In anticipation of the Christmas period, we here at Impression wanted to treat our readers to an early stocking filler for businesses – how to set special hours to Google My Business for the Christmas holidays and other festive digital advice!
Whatever industry your business is in, whether service-based and closing down over the holidays for a well-earned break, or an ecommerce business anticipating peak season, there are certain actions you can be doing to be better prepared, keep your customers informed and enjoy yourself this Christmas.
1. Set Special Hours to your Google My Business for Christmas
In order for your Christmas and New Year opening hours to be displayed in the SERPS or more specifically the knowledge graph for your business, then these need to be set in Google My Business (GMB).
This will provide convenient, accurate information for your customers and indicate when they can expect to hear back from you over the holidays – here’s how you do it.
- Log in to your GMB account, select the relevant businesses/ location that you want to set special hours for.
- Click edit (pencil) and then the ‘Add special hours’ option. This should then display the below window:
- To show additional limited opening hours over this period to those specified in the above image, there is an ‘‘add new data’ at the bottom of this window.
- If you are open 24 hours, enter 12:00am–12:00am.
- Click “Add another” to add more special hours for the location.
- These changes can take up to 3 days to be visible so make them with plenty of time before the end of December so your customers have good visibility of them.
Again, providing clear and accurate information to your customers over the Christmas period will help to retain trust and confidence in your business while avoiding and potential upset.
2. Reiterate Christmas Opening Hours on Site & Social
Where possible, in addition to GMB, it’s best practise to display Christmas opening hours on your website. Adding something to your homepage or the contact/about us page where your hours are normally shown is the most sensible solution.
Likewise as social becomes increasingly more important for customer interaction we would advise using the ‘pinned post’ function of Twitter and Facebook to give prior notice to customers. For those who haven’t come across a pinned post before, this allows for a specific tweet or status to always be visible at the top of the businesses profile page. Therefore anyone that clicks on to the business profile will see it.
3. Keep your Brand Active Over Christmas Even If you Aren’t
Scheduling content and social posts is a great way to keep your business visible even if you’ve effectively shut down for the holidays. We recommend that you plan an editorial calendar for the dates that your business is closed or with limited staff over the season and create the posts and content beforehand.
To schedule a “Merry Christmas from all of us here at Impression!” tweet for December 25th, simply sign up to a free tool that allows scheduling, such as Hootsuite.
- Type your social post in the compose box
- Click the calendar icon and select the date and time
- Make sure the ‘AutoSchedule’ feature is turned ON
Facebook also allows for scheduling of a post for pages.
- Simply write your post at the top of your Page’s timeline
- Click next to Publish and select Schedule
- Select the date and time when you want the post to publish and click Schedule
Hootsuite can also be used for Facebook which may save setting up the same posts twice across different accounts.