Part 2 – Creating a Social Media Plan for 2014 and Beyond

We have talked about the importance of putting the social media plan together, determining which channels you should be active on, how often you should post content and some creative ideas about what to write about.

It’s now time to take that one step further and plug that information into a workable calendar. You can use a paper or electronic calendar, but putting the plan on paper is half the battle. As you start putting your social media plan together, keep these important official and unofficial days and holidays in mind:

  • Thanksgiving — November 27
  • Black Friday — November 28
  • Small Business Saturday — November 29
  • Cyber Monday — December 1
  • #GivingTuesday — December 2
  • Hanukkah — December 16 – December 24
  • Christmas Eve — December 24
  • Christmas — December 25
  • Boxing Day — December 26

I also like to use Bizarre, Unique and Wacky holidays to add some fun days to the calendar to create engagement. For example, did you know that November 29th is Square Dance Day? If you were a boutique that sold apparel for square dancing you could build a post “In Honor of National Square Dance Day…list your favorite square dance song or post your favorite picture.

In your plan be sure to factor in your other marketing activities. For example, look for ways to coordinate your posting schedule with newsletter or special online offers. . Remember that you can easily share your holiday newsletters and other digital marketing activities on social media, and use social media to encourage fans and followers to join your email list.

Here’s an example of what your calendar might look like for December:

Scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social or MarketMeSuite can save time by allowing you to schedule posts across a variety of social media channels.

If you’re a Constant Contact customer, you can create and schedule your holiday emails in advance. Using Facebook’s native post scheduler also allows you to schedule a month or week at a time.

Kick off your holiday posting schedule with Small Business Saturday in mind by coming up with a great offer. Use different communication tools and channels to get your message out.

Engage and tertian your audience with a mix of photos, questions fun days and offers, but be sure not to overdo the sales promotion. Social media followers want to be engaged not sold.

Lastly, be sure to capture email addresses and update your customer lists so that going into 2015, you can continue to nurture these relationships into the New Year and beyond.

Click here to download the free guide to marketing your business for the holidays with Constant Contact.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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