Ah the holidays – are you counting down the days? Soon the frantic preparation for the holidays will be over. Time to relax, enjoy family and eat too much….

A lot of small business owners are also looking forward to a well deserved break from a stressful year. Time to put up your feet and not think about the business and your customers for a while – right?

Wrong!

We all need to re-charge and take some time out to think about our goals and strategies for next year. But our (potential) customers are doing just the same. And they now have a surprising amount of spare time on their hands. Why do you think TV stations are in the habit of repeating the same old Christmas movies every year? Because we are much more willing to watch them over again, maybe because they remind us of better times or simply because there is nothing better to do?

Statistics show that more than 30% of us watch TV with a second screen in our hands. What are we using the smartphones and tablets Santa brought for? Chances are we use them for social networking.

Your customers are checking in with you when they have time. Make sure you are available for them when they reach out!

The holidays are a perfect time to leave your brand identity in the office and connect with your audience as a person.

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Just like in the “Twelve days of Christmas” song I see 12 online opportunities:

 The 12 days of suggestions for digital media christmas for small business owners:

Turn on notifications. Wouldn’t it be great to show your audience right away that you value them more than they thought? It’s already a well known fact that customers expect a prompt answer from businesses. Wow them by answering their questions on social media within minutes – not days!

Make some friends. Go and explore the internet. Check out some businesses in your area – maybe you have something in common? Maybe you have an idea for collaboration? Or you find some content to share with your own networks. Reach out to them. Comment on their blogs and social media channels. Like them as your Facebook Page and make a list on Twitter. Social Media gives us the opportunity to collaborate – take it!

Check when your customers are online. Unless your customers are purely other businesses, chances are your customers spend more time online than during the rest of the year. Having a quick look at your Facebook Page insights for example will show you the most popular times. Reach out to them with more personal posts at those times

Change the tone. I know most business owners cringe when I tell them that Social Media is not first and foremost a sales tool. Of course I mean that more in a thought provoking way. Growing our business is likely the main reason you are online in the first place. However, customer service and building meaningful relationships is more effective in the long term than any short term sales success. Change your tone to be more conversational.

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5 Listen. This is the perfect opportunity to look through your stream and read all those comments, shares and questions people had for you. Take note of them! These are the things your clients are interested in – how about turning them into blog posts, videos or courses?

Check on the competition. Now that you have some time, you can check out what some of your competitors or partner – businesses have done lately. Decide if their ideas inspire you.

Gather ideas. Sometimes the best ideas come to us not when we are in the office but when we take a break. Make sure you have easy access to your favourite way to take notes. I have Evernote installed on my phone and my tablet. It’s easy to write down a quick idea and I won’t have to worry about losing the note.

Make a plan. Are you one of those people that are too busy with running their lives and business to plan and prepare? You know how it goes – if you postpone the planning to January it’s not likely going to happen. There is no need to cancel Christmas dinner – just take some time before you go back to the office.

9 Learn something new. 2014 has brought a lot of new trends. Images and video are more important than ever. Check out these places for example:

10 Have some fun. I like creating images and blogging. I am planning to spend some time checking out some new apps for Instagram and writing a couple of blog posts that I have been planning on for a while. Indulge!

11 Give your pages a make-over. Ok this might be a little more ambitious. But if my first 10 suggestions put you in the mood, spruce up your Facebook Page with new designs and maybe a revised about section. When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Are you in the mood for a new WordPress theme?

12 Start a new blog. There is no better time to start something new than the beginning of a new year. How about making the jump and launching that new blog you have been thinking about?

Published by Frithjof

Digital media strategist, coach, community manager and CEO of BlueBird Business Consulting. Blogger, podcaster, content creator and teacher with a passion. Favourite quote: “To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach” ~ Brian Solis

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