If you’re like me, these days you’re probably looking for holiday gifts at small retail stores or looking for seasonal services like snow plowing.
Although some people are wishing it were summer, we’re not thinking about our gardens or the beach.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised when one of our customers, a landscaper, recently asked me how he could connect with his customers in the fall and winter when they don’t need his services. I know his is not a unique concern.
If yours is a seasonal business, there are some things you can do in your off months to keep in touch with your loyal customers. Here are 5:
1. Get personal. People turn to Constant Contact customer The Bug Man in Murfreesboro, Tenn., to get rid of summer pests. When he’s not giving customers tips on mosquitoes in the summer, The Bug Man reaches out to his Facebook Page audience with information about community events, and amusing holiday greetings, such as a video made at Elf Yourself.
The business also gives its customers a behind-the-scenes look at its employees’ senses of humor and shows their investment in the community by putting the spotlight on local charities — topics that aren’t tied to a calendar.
2. Get seasonal. Ice cream in December? That’s probably not your first choice for a cold weather snack, but it doesn’t stop Ben & Jerry’s. Here’s a recent post from their Facebook Page: “Ben says that eating ice cream in the winter reduces the difference between your internal body temperature and the external air temperature, thereby making you feel warm. Let us know if it works for you!” The post received 2,000 likes and an additional 200 comments — that’s a lot of audience engagement that got Facebook fans hungry for Chunky Monkey.
If customers aren’t thinking of you because of the season, make them think about you. Share your take on the change in the weather, let customers know what you’re up to, post about the holidays, and change your social media profile photo to reflect the time of the year.
3. Get nostalgic. It may be freezing outside (or sunny and warm), but you can always remind people of the good time they had when it was your on season. Link to photos or videos from the past season — who wouldn’t love seeing themselves on the beach or at the ski slopes? Even if you’ve already shared this content, you can do it again. People will appreciate if you bring back happy memories.
4. Get organized. Before you know it, stores will be swapping sweaters for swimsuits, and we’ll have spring on the brain. Help people prepare for what’s ahead.
In its December newsletter Constant Contact customer Maas Nursery of Springbrook, Texas, talked about things you can do in the winter to prepare your lawn for the spring. Remind your customers about how you can help them even now. Share your expertise and offer tips. You’ll be the expert they turn to when the time comes.
5. Get your customers talking. The weather, the seasons, and the holidays are things we talk about in our personal lives, so ask your customers about their experiences.
Did your area get hit by a blizzard? Ask your Facebook fans to post photos — find out who got the most snow in their backyard or who built the best snowman. When it’s Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, encourage them to share stories about their parents. People love to share their experiences; all you have to do is ask.
What does your business do in the off season? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.