What Christmas Movies Taught Us About Social Media
We freaking LOVE Christmas movies, and we’ve made it our mission to watch as many as we possibly can before the year is out - can you blame us?
However, while we’ve been wading through the tinsel, bad accents, princesses who pretend to be ‘normal’, lame pick up lines, predictable twists, and happily ever afters, we’ve come to realise that there’s actually quite a few lessons to be learned about social media from our favourite genre of cinema… Don’t believe us? All it takes is a little bit of faith and a whole heap of people in a park singing Christmas carols ;)
It’s always snowing perfectly in New York - Know your audience
You know the classic opening scene, you watch the camera glide over Manhattan, you watch people bustling through the city, snow falling so gracefully, and everyone wearing beautiful red woollen coats. We’ve been to New York (stay tuned for that blog), and we can guarantee that New York does not look like that in December. Not for long anyway.
But the thing is, when you’re watching a Christmas movie, that’s what you expect! You expect to see couples giggling and drinking coffee and ice skating in the Rockefeller Centre. You expect to see a foot of snow on the ground with absolutely no gross grey sludge underneath it, and you expect a perfectly immaculate subway. They do this because they know what they’re audience expects. They know that they expect all of these things, and whilst it might not be reality, they know that if they were to show anything else, their audience would be disappointed.
You need to know your audience like Christmas-movie-makers know theirs - really well. As cliche or stereotypical as you may need to be, sometimes that’s what works the best! If you consistently produce one type of product/content, and suddenly give your audience something different, they will not consider it a plot twist, they will go back to Netflix’s home page and choose another movie, because you’re not giving them what they had gone to you for. Simple.
Everything is always decked out in Christmas decorations - Be visual, and use high quality tinsel
Every foyer, shop front, deli, house, and building is decked out in stunning, and extravagant, Christmas decorations. And not just the Kmart stuff, but the big, chunky tinsel, the lights that go for kilometers, baubles the size of pumpkins, and glass decorations on the top of every Christmas tree that is 100% real and 100% perfect in every possible way. It’s flawless, and looks amazing, and sort of gives us a bit of FOMO as we feel like our living room could NEVER look like that!
Everything is so visual, which makes it very hard to miss the fact that the movie is based during the Christmas season. It makes it enjoyable to watch, and gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling that Christmas brings. In addition to this, the visuals are of SUCH a high quality, that there’s no doubting the quality of the movie. This is totally applicable to your business.
Your content must be at a standard that people can tell who you are, what you do, and the quality of your business, solely based on what they see. If you owned a million dollar house, you wouldn’t put kmart decorations up, so why are you putting kmart quality decorations on your social channels?
There’s always a proposal at the end - Have a call to action
Even though it’s always expected (see point one), and it’s always done extravagantly and very rarely realistically, there is always a proposal (or at least a kiss) at the end of every Christmas movie. They don’t end on cliffhangers, nor do they resume life as it was in November prior to the Christmas season. There’s always a moment, at the end of the movie, when one character makes a decision to be with another character. However, process of falling in love in these movies are gradual, and spread over a solid 87 minutes of flirting, resisting, complications, arguments, dramatic twists, and snowball fights. Finally, on Christmas eve, they have that magical moment.
Christmas movies always end with a call to action.
We’ve touched on call to actions this month already, but it’s important enough that we need to mention it again. Christmas movies always have a proposal, so what does your proposal look like for your followers. Are you asking them to like your page, buy your product, or start a conversation with you? And how are you asking them? What does your magical moment look like with your followers?
If you’re launching into your proposal on December 2nd, they’re probably not going to respond, because you haven’t been through that gradual process of ‘falling in love’ yet. You haven’t shown them who your business is, and what you can do. Take them on that journey, so that when it comes to Christmas Eve, you can have that magical moment, and start that conversation with your followers.
No one likes it when you pretend to be someone else - Always be yourself on social media
You know the drill: she’s a princess, but he doesn’t know she’s a princess, so she pretends to be a civilian for a week, and then when he does find out, he’s furious.
We’ve all been there - when we find out that someone isn’t who they say they are.
With SO much happening on social media, and so many businesses fighting for our attention, one of the biggest and best things you can be is authentic. Not big, or loud, or knowledgable, or anything else (although sometimes they can help), but being your true, authentic self is going to develop those relationships with your followers which is what social media is all about. However, if you’re telling your followers you can do this, or promising this type of service, and can’t come through with your promises, your followers are going to be just as furious as the guy in the Christmas movies when he finds out she hasn’t been telling you the truth.
Be transparent and upfront. Yes, social media tends to show off the best parts of your business, but don’t hide the parts that contribute to your overall brand. Take your followers behind the scenes, and introduce them to the team. They want to know you as much as they can, as they decide whether or not they say yes to your proposal (point three).
Next time you watch a Christmas movie, think about what you can learn from the cliches and apply to your social media strategies - there might be more than you think!