By DiAnn Mills, @DiAnnMills
The holidays are fast approaching and writers are questioning if they should plan unique social media posts.
The simple answer is Yes. This is a perfect time to connect with readers. They are excited about Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
Planning holiday social media is like frosting on a cake. We writers plan these special posts around our regular offerings.
Before we go another step, let’s take a few minutes to analyze the following:
Why should a writer plan holiday social media?
The appropriate view of social media is a community of followers in which the writer understands the wants and needs of the person who is investing time into what the writer offers.
The how question can be just as simple. Read on about how to organize and create a holiday social media campaign that will wow your readers—because it shows you care.
What are your goals and objectives?
Each writer’s goals and objectives are personalized.
- Is the campaign’s purpose to expose your brand to more potential followers and readers?
- Are book sales a part of the campaign? If so, at what price? How will these sales be unique? What are you offering?
- Are you giving away books to encourage new readers?
- Is the holiday campaign designed to express your appreciation to readers, followers, and potential new persons?
- How will you assist the reader or follower in their holiday planning, organization, and enjoyment?
- Are your goals and objectives a mix of all the above?
Who are your readers?
These people want and need your expertise. From every social media post, blog, and book, a writer strives to fulfill a need. Until a writer knows the who is the reader(s), she is unable to plan any social media that meets quality expectations. If speaking into readers’ needs is a new concept, create a questionnaire similar to a characterization sketch and discover your new best friend(s).
Establish a budget
This too is a personalized endeavor. Whatever the budget, stick to it.
What are the reader’s needs for each holiday?
Halloween – Is this holiday important to the reader? Are there children in the home? What are their ages? Is the reader responsible for children, teen, or adult parties? Perhaps your reader prefers a fan festival instead of trick or treat. What tips can you provide your reader?
Thanksgiving – Family get-togethers are rarely without stress. How can you make this time of year memorable? From cooking to decorating to getting enough sleep, your social media posts can delight readers.
Christmas – Does your reader celebrate a traditional Christmas? Is the spiritual remembrance something that touches the reader’s heart? Does she participate in church while juggling life and family?Does your reader plan and organize parties, or is she one who adores attending them and needs fashion advice? Is family her most treasured gift? Does her Christmas tree have a different look every year? Are cookies as much a part of Christmas as the tinsel and lights?
New Year’s Day – By December 31 and January 1, most of us are tired. We still want to hang on to the memories, but our ideas may be dwindling. A writer strives to offer opportunities from meal planning to party fun that the follower will remember long after the day is over.
How does the reader share social media?
The writer should already have a website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. If you also have a Pinterest, Instagram, or Goodreads presence, these platforms offer additional ways to share unique content.
What hashtags promote the campaign?
Research the most popular hashtags to give your post increased visibility
44 Essential Twitter Hashtags for Writers
Schedule or calendar the plan
Organization is the key to success. We want to know what to publish and post to reach our goals. Two ways to effectively plan your campaign is to:
- Use a calendar template and type in the name of the post.
- Use a spreadsheet that lists what type of post and the name. This is my preference. Each column has a social media platform: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, etc. Each row is date.
Smart writers want to see if their effort is paying off per their goals and objectives. Here are two ways you can measure your campaigns success:
- New followers on social media platforms. Note, each platform has a page in which you can chart what is happening on the account.
- Book sales. If the writer is selling books directly, these are easy to measure. If the books are purchased online or in a brick and mortar store, reporting delays will give you figures in the weeks and months to come.
Are you ready to plan your Holiday Social Media?
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian Fiction books of 2014.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Suspense Sister, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference with social media specialist Edie Melson. She teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at http://www.diannmills.com