Just because offices are closed for (American) Thanksgiving, doesn’t mean people aren’t looking at their phones. For those less inclined to engage with the football game or Uncle Earl’s third retelling of the same story, many scroll through their social media feeds, which is why it’s important to keep your business’ page updated throughout the holiday weekend.
How To Get The Best Social Media Ever
What should you post over the Thanksgiving holiday? How can you make your updates timely to users in a post-turkey coma? Here are ten ways to utilize social media to benefit your company this Thanksgiving.
1. Show how your business gives back
It’s a great time of year to showcase support for nonprofit causes in your community.
Did your employees participate in a food drive this November? Did you sponsor an event in your local community? Write a blog post about it and tag those involved. If you didn’t directly participate, did one of your clients? It could be a good time to endorse the work they did, and link to an article or post about it (especially if the post was written by a member of your team). This is also a great time to show informal support for nonprofit organizations that overlap with your followers’ interests. For example, a boutique could spotlight a charity that provides outfits for disadvantaged women to wear to job interviews (that’s a real, multinational nonprofit, by the way). Make sure the post stays true to your brand’s voice, with a little extra holiday spirit on top.
2. Schedule your posts ahead of time
Use a scheduler like Hootsuite to prep posts so they land at peak times throughout the weekend. Think about when your readers are most likely to be kicking back, relaxing and scrolling through their phones so you can schedule the updates strategically. It is extremely important to keep your “ideal customer” in mind when making these plans: if you run a sporting goods company, the middle of the Cowboys’ game might not be the best time to post. Pre-scheduling will keep your page looking lively and keep interested individuals reacting to your content in real time, while giving your team the holiday break they deserve.
3. Post a visual
A Thanksgiving-themed post will help users feel more connected over the holiday.
Whether it’s a picture of a hand-turkey, a “gobble-gobble” GIF or the office dog in a sweater (I’m looking at you, Effy), a well-fashioned Thanksgiving-themed post can boost existing interest and even bring new users to your page. Canva is a great resource for creating pre-sized, well-balanced graphics that will catch your followers’ eyes and increase their likelihood to engage. Think about brand guidelines as you choose what to post, rather than your personal preference. Ask yourself: is your target demographic of retirees between 55 and 75 going to appreciate that reference to Bob’s Burgers, or would they prefer a tasteful cornucopia? Deep down, you know the answer. It is always important, especially as a social media manager, to be aware of trends when posting memes and GIFs, and to make sure that they are used in a context your followers can enjoy. Do your research before posting images to ensure no hidden meanings or innuendo end up on your account. The last thing you want is a public relations snafu on the table… pun intended.
4. Thank your customers
Whether your business year has been booming or bumpy, it’s your customers that make the world go ‘round. Thank the ones who have eyes on your page and wish them a happy holiday directly. If you’re able, try to keep up with comments and direct messages within 24 hours maximum of their posting. This will make anyone who engages with the posts feel like your business is one that really pays attention, rather than creating content just for the clout. If the team is planning to be offline for the weekend, it may benefit you to select a “point person” (or two) to keep an eye on your social media and engage with customers during the holiday weekend. This will keep the rest of your team off their phones during dinner and take care of your customers in real time, all at once.
5. Utilize your Stories
Posting a Facebook or Instagram Story puts you right at the top of your followers’ feed, so consider an employee social media takeover. If your business is full of friendly faces, let willing employees share in the fun. Whether it’s a serious holiday greeting or a Boomerang of the CEO with olives on her fingers, your followers will be more likely to feel connected and engage personably with your page. If you’re closing up shop for the holidays and need to prep everything in advance, use Storrito to pre-schedule Instagram Stories that can post over the course of the day. Schedule posts in regular intervals to keep your brand at the front of your followers’ minds. The customer will engage accordingly.
6. Embrace the change of season
Keep holiday-themed content queued up for the day after Thanksgiving to keep your page looking current.
For many, the day after Thanksgiving signifies a huge shift in the subject of season, flipping from autumn to holiday-themed colors and graphics. Make sure you have some winter-centric content queued up, especially if your company has special offers or discounts available for the holiday weekend. Customers who kept eyes on your page over the weekend will end up feeling like insiders if the deals go up on social media. Don’t forget to switch up your header photos on Facebook and Pinterest as well. Ideally, you should have something new posted at the start of your business day on Black Friday. Speak to your team and make a firm decision about how your brand plans to celebrate the winter holidays. Is there one in particular you feel you should highlight, or would it be better for you to stick to a neutral celebration of the season? Also consider whether or not you want to introduce a holiday accent color (such as frosting pink or ice blue) to your brand palette, so you can start working ahead on holiday graphics right away.
7. Don’t forget Pinterest
Pinterest is booming as a marketing platform, but it’s also where many people will go to link to decorating ideas, recipes and shopping deals. Don’t miss out—this could be an awesome opportunity to get new eyes on your brand via promoted pins. Pinterest is a great investment for the season, but the life cycle of a pin is longer than you might think. A well-made pin can benefit your business for years to come, and may end up being shared across platforms if the content is compelling enough. Make sure your pins make it through the editing process in time to be shared with your followers a few days ahead of the holidays, when they’re most likely hunting for last-minute Thanksgiving ideas, and in time for the Black Friday rush. I personally spend the most time on Pinterest between the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, as I plot my holiday decorating strategy. With a shortened Christmas season this year, it may prove valuable to float your promoted pins a few days in advance and monitor their response.
8. Watch your own trends
Just because a tip is considered tried-and-true, doesn’t mean it’s foolproof when trying to drive traffic to your site or engage your audience. Check your analytics from last Thanksgiving, if you still have access to them, and make certain adjustments based on the data you see. When the holiday weekend is over, do the same for this year. Mark trends for a more successful and intentional strategy moving forward, and consider doing the same for other holiday weekends. There can be a lot of noise on social media over the holidays, and it’s valuable to give your customers’ trends that extra special attention.
9. Take notes
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and there’s no shame in admitting that other brands are delivering awesome content. Scroll through your own feed and study how other brand accounts are handling the holiday. You may come up with some great ideas for next year, as well as an idea of what doesn’t work and should be avoided. While you’re out, don’t forget to drop some kind greetings on other brands’ pages; after all, this is the season of giving!
10. Serve Dinner
An account is like a meal– it takes more than one kind of dish (or post) to keep people coming back for more!
Okay, hear me out on this one—it’s a metaphor. Think of your content as a Thanksgiving meal: everyone is expecting the turkey, and it’s delicious, but without the sides it just isn’t a feast. Posts about your company are the turkey, but images, videos, tips and articles are the dishes that turn your account into the sort of spread that brings people back for second helpings. And, just like at the real Thanksgiving dinner, make sure to avoid divisive topics like religion and politics. No one likes a fight at the table.