Instagram holiday post ideas
It’s that time of year again when many of us are eager to take advantage of holiday sales and surprise our loved ones with those boots—or perhaps that smart watch—that they’ve been eyeing all year long.
Even if we’re not sure what to buy, Instagram is always a trusty source of inspiration. It’s the catalyst behind many of our impulse purchases, with 72% of Instagram users saying that they’ve made purchase decisions based on things they’ve seen on the app. In fact, Instagram far exceeds the purchase influence of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat, according to the same study by Retail TouchPoints.
Needless to say, this social commerce platform offers lots of opportunities for your online store. As you think about how to use it to your advantage, take a look at these Instagram post ideas that can give your eCommerce marketing plan a boost during the holidays.
17 Instagram post ideas for the holidays
Use these Instagram post ideas to break through the clutter, build brand awareness, and create relevance within your market. Make sure to put your own spin on your posts, tailoring your approach to your unique audience and brand identity.
01. Feature seasonal products
Create Instagram posts featuring products made specifically for the holidays to capitalize on the season’s excitement. Tapping into consumer nostalgia for all things holiday-related has the potential to introduce new customers to your brand and encourage additional buying outside of your regular product offerings.
Bourbon-barrel company Columbus Barrel Co, for example, adds its unique flare to the season with its festive “Bourbon is my Christmas spirit” t-shirt promotion. Not only is this Instagram post timely, but it gives viewers a call to action, reminding them there’s still time to complete their gift orders before the holidays
02. Hold a giveaway or contest
Everyone loves a great giveaway.
As part of your event, you can require entrants to follow or share your page and thereby gain new followers and expand the halo of your brand. Giveaways additionally have the power to generate contagious excitement and elevate your business to the very top of customers’ minds.
To create an effective Instagram giveaway, set clear goals, pick a desirable prize, and choose a type of contest that works well within the themes of your industry and brand.
For example, Sticky Lemon, maker of quirky and colorful accessories for children, created a just-in-time-for-Christmas giveaway for five lucky participants. The brand asks participants to simply engage with the post and follow @sticky.lemon for a chance to win a new phone pouch for their kids.
03. Promote a sale or special offer
Some consumers wait all year for holiday sales.
While retailers once pushed most of their sales efforts toward Black Friday specials, online shopping has opened up a new world of possibilities. Thus, many are now using Instagram to entice followers with great deals long before Thanksgiving.
Pro tip: The holidays are a great time to piggyback off trending hashtags and/or to create unique brand-focused hashtags for your sale. However, choose hashtags wisely. Use hashtags that attract people with an intent to shop, versus generic ones that can make your business seem out of touch or overly sales-y.
04. Share inspirational content
What’s that old saying?
“People won’t remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel?”
A feel-good Instagram post can create an unforgettable moment that sears your brand into your followers’ memories. Inspirational and funny posts are overwhelmingly more popular on the social media platform—and for good reason.
French homewares brand Vivi et Margot appealed to its followers’ sentimental side in a Thanksgiving post that was both humble and heartwarming.
The post serves as a reflection of the brand’s values by expressing gratitude for American traditions, and the brand’s successes and hardships throughout the year.
05. Snap lifestyle pictures
Consumers have gotten better at ignoring the hundreds of ads that shadow them at every scroll. Lifestyle photos have grown increasingly popular on Instagram, allowing brands to promote their product in a more authentic fashion. They offer a new way to drive engagement.
To create stunning lifestyle pictures, aim for authenticity. Take photos of your product(s) in everyday settings that your consumers can relate to and if you include models, avoid posed shots. Instead, capture more natural moments.
RCC Furniture, an industrial furniture manufacturer in the U.K., uses Instagram to regularly post lifestyle photos of the brand’s bespoke furniture items. In this holiday post, RCC Furniture shares a cozy fall kitchen photo showcasing one of its handmade wooden tables, while tagging a partner and using a catchy description (“Tell me you love Halloween and Autumn without telling me you love Halloween and Autumn 👻🍂🧡”).
