Social media can often be a tricky marketing channel to use for seasonal businesses. When your doors are closed for a few or perhaps most months of the year, do you shut down your social accounts also? We hope not! As you may have guessed, it is not recommended that you leave your social media unmonitored after your business season has ended.
In fact, social media presents a great opportunity to engage your customers and get them excited about your brand even during the off-season. Instagram, the increasingly popular visual social media platform launched in 2010 and purchased by Facebook in 2012, is one tool that more and more businesses are taking advantage of to reach its 200 million monthly active users. Here’s how you can use Instagram to engage seasonal customers year-round:
It’s about quality, not quantity.
The first thing to remember is you don’t have to post on Instagram every day, especially during the off-season. Instagram feeds don’t move as fast as Twitter, so you don’t have to worry about your photo getting buried too deep if you post every other day. It is important to also share your photos on your other social media platforms. Instagram offers easy sharing buttons to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and foursquare; use this feature to further the reach of your photos or videos.
Be creative and have some fun with Instagram.
If you want to keep your customers excited about your brand even when you are closed for the season, you’re going to have to get creative with your photos and videos. You don’t want to only share photos of last season, so get their attention by showing them what your company looks like during the off-season, too. This could mean before and after photos of your business—giving customers a look at your business outside of how they normally see it. Take advantage of Instagram’s 15-second video feature to thank your customers for a great season. Use different filters to keep your photos interesting, or use apps like PicFrame, Diptic, and Photoshake! to creatively combine a few great photos into one.
Ask your customers to share their Instagram photos and/or videos on your page.
Another way to engage seasonal customers year-round is to highlight fan photos and videos from the past season. Ask your fans if you can share their photos and videos of your brand on your Instagram page. Not only will it help your brand’s reputation as others see its popularity among peers, but it will also provide an incentive for others to post their photos/videos in hopes that you will highlight them as well.
Make some noise and get your customers excited to come back.
To get your customers excited about the new season, make a big deal of your re-opening by starting weeks in advance. Create an editorial calendar of the things that will happen in preparation for opening day, and make sure you take photos during every stage. Post behind-the-scenes photos of your employees getting excited, or create a collage of photos of several new products on the shelves. Use a unique hashtag for your photos so your loyal followers can stay up-to-date on your brand.
While it may be easy to forget about social media when you’re closed for the season, there is a great opportunity to excite your followers about your brand during this time. Instagram is a perfect platform to engage your seasonal customers year-round through posting past and present photos of your brand. Remember, you do not need to post on Instagram 5x a day, but keep your photos frequent and creative in order to catch the eyes of your followers.
Want to learn more about using Instagram for your business? Come to our next Social Media Seminar on Thursday, June 12 at Machias Savings Bank in Brewer! We’ll even throw in powerful insights on using Pinterest for business, too! RSVP online today! Also, be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on our latest news and events!