Social media management while on vacation seems a timely topic, as around Tulsa, kids are getting out of school and summer vacation is beginning! Personally, my family will be out and about most of the month of June, so I thought this would be a perfect piece for all of you other marketers out there wondering how to manage the chores of marketing – plus keep it seamless like you never left. Shall we begin?
So, first things first, you need to decide how you are going to handle this being-out-of-town business. There are a few methods. If you work inside a smaller agency there may be someone there who doesn’t have a family or just chooses to keep working through the holiday vacation season, or perhaps you have an intern to delegate to. Or … maybe you work from home because you are the owner and operator, and when you go on a vacation the world comes to an almost complete stop! I know some of you are thinking “Vacation? WHAT vacation!” I get it – but think about that work-life balance, OK?
So, whatever position you are in, let’s figure out what method you’ll be using to take care of business while you’re AFK (away from keyboard).
Managing Social Media in an Agency
So, you work in an agency. Ask someone to step in to double-check everything for you while you’re away. Set it up like this: You’re going to get everything scheduled for them. You’re going to write the blog and set the posts to go out using your favorite method (native scheduling, Buffer, HootSuite, TweetDeck, etc.), but you’re going to ask your new best friend to check on any questions or comments that may come in while you’re gone, so there’s no hitch in your giddy-up.
Be sure this person knows the parties to contact in case of an emergency, such as a question they can’t answer or a very displeased customer. If it’s you, then it’s you. If it’s someone else, be sure both parties are aware that you will be unavailable and resolution is in their hands.
If you have interns or an intern at your disposal, use them for these tasks. Same as above: you control the content by scheduling ahead of time, and make sure your intern is very aware that they must check on any notifications that come in. Also as above, be sure you have spelled out “in case of emergency” contacts. Make sure they understand that an emergency does not mean any question that comes through if it’s one they can answer themselves!
Social Media Management for the Single Business Owner
If you’re a business owner that either 1) has employees that are also going on vacation or 2) has no employees, then this is a question that only you can answer.
What is right for your brand? If no one can be the man behind the scenes while you’re away, then the question becomes do you 1) post something letting everyone know that your business will be closing for a short time while you are taking an awesome vacation, or 2) take the hit during your vacation and be sure to check in even while you’re away, or 3) partner up with another marketer that does what you do, that you trust, and ask them to manage the work (if they can) while you’re away? And always, always let your client(s) know, as transparency is an important part of trust.
What this Social Media Marketer Does
Personally, I am a one-man shop, single business owner, and I have decided that for my brand, if I don’t have someone inside of the client’s team that can take over while I’m away (like in the scenarios above), I send a nice message to the client and let them know I will be away, and that I can schedule some content, but will be unable to stay abreast of any questions or communications that come from that content – or I can simply abstain from posting for a short time, and it is their choice.
Most of the time clients understand – it’s great that we are all human, right? Most have no problem having me schedule things, and addressing or answering anything that comes through until my return. Others tell me to simply hold off and have a nice trip!
How to Choose What to Do
The trickiest part about this choice is that 1) it’s definitely about your brand and 2) it’s definitely about your customers.
See, if you choose your customers poorly, or if your customers are simply in no mood for this vacation nonsense, then you may have to make those sacrifices. I choose to make sure that my customers understand I have a family, and my family will always come first. Before their business, before their money, before my business. My family is more important, and I’ve never had a client disagree with me or have an issue with me taking time away.
The choice is yours and depends on the options you have available, but just remember, time away is important to everyone’s health, and you should never feel bad for taking a! Cheers!
How do you handle it when you have work to do, but you need time away? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!