06. Spotlight your customers
Your happiest customers are often the best brand ambassadors. The holidays are a great time to spread cheer by reposting posts created by your customers themselves.
Izzy Wheels, for example, devoted its holiday posts to showcasing customer photos featuring people enjoying their stylish wheelchair wheel covers. In the post below, a user named Emily dons her new wheels, gifted from her older sister.
Pro tip: Showcasing user-generated content (UGC) is a win-win for both sides. While your brand can build trust and social proof, your customers can enjoy being featured by the brands they love. Remember to tag your users when you republish their content, and to share customer testimonials across your social channels and website.
07. Promote holiday events
The holidays aren’t just a time for your friends and family to gather. They’re also a time for teams and communities to come together and celebrate a much loved holiday.
If your brand is hosting (or participating in) an internal or external event, leverage Instagram to include your followers in the fun. Post photos and videos while you’re at the event, or show how you’re prepping for the upcoming holiday party or holiday sale.
Candid moments such as these help to humanize your brand and spark a more genuine connection with your buyers.
Artist, designer, and founder of Abeille Creations Melissa A. Mitchell posted video footage from an event hosted in partnership with Coach. As Coach customers shopped for new purses, Mitchell met with several lucky shoppers and hand-painted custom prints on their bags.
Pro tip: Use tools like Instagram Reels or Wix Video to live stream your events directly from your Wix eCommerce site.
08. Feature holiday gift sets and collections
Every season comes with different colors, fragrances, styles, and more, making it the perfect time to bundle a bit of the holiday spirit into a gift set that features your products.
Holiday-themed gift sets create added buzz due to their limited availability. The natural FOMO (fear of missing out) response may kick in, attracting customers who are searching for unique gift ideas while inspiring customers who get their hands on a coveted set to share their unboxing experience or reviews online.
In this example, candle company Coal and Canary brought back its holiday box set back from the previous year, offering it in limited quantities and creating excitement among its community of followers.
9. Make a holiday how-to
There’s no better way to share your holiday spirit with your customers than walking them step-by-step through one of your favorite holiday projects.
Holiday how-tos provide an opportunity to feature your products as supplies for a project that customers can complete themselves. In addition to increasing sales, how-tos can inspire customers to share photos and videos of their own finished creations.
If your products or services aren’t fitting for a how-to, create a holiday-themed guide, such as a gift-wrapping guide or a checklist for throwing a holiday party.
Kaekoo, for instance, sells handcrafted pillows—but instead of posting generic product photos, the brand took to Instagram to recreate a cozy Christmas morning. In this how-to video, the brand demonstrates a quick-and-easy holiday recipe for creating a natural holiday scent, perfect for a home outfitted with their pillows.
10. Post date-specific content
There are plenty of official and unofficial holidays to celebrate beyond Thanksgiving and Christmas. To name a few: International Coffee Day (October 1), Small Business Saturday (November 26), National Cookie Day (December 4), or Human Rights Day (December 10).
This year, furniture designers The Crafty Couple celebrated Small Business Saturday with a special post thanking its customers and local businesses for supporting them throughout the year.
“It’s small business Saturday!” the brand writes in the description. “Thank you so much to those of you that support our small business. If you are shopping today… please take the time to shop small 🙏🏻.”
11. Pose a question
Engage your followers by asking them a thought-provoking question. These questions don’t necessarily have to be about your product. Rather, think of questions that your target shoppers would have lots of opinions on or would find fun to answer. The end goal is to generate two-way engagement, not necessarily to sell people on your products.
Ask a “would you rather” question with two plausible or impossible options
Share your favorite holiday goodies and ask followers to share theirs
Ask followers to vote for the “best gift for a sibling” among several items in your catalog
Poll users on whether they feel that re-gifting is okay
Poll users to find out how many love or hate receiving gift cards
Ask followers to share either their best or worst holiday memories
In this example, Sticky Lemon put together a list of its top five holiday movies and asked followers if they had other movie-watching traditions to add to the list.
