Holiday Social Media Posts: 6 Visual Strategies to Stand Out This Holiday Season

By Simki Dutta - October 12, 2020
5 mins read time
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The holiday season is approaching and before we know it, there will be a sea of red, green and gold visuals on social media along with the cliché stock photography.

Let’s face it: this season tends to get incredibly noisy and competitive. From seasonal offers and gifting guides to holiday campaigns — every brand is vying for attention on social media during this time.

In such a scenario, how do you cut through the noise and create holiday social media posts that leave an impact?

In this article, I’m going to tell you how you can leverage some of the biggest graphic design trends to create stunning social media visuals that will help you stand out this holiday season.

1. Pick muted seasonal color palettes

When you talk about holiday visual marketing the first colors that come to mind are red and green.

While some brands choose to stick to the traditional color combinations, others experiment with modern colors such as blues, whites and light greys.

Regardless of the combinations you opt for, it’s a good idea to pick muted color palettes this year. Their soothing hues make them seem more natural while evoking a sense of nostalgia.

Unlike vivid colors, muted colors are toned down and desaturated.

The best part about these colors is that they don’t scream for attention and are a fresh change from the overdone color combinations one generally gets to see during the festive season.

Here’s an example of a festive season post by Brooklinen that features muted color hues.


View this post on Instagram


We are SO excited because it’s time for 7 Days of Gifting! Check our stories each day for a sweet holiday surprise. 🤗

A post shared by Brooklinen (@brooklinen) on

2. Use geometric patterns 

This year, geometric shapes have replaced flowing and abstract patterns. Brands are using different types of shapes such as circles, rectangles, triangles and more in their marketing visuals.

Just the way every color has a meaning and personality, so do geometric shapes. For instance, circles represent continuity while squares and rectangles suggest security.

There are various ways to use geometric patterns in your holiday social media posts:

  • Use consistent shapes to make images look visually similar
  • Combine shapes to create an image
  • Create an appealing geometric background with different shapes
  • Use shapes to add texture and depth to your visuals

Take a look at this example by UpWork. They did a spin on 12 Days of Christmas calling it 12 Days of Freelancing where they shared one tip every day. The graphic constitutes bold geometric patterns that add structure to the image.

3. Include flat holiday-themed icons

One of the most effective ways to add the holiday spirit to your social media posts is by using holiday-themed icons. They are fun, compact and great for illustrating ideas visually.

The key here is to use flat icons because they are easy to consume, subtler and don’t distract viewers from the main focal point of the image.

You can design them in line with your brand colors or campaign theme. This adds consistency to your posts and helps you create a more cohesive design.

Here’s an example from Etsy that uses flat icons to introduce their Instagram Stories stickers.

4. Post Instagram carousels

As per a Socialinsider study, carousels are the most engaging type of Instagram posts with a 1.92 percent average engagement per post.

This format lets you showcase up to 10 images or videos in one post while compelling viewers to quickly scroll through and digest information with ease.

Instagram carousels let you tell a visual story, making it a must-have in your social media marketing plan.

Here are some ways to use Instagram carousels to boost your holiday social media posts:

  • Showcase festive products and gift guides
  • Focus on product details and features
  • Create a series of holiday tips
  • Promote a festive campaign
  • Curate user-generated content
  • Share moments from an event
  • Announce a festive contest or giveaway

Here’s an example of Starbucks. They used the Instagram carousel to showcase a series of user-generated content featuring their iconic holiday cups.

5. Create text-heavy videos

Video content is not going anywhere anytime soon but what is interesting to note is the rise of text-heavy videos in recent times.

Eighty-five percent of videos are watched without sound. This means that videos with moving text have higher chances of driving engagement.

Whether you’re creating a promotional video to drive sales, launching your festive campaign or even sharing a simple holiday greeting, it’s a good idea to add text to the video.

What’s more, text-heavy videos are a lot simpler to create as they generally don’t require much video footage to be shot. All you need is an online video editor and you’re good to go.

Take a look at GoDaddy’s festive campaign, #make2020. They shared a series of text-heavy videos featuring their customers and their aspirations for the year.


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We love hearing @sofiacarhair founder, Sofia Carney, and her plans to #make2020. How will you make your screen time count this year?

A post shared by GoDaddy (@godaddy) on

6. Update your social media profiles

In addition to creating individual holiday social media posts, it’s equally important to refresh your social media profiles to embody the holiday spirit.

Here are the elements you should refresh to reflect the festive season:

  • Cover or header photos
  • Profile pictures
  • Link in the bio (it can lead to your festive campaign)
  • Holiday hours

You can use this space to promote festive deals or showcase a newly launched campaign. This is an effective way to create awareness and build excitement.

The takeaway: create holiday social media posts that stand out

If you thought you could rehash last year’s social media visuals, stop right there.

Every year brings forth new design trends and to create an impact, it’s important to constantly update your social media visuals, keeping them in line with the latest trends.

These six strategies will prepare you for the festive season, helping you create holiday social media posts that truly stand out.

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