Originally printed by Ali Davidson in Stylist Newspapers
The stockings were hung by the chimney with … I mean, the tinsel was hung by the retail shelves with care.
The service menus have been tweaked, the open house has been planned, the gift cards are stocked, your stylists have been coached on all the specials — everything’s ready for the holiday season and big end-of-year push. Everything IRL (in real life), that is.
But have you prepared that other place where all businesses must live? The great interwebs online must not be forgotten for a full-fledged holiday strategy. What have you done to prepare your social media content and website to support your holiday theme/end-of-year push? If you think it’s a struggle to keep your online presence up to date during a regular month, just wait for December! (Insert leftover scary Halloween music).
Some preparation is in order. Here’s your online holiday prep list:
Pre-write captions and pull together art for posting your specials and packages on social media. If you’re going to film some videos to announce the cool things you’re offering, go ahead and get those ready now. If you’d rather “go live” on social media closer to the thick of the season, plan when, where and what will be said so the opportunities don’t pass you by. It’s so easy to get caught up in the season’s bustle and forget to ever “go live,” so schedule it in.
Discuss with your web designer, or schedule for yourself, a plan to get your website holiday-season ready. Packages and specials should be front and center with blatant calls to action. Make sure your hours are up to date and all closings are clearly noted. Consider bringing gift card sales to a prominent position. Make a plan for when everything will go up, as well as when it will go back to normal.
Begin searching out, creating, and collecting seasonal memes and funny posts for sharing. Gather seasonal quotes and sayings for picture captions. And don’t forget to plan your holiday hashtags.
Will your salon have a special, festive tag for your stylists and clients to use? Make sure to utilize the hashtags of popular holiday happenings in your area, hashtags for all the décor, food, and gifts people search around this time, and tag locations of local holiday events. These things can be hard to think of and time-consuming to search during the peak craziness of the holidays.
Set up a themed backdrop for service after-shots in your salon to generate instant seasonal flair on your social profiles. If you have a selfie station, add in some holiday-themed and seasonal props. Craft stores are a great place to find such things or fun pieces to be used as holiday hair accessories.
Consider making some of that holiday packaging on your retail products work for you by having each client hold, or be strategically positioned by, the products used in their hair. Don’t forget about the fun seasonal stickers and frames you can use on clients’ after-shots, as well, if the IRL props sound like too much hassle.
When setting up partnerships for cross-promotion with local businesses during this season, don’t forget to discuss how that cross-promotion can work online. Will you share each other’s holiday special posts or just like and comment to boost each other’s engagement? Are there any online contests you guys can host together? Is there an opportunity to visit each other’s businesses and post social media stories of the lovely holiday experience? The time to discuss and plan these things is before you’re each swamped in your own businesses.
While none of these online holiday preparations are overly taxing, they aren’t things you want to worry about while you’re squeezing in your millionth last-minute client on a Friday evening before rushing to pick up a bottle of champagne on the way to your best friend’s holiday party. Take some time to plan out your online holiday/seasonal plan just as you have with your tinsel and snowflake decorations IRL.