Social media presents unique challenges at any time of year, but the holiday season tends to be the hardest time to keep up for many event pros. You’ve got parties to plan, gifts to shop for, and somehow, you’re supposed to take time to post to social media. At best, it becomes a daily burden of what and when to post; at its worst, social media is ignored and left to wither until the new year.
While it may seem like no big deal day to day (and likely a case of “I’ll get to it tomorrow”), sporadic posting is a quick way to be forgotten by followers and the digital algorithms that make the marketing world go around. With engagement season immediately following the holidays, it’s essential to gain traction early and set yourself up to attract and connect with newly-engaged couples.
You don’t need to spend hours curating your social media feed to stay present and engaged online throughout the holiday season. Here are some tried-and-true strategies that will have you pumping out fresh content in minimal time.
Pick 3-6 core content pillars.
One of the biggest obstacles with social media is the question: What do I post? Your content needs to stay on-brand and be relevant, but it should also be fresh and inspiring to your followers. Consider three to six “pillars” or categories that you’ll consistently cover on your feed. For example, Client Work, Testimonials and Reviews, Behind the Scenes, Event Recaps, and Your Brand Experience.
With those categories laid out, brainstorm a few ideas for each and keep these lists somewhere accessible so you can add to them as ideas arise. Rotating through your core content pillars will ensure your feed is consistently providing value to your followers.
Create a hashtag cheat sheet for your brand.
Hashtags are still a great way to expand your reach and increase the “findability” of your content. However, they’re only effective when used with a strategy in place; haphazard hashtagging can actually be more detrimental to growing a qualified and engaged audience.
Fortunately, you often end up using many of the same hashtags over and over again, especially those location-based ones. Create a Google Doc that organizes hashtag “clouds” by category and type. For example, one hashtag cloud may be all location-based (i.e. #ATXweddings, #NYCphotog, etc.) and another may be for your behind-the-scenes content. Start by aligning these with your core content pillars and continue adding “clouds” as needed.
Pro Tip: Add three to five original hashtags for each post and don’t use the exact same hashtags over and over every single day. Hashtags should be relevant to the post and if your hashtags are spammy, ideal clients may not engage.
Batch your content development.
Creating content is an exhausting task to take on daily when your schedule is already jam-packed, so consider batching your work at the start or end of each month. Set aside five to six hours to source images, write captions, and schedule out in an app like HootSuite or Later.
This way, you can get a whole month’s worth of content prepared and ready to go in less than a full workday. That means you can spend the holidays resting and relaxing, while your social media feeds continue generating content.
If you want to break it down even further, designate a day for image selection, one for writing, and one for scheduling. Condense everything into manageable tasks so you don’t have to feel the pressure of sharing to social media every day to stay relevant.
Take advantage of live content.
Facebook and Instagram both have a “live” feature and you should be taking advantage of this opportunity to reach your audience on an authentic level. Try and share live content at least three times per week.
Before you get worried about producing and curating all of that content, it’s worth noting that live stories are supposed to be casual and in the moment. Don’t worry about being perfect! While your feed is likely refined to a T, these live stories only last for 24 hours so you don’t need to stress too much about getting it just right.
I also encourage you to use in-app enhancement features like sliders, polls, and questions to boost engagement. Share a behind-the-scenes look at a client’s holiday party or ask your followers to share their favorite Thanksgiving side dish. Have fun with it!
Connect briefly each day.
Although you don’t need to post content every day, you should still be spending at least five minutes to engage with users, fans, and followers. Before you shrug this step off, this is truly where the magic happens. With your social media calendar done and scheduled by the start of the month, you can spend your allotted screen time each day as an active part of social media communities.
Start by checking your messages and comments, liking and responding appropriately. Then, follow your own hashtags and geotags for your most recent posts. Like and comment on other users’ content when it makes sense and is relative to your brand. If appropriate, you can also participate in conversations within Slack or Facebook groups.
Nowadays, participating and engaging daily builds an audience far better than having new and amazing content. Set your priorities accordingly, prep your content at once, and use your valuable time each day to do what matters most: connecting and engaging your audience. When put together, this streamlined approach will help you to navigate the holiday season with ease and will put you in prime position for peak engagement season.