SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

This week, we asked: Do you notice a seasonal decline in social-follower engagement during the holiday season?

  • Yes: 46.88%
  • Not sure: 28.12%
  • No: 25%

Is your social media engagement seasonal? I think the most surprising finding of this poll is the 28% of SmartBrief on Social Media readers who aren’t sure whether they experience seasonal variation in social media engagement. Proper benchmarking is an important part of measuring social media progress — it helps determine when you’re doing something right or wrong and when you’re simply experiencing natural ebbs and flows that accompany your sector.

The holidays are a great time for some consumer brands, but they can be tricky for other product categories, such as business-to-business brands. If you’re experiencing a seasonal lull, don’t despair. (Remember, it’s not your fault!) Work on how you’ll hit the ground running to re-engage fans in January. If you’re getting a bump from the holiday season, work like crazy to find a way to sustain that momentum long after the new year starts. And if you’re not sure? Take this as a sign that you need to benchmark, so you can see how ebbs and flows of the year affect your business.

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