The holidays are officially here.

For me, the holidays have always meant lighting a menorah, eating my bodyweight in my Nana’s latkes (potato pancakes), and eight crazy nights of gift-giving. It’s also a chance to visit some of my favorite local businesses and celebrate the season by “shopping small.”

If you celebrate the season at your business or organization, you’ve probably already pulled out the holiday decorations at your store or office. But are you also showing some holiday cheer online?

Instagram is the perfect platform to show off all the exciting things you have going on for the holiday season.

It’s all about the visual, and if you use it the right way, it can be a great avenue for people to discover your business. It’s also incredibly easy to use, and can help you create professional-looking images that can be shared across your other social networks and even in your holiday email marketing.

To help you get started, here is some holiday insta-inspiration:

1. Show off your holiday-themed merchandise

Get everyone in the mood to shop by showcasing some of what you have to offer! Lots of people will be looking for holiday-themed gifts, whether it’s socks, jewelry, housewares, or even food.

instagram constant contact customer new belgium holiday beer
Halloween is a holiday too. And these days, October is the beginning of the holiday season.

2. Celebrate your community

As a small business, chances are you have a strong relationship with the community you’re in. Take this opportunity to connect with them by sharing photos of special events, decorations, and the people who are part of it.

3. Send a thank you note

Do customers or vendors come by and bring you treats during the holiday season? Give them a shout out on Instagram to thank them for their generosity (and brag about all the awesome stuff you get). You can also just thank customers and fans for their support — that’s a gift in itself.

constant contact southeastern underdeck thank you post
Thank you notes don’t have to be fancy — just honest.

4. Show off decorations

If you take the time to decorate your business for the holidays, show it off! Take pictures of the “behind the scenes set-up” or simply showcase the finished product. It doesn’t have to be super fancy — people are sure to love anything that shows the personality of your business and employees.

constant contact customer tri-city cycle decorations
Share a picture of your holiday decorations that shows your businesses personality

5. Offer to help

Does your business offer a product or service that can help your customers save time during the holidays? Let people know how you can help with a holiday-themed photo.

6. Suggest gift ideas

One of the most stressful parts of the season is figuring out what gifts to get for everyone. Suggesting gift ideas is a win-win: you get to help your customers find what they need, and it brings you business!

Constant Contact customer pinotboutiquewinebar gift ideas
Suggest some stocking stuffers and gifts for friends

7. Post a reminder

With everything that’s going on around the holidays, it’s easy to forget to do things like order food for a party or get a manicure or spa treatment. Don’t be afraid to remind your customers to book their appointments and put in their orders before it’s too late! This is a great opportunity to use a service like Canva or PicMonkey to put text over a picture or graphic.

8. Have some fun

With all the busy-ness of the holidays, it’s easy to forget that the holidays are supposed to be fun! Work with your staff to come up with fun and creative ways to wish your followers happy holidays.

constant contact customer ipswitchalebrew fun holiday post
Have fun and share it with your followers

9. Promote an offer

Instagram is a great place to promote your holiday offers. You can snap photos of specific items that are on sale and include a caption to let people know how to take advantage of your offer.

Constant Contact customer Door County Coffee holiday offer
Make sure your followers know what you’re offering this holiday and how to get it

10. Share your expertise

Can you help people get ready for the holidays with something you already know lots about? Offer tips or guidance that will save your customers time during the busy season. This can be anything from decorating ideas to recipes to cleaning hacks. Your customers will be happy to get help from someone they trust.

11. Promote a holiday event

Planning a holiday or end-of-year event? Use Instagram to show your staff getting ready for the event, and let them know how they can reserve their spot.

constant contact customer the concord cheese shop crucolo parade
When you have an event, make sure everyone knows about it

12. Hold a contest

A great way to get people engaged is to hold some kind of contest, whether it be through social media or something you do in person. Use Instagram to announce and show pictures of the winner, or even to display the prize!

13. Wish customers a happy holiday

Gone are the days where you need to send a holiday photo in the mail. Although receiving snail mail is always exciting, use Instagram to wish all your customers and followers a Happy Holiday in one fell swoop. Feel free to get creative with costumes, fun graphics, or anything you think your customers would love.

Constant contact customer reelworks happy holidays post
Don’t forget to wish your followers a happy holiday season

14. Share a personal holiday memory

People do business with people who they know, like, and trust. This is true during the holidays and is certainly true throughout the rest of the year. Instagram is one of the best platforms for making a more personal connection with your audience. Show followers how your family is celebrating the season!

15. Give

If your company or business makes a point to give to charities during the holidays, share that with your followers, and ask them to support the cause as well. People are more apt to donate to charity during the holidays, and when you share how you give back to your community, it can increase the donations to your favorite charity. Especially if you’re matching donations from your followers and customers.

New to Instagram?

Visit our Instagram 101 Page in the Social Media Quickstarter to learn more.

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