#Cmgrchat – 12/7: Community Engagement & Holiday Planning

We realize that at the time of publication this is appearing in January, well after the holiday season.  However, this may prove useful for any planning you do for 2012’s holiday season, and it’s never too early to be prepared or start thinking of ideas that you’ll need to get approval on ahead of time.

Q1. Do you do anything special for community engagement during the holiday season?

DigitalKaitlyn For my clients I have been using holiday keywords and asking questions a lot which has generated more engagement than usual

momnonstop We focus on community involvement (charities, volunteer work, giving back

momnonstop We send all of our contacts a special holiday gift

vargasl Set expectations (internal AND external)-let folks know who is on rotation, times of availability, etc

debng  I try to find holiday and community appropriate topics to discuss, so I stay on topic while bringing in the season

KellyLux  We’ve asked our community to donate toys for a local children’s hospital…great response so far!

KellyLux We’re also using our blog to post ‘Top 10 Tech Gifts’, ‘Holiday Shopping apps’ and similar posts, and end-of-year roundups.

Historian  My company will be working a shelter & Kitchen tomorrow

kamariagboro  We’ve been asking about holiday travel plans and posting gift guides for globetrotters, since we’re travel related.

Shananigans5 we’re going to try posting some holiday themed stuff, the idea of recipes has been thrown around

debng  Something else to do is to roundup holiday/community specific news, tips, etc. and share with the community.

JessicaRMurray  We’ve partnered with @TweetDriveHQ to host toy drives across a dozen of our chapters

vargasl Don’t forget that not everyone celebrates same holidays…be aware and respectful

Q2. Are outside charities involved in your holiday planning for your communities?

AndreaHofer No holiday charity tie-in this year, though we did a Toys for Tots campaign last year.

LovelyLu We always try to include some outside charities… but this year we’re just encouraging our communities to give of themselves!

shankell  We have been on site with Habitat for Humanity for the last few weeks getting our membership involved and volunteering!

janagtz  We’re coordinating a toy drive (internally) for Interval House. Also asking local businesses to participate

Q3. How do you plan around the holidays for time off? (if there is such a thing!)

momnonstop  We work as a team so if someone is off the rest of the team picks up the slack

vargasl Empower and train other departments to help/rotate cmty response…even enlist cmty itself. Socialize schedule

vargasl If there is a day or time no one will be available, communicate that to cmty (set expectations) & direct to other resources

debng  Hate scheduled tweets and FB posts because there’s no engagement. So I try and ask for help with updates, conversations, etc

shankell  While I am not taking time off, there will be no checking on Christmas Day. Drawing the line

AndreaHofer  I plan in advance of my time off and make sure there is coverage. Also, social is so mobile I can usually hop on wherever I am

marcoscopic�A3) Pre-schedule some updates, but empower others to engage & give real time input.

Q4. Are the holidays a slower time of year for your community, and if so, how do you productively use your ‘down’ time?

AskTim Slower time for us, not for our members. Good time to think about the next three months.

SueOnTheWeb The days between Christmas day & Jan 1 are slower than usual. I’m not at all productive then instead I recharge my batteries

janagtz Strategize for next year, talk to other departments and catch up on business or industry-related reads/books.

elysa I think December is a great time to reeval what worked/didn’t work for the year and plan big picture for the next quarter/year

cindymeltz Holidays are busier for us, b/c parents need help dealing with travel, changes in routine, etc and b/c we’re a retail biz

vargasl People get so wrapped up in measuring what has been done…don’t wait until end of year to do this. Qtrly repeat. Rest. Refresh

kamariagboro  No, holidays are faster since it’s the busiest travel season. We try to keep the conversation going & help as much as we can

debng  It’s a great time to find active (at that time) members too. Visit their blogs and comment. Dont wait for them to come to you



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About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.