When social media is a part of your job, it can be difficult to disconnect and actually take a vacation. But it’s that very same “always on” mentality that makes taking a vacation especially crucial for your health, your happiness, and your creativity. You need time to unwind, unplug, and you deserve to just take a break so you can come back to work refreshed and re-inspired.
However, recognizing why you need time off is only half of it. Now you need to make it happen!
Luckily, there are quick and easy ways you can prepare to partially check out, and ensure you maintain your publishing schedule and keep your communities engaged throughout your well-deserved down time.
Tips To Unplug
1. Prepare a content calendar. A content calendar helps take the guesswork out of what to post on your social media networks while you are on vacation and all year round. It’s important that you publish regularly and on time if you aim to build your online following. Creating an editorial calendar that runs for a month, a quarter or even a year gives you the advantage of a bird's-eye perspective of your online communications. It enables you to:
- Plan for ongoing and upcoming features
- Schedule content themes based on the time of year, such as: Thanksgiving, National Taco Day or Christmas
- Maintain consistency of your core messages
- Work with overlapping subjects to avoid duplication and highlight discrepancies
2. Schedule your content. Scheduling is a great way to keep providing your audience with consistent content, all while you are relaxing on the beach, on the slopes, or wherever you may be. There are lots of free and paid social media scheduling tools which will make it possible for you to personally take a break from social, without your business having to take a break, too.
Here are a few great scheduling tools:
- Sprout Social
With these tools, your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn can keep running without you having to lift a finger.
I highly recommend scheduling posts for a few days after you plan to return. The first few days back from vacation are often hectic. Scheduling posts can buy some valuable breathing room and you can always remove them if you want.
3. Collaborate. Train someone on your team to be your backup while you’re out. They should have access to your business’ social media networks to help with customer service. Share your content calendar with your backup so they know how to be the voice of your business while you’re away. If you manage social media networks for someone else, ensure your clients that your backup will be looking after their accounts and who to reach in case of something urgent. Preparing all parties well in advance helps to prevent unnecessary stress.
4. Prepare an emergency plan. No matter how much you plan ahead, it’s impossible to prepare for everything. Murphy’s Law states that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” and unfortunately, we all know this can be true. One way to get around this unpleasant fact is to prepare a document or a cheat sheet filled with templates and pre-approved messages for crisis situations. Share the document with your backup so they have it available during your time away.
5. Unplug. You might feel a little uneasy at first from the social media withdrawal, but focusing on the people and places that are right in front of you is a wonderful gift you can give to yourself. When you’re managing several social media business accounts, it can be impossible to disconnect completely, but at least you can slow down. Limit your social media logins to once or twice a day to check your business’s accounts and respond to comments. Or if you can, assign a co-worker who is in the office to monitor the accounts and respond to customer questions.
Working in social media for business often requires you to be accountable 24/7. But this is exactly why you should take time off when you need it! All it takes is a little preparation and a supportive team to get you there!
By using a content calendar to stay organized, scheduling content in advance, and managing what you need to via mobile, there is no reason even the busiest social media manager can’t take some time off while staying ahead of the game.