Don’t bin your brand’s social media presence over the holidays

Just because your business is about to take some well-earned down time, doesn’t mean your social accounts have to, explains Peter Harris, CEO at franchise marketing platform Digital Stack.

With the entire nation about the hit the beach and start idly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, there’s a huge incentive to keep your audience as engaged as possible.

It happens every year. Small businesses approach the end of the calendar year like it’s the end of the world, as if the return to work isn’t just a couple of weeks away.

That’s a huge mistake in social, because consistency matters. It doesn’t mean you need to blow off the Christmas lunch to log in and craft engaging content, but brand presence during this period is important.

Luckily, scheduling engaging social media activity is reasonably straightforward and isn’t just a process of filling the blank. Scheduled posts can still pack a punch.

Data from Digital Stack users indicates the average ‘scheduled’ post actually performs at an equivalent level to a ‘live’ post in terms of reach and engagement.

Why? Although scheduled posts don’t allow brands to take advantage of current affairs or news, they’re often better thought through and planned, which makes for engaging content that is relevant to your audience.

However, it’s important to remember your brand’s personality needs to be consistent. Your audience should not be able to tell whether your post is scheduled or live because the tone and style of your writing should be identical.

The frequency of your posts should roughly match your tempo when you’re in the office. Try to maintain the same number and length of posts. Your audience will disengage if your channels go quiet before unleashing a barrage of New Year offers in January.

Including photos and videos that also align with your tone are a great way to give the impression a post is live. Social audiences nearly always assume any post with personal imagery is a live capture.

If you really want to master the art of ‘social media on autopilot’ you have to be aware of the change in psyche around the end of the year, which often progresses from exhaustion to relaxation around Christmas to optimism and renewed energy coming into the New Year.

Take the fitness industry, for example. In late December, content should focus on relaxation, reflection and recuperation. By weaving into the collective consciousness, your content will find a far more receptive audience.

To be engaging during this time, a gym owner should be posting content around eating tips, stretching videos and funny memes about overeating. In early January, however, it’s ‘game on’ for the fitness goals of millions of Australians. Motivational posts, trial offers and past body transformation stories are going to do well here.

A fashion label, in comparison, would take a different approach. Aside from obligatory clearance sales, late December is the perfect time for informational content on quality materials, fashion origins and personal designer stories as people look for thoughtful gifts. Early January is about crafting a whole new aspirational look, being bold and trying something new.

Trolls never sleep, or take holidays. If your brand is prone to snarky comments from trolls on social media, you’ll need to watch it. The easiest way to monitor this is to enable notifications to your mobile apps for comments on your posts and check in on your feeds periodically.

It might mean you need to politely shut down any snarky comments if you’re at the beach to avoid any brand damage. As always, be assertive with any vocal, unhappy customers, offer an apology and make it a priority to take the conversation offline and away from public forums to minimise any negative exposure.

Peter Harris is the CEO at franchise marketing platform Digital Stack.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing