So the holidays are here—we are in the thick of it. Did you hit a store on Black Friday to buy five TVs you didn’t need just because they were on sale? How fun was it fighting the masses of people bumping into one another? Well imagine how it is on the business themselves. Are you a business owner? Either way the holiday rush leaves little time to attend to things like social media.
Now for businesses, social media and blogs are great promotional tools. As a business owner these should not be abandoned just because of the holidays. In fact, it can be a fun way to get people in the doors. Who is up for a surprise sale? “10% discount for the next hour.” Think of offers that get people engaged and entices them to come in “NOW”.
Creating Content Over the Holidays: 6 Social Media Tips For Businesses
For the average Joe and Jane your social media and blog content can probably use a holiday break. But it is a valuable tool for you. Sure, it isn’t about money or getting your customers in the doors. Do you have family that lives far away though? How about friends you haven’t seen in years? They probably want to know what is going on with you and your family. Your parents in Fort Lauderdale want to see pictures of the grandkids in Flagstaff. So in a way it is important for you to be proactive on social media and your blog this holiday season and next.
But the busyness of the season! How do you find the time to do it right?
Let’s start by assuming you are a business
(If you are not a business then read these for fun and move on to the you are a person category.)
1. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Once upon a time there was one social network and you could check in once a day and that was that. Now there are one dozen (at least). Update Facebook, Tweet this, Instagram that, so on and so on. It can be a full time job updating all of this stuff, just ask any 13 year old girl who spends 24/7 online.
Focus on the biggest social networks and the places where you have the most frequency. Don’t worry about updating every single page you maintain with social media content and blog content. Jon Henshaw, who is an internet-marketing expert, encourages his readers to, as he puts it “leverage social networks.” If you absolutely can’t find the time, a recent article on Small Business PR discusses 3rd party tools that can be used to post on your social sites at predetermined times.
2. Think ahead. You have a million things going on. Not only are you managing the needs of your business for the holidays, but that of your family too. Why not add trying to figure out what to post or blog about on top of all of that. We recently discussed maintaining a content flow during the holidays (by planning ahead) in three of our five discussion points. How do you add more onto an already unstable pile of tasks?
- Before bed take ten minutes to think up some things to post tomorrow
- Keep it simple with things that require followers to build content. Polls and contests are good.
- Photographs. They take no time and little effort. Shots of holiday dishes, sales, etc.
- Plan way ahead and in September and October prepare a list of subjects. Remember they must cover Halloween to New Years.
3. Branch out. Step outside the box of your normal content. The holiday season is a fun time, so be fun with it. Find or create funny holiday photos to post to your social media page or blog. Do you own a motorcycle dealer? Then fire up Photoshop and pop Santa on a Harley. Normally you wouldn’t post silly stuff like this, but this time of year people want to enjoy themselves.
Consider what you offer as well. It’s a season of giving right? So give. If you are running a retail business then go ahead and offer some exclusive deals. Give out a coupon code to your Facebook fans. How about a Twitter contest? Whoever retweets your post can be entered to win a free dinner at your restaurant.
4. Consider a cause. Once again it is the season for giving. Thanksgiving and Christmas brings about a lot of focus to charities and noble causes. Pick a charitable cause that is unique to your business or that means something to you. Now get on your social media pages and promote it. This does three valuable things.
- Gives you content to talk about
- Shows that you are not just a business but rather a community partner
- Ties in to deals. Donate to this cause and receive 10% off any one entrée.
There are literally thousands of causes out there.
Small businesses in particular should choose a cause that supports the local community.
5. Your blog is your solution. How does your business influence the holiday season? Do you run a restaurant? Then your blog content can discuss holiday meal solutions. Not everyone cooks, so maybe you offer up a complete holiday dinner. Hot and ready for your dinner table, only $12.99 per. What about writing a blog sharing your cooking tips? Come on, celebrity chefs do it. Write a blog post and give your readers a great recipe to include with their holiday meal.
6. Appreciate the people who make it possible. You can offer all the deals in the world and share all the helpful hints you can think of. The easiest thing to do though is be thankful. The fans of your business likely spend their money with you and make you successful. So do you want a brilliant idea to talk about in your seasonal social media content? Take the time to write your fans/customers a letter. You can say “thank you” when they make purchases with you. However, even a paragraph about how much their patronage means to you will do wonders. People love to feel like they are part of something and love to feel their efforts are worth something. Let them know you appreciate them, because the truth is without them you wouldn’t be in business.
Creating Content Over the Holidays: 6 Tips For The Other People
So that was a look at some ways businesses can optimize their social media posts during the holiday season. Not everyone runs a business though. Remember we discussed letting far away family and friends know you are thinking of them? Amid shopping, and kid’s school concerts, and pretending you want to be stuck at work during the holidays – how can you do the most to be sociable?
1. Time management and relevance. Just like the small business owner, you are busy. If you have kids they have school activities. You have to take care of your Christmas shopping. I can go on and on with the extra tasks that the holiday season puts upon us. Make a schedule though and find the time to reach out to the important people in your life. Don’t forget to wish your old friends a happy holiday or to share photos of your kids with Santa.
At the same time post things that are relevant. Everyone loves to share a crazy news story or funny photo, but is this the best use of your time? If you are bargaining your time online then focus on your holiday social media posts and leave the other stuff for after the New Year.
2. Extend your reach. It can be hard when families are apart of distance comes between old friends. That is just a reality of life and the holiday time makes it harder. Social media has opened up a new way to bridge these gaps. Sure it won’t bring your family to the same house for Christmas dinner, but it can allow you to interact just the same. Share holiday photos on Facebook and Instagram. Have you thought about video recording your kids opening their gifts on Christmas and sharing it with far away family? Just as the internet and social media are popular ways for businesses to reach out, the everyday person can use it for the same reason.
3. Theme your blog content. While you may not be a business owner, it is very possible you run a successful blog. What is it about? Let’s use cooking as an example. The holiday seasons deal a lot with food. No kidding, right? Theme your cooking blog though to the holiday in question.
- July 4th- The best homemade Bar-B-Q sauce to complete any meat you can grill
- Halloween- Spooky sugar cookie ghosts your kids will never fear
- Thanksgiving- spruce up boring mashed potatoes with
- Christmas- Holiday treats for guests of every taste
These are examples but they make the point. Just as you decorate different ways for each holiday theme, your blog content should share that same theme.
4. Give the gift of you. During holiday time people can read the same boring blogs about the same boring topics. Before sitting down at the keyboard and typing up your next blog, think about you. What sets you apart? Why do people read your blog in the first place? Don’t give your readers the same run of the mill stuff that everyone else is doing, put your personality into it.
And you may be thinking “my blog is about sports betting (just an example) how does that relate to Christmas?” The simple answer is it doesn’t. Now the trick is to put a spin on it and figure out how it can. You write a highly successful blog here, right? Then you must be a creative person. So use that creativity and find ways to theme your posts to relate to the season at hand. It may take some extra thought, but it will be unique. Guess what unique does? It gets people’s attention.
5. Don’t overdo it. Sure this is all about getting the most out of your seasonal social media and blog content. The thing to remember though is if that seasonal time can mean 4th of July, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. All of these times are times in which giving the most of you to your family is important. So by all means share the necessary photos and send the cheerful holiday wishes. Know when you are done though. Plan all of your seasonal social media activity ahead of time so when the holiday arrives you can step away from the computer and enjoy some valuable family time.
6. Open up shop. You may not be a business owner; however the holiday season can be the perfect time to do some business. Seasonal items can bring in extra money for the holiday season. The thing about them is they serve a limited market. These are things like crafts, baked goods, snow removal, decorating services, lawn care, and mobile auto detailing. Granted some of these like lawn care and auto detailing can be done year round in warmer climates like the South West. Nonetheless, these types of businesses while hectic to run, can bring in a lot of extra money.
So how does social media play into these seasonal businesses? You are not opening a storefront, and you’re not designing a website just to sell stuff for three months. Sites like Facebook are a great alternative to a web based store. In fact it can be better. You can show photos and descriptions of each of your products and interact with customers. Facebook sharing features allows your items to be shared with anyone. You post a photo of your item, your sister shares it to ten people; at least six of them share it with four people. Get the idea?
Use these tips to get your seasonal business going on Facebook and other social media posting sites.
- Post regularly and be active. Your business has a shelf life (sorry to say it) so overkill is not a bad thing in this sense. You are trying to sell as much as possible in a small window of time.
- Do not use your personal accounts. Nobody needs to see a funny high school reunion photo in-between your product posts.
- Consider the ad tools that Facebook and others offer. It may cost you a few dollars but the return can more than compensate it. Come on, where else can you get online ad space for under $30.00?
All in all, social media and blog posts are about being social—no matter the season. A little thought and a lot of heart will take you a long way.