How winning with social media could be your best present this Christmas

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Written By Jim Butcher

While it’s tempting at this time of year to switch off and focus on Christmas cheer, remember that the social media juggernaut never stops.

The festive period could be your time to build brand awareness, cultivate die-hard fans and hit the ground running in the New Year.

Think about it. All those folk flopped on the couch digesting turkey and mince pies. Presents are all open. The TV’s on – and there’s nothing much to watch.

What will people do? All those who aren’t in a food coma will pick up their phones and tablets and search social media. It’s a captive audience.

How to win at social media over the Christmas break

1. Be social

Remember why people are on social media. They want to be entertained, in contact with friends and see what everyone else is doing because we’re all essentially quite nosey.

Do shout-outs to fans and readers – interact with those already looking at your pages. Everyone’s full of the warm fuzzies over Christmas, so mention loyal readers and customers, and that may turn them into fan-girls and fan-boys.

2. Sharing is caring

Encourage customers to talk about you to their friends by sharing your readers’ posts on your account. Storymaking (as opposed to storytelling) was the buzz trend of 2015, so foster fans to ‘friend’, follow and favourite you by promoting them and their experiences.

Then you don’t have to worry about having new content to post over Christmas when your team might be on holiday.

3. Trendjack the season of giving

Why not jump on the bandwagon of people’s generosity? Holding a giveaway over Christmas or telling people about a donation your company’s making will plug into the spirit of the season. Offer to donate a percentage of the proceeds from any new business gained during the festive season – and tell your would-be customers you are doing it.

Here’s more about trendjacking and how it works.

4. Timing is everything

To maximise your social media participation, publish your posts during your audience’s prime-time. Get inside the head of your ideal customer and think about when they’re most likely to be on social media. We will be writing more about marketing to ‘personas’ in the New Year, so look out for How to Target Your Ideal Customer in 2016.

Post just after Christmas lunch when everyone’s relaxing and vegging out.

If you’re not sure when’s the best time, follow the rule of thumb. The time when you’re looking at your social media is when you should be posting, because that’s probably when your audience is browsing too.

5. Get festive

Think about how you can incorporate a bit of festive glow into the social profile of your business. Even if it’s just superimposing a few well-placed comedy Santa hats on your Facebook or Instagram profile photo, it’ll tell people you’re in the spirit.

This makes your business look friendlier and more approachable, and also shows that your content is current.

6. Stay in touch

Customer service is most important over Christmas – it’s when people have the time to be extra fussy! Make sure the times for when you’ll respond to complaints and questions are clearly marked on your website and Facebook page.

Perhaps ask people to Tweet you instead. That way you only have to keep an eye on Twitter rather than emails, phone calls etc.

7. People will be all shopped out

Keeps sales posts to a minimum – be more social and personal during Christmas. By all means tell people about your sales or new products. They’re still buying online, but be subtle.

As with all advertising platforms, Christmas and other significant dates in the calendar have a fascinating impact on social media. It’s something that’s changing on a yearly basis.

There was a significant downturn in social media activity during Christmas 2012, but 2014 saw little or no change to social media use between November and December.

This Christmas will see more people engaging online. Make sure Santa – and everyone else for that matter – stops at your door by keeping your business social these holidays.