It’s that time of year when all you can think about is taking time off and recharging your batteries for the New Year. But it’s also the time of year where people are most active on social media, and particularly so when planning their 2015 business activities. Increasingly, we see social media enthusiasts using their down time to better plan their business activities, and you don’t want to miss out on potential business just because you’re out of the office.
If you have a Facebook business profile or Linkedin account, there are some things you should do before you take that all-important time out. Making sure your professional social media presence is maintained during the holiday season is critical to ensuring you capture every business opportunity, even as you lounge by the pool with a cocktail in hand. Here are a few things I think are critical to maintaining your social presence during the holidays …
• Use your Linkedin or Facebook business profile to advise your clients of your holiday opening and closing hours, especially if you plan to be out of contact. If you’re planning to work through, make sure they know it so you don’t spend hours in the office without a single incoming call (and post your contact number to make it easy to get you).
• Facebook offers pre-scheduled posting, meaning you can automate a variety of posts to go up on your Facebook page while you relax by the pool. To pre-schedule, click the ‘Activity’ tab at the top of your page and choose ‘Scheduled Posts’. Add posts outlining how you can help in 2015, from special offers to expert advice, handy tips, timely updates etc, and make sure you add a ‘season’s greetings’ post for both Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve/Day.
• Make sure anything you post at this time offers seasonal value and advice, rather than simple ‘product speak’. This means, post content that’s appropriate to the audience (and these will largely be overtired workers enjoying some valuable time out, just like you). An example of a good seasonal post is this: “Enjoying a well-earned break but dreading the return to work already? Check out these easy time-saving ideas to help you get more time out more often in 2015 …” Add a link to an article on time management and you’re in business, so to speak.
• If you do pre-schedule posts, make sure to check in for any responses or questions that might be posted by your customers and potential customers. Always post a quick reply, even if it’s just “Thanks for your message. I’ll be back in the office January 5 and will call to discuss your insurance needs,” or similar.
• Always keep an eye on the news at home just in case you have a pre-scheduled post that might seem insensitive if there is a natural disaster or other crisis impacting your customers. Cancelling a post is simple. Just use the Activity tab to go into your scheduled posts and cancel the one required.
• Christmas is an ideal time to find new staff. Linkedin’s Jobs section goes into overdrive at this time of the year as people look for new opportunities in 2015, so if you’re after new staff, now’s the time to find them on Linkedin. Just click the jobs section and follow the prompts. You can also post a job ad in Linkedin, and these traditionally gain a great response at this time of the year.
• The Christmas season also sees some of the best social media marketing campaigns executed. Big companies become very clever with targeting their audience, so check out social platforms such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for some really cool social media advertising campaigns. They’re guaranteed to entertain and inspire you for your own marketing messaging.
• Lastly, use social media for what it was always intended for, to reach out to those people important to you, including those you do business with. Wish them all the best for the New Year, and make plans to connect to them in person early in 2015. It just might lead to some unexpected business.