Social Media Never Sleeps
Social media never sleeps. But sometimes we need to! If your office or business is planning to be closed over the Christmas and New Year’s period, ensure you have a plan.
Typically, Americans spend 23% of their time on Facebook and other social sites, averaging 7.3 hours a month on Facebook’s mobile site alone. Over the holidays, social habits change and with more time off from work, users spend even more hours on social media. This creates the perfect opportunity for you to grab your customer’s attention while they’re already spending more time online. Take advantage of this opportunity without compromising your own holiday fun by automating your social media.
Do Your Homework
If you’re using a social media management tool like HootSuite to schedule your posts, make sure to also look at the data analytics to gain insight into your audience’s preferences. Take a look at how they interact with your brand on your various social channels and then use this information to create content that will resonate and truly make an impact.
You can also use the data analytics from these tools, as well as from your Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, to see what has worked well in the past. You can then use the data from your previous campaigns to enhance and improve your efforts this year.
Posting Content - Know When and How
The tools we mentioned above can also help you to discover which days and time of the day your audience spends most time online. Usually, during the holiday season and until the beginning of January, people take time off from work, which means they’ll have more free time to browse the web and social media. Take advantage of this to share interesting content and great offers.
The easiest thing you can do to get organized it to create an editorial calendar where you add all your upcoming social media activity. Your calendar should include the posts you’re planning to schedule, the time and day when they’ll be posted and the social channels where they’ll be published on.
Scheduling content is a good move if you want to take some time off. However, this doesn’t abdicate your responsibility to keep an eye on your social media and respond to comments and mentions. It’ll hurt your reputation if you receive comments and don’t respond while your business continues to push out updates on social media.
Avoid Disater - Check Before You Post
If you’ve scheduled content so you have one less thing to worry about during the holiday season, make sure you take another look before it goes live. Do this not only to ensure they’re error-free but also that they’re still accurate. There are many examples of brands that have used various tools to automate their social media posts while away on holiday, make sure you still keep an eye on the news and also check your posts before they go live to avoid potential disasters.
Connect with Customers
This is the perfect time to initiate conversations with your audience on social media. For example, on Instagram you can post an image of one of your most popular products and ask customers to share a pic or a short video of how they’re using it or to whom they’re planning to give it to. You can also create fun, holiday-themed hashtags to initiate conversations around your brand. Simple gestures can get you new brand advocates and even more loyal customers for years to come.
Let Things Go Quiet (but tell people you’re doing so)
It’s ok to let things go quiet over the holidays, but make sure to let people know! For small businesses, your customers will be more understanding as they’re aware you're not available 24/7. Just make sure to let them know that you’re on a break and when you’ll be back. Simply share a quick update a few days before your time off so they have time to get in touch with you before you leave.
Even if you don’t completely shut off your email during the holidays, it is a good idea to set up an automated message so you can respond less frequently without doing any harm to your reputation. Yes, customer service is very important, and your customers definitely appreciate fast response times, but marketers are humans, too. Your out-of-office should be brief and to-the-point, making sure to provide helpful information that your customers might need while you are away.
If you’re selling products online and especially if you’re running a campaign, the chances are that customer feedback and queries will increase during this period. And where do they go to voice their complaints or ask their questions? Social media, of course!
Whether you’re short-staffed or you’re taking some time off, you need to be ready to deal with any queries from customers. So even if you’re on a break, make sure to check your social media channels at least twice a day to reply to all comments from customers.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun and Spread the Holiday Cheer!
While this is a great time to boost sales, focusing solely on sales promotions will drive customers away. So make sure you include a mix of engaging content in any format, whether text, links or videos. Remember that this is a time for having fun so embrace it with your social media. Nobody likes a Grinch or a Scrooge, right? So make sure that your online presence on social media reflects all the good holiday cheer that lifts everyone’s mood and makes the season memorable.
These tips will help you get peace of mind and enjoy the holidays without running off to make sure your social media campaigns are still running. Even if you can’t avoid checking email on your time off, automate your campaigns as much as you can, so most of the work is done before you leave the office.
Natalie Evans has over 16-years in the tech industry and currently works as the event coordinator and tech reporter for CMS-Connected, keeping up-to-date on what's happening in and around the Content Management industry.