We don’t have to tell you that running a business on Cape Cod is tricky. Yeah, we know; that’s putting it mildly. While Kain DeFoe Communications is a year-round Cape Cod social media marketing agency, a lot of our Cape-based clients are tourism-related, seasonal businesses. Some opt to press pause when they close for the winter which, in some cases, makes sense. Others keep their marketing efforts going throughout the year.
Who should, and who shouldn’t, press pause
If you run a restaurant or attraction on the Cape that closes for a few months, preserving your marketing spend until you’re about to open for business can be a smart move. If you own a hotel or inn? Not so much.
Sure, many people will book their accommodations shortly before they visit the Cape. But who knows when they started planning. And there continues to be a long lead time for many others. With no way of knowing exactly when the Smith family in Cinncinatti will be searching the internet for rooms, do you want to risk missing out? A waterfront hotel we work with booked a $3,000+ reservation for a summer stay through their Facebook page in the middle of winter. And that waterfront hotel? It’s seasonal.
Do you own a restaurant or attraction? When was the last time someone called months in advance for a reservation? Go ahead. Pause your social media marketing efforts. But please, pin a post to the top of your Facebook page saying you have closed for the season. Bonus points for providing an exact date for your reopening and off-season contact info. While you’re at it, update your website.
Consider flipping your social media marketing schedule
If your hotel is running at 99.99% occupancy rate in July and August, or your restaurant has a two-hour wait every night, what’s the point of posting on social media every day when you’re already maxed out? Yet when you have vacant rooms, or a half-empty dining room, in the shoulder seasons, you’ll throw up post here and there. Maybe. If you think of it. We see it all the time (so not with our clients!).
Thirty years ago, lots of businesses opened on Memorial Day Weekend and wrapped it up on Labor Day. These days? Not so much. With more and more businesses staying open from early spring through Columbus Day, or later, the competition for shoulder season business is fierce which means that actively engaging with your fan base, and trying to reach new customers, is critical in the spring or fall.
Post regularly. Play up your shoulder-season specials. Show people what sets your business apart. Let them get to know you and your crew. Be fun. And above all else, just do it.