12. Do a year-in-review
The holiday season is an excellent time for reflection.
Create a reel, story, or carousel recapturing your most significant accomplishments, hardships, and/or adventures over the past year. Your transparency and vulnerability will help to foster more emotional connections with your brand, as well as welcome engagement from followers who want to celebrate your successes with you.
Vivi Et Margot shared a heartwarming and humbling recount of some of her most pivotal moments throughout the year. Her excitement and gratitude are palpable as she recounts her experience moving to France and leaving the security of a nine-to-five job.
13. Run a caption contest
Caption contests can be a fun and humorous way to capture the attention of viewers, plus increase likes, shares, and comments.
Start by defining a goal for your contest, such as promoting a new product, generating sales, or improving social media KPIs (like brand awareness, followers, or engagement).
Funny images tend to generate higher engagement levels because they stand out and create an emotional response. For example, photos of staff members (or your mascot) being silly, or your product in unexpected settings can break through the clutter and entice viewers to participate. You can further incentivize engagement by offering a small gift for the best caption.
French bulldog-themed shop Fine Frenchie has a knack for posting caption-worthy photos. They use these photos to feature products alongside their cute mascot, Rabby.
14. Highlight new or restocked products
‘Tis the season when shoppers are in the mood to spend, spend, spend—potentially making it a great backdrop for your next product launch.
New products can fuel excitement and serve as unique gifts for those “already-have-everything” people in your customers’ lives.
Similarly, emphasizing restock dates for popular products can be a good way to inspire pre-orders or last-minute purchases.
This is an approach that Kaekoo takes. For one of their holiday posts last year, the company announced a new pillow drop. They further sweetened the deal saying, “ALL orders placed on the 16th will get a free Pillow Lady tote bag along with their order + all US packages will ship to arrive before Christmas!”
15. Show off your festive spirit
Connect with your followers by showing them your festive side with behind-the-scenes photos of your office, staff, and/or events.
For example, take your followers on a live-streamed tour of your office when it’s all decked out for the holidays. Or, hold an ugly sweater contest at work and share photos of each participant on Instagram for your followers to vote on the best one.
As another idea, you could create a countdown until Christmas or until your last shipping day, in which you share behind-the-scenes videos or popular products in the days leading up to it.
Use photos, reels, carousels, and IGTV to your advantage. Don’t be shy to get creative—and consider taking a page from Spanish fashion brand CeliaB, which uses Instagram to showcase their team’s holiday spirit.
16. Feature festive furry friends
Who doesn’t love a photo of a cute animal all dressed up for the holidays? Surely there can never be too many heart-melting animal photos in your Instagram feed.
Just like showing off your staff’s festive spirit, get creative with how you show off your cute and furry friends. For example, you could create a carousel of photos of your office pets throughout the year, organically attracting attention and engagement online.
Once again, Fine Frenchie does this well, and Rabby seems to be gaining a large following of fans.
17. Create a gift-giving guide
Everyone could use a little help during the holiday season as they try to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list. Make it easier for your shoppers by creating a gift-giving guide featuring some of your most popular products.
You can organize the guide by gender, age, price range, product type, or any other relevant categorization. Then, put together a carousel of products or videos with each product tagged for easy shopping.
These ideas could boost sales and create loyal customers
There’s no time like the holidays to get your store in gear. During this time of year, consumers are searching far and wide for gift ideas, and with more than 1.4 billion Instagram users worldwide, your business can tap into a huge audience of consumers.
We hope this list of Instagram post ideas gives you a head start. Remember, the goal is to provide shoppers a reason to frequently visit your Instagram page, eventually driving them to your online store.
Our last pro tip (for now): Use Wix’s built-in eCommerce marketing tools—including a Wix Video Maker—to create eye-catching social media content. Then, manage your multichannel campaigns all from one place. Get started with Wix for eCommerce today.