Holidays are a very busy season for just about everyone.
For most people, it’s the much-awaited chance to get out of their daily grind, to take time off from work and other concerns, and to clear their schedules and finally slow down. But being on vacation does not in any way mean being away from their phones. On the contrary, it’s the perfect time to be even more glued to their gadgets. Whether it’s Christmas, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya, summer break, school holiday, or any other major occasion, many people use that as the main excuse to take selfies, upload photos, post status updates, and tweet their experiences.
So what does that entail for you as an entrepreneur?
Simple, really. It just means that you can actually utilize social media during the busy holiday season instead of taking a break from it. And no, you don’t need to label yourself a workaholic and put in your usual long hours even when all you want to do is relax. It does mean, however, that you have to be conscious about ways you can reach out to your customers so you get the positive brand awareness your business needs and the time off you crave. Here’s how.
- Take advantage of geotagging and location tags.
There’s a reason why geotagging features and services are very popular nowadays: because they present good opportunities to market and promote your brand. And it’s not a throw-it-in-the-wind-and-see-if-someone-catches-it kind of strategy, either. It’s specific and targeted, which boils down to the all-important fact that you know exactly who you’re trying to attract with your products or services, and who you can best serve through your business.
And the good news is that you don’t have to be tech wizard to implement geotagging in your online accounts. Facebook has a geotagging feature, and so do Twitter and Instagram. You can be creative and use these features a number of ways in order to market your business – everything from announcing visitor rewards, to recommending services, and doing launches. For example, instead of merely posting on Facebook that you have an upcoming sale in Kuala Lumpur for the Mid-Autumn Festival, geotagging where it will be held – say in Suria KLCC or at the Pavilion – will have much more impact. Which, of course, translates to noticeably better results.
- Find ways to engage your audience.
Apart from being more strategic and targeted, geotagging also has the benefit of boosting audience engagement by as much as 79 percent compared to those who don’t use it. So does it mean you simply need to tag locations and you’re basically done for the day? Of course not. That’s the minimum benchmark you need to hit; there are many other tactics you can do to help promote better engagement among your readers.
Because people generally have their phones handy, plugged, and connected online while on vacation, you won’t have trouble finding your audience – the challenge is to keep their attention for more than a few seconds. This is where sharing relevant information helps. Is it summer? Then post articles along the lines of best beaches to visit, tips for a great road trip, or budget summer destinations. Is it a festival known for food? Then find and upload traditional recipes associated with the occasion. It doesn’t have to be about your business, but if you can somehow link it to your personal branding, that would be better. Just make sure it’s relevant to your readers; that’s the tipping factor to make it an engaging story.
If you plan to really unplug during the holidays, it might be a good idea to take on a social media manager to work at least on a part-time basis. This ensures that you have a constant flow of posts and updates, and there’s always someone to answer customer messages and inquiries.
- Offer to give recommendations.
This strategy leans more on the personal side, and in a good way. While on a trip or in the middle of taking a holiday, it’s not uncommon for people to change plans or divert from the original itinerary. And by taking a few minutes to offer a good recommendation on something you absolutely trust, you just might save someone else’s vacation from being a complete disaster; help establish your credibility; and create awareness for your business. Definitely not a bad trade-off just by taking a few minutes to string together a recommendation.
Vidya Armogan, CEO of the well-renowned Barbados boutique hotel Sweetfield Manor, puts giving sound recommendations this way: “The majority of our visitors come from direct recommendations, so we’re very concerned about how someone recommends us. Instead of giving a list of places or activities you feel strongly about and leaving it at that, offer your own opinion to support the recommendation. The owner will be happy, but the customer will even be happier.”
Armogan explains that instead of giving general statements, offer your definite opinion instead. You need to be sure of what you’re saying and ready to stand by it. This makes you a credible figure, and you certainly need to be just that in your business – someone people can put their trust in.
Reaching out to your customers while they’re on vacation will require you to be creative and intuitive. Depending on the product or service you’re offering, or the field you’re in, you can come up with marketing ideas that make the best use of social media – without taking up too much of your time or a big fraction of your company budget. From streamlining your customer service to launching campaigns, it’s really up to you. The bottom line is that you promote your brand well even in the midst of holiday rush.
How do you use social media for your business when it’s the holidays? Do you do the work yourself or do you delegate it to someone else on your team? Share with us your tips and experiences in the comments; we’d love to know.