It’s the middle of November when I’m writing this and you may not even be thinking of what blog and social media posts you’ll be putting up in December, but this is the best time to get started. Why?
- Unless you have a book release in November, this is likely to be a quiet few weeks at least on the author front.
- The retail world is in full-on festive mode. There are the Christmas ads, the Christmas stock that is already filling their shelves, and marketing emails are beginning to sound festive too. That’s a whole lot of inspiration for your December content.
- Planning your festive content now frees you up to actually enjoy December.
So how do you start?
Take a moment
Life is about to get busier as the preparations for Christmas (or whichever year end holiday you celebrate) commence. November is the last chance most people will get to relax before the glittery onslaught begins.
Start by looking back and ahead. How has the year treated you as an author and what do you want next year to look like?
Next, get everything in place to find inspiration for your festive content, create it, and schedule it. If having a brainstorm/dump helps, do that. If writing a to-do list or creating a flow chart would be handy, get it done. For those who love their spreadsheets or organisational apps, go for it.
Finally, make the time to prepare your festive content. That might mean setting aside an afternoon or a number of hour slots. Whatever form it takes, treat that time as you would any other appointment. Commit. Turn up. Get the work done.
Re-assess who your best fit reader is
It may well be that your best fit reader is exactly who you thought it was last Christmas but it’s worth considering:
- Were you right back then? Or has a different type of reader been buying your books and leaving reviews?
- Have you changed genre, for instance, moving from poetry to children’s picture book? That would mean a different audience or even multiple types of reader.
- Do you want to appeal to a new kind of reader next year and therefore create content to attract them now?
Why do you need to know this? Well, identifying your best fit reader means you can concentrate your content on the platforms they most often visit. Until you find out who your best fit reader is, you won’t know where to find your audience online.
Decide what you want to achieve
What do you want your festive content to achieve? This will be completely personal to you as an author, but it might be:
- sell more books (the obvious answer but ideal for this time of year as people buy festive gifts for their loved ones)
- build your social media following
- build your mailing list
- attract an audience for a new book or genre
- bump up online interaction, including traffic to your website
- get more book reviews
Knowing what you want to achieve will shape the content you create.
Look at equivalent authors
Unless you have a crystal ball or a Tardis, you’re unlikely to know what other authors will post in December 2022. However, looking at what equivalent authors created last year can be helpful. You can tell how popular their social media posts were by checking how much interaction they had.
Looking at what other authors like you posted last festive season can also provide inspiration for your content this year. You might even get a hint of what they’re planning for December 2022 from their November content.
If you’re feeling really brave, why not just ask them what they’ll be posting in December.
Don’t forget to look at the content created in past years by publishers who represent your genre too.
Consider what the festive season means to you
Your online presence should reflect who you are as a person as well as an author. That includes what the festive season means to you. It might be:
- the time of year when you head off abroad to warmer climes
- a time for coming together with friends and family
- when you think about the past year or reminisce about Christmas’ gone by
Whatever it means to you, reflect that in your festive content. After all, your readers want to know who this person is that writes the books they love. Use that ‘meaning’ to inspire your content, whether it’s how your graphics look or the type of content you share. It might even be a personal story like A Little Festive Magic that I wrote back in 2020.
Put together a plan
Your plan should include:
- what content, for instance, blog and social media posts, you’ll create
- which social media platforms you’ll post that content to
- when you’ll post
At this point, you don’t have to write anything – you’re simply putting together a manageable and fun plan for the month. Remember, you can schedule these posts ahead of time.
Decorate your online presence
December provides a wonderful opportunity to add a little festive glitz to your online presence. That might be:
- using a profile photo of you looking glam or wearing a Christmas jumper
- adding festive graphics to your social media banners
- and to your website and email newsletters
Make sure you can easily convert back in the new year by saving your non Christmas-y profile photo, banners, and backdrops.
Create that content
This is it. You’ve worked out:
- who your best fit reader is and which social media platforms they frequent
- what you want to achieve with your festive content
- what equivalent authors and relevant publishers have put out in the past
- what the festive season means to you
- your content plan for the month
You’re perfectly prepared to write your blog posts, social media posts, and whatever else you want to put out there in December. Oh, and don’t forget the graphics, whether those are image files, reels, or videos.
It doesn’t have to be completely new content. You might have blog posts from past Decembers that you can share or repurpose. Last year’s Christmas graphics could make a reappearance as long as they fit with the rest of your content and are still relevant.
If you’re posting the same content to multiple social media platforms, don’t forget that your posts will have to be tweaked to fit each channel.
Suffering from a lack of inspiration? You might like to read the blank page moment.
Schedule it all away
One of the main factors that stop authors from consistently posting to social media is the time involved. Save yourself that headache by using a scheduler.
There are plenty of alternatives when it comes to scheduling your social media posts. Many of the social media sites offer scheduling. For instance, Facebook has its own scheduling tool in Meta Business Suite. You can schedule tweets through Twitter itself (look out for the schedule icon when you create a tweet). If you have a professional account on Instagram, you can schedule posts through Creator Studio.
Or you can use a scheduling app. Some are free to use but generally paid accounts offer more services. Some of the best in 2022 are:
The benefit of using a scheduling app is that you can post to multiple social media platforms from one place.
Personally, I schedule my social media posts from my Canva paid account, because I also use Canva to create my graphics.
Don’t forget to the enjoy the season
Finally, with all of that done, you can sit back with a feeling of satisfaction (and possibly an early mince pie – yes, they are in the shops already) and just enjoy the festive month.
For more help with your author social media presence, why not sign up to my monthly newsletter, Fi’s Content Catch-up for Authors.