The 12 Days of Christmas: 12 top tips to make your Social shine this year
Written by Lauren Cassidy, Community Team Lead
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Well maybe not yet since we're in for a mild October - but nonetheless the team at Socio Towers have the preparations in full swing! We’re looking ahead to your busiest time so you don't have to. From imagery to email campaigns you can be sure we have the 12 essentials covered. So sit back, relax and allow us to do the heavy lifting...
- There's no time like the PRESENT
Yes, we know, Halloween is not yet upon us and you may not even be thinking about Christmas yet. Luckily for customers, WE ARE. They say the early bird catches the worm and while smaller individual groups may not be booking parties as of yet, many workplaces, corporates and businesses have their eyes set on avoiding the Christmas rush to ensure their staff celebrate in style this year. Over the coming weeks, the Community Managers here at Socio Local will be reaching out to you, (if they haven't already) with templates and requirements that are essential for a successful Christmas for your restaurant. You may believe it's too early to trickle these festive promos into your social now but trust us as there will always be a method to our madness! So if you have any fine details regarding your Christmas campaigns be sure to let us know now.
- Go festive, but stay on brand.
While it’s important to spread Christmas cheer, many businesses make the mistake of losing themselves to “Christmas Branding”. We will put together your Christmas campaigns with your brand in mind to ensure that your restaurant is part of the cheer, while still maintaining it’s recognisable attributes.
- Add festive cheer to your pages
Effective social media usage can be as simple as making sure your accounts look the part. We can also extend your specially thought out Christmas creative to your Social windows such as your profile picture and cover photo to reflect the festive period! This will not only get you in the festive spirit but will signal to your followers that you’re ready to get the festivities underway, that your bookings are filling up and that you’re the place to be this Christmas season.
Simply discuss with your Community Manager and we’d be happy to give your social media the mistletoe makeover it needs.
- Capitalise on Christmas events in your area.
Whether you're in a residential area or built-up city, you'll find there’s always festive activities near you. (Especially if you're using our Socio Connect app! 😉 ) Why not incorporate some offers or deals into your social this Christmas that go hand-in-hand with local events? For example, introducing a Pre-Panto Menu or a discount on your meal with every ticket for Santa's grotto, ice skating etc. We can build these offers into your Christmas campaigns to ensure that you're getting the most of your local area this year.
- Maintain a personal touch...
With all the promotional noise that gets amplified in the run-up to Christmas, it's important that your brand maintaines a personable, human element. Yes, we encourage you to shout about your promotions, but it's also vital to dedicate some airtime to your character. Share stories of your restaurant from Christmases gone by or photograph the staff in their Silly jumpers. In our experience, it's the genuine posts that gain the most organic traction so be sure to use some of your posts for this. Keep your Community Manager up to date via our Connect App with your decorating progress, new and special recipes you may be introducing, or even with images of special jolly visitors so that your audience knows you're enjoying the Christmas experience as well as selling it.
- Get involved with a charity with online donations.
While maintaining the personal aspect of your restaurant, why not think about the humanitarian side? As it's the season to give, show your restaurant is about more than just promotions this Christmas. Whether online or in-store, use your social for a good cause and draw attention to those who need it for a charity of your choice. Chat to your Community Manager about constructing a Give-Back campaign for Christmas, whether it's simple donations or a donation with each purchase. Alternatively, you could get involved in a charity event like Christmas Jumper Day, raising money for the Save the Children charity. This day involves people wearing Christmas jumpers for the day, even at work. We could then post pictures on your behalf and use the hashtag #christmasjumperday on social media to be a part of the conversation.
- Invest in advertising
As mentioned above, Christmas creates a lot of noise on Social media so it's important that your voice is heard. If you generally rely on organic reach and engagement now is the time to consider giving your social a little extra edge. Consistent and strong advertising can be the difference between a fully booked and a quiet Christmas. Talk to your Community Manager about adding to your Ad Spend for the winter months and allow us to create and implement Facebook & Instagram ads for your Social. There's no time like the present to get your message out there, and specifically targeted ads will ensure your speaking directly to the correct audiences for successful Christmas bookings.
- Don't leave your inbox un-manned!
You can be sure that Christmas inquiries will begin to come in through your Facebook thick and fast over the coming months. If you're already a user of our Messenger Maitre-D, then you will already know that this is one less thing for you to worry about. - But if not, allow us to shed some twinkling lights on the subject!
Messenger Maitre d' is an intelligent Facebook Instant Messenger Chatbot that automatically responds to all your inbound Facebook messages, 24/7. During the Christmas period, this could drastically save you time and help you avoid missing important group bookings! If you currently feel you need assistance with your messenger management this could be a great area for you to expand into before bust season! Simply ask your Community Manager about add-ons and pricing! 🙂
- Utilise your email marketing
Depending on the number of emails included in your package, you may want to start dedicating at least one of your email campaigns a month to spreading your Christmas message! Not only will this allow for an alternative method of driving traffic to your website and social - but you can use this as a way of spreading secret discounts available only to your subscribers. Drop these hints into your social, encourage people to sign up and the process starts all over again! It will also allow you to put items like your contact details, offers and menus directly in front of your guests! If you're not currently a user of email marketing, talk to us today about introducing it to package just in time for Christmas!
- Keep your information up to date.
During the busy festive season, it's important to keep your audiences up to date on all changes to usual procedures like opening hours, menus and terms & conditions. Having complete clarity with guests will minimise the number of issues that may arise and will allow you to run your business more efficiently. At Socio Local, we will regularly check-in for details like this in the run-up to the Christmas deadline. This will allow us to have everything we need with sufficient time to successfully communicate with your audiences on your behalf.
- Share the festivities with us! (decorating, events etc)
While we get the jump on decorating your social, that leaves you with time to start your internal decorations! Keep us up to date with images of your tree going up, decorations being hung and even the introduction of Santa Hats for the staff (They'll love us for that one!) and we'll continue to post your Christmas progress online for a fun and engaging alternative to promotions. You could even introduce a snap worthy backdrop or prop to your restaurant that would encourage guests to take photos, share online and check in to increase your pages reach and engagement...
- Don't forget the gift cards...
And with all that talk about getting your restaurant ready, we almost forgot to mention a crucial aspect of your restaurant to promote! Between now and Christmas, you can be sure that shopping panic will set in, so why not put your audience at ease for an easy yet thoughtful gift that never sells out? Not only will this drive people into your restaurant (or to your website) it will also mean future bookings for your business! You can even incentivise these gifts with discounts when they book in January... But that’s a story for another blog… *cough* next month! *cough*.
For further info on how Socio Local can ease the workload for you during the busiest time of the year, simply contact us below and we'd be happy to help!
Author: Lauren Cassidy