Is that the sound of Champagne corks popping and the festive season kicking off? For many people, we’ve hit the button on long-overdue downtime, but for others, this is the busiest time of year as social media consumers interact with brands more furiously as they have throughout the year. So taking a break from social media is equal to leaving your office phone unanswered. How do we manage customer expectations on social media over the holidays? We’ve got it covered…

Mastermind’s Top 5 Tips: Managing Social Media over the holidays

1) Manage customer expectations

Take advantage of the real estate in your brand’s social media profiles to spell out which days and times your account will be monitored and provide an alternative mechanism for customers to make contact if they need to.

It may be that you divide the task of monitoring social media among your team to share the workload so someone is always keeping an eye on comments in case any urgent issues arise.

2) Plan and schedule content

One of the evolutions in social media platforms over the past year has been the ability to manage and schedule content. So there’s no need to cancel a trip to the Boxing Day test, or meet friends for a post-Christmas sale shop. With programs like Hootsuite, Edgar, Schedu.gram or Facebook’s scheduling tool, you can post a series of content before you head on leave. All that’s left is to respond to queries and stay on brand during the festive season. 

3) Is your content valuable?

The behaviour of consumers over the holiday season is quite different to their behaviour at other times of the year. People are catching up with family and friends. Lazing at the beach. Travelling. So with this relaxed vibe in mind, consider whether your content is relevant to consumers in holiday mode… does it add value? Is it compelling?

People have more time to absorb content, relax and enjoy what they’re reading at this time of year. We’ve seen great results throughout January when good content is presented, so it’s important to get it right.

4) Set up notifications on your phone

Stay on top of communications with an alert on your phone to keep you abreast of comments that have been made. Simply use the Facebook Pages app (you will need to be an admin on the page), or other social media platforms to stay connected to your audience. Facebook recently (Nov 2016) announced the option to manage Facebook messenger, Facebook and Instagram interactions in one simple format – it’s worth updating your apps and testing it out.

5) Put a social media escalation plan in place

The reality is that sometimes plans go awry and a response is needed, even when you’re on holidays. Put yourself in a better position to respond by having an escalation plan ready to go. What does that look like? It might be that staff are directed to contact senior staff for assistance or make decisions when issues arise. Allocate a person to be a point of contact and give your social media/marketing team the tools and contacts they need to resolve customer or media issues quickly and efficiently.