The Christmas holidays are nearly upon us. Time to kick back and relax? Not quite. Make sure your social media is delivering the goods this season with our simple tips.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the festivities and neglect your social media over the Christmas holidays. But that would be a shame, because if your audiences think you’ve disappeared your brand will suffer. You don’t have to be always available, but it pays to focus on some key aspects of strategy for the holiday period.

Keep your audience up to date

Businesses are increasingly using social media to advertise, including current offers, events, and, most importantly, their opening hours. In the holiday season, many businesses open and close at different times than they do normally. Keep Christmas opening hours on your profile’s ‘About’ page, and since Twitter and Instagram have tiny bios, consider changing links to point to a blog post that documents the new hours. Share this on all platforms with the times listed so people don’t miss out on it.

Schedule, or else

Over the Christmas holiday, everyone wants a little time off, even if only for a few hours: this includes those who run social media accounts. But nobody wants ‘dead air’ on their feeds, either. Scheduling content can help with this. There are a number of apps and services online that can help you do this effectively and efficiently.

The run-up to Christmas can also present challenges, as many businesses are busier than usual, resulting in feeds being neglected and followers becoming bored. Keep the accounts active by scheduling a few posts a week. This will provide customers with the content they enjoy.

Christmas competitions

Competitions can generate a great deal of engagement and interest through social media. The rest of your social content could even convert those who simply follow to join in. This is why you should hold a couple of Christmas-themed competitions.

A caption contest is an easy way to engage your followers. Simply upload a Christmas-themed photo to your feed, and the best caption from your followers wins a prize. Obviously, make it a seasonal prize. You could also host a competition in honor of the 12 days of Christmas. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to avoid seeing any ‘12 Days’ competitions at this time of year.

Hashtags for the holidays

Locowise has always emphasized the importance of hashtags. Particularly if you run a business, it can be difficult to stand out on a social media page. During the holiday season, hashtags are even more important.

Don’t forget to do it right, though. Focus on hashtags that have a lot of traction online, so that you can be part of the momentum. Watch out for trending hashtags that get a lot of engagement. And make sure you develop your own hashtags that your audiences can get behind.

The look

You can make sure your social media accounts look impressive to make effective use of social media. During the festive season, update your profile and cover photos. People will be more inclined to follow you during the festive season if you have a look and feel that gets them in the mood.

Give audiences an offer

We mentioned discounts and offers in one of the other tips as a way to get your brand noticed while reaching out to your followers and converting them into consumers.

Offers can be shared via a simple post or, for a more intense impact, their details can be revealed exclusively via your ‘stories’ on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. In order to monitor conversions on each network, tailor your discount codes according to the platform.

Support charities

Christmas is not only the time to receive gifts, but it is also the time to give gifts as well. There is something very special about Christmas, when people remember to give to those who perhaps will not be enjoying large amounts of food and fun at the time.

What this means for brands is that you need to highlight the efforts you are making to help others at Christmas through featuring the charities you are working with. This way, not only are you doing good at a time of year when people really need help, but you are also showing the human side to your brand, which helps to strengthen the relationship you have with your audiences.

The above areas will help you to build out a seasonal social media approach that will keep audiences happy over the festive period, as well as continue to build your brand.