Business activity almost seems to come to a halt during the holidays. It noticeably starts around the holidays and continues through New Year’s Day. But this is also a prime time for using behavior patterns to your advantage by using social media marketing to boost email subscriptions.

Think about it. What are you doing when you’re stuck in line at the mall while shopping for holiday gifts? You’re on your phone. What are you doing when you’re stuck in a car full of family headed on a long drive to visit family? You’re on your phone. And what are you doing once there? You escape the only real way you can…by being on your phone.

With that in mind, one of your goals during this peak phone season is to gear your marketing toward boosting email subscription rates. Here’s how you can do that.

You already know to create portals on social channels to your sign-up page. There should be a link on Twitter and a button on your Facebook. That’s lovely but that’s also like sticking a baitless hook in the ocean and hoping some fishes crashes into it. It doesn’t quite work. Instead of you want to look at the direction the fish are swimming in and cast a wide net.

In reality, that means you appeal to people’s interest and you go to where they are. The standard practice is to create a white paper that appeals to your demographic’s interest and link to that landing page via social email. That landing page leads to a sign-up form with a promise of a product once they’ve signed up.

The problem is no one is going to read your white paper during the holidays. They’re already bored by being in line, in the car, and stuck at the far corners of the earth at Aunt Martha’s home pretending they love their hideous presents.

Entertain them.

Turn your white paper into some top ten list, a video, a visual chart – something that captures their curiosity. Be funny. Be entertaining. And they will sign up.

Use that same method to create content that is crafty and visually appealing. And use social media during the holidays to be a platform for entertainment and relevant news or product info as needed. People will be on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be amused and entertained. This means content that meets this mark gets clicked on.

Once on your website, they need to be directed to email beyond just a tab at top or bottom of the page and the obligatory pop-up. You should have 3 to 4 different styles of graphics that blend in with your content scheme, which then leads to newsletter signup forms. These are calls to actions that weave in with your narrative versus the jarring candy bars that seem almost spammy.

And that’s really how to see social media especially during the holiday season; social media is the ocean and your smartly designed content and is the net.