The things that are vital for brands throughout the rest of the year are even more critical to social media success during the holidays.
There’s more noise, people are distracted, and they’re busy.
How do you ensure your posts cut through the noise and keep their attention through the holiday season?
Here are seven tips to make your social media strategy holiday-ready.
Give your audience the info they’re looking for, earn their trust and, as a result, their attention.
Work with complementary businesses to provide one-stop shopping and tag those businesses in your posts. Not only is this helpful to your customer base, but it also expands the reach of both brands.
Brainstorm ideas to help your audience simplify their lives.
Offer expedited delivery options or added service perks to save time during the busy season.
If you have an HVAC company, offer free furnace filter changes with service calls.
Does your restaurant deliver? Send utensils and disposable containers to help with cleanup.
How are you helping others this time of year?
Whether you’re in the service industry, retail, or anything in between, customers want to support businesses that support their communities.
Stay away from polarizing issues or causes to avoid alienating members of your audience.
Team up with a nonprofit to help your community members make an impact.
Parker Colorado’s West Main Taproom + Grill offers free appetizers to anyone who brings in donations for a local nonprofit’s winter coat drive. They’re helping the community and driving new business – everybody wins.
Is your offering timely or relevant to your customers’ lives? How can you make sure it is?
One of the easiest ways to determine if your content is providing value to your audience is to simply ask.
People love sharing their opinions, so use that opportunity to streamline your content.
Incorporate being relevant with being helpful, and you’re sure to score major points with your customers.
Provide them with helpful, timely information that makes their lives easier, and they will remember you when it’s time to spend their hard-earned dollars.
Some of your customers may be experiencing difficulties this time of year. How can you help alleviate that stress?
The holiday season often creates a massive influx of mail (both electronic and physical), advertising, and social media posting. Don’t be that brand.
You do not need to send email blasts multiple times per day unless you’ve got something you know will resonate well with your audience. (Tip: A 10% off coupon is not that something!)
Think of things your brand can do to take something off of your customers’ plates, reduce stress, or make their lives easier.
Hire a massage therapist to provide chair massages in your lobby while people wait for appointments.
If you have a large space, provide supplies and schedule a weekend for customers to come to your location and wrap holiday gifts.
A reasonably small investment may be priceless in the eyes of your customer base, even if they don’t take advantage of your offer.
If you don’t know your audience, how can you give them what they want?
Spend time before your busy season getting to know your audience members and customers to ensure you’re speaking to them in a way that resonates.
Be inclusive by being considerate of the fact that many people have different holidays and traditions that they celebrate.
Acknowledge that while not everyone is the same, we can celebrate each other regardless of those differences.
Know your competition’s audience as well and step up when the competition falls short.
Be available on community groups to swoop in and provide assistance when your competitors don’t hold up their end of the deal with their customers.
Don’t add to the already overwhelming holiday noise.
Make sure posts, emails, and other communications have a point and are worth reading, and then follow through with their entire customer experience.
Providing a spectacular experience on social media, but then making people wait 40 minutes for a scheduled appointment unravels all of the hard work you’ve done.
Additionally, be sure your offerings are actually worth clicking on.
Making a big deal about a huge sale or massive discount and then offering a 10% discount or restricting sales to specific items is not only a waste of time. You’re going to frustrate your customers and lose their trust, making them less likely to shop with you or use your services now or in the future.
Find a way to save them time. Hassle-free returns, expedited appointment options, and concierge services are all excellent ways to give your customers a little extra time back during the busy holiday season.
All of the awareness, consideration, and helpful intention are not going to get you anywhere if you don’t know your goals and find a path to execute them.
Map out your content and have a plan for promotions.
Schedule posts in advance to help streamline your busy schedule, but be sure to pause both organic and paid campaigns if something happens that would cause your content to seem insensitive or inappropriate to your audience.
Set realistic goals and expectations, and have a procedure for how to handle things if expectations are not met or things go awry.
No one is perfect, and customers understand this.
But how you handle those moments of imperfection can ensure you lose a customer or gain a lifelong brand advocate. Be sure to respond accordingly.
Create a special product or offering that your customers will get excited about.
Nerdy Nuts knows their fans love their products, and that they get super excited about new flavors and special offerings.
This year, they’re releasing a holiday advent calendar with a variety of both favorite and all-new flavors.
On-brand, relevant, exciting, and – combined with their fantastic social media support – helpful.
While you’re at it, have fun! Social media is designed for engagement and interaction.
Share relevant brand messaging in a way that encourages your audience to not only get to know you, but to communicate with you and share your content as well.
Fun, positive, uplifting holiday content not only makes your audience feel good, but it helps them feel good about your brand.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.