Holidays and vacations are the most exciting part of every year. This is the time when you get to take a break from work, but if you are a business owner, it is more than that.
When social media is part of running your business, it can be hard to decide if you want to take a break off your work or not. Just like anyone else, you deserve to take some time off, relax, and refocus.
However, deciding on whether to unplug from social media can be a hard one to decide. Will it bring adverse effects to your business?
The truth is, you are not the only one asking these questions and trying to balance whether you can just let go while you take a “brain-break” or whether you need to continue monitoring and managing your social media while you are supposed to be on vacation.
There’s even a growing trend where individuals (business owners or not) are taking social media “detox time” for up to a month. While that sounds like a great idea, if your business marketing depends heavily on social media, then you have to consider that taking a long break from social media might have a negative impact.Going on vacation while running a business can be tough. Here are some tips to help you keep your content flowing, while disconnecting from social media. Click To Tweet
So…how do you manage your social media over holiday vacations?
Here are a few tips we think can help out.
Tip #1 – Review Your Operation Plan
As with everything vacation-related, you must have a plan in place.
You cannot just wake up one day and decide that it is the day you are taking a break from social media without considering the effects it will have on your business. You should hold a meeting with your marketing team and review your operations manual.
Be sure that your team or business partners knows exactly what you do each day. Believe it or not, some folks still believe that managing business social media channels means playing on Facebook all day.
Consider whether it’s time to update your processes and procedures. Think through as many scenarios as you can and identify people who can help you cover any gaps.
The trick is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about what they want, need, and expect. While you are enjoying some much-deserved vacation time, ensure that you have someone there to offer them fast customer service and answer any questions they have.
Just because your aren’t physically there, doesn’t mean that someone else can’t be there virtually to lend. The key is to have a plan and follow that plan.
Tip #2 – Let Your Audience Know You Are Going on A Vacation
If you plan on going on a holiday, let your audience know that you’re going to take a break. Most customers will understand if, especially if you’re a small business. Be open, honest, and transparent.
Be sure to make your announcement very prominent, so they don’t have to dig through old Facebook posts to find out why you aren’t responding. If you want to be really creative, consider updating your profile photos on your social channels to include your logo with a unique “out of office” flair.
Work with a good company to update your logo design and then be sure to revert it back when you return from vacation.
Take a look at the profile image that the Harris Creek team used while their staff took a Summer break from social media. Pretty, cool right?
Also be sure to post a short message informing your fans that you are going on holiday and, if the social media platform has the feature, pin it to the top of your feed so it is the first thing visitors see. Be clear about how long you will be away, so you set clear expectations.
If you have an alternative contact method, like a phone number or email address, that will be monitored be sure to share that.
Tip #3 – Identify Possible Problems And Think Through Solutions
Do your best to head off problems before they arise. Work with your team to brainstorm all potential headaches that can happen while you’re enjoying your break.
While it might feel a little uncomfortable, imagine a situation where you cannot reach whoever has the business social media passwords or when your social media ads credit card expires while you’re sitting on a beach and you are nowhere close to a service provider.
What happens when your best customer receives a faulty product? Or what would your team do if an irate customer starts posting angry messages on everyone one of your social media channels?
After coming up with a list of possible issues, discuss the possible solutions to prevent them, and how to handle each. Thinking through those might feel a little “doomsday-ish” but coming up with a plan will help the other members of your team know how to respond and who will be accountable.
Once you understand the scenarios, you can use a lesson maker tool to create custom videos that help your team understand the scenario and clearly follow the steps to address the situation. That way, your team doesn’t have to call you for a refresher on how to handle a situation, instead they can watch the video.
Tip #4 – Schedule Content That Will Post While You Are On Holiday
When it is just a few weeks before your holiday or vacation, you should check in with your team and discuss the upcoming campaigns.Think through content that you can create that is suitable for scheduling to go live while you are away.
If your business and brand-voice aligns with it, create a fun, holiday-themed campaign. Share content that is informative and helpful to your audience, but also reminds them that you are away on vacation.
Once you have a theme in mind, start scheduling each piece of content and think carefully about time when it should go live when on holiday. Be sure to have all of your content posted in your scheduling tool of choice at least a week before you leave. This gives you and your team enough time to review and adapt before you leave the office.
Be sure that you schedule enough content to post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep your audience active. Also, be sure that you understand how each scheduling tool works, so you can be confident that they will publish as expected. Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and the native Facebook publisher tool are great.
You can also schedule posts for Instagram without notifications. This means that when on vacation, the posts you schedule for Instagram will still upload without you having to keep checking them.
Tip #5 – Get A Representative or Use App
Now that you have everything ready and content scheduled, be ready to walk away…but also have a contingency plan in case you need to jump back in and help out. This is especially true if you are a small business or a solopreneur.
Consider hiring a Virtual Assistant to monitor your social accounts while you’re out, who can alert you if it’s something beyond the scope of what the were hired to handle. Consider downloading the apps for each of the platforms so you have them available on your phone, tablet, or computer in case of emergency.
You don’t have to be logged in to the apps, so you aren’t pestered with all of the notifications, but having them installed will help you access the channels and manage any issues that arise should you need to.
Tip #6 – Rely On The Processes You Put In Place
As much as you might be tempted to jump in and help out with every situation that comes up, do your best to resist. If you have followed all of the tips above and have trained your team or virtual assistant properly, you are likely in pretty good shape. Do yourself a favor and truly take a vacation away from social media.
Trust in your staff, trust in the processes you implemented. If you absolutely have to, log in and help out.
Just don’t spend all of your vacation time sitting in the hotel room managing social media while your family is enjoying a sunny day at the beach.
Go Ahead…Take A Break From Social Media
Hopefully, these tips have provided a guide you can use to start thinking about managing social media while you are on holiday or vacation. The goal is to allow you to take a digital break, while ensuring that your business continues operating and your customers receive the support they need.
There is no doubt that social media detox is essential and everyone deserves going on a break from work but is also unfortunately true that your business should keep running at all time and you shouldn’t feel a need to pause your marketing efforts while you are out.Don't let tweets, pins, and posts ruin your vacation with friends and family. Put good processes in place and let your team run them. Click To Tweet
While each business is different, hopefully, these tips get you thinking about a plan that will allow you to succeed!
|Kimberly Clark is a content marketing specialist in IT & SEO, who helps clients increase their revenues by improving their organic traffic and building powerful campaign through Google Adwords. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.
I want to thank Kimberly for sharing her thoughts on taking a “brain-break” from social media. I’m a big fan of taking time away from technology and social media and spending time with friends and family. As a business owner, though, I ‘m also sensitive to the fact that business can’t stop just because one person leaves the office.
It’s a tough balance to be able to keep your business running, while also serving the needs of your customers via social media channels.
If you have tips or thoughts on how to manage social media while also taking a vacation or holiday, be sure to share them in a comment!