Social media is a valuable tool for small businesses to gain more exposure locally, but what do you do when you own a seasonal business? Do you just stop posting? I would not recommend that. We never want to just show up when we need something. We all have that friend or relative right? Also, building a social media community takes time. Posting today will not equate to business tonight. It's similar to building a relationship in person. The best way to look at it is if you wanted to get in shape for summer, you could not start your workout routine on May 31st. You would need to start 3 to 6 months BEFORE you need the results. There is no "lose 30 pounds in an hour" workout plan. It's the same way with a social media strategy. Here are a few tips on how a seasonal business (CPAs, landscapers, Christmas Light Installers, etc) can stay in front of their audiences during the slower times.
1. Get creative with tips: You may not think that a Christmas light installation company would have much to say in the summertime, but there's always a tip to give and someone to help. Consider this: I don't have any stats on this, but I would imagine 99.9% of people that hire someone to install Christmas lights live in a house (as opposed to an apartment). This means that tips to help around the home would be valuable any time of year. The same is true for a lawn care company. Tips like watering your foundation, how to care for your pipes, or prep your yard for Spring would be valuable info for a lawn care company to share for homeowners during the Winter months.
2. Be Social: When in doubt, get "social"! Post about events going on in the community or share content that your audience can relate to. Ex: A golf course could share local events or even post a photo of someone with a sad face with the caption: "When it's too cold to play golf" in the Winter. Everyone knows that tax season is between January and April 15th. CPA's can really win with social media by letting their personality shine starting on April 16th. Preparers should stay relevant all year long so that when tax season rolls around, business just falls in his lap since they've already built the relationships. Again, consistently give value instead of just showing on January 1st begging for business. It doesn't hurt to use humor and be social either :)
|When it's too cold to play golf...|
3. Be consistent: Just because your business is seasonal doesn't mean that you don't have valuable information to share year 'round. By posting consistently, business will come your way even in non-peak times. You may think that a ski/snowboard shop would shut their social media down during the summer. This is actually a great opportunity to build their community by following other local businesses and accounts. Also, they could post about sales and specials due to the items being out of season and be the only game in town.
People with great summer bodies did not get that way by cramming crazy workout sessions in at the end of Spring. Being "in shape" on social media takes giving value consistently and then people will already have a relationship with you by the time your business season is in full swing! Are there any other tips that you would give for a seasonal small business? If so, please share in the comments! Thanks!