Working as a social media manager at Christmas time can be crazy, hectic with clients throwing last minute promotions at you and expecting you to change content plans at the drop of a hat, and then wondering why sales aren't magically increasing… after all they are paying a social media manager!
And let's not mention customer queries that seem to be increasing at a rate of knots… and is it just me or do they ask the same damn question every time???
But with plans in place for this festive madness you can ensure things run smoothly for you and your clients, and they don't end the year with cash left on the table blaming their social media manager for everything going wrong at this crucial time of year!
How to prepare your clients for the Christmas period.
Start preparing. Now.
Between November & January there are numerous holidays and promotional days that your clients may be planning to participate in. Eg. Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas jumper day, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Eve and many more in between.
Ask your clients NOW which of these they plan to participate in and whether they will be running any promotions for each. Don't wait until nearer the time, and definitely don't wait for them to tell you as they will be expecting you to know.
Having all this information now means you can plan the content accordingly and can promote it on and around the event. It also means they are less likely to spring a sudden change on you (and ruin your well planned Instagram grid!)
The easiest way to do this is to put all the relevant dates into a google sheet or Trello board to send over to your client. Then they can then simply fill it in with all the relevant info, discount codes and assets.
Even if your client isn't in the ecomm space and may not have anything in terms of offers for these events, there are still ways you can make these events work for you in terms of a marketing opportunity.
Talk to clients about anti Black Friday campaigns or charity appeals they might want to look at instead. You may even want to use these days as a great opportunity to connect with influencers by sharing their offers etc.
We've all had unreasonable clients who seem to think social media managers live to post on Facebook at the last minute! Christmas is not the time to be bowing to their last minute demands so put some deadlines in place to ensure this doesn't happen.
Ensure they know final dates for any content changes and understand that you will be enjoying the festivities with your family so any changes after these deadlines will need to be dealt with in-house or wait.
Your clients are going to need to make sure they communicate any last order deadlines to their audience, not just to create scarcity but also to ensure you aren't dealing with disgruntled customers. So make sure you have these dates well in advance and can schedule your content accordingly.
Communicate your working hours.
You'll also want to communicate your working hours so that clients know when you will be closed for Christmas well in advance. It is not unreasonable for a social media manager to take time off at Christmas, and your invoice may not need to change to reflect this time out depending on the circumstances and the business you are working with.
Have an open conversation.
It is important to understand whether your clients expect you to maintain a social media presence over the Christmas period. Many smaller businesses may be happy with you just keeping an eye on their inbox and wish to reduce posting so they don't have to deal with orders or enquiries while they are enjoying a cheeky mulled wine.
Others might want you to continue to engage but reduce posting, it really is dependent on their marketing priorities so ensure you have an open conversation to get an understanding of their needs so you know if you can meet their expectations over this period, or whether you need to consider outsourcing for a few weeks.
Plan for January.
Coming back from Christmas can be a real slog. Just trying to get back into the groove after all the turkey and matchmakers is hard enough, so thinking of a content strategy when you are low on ideas might feel impossible!
So use this time to write down some ideas and plan some content to make your come back as easy as possible so you can hit the ground running.
It would also be a good idea to ensure your clients are thinking ahead and you understand their business goals for early next year so you are in a position to help them reach them.
Map out what training you will be investing in for next year and get yourself on any waiting lists for the courses you want to do.