How do you manage your social media when you’re on vacation? Blogger and content curator, Rebecca Stanisic, joins me to discuss how you can create a viable social media plan to keep you covered while you are disconnected and away from the office.
Many business owners intend to have a plan for their social media while they are away, but don’t follow through and instead let their social media channels go dark. This is not always ideal.
While vacations are important—disconnecting can be rejuvenating!—it does not have to be detrimental to your business. Think of a vacation as a chance to recharge your batteries, and when you plan ahead it can be stress-free.
So, how can you prevent your social channels from going dark while you're away?
Use a calendar
The first place to start is with a calendar. Have and use an editorial calendar of some sort—it does not have to be day-to-day, but you should still have a calendar you can refer to on a daily basis, even though it may be a calendar that breaks down your content schedule monthly.
Use this calendar to plan out what content you want to post and when you want to post it. When you use and consistently refer to this calendar you get a bigger picture and can see the blocks of time you have devoted to vacation. This will help you plan in advance and work with the goal of meeting deadlines way before your vacation as opposed to last minute. This will reduce stress and allow you to focus.
You need to plan and prepare yourself for the transitional time following a vacation as well—allow time to check email, prepare for meetings, etc. This should all be incorporated into your planning in the weeks (and months) leading up to a vacation.
What this means is that you should prepare and schedule your social media content for before, during and after your vacation to allow for some much needed buffer time.
While some business owners do not schedule content and prefer to post live, if you know you are going to be unplugged while away then you need to create quality content and schedule it to publish while you are on vacation.
This could be a timely evergreen piece that relates to the time of year, i.e. if it is over March break, do you have something that relates to this? The same goes for Christmas and other holidays.
If you are planning on running a special event or sale sometime after you get back from vacation, then you need to think ahead about this as well; and create and schedule content that will build up to this so you are not frantically promoting last minute upon returning from vacation.
Plan your blog posts
If you have a small business blog then you might not need to publish a new blog post on your week away, however if you do need new content or if you owe someone a new post(s) then you need to plan ahead and make sure it is edited and ready to publish while you are away.
When it comes to all online content, the important thing is to be consistent—if your audience expects a blog post or newsletter while you are away then you need to stay consistent. Your content schedule depends on your business as well as your audience.
If you do not want to have your own material publish while you are away, then you can ask guest bloggers to guest post on your blog. Again you will need to plan this in advance and reach out and let them know your expectations, deadlines, etc.
Let your clients know you will be away
If you regularly take appointments then you need to let your audience know that you will not be taking appointments the week you are away. The sooner you let our audience know, the better. You can do this via your email signature, out of office as well as Facebook messenger and on your website. You do not necessarily have to let your audience know that you are leaving town, just let them know you are unavailable, and if you will or will not be responding to emails.
Get help and set expectations
If you work with a social media manager or virtual assistant then you need to work with them and make sure they are aware of whether or not you are still responding to email or if you are completely off the grid while you are on vacation.
You should also let them know clear deadlines and have clear communication regarding expectations on them while you are away as well as leading up to your vacation.
You should always have someone available to put out your fires while you are away. For example, if you cannot get on your Facebook Page while away, then you should have someone who has the role of Page Admin to access your Page to answer queries, etc. The same applies to your website—have someone who can log in and address any malware issues or other problems.
Logging off and stepping away from your computer is healthy—allow yourself the time to enjoy it! With the proper amount of planning and preparation a week away is not only possible, it can easily become a regular part of your business planning.
How will you get ready for your next time away from your business? Leave a comment and let me know!