Social media can be hard to manage at the best of times. But throw in seasonal events, and more people using social networks, it can be hard to know where to start. How to get noticed, and how to make it work for you.
We have a few tips to get you organised, get your customers excited for your business and be able to repeat your success.
Start early, plan ahead
A lot of companies make the mistake with their social media, in thinking that you can throw up a few themed status’s before Halloween/bonfire night/Christmas, and the sales will come rolling in. Then when they don’t, it is declared that social media doesn’t work, and it is a waste of time.
Social Media is a brilliant tool. But it does need to be given careful planning for it to work. Take the time to create a content calendar. Which is not just selling your products, but contains useful information. And perhaps a little seasonal humour. Ease your customers into the season, and ensure they have a reason to keep looking out for your updates.
This planning can take a lot more time than you expect, so start planning early. If you use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite, you can schedule some tweets in advance, keeping things nice and organised.
Create a seasonal brand image
Now we agree this doesn’t work for every company. But some businesses can benefit from creating a seasonal brand image.
As humans, when it begins to get to winter, we dress ourselves up in our wintery finery. As we get closer to Christmas, we dress our houses, our tree and anything we can get our hands on really.
Creating a seasonal brand image communicates that message that you are ready for Christmas (or Halloween or bonfire night). As it’s a different from the norm, it catches people’s eye. So if you have people scrolling through their twitter news feed, and you’ve updated your image, they would be more likely to stop and check your content, than if you kept the same image.
Run a Facebook competition
There is a lot going on in the run up to big seasonal events. So running a competition can give people a reason to engage more with your company. Plus it is always nice to reward your customers, just for being them.
Don’t be mistaken though, you can no longer run competitions to encourage people to like your page. But a competition is a great way to bring awareness to offers you are already running. Say for example, you run a cafe, and in the winter months you are offering a free hot drink with every bacon roll. You could run a competition for a free breakfast every week, if you check yourself in to the café. More customers come in, are happy they’ve received a free hot drink. They check in and share your business online, and more people see it. You can also share the ‘winners’ of the competition enjoying their breakfast, to get people to keep checking in for a chance to win.
Christmas Twitter Hashtag
You can do a similar thing to the Facebook competitions, but with a Twitter hashtag. The hashtag gives a seasonal feel to your social posts, and again encourages users to engage.
Hashtag’s are something that have become a bit more of a big deal in the last few years. Especially with some bigger companies focusing their whole campaigns around a hashtag. Which you can read about in our post about popular Christmas campaigns.
So take some time to discuss this and what would work for your business and what message you want to send this season.
Get customers sharing their hints and tips
Rather than having a company hashtag, you could create a customer based hashtag. One for them to share their best seasonal tips. Though you can do this as an additional too, and across all your social networks.
Pinterest, what’s the best homemade gifts? Facebook, when is okay to put up my Christmas decorations? Twitter, what makes the best hot chocolate? LinkedIn, when should you send out company Christmas cards? You can gain different styles of tips from different networks, and get people talking. Just be sure that this chatter is connected back to you and your company. Perhaps you can post a blog of the best tips each week? So customers compete to get their tips on the blog, and the blog attracts more people back to your site.
Measure your campaigns!
We started with saying plan ahead, and we’re ending with measure the campaign properly. If you would like to repeat any success, you need to know what worked well.
Ensure you regularly check which are your most popular and engaging posts. So you can update your current campaign to include more of what your customers interact with. Most social networks now include their own analytics. So you can see straight on the page what is going well.
Keep an eye out for which posts receive the most interaction, which links are most clicked, and what days and times are getting the most action.
If you use google analytics, it also means you can track how many visitors to your website came from your social media efforts.
All of this information is vital to produce another social media campaign, and also to see your return on your efforts.
Now you’re set for your social media for this season!