With Christmas now less than a month away, many people are looking forward to a much-needed break. But should businesses be taking a break from social media over the holiday period?
Author and owner of PR firm CP Communications, Catriona Pollard said that studies have shown that some 60 per cent of Australians use the internet more than five times a day, and that 70 per cent admit to using their phone during mealtimes, meaning that “the digital world remains a prevalent part of everyday life”. And social media plays a central role in that connectivity.
“For this reason, it’s important that your business is maintaining a presence, with content in the pipeline, ready to jump into 2019,” the author said.
Social still gets used over summer: Facebook
Kaylie Smith, Facebook’s head of SMB for Australia and New Zealand, said that most people don’t stop using their social accounts when the holidays arrive, and that means businesses should be, too.
She told My Business that having a presence on social media post-Christmas “gives you an opportunity to boost sales among your holiday customer base”, while tapping into customers checking out post-Christmas sales or seeking ideas for spending gift cards they had received as presents.
“Business should defo be thinking about their social strategies over Christmas and the New Year, as holidays are a great time to introduce your brand to new shoppers and attract new buyers in volume,” Ms Smith said.
“I know by my habits that most Australians over the summer and holiday season always have their mobile phone within easy reach. We travel with the phone, sunbath with it and look at our apps throughout the day.
“People are spending on average over three hours a day on their phones, and mobile is the ideal way to reach them with relevant products and compelling offers.”
Benefits of staying active on socials over Christmas
Ms Pollard said that there are a number of business benefits to maintaining a social presence over the holiday period, even if your business will be shutting down. These include:
Getting in on the festivities
“Unless you’re the Grinch who stole Christmas, it can be fun to involve your business in the festivities of the season,” Ms Pollard said.
“This doesn’t mean your business needs to start planning an elaborate Christmas event; incorporating festive flair can be as simple as adding a holiday-themed cover image to your business’ Facebook page or sharing a few holiday-related articles on your Twitter.”
Maintaining a visual presence
Keeping your brand in the minds of customers is a year-round task, and the holiday period is no exception.
Ms Pollard said that if your business is shutting down, there are various tools and apps that allow for content to pre-scheduled, ensuring a fresh stream of posts continues throughout the shutdown period.
Your customers may be off work, too
Many people take time off over the holiday period, and it can be easy to forget that we’re not alone in doing so.
“With many people off from work, there’s an opportunity to drive high engagement levels over the holiday period,” Ms Pollard said.
“Whether this be through posting regular content, replying to customer comments and feedback or even offering a special, holiday promotion, your business will reap the benefits of audience interaction.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.