In late November, to early January, social media engagement drops through the floor. It happens every year just like clockwork. When you start seeing Christmas ads on television realize that whatever you’re putting out there is not going to get as many likes and shares and comments as you’re used to.
The reason I mention this is because if you’re like me, and you’re a data-driven person, who likes to look at your metrics daily (maybe hourly) you’ll be banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why that great picture you just shared is getting no attention and no love whatsoever.
Relax, it’s just the time of year.
The primary reason for this dip in engagement is that it’s holiday season. That means that people are spending their free time traveling, shopping, hanging out with family and friends, and largely taking a break from the daily grind.
That means they are not on social media as much as usual. They’re actually out living life, hanging out with people, having fun, maybe fighting with relatives, or whatever.
So, here’s a little advice on what you can do over this period so that those declining engagement metrics don’t drive you insane this time of year.
Instead of producing twice as much content and trying to get those metrics to pop, take this as an opportunity to level up your game for next year.
That might mean taking extra time to learn hardware or software. It might mean experimenting with creating longer content that you usually don’t have time for. It might mean experimenting by doing some sort of media that you’re not used to doing, or doing it in a different way.
After all, it doesn’t matter as much this time of year because there’s not as much attention on what you’re doing.
Create a backlog of content
If you’re used to producing content and releasing it at a breakneck pace this might be an opportunity for you to pull back a little bit and not release as much so that you can get ahead before the new year. You can create a cache of content instead.
I wouldn’t suggest totally dropping off the grid for six weeks but realize that much of what you’re going to release this time a year is not going to get as much attention as it would when engagement is back to normal.
Again creating longform content or creating serialized content or just getting ahead on the stuff that you usually create right now will allow you a little bit of breathing room when you start releasing stuff on a regular schedule again in January.
Why not take this is an opportunity to see what other people are doing?
Do a little opposition research. Take a look at what people you admire are doing and see if it inspires you to do something new yourself. They might be using a platform or content in a way that you’ve never considered.
Actually, I do this year around. I’m always on the lookout to see what people are doing, how they’re doing it, and trying to learn from them so that I can bring new concepts and new insight into my own content.
Definitely, under no circumstances, should you copy what other people are doing. You should always do your own thing. But, seeing what people are doing and learning from their process can only be a positive thing for you.
Besides research this is also a great time of year for making new connections by sharing other people’s stuff, reaching out to them and helping to create engagement for them, which can build your network and pay off in the future.
On the other hand, you could do what everyone else is doing this time of year, which is just relax.
Go shopping, attend some parties, listen to your relatives tell stupid jokes, do a little travel, read a book, catch up on The Mandalorian, or whatever it is that you do to chill out and recharge.
Instead of banging your head against the wall, whinging about declining engagement for the next six weeks, you could just throw in the towel and enjoy the fact that there are other things to do.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
If you’ve been working your ass off all year, taking a month off to enjoy your life and your friends and your family is a great idea, and frankly, you’ve earned it.
Anything is better than worrying about metrics
All of these suggestions have one thing in common, I want you to know that the content you put out between late November and early January is probably not going to get the same amount of attention as it usually does. And that’s okay.
Your state of mind is going to be so much better if you just acknowledge that fact and put your energy toward something else, anything else, besides checking those stats and fretting about something that you can’t control.
If you feel like you have a high amount of energy and you’re motivated, then sure, you can get use this time to experiment, or get ahead on content, improve your skills, or do that project you always put off for tomorrow.
On the other hand, maybe everyone else has the right idea, which is to focus on your personal relationships and yourself. Give yourself permission to screw off a little bit.
Whether you’re going to create new content, focus inward, focus outward, or just enjoy the season, the idea is to make sure that you’re either recharging your content or yourself, so that when engagement returns in early January you’re ready to kick ass in the new year.