As social media marketers, we specialize in creating tailor-made strategies for each individual client. We dig deep into the habits and personality traits of your target demographic, we look at any data you might already have on hand, we discuss budget and create a nice package ready to be delivered to your very specific audience.
There is a science behind what we do, but ultimately, no matter what business we are working with, we always preach that consistent posting is key to keeping your audience engaged and reaching maximum engagement.
But is that true for seasonal businesses too?
Should you still be posting while you’re lying on a beach in Mexico, sipping down your third drink with an umbrella in it, during your offseason?
Should you still be scheduling out consistent posts even though you won’t have time to babysit them because you are busy planting, preparing, or pondering new ideas for your upcoming season… or maybe because you are parasailing over the Caribbean Sea, either way, we aren’t judging here.
Our conclusion: maybe not.
Recently, our very own Seth Roberts wrote a blog titled “The You’re Still Alive Effect” where he noticed that he got more engagement than usual after he hadn’t posted in some time. (Side note, he wasn’t on a beach with an umbrella drink, he just has 3 jobs. )
From the discussion we had around Seth’s blog, I provided some similar insight that I have gained from helping manage two of my family’s seasonal businesses on Facebook.
My Aunt and Uncle own Adna Floral, which is a flower and plant nursery that is open to the public three months of the year. Of course, they are preparing for their “selling season” nearly year-round, but they have products to sell only during April, May, and June.
My little brother owns The Huntting’s Pumpkin Patch & Haunted Forest, which, as you can guess, has an even shorter selling season: the last weekend in September until October 31st. He too, works year-round to prepare, but only needs the exposure to his target demographic during a short period of time each year.
Combining what I know about Facebook’s algorithm, the behavior of Facebook users, and the fact that these businesses are only publicly operating during a short time each year, I leave you with these tips on how to manage successful Facebook campaigns for seasonal businesses.
Facebook tends to favor first posts after long periods of silence.
Have you ever noticed that a post you make after an extended absence tends to see more engagement than your regular posting?
Use this to your advantage since it plays right into your seasonal business model. I suggest beginning your seasonal posting schedule about a month before opening day to re-engage your audience and jumpstart your good reputation in your community.
What should you post?
Create your first post of the season with a question to answer, use a great image of you preparing your products/services for your customers. These types of posts tend to yield the most reaction from your followers, which in turn, helps your post spread far and wide by Facebook’s algorithm.
Giveaways usually work for widespread sharing and page likes, but I am personally leery of the type of person you may attract. Are they really a potential customer, or are they just someone helping a friend win a contest or looking for some free stuff? You can spend the same amount of money as your free item on Facebook ads and not have to babysit the post. We call the results of these types of posts “vanity metrics”, ultimately not seeing the benefit of them to your bottom line, rather only to your own sense of accomplishment.
Create your own hype.
To reiterate, I recommend seasonal businesses coming back to life on Facebook about a month before opening day. Begin to create a hype. Let’s face it, your loyal customers have been waiting all year for you to open again. They’re excited! Your post tone and visuals should reflect that. Subsequently, your customers’ excitement will begin to burn like wildfire on social media, creating new potential customers in their wake.
Excitement breeds excitement. Use it to your advantage to tell the world that your seasonal business is the next best thing to hit the market since indoor plumbing during a Canadian Winter.
Check in’s and reviews are your best friend.
Since the window for captivating your audience is short, it would make good sense to try to encourage as many check in’s and reviews/recommendations as you can during your season.
- Create a sign to post around your business asking people to check in on social media.
- Share reviews of previous customers to thank them, and subliminally encourage others to write their own reviews.
- Set up a photo booth and encourage people to share their photos with you on your social media or tag you when they post it to their own social media. Maybe even create a custom hashtag!?
- Include your social media handles on any papers or digital communications that you give to your customers.
Go out with a bang!
End your selling season with an appreciative post that lets your audience know that you’ll be back again next year and to keep an eye out for you when the time comes!
Thanks for reading our tips and tricks for the Facebook strategy of your seasonal business! Do you have experience running the Facebook page of a seasonal business? We’d love to hear if you agree with our recommendations. And, if you haven’t already, join us in SprySpace, the Facebook group created and managed by Spry for digital marketers!