Christmas caught me totally by surprise this year.  It seems like the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas just shrank.  There’s a growing frenzy of activity as everyone tries to do last minute shopping and businesses hunker down to handle the onslaught or prepare to scramble to get all the work done before the holidays.

I’m sure there is at least a half a dozen or so do’s or don’ts for businesses to remember if they’re already rocking social media and the year comes to a close.  I’ve only listed a few here.

DO post holiday greetings to your fans.  It’s o.k.  Everyone knows it’s actually a human behind the computer or smart phone that is managing the online brand.  It’s alright to say if your stressed, what your favorite holiday memories are or ask if anyone is going sledding.  Social media can’t truly work unless you’re willing to let your personality shine through.

DO NOT schedule a bunch of blog posts, Facebook updates, or tweets unless it is a holiday greeting on the actual day.  Most people will not be online and important information will go down the drain unread – especially if its unrelated to the season.  Who do you think will want to read your bookstore’s review for a book analyzing the American economy on Christmas?  I speak generally here as your demographic is going to determine how effective that is going to be.

DO post if you’ll be “out of the social media office” for the holidays.  Let everyone know when you’ll be back on duty.  That way, if anyone has a problem with a product or service, they know when they can approach you with it and won’t think you’re ignoring their issue.

DO NOT ignore complaints from customers around the holidays – or any day for that matter.  Address them!  People are already stressed out and frazzled trying to get everything perfect to entertain family and friends.  Help lighten the load with fast, courteous support.  Just being polite will do wonders!

DO disconnect from the online community to connect with those in your offline space.  This shouldn’t have to be said, but it’s amazing how many of us (Yes, I’m guilty) stay so plugged into the internet that the world become a blur around us.  Whether it be family, friends, church members or the homeless at the soup kitchen, turn your attention to those immediately within your influence.  Catching the events on your cell phone and then posting to YouTube or Facebook is fine, but I can’t stress enough the benefits of disconnecting!

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!