“Get social media for you business,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. Except on days when you’re staring at a blank screen wondering what in the world to post!
There are many factors that go into a strategic social media content plan, from business specials to great events you have happening. Staying relevant in seasonal conversations can also help, too. But that’s just one more ingredient in the mix.
Never fear! Let’s go month-by-month and find some creative ways to stay relevant seasonally on social media!
Hearts? Flowers? Chocolate? Ah, yes, we LOVE February and all of the ways you can make your social media content lovable!
- Valentine’s Day: How many ways can you talk about love this month? It can be more than just a day–perhaps the entire week is centered around things you love about your business. Or one item each week throughout the month. It doesn’t even need to be gushy–there are plenty of ways to incorporate love.
- Winter is…almost over!: The bad news: It’s still cold and snowy in many places. The good news: Despite what Phil says, we begin heading into Spring-ish weather after February, so use up your last month of chilly weather content tie-ins this month. Everything from cozy up comments, to belly-warming recipes and toasty sweaters. You catch the drift–stay relevant in those cold, winter conversations and cooped up, cabin-fever mindsets.
- Chock Full of Awesome: Wow–there are so many great topics to talk about this month and include in your social media content. From Black History Month to American Heart Month and Random Acts of Kindness Week. And don’t let Valentine’s Day think it’s the cherry on the sundae of days this month (we’re looking at you, Nutella Day)–have fun with the other ones out there.
- Tip: Who doesn’t “love” a good Valentine’s Day hashtag? Instagram! Be careful which ones you use, as they might be partially banned.
Happy New Year! Are you feeling refreshed and ready to take on your goals and year ahead? Or, still recovering from last year, and in need of a break?
Both camps need to start the year strong on social media…but with what?
- New Year’s Themes: From a simple wish to the year ahead, to asking about their holidays or plans for the upcoming year, and inspirational messages, there’s a short window of time to leverage this theme, depending on your industry. For example, fitness and health typically has more to stretch out (no pun intended!) than is realistic for a sculptor. Nevertheless, you can cover quite a bit.
- After the New Year Runs Out: January can be a tough one, but weather is a good one to play off. Seasonally, it’s dark and cold for many, with the hope of Spring still a few months out. Aside from cold weather, football, is an option, as is pulling out your backlog of throwbacks or behind the scenes.
- Think Ahead: Even if it’s your low/slow season, don’t lose momentum keeping up good social media habits, or preparing your long-term messages. Plant those seeds now!
- Tip: If you’re joining the conversation on Instagram, here are a few popular seasonal hashtags to incorporate: #newyear #goals #2018
‘Tis the season to: 1. Let your social media accounts fall by the wayside. 2. Use up all of your holiday content in one post. 3. Think ahead for 2018. Reality: All of the above!
Whether you’re running around trying to fulfill holiday orders, or just out of steam at the end of a busy year, staying consistent on social media, and having a plan to set you up for success is important.
What can you add to your content rotation this month?
- Holiday sales & gifting:
Do you have a holiday sale? How often are you going to post about it on social media? Is there a fun way you can announce it (12 days of Christmas, anyone)? Do you have appropriate graphics? Also, consider your content balance so your posts don’t come across as too sales-y or pushy. Tip: If you’re running a contest, make sure you’re compliant with each social media platform’s rules!
Are there gift packages? Whether you’re offering your own packages, or you’re partnering with other businesses to offer a bundle, don’t miss out on this opportunity for good karma and making shopping easier for your existing and new customers.
How are you holiday-relevant? Amidst all of the fa-la-la, being heard in the holiday conversations can be tough. Is your new necklace the perfect accessory for a holiday outfit? Maybe the corks from your wine bottles can double as ornaments or wreaths? Or perhaps your ceramic bowl makes a versatile holiday table centerpiece. Bring value and show how you’re helpful this holiday season.
Customer service tip: Set realistic expectations for timely orders and shipping! (Check out this free mini-course for making sure your social media accounts are ready for the holiday season!)
- Holiday messages: It’s still the season for thankful posts, holiday wishes and reflections on the past year. Bonus points for taking a creative twist!
- End-of-year: Do you have a tie-in for services that are time-sensitive by the end of the year? Whether your services are wrapping up before the end of the year, or
- Tip: Adjust your Twitter and Instagram hashtags to include holiday and seasonal changes. For example: #winter #sale #deals #gifts
It’s officially the holiday season, and of course, Thanksgiving is synonymous with giving thanks! Since that’s one of the main focuses this month, let’s talk about how you can incorporate Thanksgiving without overdoing it (just like too many cranberries and mashed potatoes!).
Business tie-ins: Are you having a company-wide Thanksgiving event? How about seasonal decorations around your office? Maybe there are season-specific ways to use your products (e.g., that wooden bowl you made is perfect for passing the bread on Thanksgiving!).
Personal elements: What are your family’s holiday traditions (e.g., recipes, watching football, etc.)? What are you thankful for? Try asking your followers, too!
Be careful: It’s easy to get carried away with hashtags (there are so many fun options!), but #happyThanksgiving is a partially banned hashtag on Instagram. What does this mean? Instagram is going to reduce the number of people that see your post. Better to stick with #Thanksgiving #family #dinner to name a few.
- Small Business Saturday: Of course, if you’re participating in Black Friday or Cyber Monday specials, you’ll want to include those, too. But we’re going to focus on Small Business Saturday, an event that strives to raise awareness for supporting smaller companies during the holiday season. Once you’ve determined any specials, or just want to encourage people to visit your store, begin planning posts you can do around that. If you’re going to post multiple times, get creative to mix it up!
- Logistics: Do you have holiday closures or special hours? Let customers know!
By the time October rolls around, hopefully you haven’t already overdone all things pumpkin…
As you prepare your October social media posts, check out a few seasonal ideas to integrate into your existing messaging to make it seasonal, or to supplement any lulls in the month ahead.
- Halloween: This is an obvious option, no matter if you take the scary Halloween angle, or a more seasonal approach. Common obstacle: “But I don’t offer anything Halloween-related.” Remember: It’s all about making what you do relevant to the season. Ideas: “Isn’t it scary…(that you don’t have one of the beautiful bracelets I make, you haven’t had our delicious granola, etc.).”
- Seasonal (literally!)-Cooler Weather & Harvest: Dropping temperatures bring new foods, lifestyle habits, you name it! Something you do IS relevant to that.
- Fall Break: Depending on where you’re located, you might be a Fall break destination, or experiencing families heading for Fall break. Something you do might be relevant to their journey or destination. Ideas: “Heading out the road? Pack everything with my handmade, local tote bag.
- National Days: Keep tabs on what’s happening this month, whether it’s specific to your industry, or just something you’d like to piggyback on (hello, National Taco Day!). National Handbag day, anyone? Maybe National Greasy Food Day (oops, that’s us!)? Be creative!
September is synonymous with back-to-school season, but with that being said, you might face one of two challenges: You’ve already been promoting back to school since August, or you don’t think you have a connection to the topic.
No matter which camp you’re in, the solution may be reframing your content. For example, this doesn’t mean your business needs a direct connection to school. Think about other things that happen around this theme: schedules are busy, evenings are for activities, routines are solidified, staying healthy is a must. Mull over some of those ideas to see how you can make yourself: 1. relevant in the conversation and 2. subtle promotion of the topic.
If you (or your audience) is over the back-to-school season, here are a few other tips and ideas:
- Fall: Use this topic sparingly, as we’re just headed into the season, and you’ve got to make it last a few months! If you do venture there, vary your approach, from the stereotypical pumpkins, to football and cooler-weather activities.
- Summer memories: They were technically only a few days ago, but you don’t have to file those kayaking trip photos, or wish longingly for the bacon s’mores you had camping. Use them for a throwback Thursday (#tbt), or on a day they make sense with your content to show nostalgia and personality.
- National days: If in doubt, take a break from the usual with a national day that’s either fun (Talk Like a Pirate Day 9/19), relatable (Grandparents Day 9/10) or relates directly to your industry.
Check back next month’s tips, and don’t forget you’re not alone in this–you have a partner to help you.