Television networks do this incredibly well, and it’s worth taking note. Everything they do is seasonal, and the fate of every show depends on ratings that prove people are paying attention and watching right when the new season starts. To pull it off, they use a few simple tricks you can use too:
Plan ahead – With both seasonal and special events, you want at least as much lead time as the interval between events. If it’s an annual event, plot out an editorial calendar for the next year, marking the times when you want to drop breadcrumbs and what those breadcrumbs will be - then use automation tools like Hootsuite once a week or month so you don't forget to post.
For example, Shark Week, The Discovery Channel’s annual festival of all things sharky only happens once a year, and it’s only a week long. But along the way they share general shark/marine life information – from conservation efforts to human interest stories – and spice it up with the occasional timely meme, like a Seal Patrick Harris pic for the Oscars.
This year Shark Week starts on July 5 – and the first official Shark Week 2015 promo hit the Web at the end of April, activating the #SharkWeek hashtag they only use as the event gets closer.
Be interesting, not annoying – It’s actually never too soon to start promoting your biggest events. That’s why annual conferences and the like post the next year’s conference dates – and an early-bird registration discount to boot – before the current year’s conference is over.
But you have to remember it’s a marathon, not a race, and space out your event posts over the duration. The last thing you want is to be blocked or hidden six months before your busy season hits because people are so sick of seeing the same posts over and over. The exception to this rule is Twitter, where a little repetition can be helpful.
For example, AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead has lots of dead time between March and October, but offering strategically timed content (like interviews with industry media outlets, and interactive viewing marathons) keeps fans engaged between seasons. And excited to be there when the season premiere airs.
Take advantage of social gimmicks – In addition to sharing interesting and relevant content and news in your field, use popular social devices like #ThrowbackThursday and #FlashbackFriday to share photos and videos that remind followers about your upcoming event via a look back at the fun of past events.
You’ll be more likely to strike an emotional chord with something that doesn’t feel like an “ad.” The X-Files has been making great use of this technique on Twitter, in the lead-up to their January 2016 six-episode event.
These tips can work for any brand with a seasonal offering – the only thing you have to do is map out your plan, and then follow it. Be consistent early on (but don’t overdo it) and then ramp things up 2-3 months in advance, increasing your social presence as your event gets closer. Do it right and you’ll always have excited customers/fans tuning in to your brand.
IMAGE CREDIT: AL PAVANGKANAN