In the Midwest, we have four seasons, which means some businesses aren’t open year round. How do you account for times that your staff is lower or you aren’t selling a product or providing a service? You can adjust your digital presence to account for this while not going completely silent for four to five months. Here are some ways to use your time wisely and remind your followers engaged without overdoing it.
You’ve headed into your off season, but don’t want to lose the following and engagement you have built up during your popular open season. What can you do without wasting energy and money without being able to to truly bring your followers to your business?
1. The Off-Season Isn’t Quiet Time
First, make sure you don’t go completely silent. You do still exist and you need to make sure your followers know that. Here are some ideas for off-season content:
- Share articles you find about your industry — Interesting stories about prepping your garden, a cool story on golf, or ways to jazz up your dessert with some ice cream.
- Recognize holidays — What holidays are going on during your off-season? Send out a quick message or greeting to recognize the holiday. While you can’t make holidays the only items you’re sharing, they can be nice posts you don’t have to think much about to show that you’re still there.
- Share events happening around your area — Is there something going on in the town your business is in? Share it. It’s a way to show your business is engaged in the happenings around town and it may lead to others in town to engaging with you or sharing your events in the future.
2. Do Your Digital Analytics Homework
The off season is a great time to review your platform’s analytics. Review the analytics to figure out the following and improve your posts when you are open:
- Learn who your audience is by reviewing the demographic information, looking at their interests, or geographic locations.
- Find the time your followers are most engaged by reviewing the times and days you previously posted and looking at the engagement rates.
- Review your content to see what was more engaging last season — was it your videos, images, or text-only posts?
- Review your business pages on your platforms. Are their new ways to post that were developed during your off season, such as click-to-call links, abilities to add offers, etc.? Could you update the information about your business?
After reviewing the analytics from the previous season, it’s time to prep your content for the new season. During your downtime you can create a content strategy or calendar for your open season, this will allow you to be able to focus on running the business when you are opening rather than needing to market. This helps save you time and energy when you are in the process of opening. However, don’t just write it and forget it. Review the content to make sure it’s still relevant when you scheduled it and also make sure you add timely posts in as well.
3. Get Ready for Opening Season with a Countdown
- Countdown to opening — It’s the time you plan for all year — your open season! Generate the excitement when it’s getting close by using a countdown. The countdown could be done with images of your brand, trivia questions and prize giveaways or fun facts. This is your opportunity to re-engage your audience. As part of the countdown, give the audience the information they’ll need for the opening …
- When will be your opening? Will there be an opening event or sale? Share the information. Jazz it up, use imagery — it’s always more engaging
- If it requires a membership, make sure you get the details out early. This is an early income for your business and it can be nice to get it paid sooner rather than later after a few months of being closed.
- Have job openings? Post them! As your followers know about your brand already, their recommendations could make good potential additions to your team.
4. It’s Go Time: Set the Stage for Your Audience
Finally you’re open! After 4-5 months off, it’s nice to be back in the driver’s seat and seeing your customers again in person and online. Here are some early content idea starters to use when you are back open for the season:
- Use images to show that the doors are open and that there are people there — whether employees or customers. Introduce the staff, especially if there are new faces.
- Recognize the weather, typically seasonal businesses are weather oriented. If heat and sunny weather drives your customers, show them in advance that the awesome weather is coming.
- Remind them of who you are and what you do — show them your menu, new products, or showcase upcoming events to get them excited about the open season.
Digital platforms provide great opportunities to stay engaged with your customers during the off-season. They’re also useful tools for showing them that you are just as excited about seeing them when you open back up after the off season.
How do you stay connected with your customers and social followers during your off-season?