags more than normal text

In addition, readers are typically drawn to hashtags more than plain text when looking at tweets. Using seasonal keywords within a tweet may attract readers’ attention, but hashtags are more likely to pique their interest. Similarly to this, offering a hashtag as a forum for readers to voice their opinions and exchange ideas (such as #argoschristmas) can encourage readers to get tweeting and discussing the brand.

Gaze plot of Paperchase tweet




Original tweet from Paperchase

Readers drawn to #xmas and keyword ‘Christmas’ in link





3. Marketing items as gifts:

At Christmas, there is a flurry of people wanting to pick out presents for their loved ones, and as such, retailers are given a huge opportunity to promote products to an expanded field of customers.

By promoting categories of products within the context of being potential presents, the tweet can capture the attention of readers who would not otherwise have been interested in the product. Additionally, this evades the issue of self-promotion, as the link is presented to readers as more of a helpful suggestion for a present than a push for sales.

Promoting products as gift ideas, readers drawn to ‘#gift’ hashtag

Gaze plot of Hummingbird tweet

Original Hummingbird tweet

Relating products into seasonal contexts

Similar to promoting items as gifts, putting a Christmas spin on everyday products/services is another way to get readers interested in what is being offered without coming across as trying to push sales.

Furthermore, linking in with Christmas offers or discounts can get readers’ attention, for example special promotion codes or daily offers.

Tweet of notonthehighstreet heat map

Users drawn to promotion code XMAS 11

This approach extends to tweeting about relevant new s or weather incidents, however Christmas presents a strong opportunity to sell products to readers in a way that they can relate to, for example:

Tweet of ASDA heatmap

Promoting daily seasonal special offers

  • a dislike of Christmas shopping queues
  • an enjoyment of seasonal foods
  • desire to buy into the festive spirit.

4. Time sensitivity

Another way to get readers excited about tweets is to provide an element of time pressure. For example, reminding readers of the date that a sale ends or giving a countdown to the delivery cut-off time.

Indigo Furniture Heatmap tweet

Reminding readers of the delivery cut-off or counting down to it. Readers are drawn to ‘#Christmas’ in the tweet

5. Make it accessible

Although Christmas offers a great opportunity to have fun and spread the word about the brand, bear in mind that not all customers will celebrate Christmas, so making sure that there is content available to these readers too is a great step towards building respect in the eyes of customers, as well as offering a break to the less festive members of the twitter readership in the most talked about season of the year.