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In spite of shorter, darker days, the season of giving is officially here and like always, it brings a little extra light to our lives. Countless brands take advantage of this opportunity to give back, all while sharing the process on social media.

Take a look at some of the biggest seasonal campaigns that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and see how you can replicate them for your business.


Perhaps one of the most successful seasonal campaigns of all time was REI’s #OptOutside movement last November – so much so that they are doing it again this year. Through social media, the outdoor retailer encouraged nearly 1.5 million people to spend Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, enjoying the great outdoors instead of inside a chaotic shopping center. They even paid their own employees to take the day off to explore nature’s beauty with their loved ones.

REI #OptOutside Campaign

Needless to say, REI introduced a completely new narrative to one of the most celebrated events of the season. Upon earning more than 1.2 billion social media impressions, they encouraged more than 150 other stores to follow their lead, closing their doors on what could have been their most profitable day of the year. So, how did they achieve such a feat? Through social media, of course! They made sure their entire brand image reflected this singular campaign for the duration of its existence. To do this, they updated their cover photos, shared video messages, created campaign-specific images, and distributed their hashtag like crazy – turning Facebook, Instagram and Twitter into a storm.

Every day they encouraged shoppers to #OptOutside, and nothing else. The people listened, and you can see more of their success here in this incredible video.


Coffee lovers everywhere look forward to Starbucks’ seasonal drinks, especially those PSLs! But when the time comes to put away the pumpkin, the caffeine conglomerate brings a new campaign to town: the infamous red cups.

Last year, in response to customers’ outrage at the sheer simplicity of the cups, Starbucks encouraged everyone to make them their own, resulting in notification overload! You know the coffee selfie phenomenon – the one where your feed becomes filled with scarves and smiling faces holding their beverages with beaming pride? Well, it soon became bigger than itself as artists began tagging Starbucks in photos featuring all of their newly designed drinkware.

Starbucks Red Cups Campaign

This season, Starbucks has celebrated the response by turning those designs into the real deal. To quote their video announcement, which has received nearly 10 million views on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter combined: “Last year, we made the red cups. You made them the holidays”.

That’s right, the holiday cups are officially designed by Starbucks lovers themselves – giving User Generated Content a whole new meaning, considering none of the contributing artists even knew this was coming. Additionally, Starbucks capitalized off this opportunity to get the cups out there by offering a buy one get one deal for all holiday drinks. ‘Tis the season of giving!


We can’t discuss campaigns that give back without mentioning TOMS, the almighty creator of the One for One movement. For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS gives another to someone in need. It’s so simple, yet so amazing, that this concept has since been replicated by countless others, including Warby Parker’s stylish eyeglasses.

For Thanksgiving this year, TOMS has even created a pair of their most-loved model that is all about the season of giving, showcasing the word “thankful” across its canvas.

TOMS Thankful Classics

TOMS consistently receives great engagement across all their social networks because their followers feel good about supporting their product and service. This only ramps up over the holidays. Your brand can do the same, no matter how big or small. Like TOMS, you can create a discount code that makes your customers feel good and share it on your social profiles.

You could even partner with a local organization, as SOCi has done with the San Diego Food Bank, making donations in your company’s name and sharing the event through social media photos. The opportunities to give back through seasonal campaigns are endless, and your social media followers are looking forward to it.

Share your favorite seasonal campaigns with us on Twitter @meetSOCi!

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