I was in a department store the other day and noticed the displays of winter jackets, parkas, snow boots, and scarves. The temperature outside was in the 80s and I was wearing shorts. The last thing I wanted to do was think about winter, cold weather, and snow.
At the same time, even though Halloween is only about a month away, I’m already sick of seeing the Halloween merchandise in the stores. I’m more of a last minute kinda guy. I probably won’t be buying any Halloween candy for the small trickle of trick or treaters that we get until maybe the two or three days before the holiday.
Wanna place bets on when we start to see Christmas merchandise showing up in the stores?
It will be soon. Very soon.
While I abhor the early onset of the holidays, particularly from a commercial standpoint, it is time to start thinking about Christmas. Many businesses treat social media as an afterthought, worrying about it after they’ve worked on everything else, from point of purchase displays and decorations to print ads, commercials, and catalogs. But that’s not the best strategy. If you’re thinking about those other things: the sales, the ads, the merchandise…then it’s also a good time to think about your online presence and social media.
How will you be using your social channels to support your offline advertising and marketing efforts? Will your offline efforts direct people to your website or social properties?
If you’re planning on bringing new business into your establishment, how will social media be a part of it? How will you be equipping your customers to spread the word about you online and offline? Are you prepared to encourage them to check in on either Facebook or Foursquare? How will you be engaging them and providing customer service on your social properties?
If you don’t have a plan for your social media, you run two very great risks.
First, you run the risk of not benefiting from the added bump social media can give you during potentially the most important income producing part of the year. A well thought out, fully integrated social media plan should be a part of your business plan all year round, but you can experience even more growth around the holidays.
Second, you run the risk of not being prepared to be there for your customers when they seek you out online. They expect you to be there, and to be responsive. If you’re not ready for them, they’ll notice.
Either way, now’s the time to start thinking about your holiday social media presence, and how you’ll be promoting your holiday specials and activities. How will you be connecting with your customers before, during, and after? How will you be capitalizing on platforms like Foursquare and Pinterest?
Are you ready for Christmas? Have you started to make your social media wish list?
- Four Steps to Turning Your Small Business and Nonprofit Fans Into a Street Team (inklingmedia.net)
- The Future of Marketing is About WAY More Than Social Media (thecontentcocktail.com)
- Faking it on Social Media: What are the Costs? (spinsucks.com)
- In Social Media, No One Cares Unless YOU Care (dannybrown.me)
- Study shows social media usage surging at large companies (businessesgrow.com)