When should your business start preparing for the holidays?

Holidays are coming as Coca-Cola said… Well, it was actually Kingdom Choir who sang it, but it’s pretty much been trademarked by the huge company. Being ahead of the game is only ever a positive thing. But, with so much going on throughout the year – when should you start preparing for each holiday?

Coca-Cola holiday red truck GIF

Holidays are mostly clustered together. There seems to just be one after another. From Halloween, then comes Thanksgiving for our American friends, followed very closely by Hanukkah and then Christmas. Let’s not forget New Year, new you… But, that’s not it. From Thanksgiving, we’ve seen the growth in Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Both of which have pretty much taken over the world now, despite them originating in the US. More and more we’re seeing celebrations spread worldwide. Which, is fantastic in so many ways, because why not share out the festivities?

It does however mean that your social calendar is stacked. There’s one after another, and you need to be prepared. Otherwise, you run the risk of not having content ready to post. The earlier you prepare in many cases, the better the content. However, prepare too early, and you won’t know what trends to follow. To create the best social posts, you need to be relevant. So, it’s a good idea to plan your content around events or trends that are currently popular. When is too early? Alternatively, when is too late?

When should your business start preparations?

The crucial holiday months are usually October through to December. However, there are other months that are important too. Easter and Eid fall before these dates. The best thing you can do is be prepared ahead so once one finishes, you can start to post about the other. Having a calendar which has all the celebrations your business is going to get involved with is an important thing to do. That way you can regularly check against your dates. If you know what to expect in a few months time, you can start to think of content ideas well in advance.

Plan ahead

When it comes to something as big as Christmas, many people begin their searches in September. It might seem early, but for those who like to be prepared, this is about the right time. Planning gift ideas from September allow people enough time to take advantage of all the fantastic Black Friday sales that are yet to come. If you know what you’re looking for, it makes the process run much smoother. So, because of this, search engines see a massive growth in searches for gift ideas starting from late August, through to September.

If consumers are planning for Christmas in September, then you as a business also should be. This is when you’ll start to notice trends come to light. You’ll see what popular items are floating about the shelves this year and this could be exactly the information you need to create your content. Planning early for a big event like Christmas means you can take things a little slower which gives you a chance to also plan for the other holidays before then. It depends on what your company’s approach is to which holidays are the most important for you. Figuring this out will help you decide how early you should start preparing for each holiday.

How early is too early?

Should you start planning for Christmas in January? Probably not. While a lot of people may grab next year’s gifts in these sales, it seems a bit early to start the content prep. You have no idea what events are going to occur throughout the year by this point. Think January 2020, did the whole world know that by Christmas we’d all be locked in our houses unable to socialise because of the pandemic? No. If we did, many would have started planning ahead by then. This shows just how quickly things change. So, unfortunately, there is such thing as being too prepared.

In January, we’d suggest planning for a smaller but still well known holiday. Valentine’s Day falls in February each year and is celebrated by so many. While it’s a big holiday in its own right – it isn’t as big as others. It doesn’t quite require the same level of planning to create great posts. Once this is finished, we’d suggest moving on to April Fools’ Day – a fantastic one for pulling attention towards your business. This is your chance to go crazy and jump outside the box. The more adventurous you are here, the more it will pay off for your business. Often around this day is Easter too which is a huge one to consider.

How many months ahead should you start?

It really depends on the scale of both the holiday and what it means for your audience. The bigger the holiday, perhaps the more time you should spend on preparing for it. Christmas is something you will probably start planning for before others, because it could be a huge holiday for your business. Not only that, but many businesses shut down around these times, so you need to have the relevant content prepared with enough time to schedule it. A month for smaller holidays and 2 to 3 months for bigger ones seems to be a good length of time. Unless of course, you’re planning to produce something huge, in which case you may need even longer.

Should your business celebrate every holiday?

There are possibly many arguments either way. To be completely inclusive as a business, yes you should be celebrating all holidays equally. However, the flip side of this is – your audience may not be interested in all holidays. This isn’t to suggest your audience aren’t here for equality, but – as a customer in Spain, why do you need to see posts advertising the 4th July which is America’s Independence Day? It isn’t something they celebrate and therefore being a Spanish brand posting about it may not make sense. Unless of course, you have a lot of American customers.

It may depend on your business whether you celebrate things like Easter. A chocolate company for example will rely on occasions like Easter to make huge sales. So, it’s important they get ahead of the game with their content preparation. However, perhaps for technology businesses, Easter isn’t as important. This isn’t suggesting the company don’t care and that’s an important one to note. But, their audience just aren’t invested in the business for the holidays. They’re there for other reasons and therefore, it isn’t always going to benefit them by preparing content for every holiday.

What will your customers gain?

For your business, you need to consider who your audience are and what they’ll gain from your posts. That’s how social media is run all year round, so holidays are no different. Do your customers need this? Will it benefit them? If not, why spend the time creating the post? It’s the same when it comes to choosing holidays. For example, you may choose to share posts about Black Friday because your business are going to have huge sales around this time. That’s something your customers will very much be interested in. But, you might decide your business doesn’t need to celebrate all things spooky for Halloween.

If you do start extra early, allow time and room to make changes closer to the holiday. It will depend on many factors as to how early you need to plan. How big your team is will matter. A small team may have to start earlier than others. Also, consider how big your audience is. Having a large consumer base will mean you might have to post more, or higher quality content which may take time. Think about what it is you want to create and how long it will take you. Make sure to review previous years too. That way you can see what worked and what didn’t for your business. At the end of it all, ensure you have a Happy Holidays and have fun while doing it!

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