minfl3 / Pixabay

Summer is in full swing, it’s hot, it’s July, it’s time for vacation, but it’s also time to start prepping for the holidays.

Now is the time to start thinking about your promotions and prepping your online presence to make sure you have an audience when the time comes.

Black Friday is fewer than 100 days away, which means Christmas is just around the corner. So, while your setting up the barbecue and relaxing at the pool, start to form a plan and get ready for holiday success this year.

Here are 6 things you can do right now to make sure your business is ready to heat up those sales this holiday season:

1. Get Social

The one thing businesses never seem to understand is that for Social Media to work you need a presence and an audience. Now is the time to crank up the activity on the Social sties that best suit your business. Start growing your followers with targeted advertising, send weekly emails with useful information to your customer database. Brick-and-mortar locations can put up a sign inviting customers to follow your business on the social sites.

2. Get Active on Social

It’s not enough to just have a Social Media account and a handful of followers. If you aren’t active and you aren’t sharing information daily (if not several times a day) your followers will not see your updates in November. To have an audience you need to be active in front of that audience. The more active you are the more followers are guaranteed to see your updates. So, when you post that Black Friday super sale in November people will see the details.

3. Grow Your Database

Gather emails from your customers so you can reach them with future news and special offers. Request an email sign-up on your website, post an update on your Social sites, create a sign-up link in your emailed receipts, or run some ads and request an email sign-up with a special offer or gift in return. When you are ready to start promoting your seasonal specials you will have a list of interested consumers ready to get your messages.

4. Plan Your Promotions

At this point, you should be mapping out your planned promotions for 2018. Plan to participate in all the main “holidays”, such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Friday, as well as the main holidays of Christmas and Hanukkah.

5. Do a Trial Run

Summer is slow, people are at the pool they aren’t in the stores or online shopping, and if they are they are getting ready to buy school supplies. Give your holiday promotions a trial run by offering a Christmas in July special or a Back-to-School offer. Give people a preview of what is to come this holiday season.

6. Prep an Ad Campaign

Staring a general advertising campaign on Facebook now is a good way to grow a following and meet the algorithm so that in the future your ads are seen when you really need them to be seen. One of the biggest complaints we hear about advertising on Facebook is that they don’t work, but this is usually because a company has no advertising history on the site. Starting an ad for Christmas on December 1 will not get you as many views as an ad campaign that has been consistently running. Set up a campaign now promoting a general offer or just introducing your business, keep it running daily and then edit it to fit your holiday specials when you are ready.

With a bit of planning and prep work now, your holiday promotions can be a great success this year. Make 2018 the best year yet!