As we enter the middle of summer, business owners and social media managers must consider how to balance their workloads with their vacation plans. Social media never shuts down. If anything, users are more fanatical than ever in summer as they display their beach and vacation photos, outdoor activities and party selfies. You don’t want to go dark during this active period. At the same time, you deserve to relax and enjoy a vacation of your own. How do you manage your accounts while you’re away?
1. Create a Summer Social Media Plan with Your Team
Before you go on vacation, schedule a meeting with your team or whoever is handling social media while you’re away. Create a plan for handling your accounts so they won’t have to contact you unless there’s a real emergency. Discuss the kind of content you’ll be posting. Make sure everyone has the usernames and passwords they need to access the accounts. If it’s someone who isn’t used to handling social media, take a little time to train him or her. You want to make sure whoever is posting under your business name stays true to the style and values of your brand. Finally, provide them with contact information in case they must reach you for any reason.
2. Create a Posting Schedule
Automating social media posting is a useful strategy throughout the year. It’s especially helpful, though, when you’re on vacation. Whether you use a software tool or work with an agency, plan your content strategy for the duration of your absence. Here are some points to keep in mind.
- Recycle some of your most popular content. Vacation is a good time to repost some content you’ve used before as long as it’s still relevant.
- Don’t overlook any promotions you might want to run while you’re away. For example, if you’ll be away for Labor Day, plan any sales you want to run for that weekend.
- When you’re on vacation, it’s best to avoid anything that might stir up controversy. While you can’t always predict what might set off a social media crisis, you can at least refrain from posting anything that’s likely to annoy or offend followers.
3. Decide How Much of a Break You Want
Depending on your business and personal preferences, you may want to unplug from social media completely while you’re on vacation. Or, if you have separate personal and business accounts, you may want to stick to posting content for your friends and family. On the other hand, you may want to share vacation photos with your customers. This is more likely if you’re building a personal brand or if you’re in an industry such as fitness, travel, or anything lifestyle related.
However you intend to handle it, inform your audience that you’re going on vacation. That way people won’t be surprised if you’re posting less or using more recycled content. Or, conversely, if you start posting photos from Hawaii or Europe. Pin a post on Facebook and Twitter to tell people about your schedule. No matter what type of business you have, it’s really a personal choice about how much you want to share with your followers.
If you do decide to share content from your vacation, create some guidelines. You should discuss this with your family or anyone who’s accompanying you so you’re clear about who appears in your content and when. Even if you’ll be sharing content, you still want to set boundaries so you can enjoy some private vacation time. For example, your children or spouse might not appreciate having their every move depicted on Instagram. On the other hand, they might not mind a few family photos or videos taken at agreed-upon times.
4. Enlist Help
For some businesses, summer is the ideal time to ramp up their efforts on social media. For example, if you’re marketing cold drinks, sporting goods or anything travel related, you certainly don’t want to slow down your marketing efforts right when everyone starts spending more time outdoors. If this is the case for you, consider getting extra help while you’re on vacation. This is also a good strategy if you run a solo business or don’t have employees or team members who are social media savvy.
You could contact an agency that will post content for you and engage with your followers. You could also hire someone from a freelancing site. Either way, make sure you vet the person or agency. Make sure you choose someone trustworthy and provide clear instructions for what you need. It’s crucial to convey your brand’s tone and style to them. With the right help, you can relax and enjoy your vacation while knowing your social media accounts will be well managed.
5. Set Up Alerts
Even if you set up a foolproof social media strategy while you’re on vacation you never know if something might occur that demands your attention. As noted, make sure anyone who’s managing your accounts has a way to contact you. Additionally, set up alerts for your name, business name and any keywords you want to watch. You can do this through Google Alerts or a social listening tool or service you use.
Setting up alerts is always a good idea. When you’re paying less attention to your business than usual, it’s doubly important. With alerts set in place, you’ll be promptly informed when anyone publicly mentions your business. You’ll probably be able to ignore most of these alerts or let your team handle them. However, it’s good to know if something happens that does require your personal attention.
Your Social Media Marketing Can Flourish While You’re on Vacation
With the tools at your disposal today, there’s no reason that a vacation has to harm or even slow down your social media efforts. Between planning, strategizing and, if necessary, outsourcing, you can maintain an active social media schedule that will keep your followers engaged.