A Long Line at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
Summer is right around the corner, and if you are thinking about marketing a seasonal business – you are most likely preparing for a couple of extremely busy or awfully slow months ahead. As you know, it’s crucial to keep your social media game strong, and tailoring your marketing strategy to the seasonality of your business can help.
Seasonality depends on many factors, including your industry and your geographic location. Here where we’re based in Arizona, for example, traffic at restaurants, retailers and hotels slows down due to the hot temps. But, in destination cities like along the coast and cooler places, restaurants boom in the summer.
Whether heading into a busy or slow time, social media can smooth out the highs and lows.
If you are heading into your busy season, social media may be the last thing on your mind – after all, you have a ton of clients to take care of. But keeping up with your social media during busy times can help eliminate slow times during the off-season by making in-roads with locals and capitalizing on people “opting in” to talking with you on Facebook and Twitter year-round. A few tips to make the most of your social media with limited time:
+ Designate a person and set aside time specifically to manage your social media profiles.
+ Use social media to promote special offers like value adds (free gift with purchase for example) or discounts during slower hours of the day or slower days of the week to even out traffic.
+ Make it easy for your clients to find you by joining them on the platforms they prefer (and cut out the rest!). Do a search to find stats on user demographics of popular social media platforms and go where your customers are (hint: under age 25? Hit up Snapchat; go to Facebook if need good targeting for multiple audiences).
+ Think about what your customers are experiencing and reflect that; be part of the experience they are looking to create. Are you near the ocean? Mention how it’s the perfect day to grab one of your box lunches for an easy meal at the beach.
+ Be sure to offer a clear call to action, tell your clients what exactly you want them to do and why, “stop by today for our limited edition sea salt caramels (why? they’re limited, we’re going to run out if you don’t come soon!), we’re at the corner of Maple and Olive 2 blocks from the boardwalk (don’t forget an address, or if you want customers to call or email you don’t forget to provide that info).
+ Offer deals to encourage locals to come back in the off-season, loyalty cards and “locals only” discounts are a great way to get repeat business and thank locals for their year-round love.
If you are heading into the slow season, try some different strategies:
+ Stay active on your accounts all year round – being consistent is key. If you don’t have time for the profiles you manage, or you aren’t gaining traction on one or two, consider an overhaul of your strategy and don’t be afraid to cut the dead weight if it just isn’t happening on some sites.
+ Pay to play – consider boosting posts to target a specific audience based on interest, demographic, or geographical location, don’t forget a special offer with a strong call to action (see above).
+ Get more engagement on your sites by asking fun questions, “like if you love vanilla ice cream, share if you’re a chocolate fan!” Facebook hint: The more momentum you create, the more Facebook rewards you with additional organic (unpaid) reach and engagement.
+ Work your way into a smaller niche market that remains fairly consistent all year round to compliment the peaks of the busy season.
+ Stay in touch through email, offer tips, news and of course exclusive offers for subscribers.
+ Think twice before using discount sites to sell discounted goods and services, this seems like a quick fix when business is slow but this sites rarely generate repeat business and train consumers to find a coupon before they buy from you.
If you are looking to take your social media to a new level this season or are looking to develop a solid seasonal strategy, visit our social media services page or give us a call today at (480) 270-5395.