As the weeks get hectic in the lead-up to Christmas, here is a quick hit list of online marketing items you shouldn’t forget. Check them off to keep your customers happy and help your business thrive.
Firstly, jump into your Google My Business and update your open hours. Google regularly shows your open hours to anyone who searches for your business by name, and also to Google Maps users. So having your correct hours is important.
If you run a retail store you might have special nights with increased hours in December. Or, like many other businesses, you might have a close-down period over the Christmas break. Either way, in your Google My Business settings edit the “Special hours” section under your regular hours. You can set the open hours for specific dates well in advance, so do them now rather than trying to remember it in the rush of things later in December.
Next, if you’re planning a close-down period, let whoever is running your digital ads know what date you’d like your ads paused and what date they should resume. There is no point wasting money with people clicking on your ads if you’re not available to serve them. Just pause your campaigns while you’re closed, and then use that budget to increase the campaign spend in the second half of January or early February to give your business a great start to the year.
Of course, if you’re selling products online or instore, you might choose to increase your spend during this period. Pre-plan your Christmas and New Year campaigns and get them scheduled in.
Scheduling also works for your social media campaigns. Want to post some fun Christmas memes or a Happy New Year message to your online followers? Schedule the posts in advance before you go on holiday.
If you have opening hours listed on your website, make sure you update these to reflect any extra hours and also any close-down period you have.
For your regular customers, it’s helpful to let them know your holiday hours and set expectations so they’re not having to guess. Will you have a skeleton crew available? Or no-one in the office at all? Or perhaps you’ve got a full team available right through. Whichever option suits your business, plan in your diary to have an email sent out to let your customers know.
Finally, set autoreplies on email and messaging tools. Setting autoreplies on Office 365 or GSuite email accounts is easy – you can even set them up in advance and select which dates the autoreplies should begin and end. If your business receives regular messages via Facebook Messenger, then before you go on holiday be sure to set the autoreply or Messenger greeting to mention your close-down period. If you have a live-chat platform on your website that changes to “Leave us a message” when you’re not logged in, update this message before going on holiday to mention your close-down period too.
With a little bit of pre-planning and scheduling you will hopefully be able to enjoy the Christmas season and holidays and come back recharged for a prosperous 2019.