The trouble with being a small business owner is actually being able to take time off. Who will run your business while you are away? Who will liaise with your customers? And vitally who will manage your social media, because we all know the importance of social media for customer relations?
There are a couple of things you can do to keep your social media balls in the air while you are away on holiday which will keep customers in the loop, your social presence and sales rolling in.
The first thing is to ensure that you are consistent with your posting. Getting out of the habit or letting your posting slip will mean your customers aren’t thinking about you. Be front of mind by being present (but not in a stalker kind of way). To do this and make sure you get a rest, you need to schedule social media content in advance for the period of time you plan on being away. Then you should set up notifications so that you only need to be on social media for the minimum amount of time but for maximum effectiveness.
Be present even when you aren’t by scheduling content in advance
On twitter you can use a social media tool like Hootsuite and schedule content ahead of time. It’s as simple as creating a CSV file out of excel or similar with the date, time, text and a link if you want one. The only downside to scheduling like this is you can’t upload images in the same way as the tweets so you will need to add them one by one within Hootsuite. You can also use Hootsuite to schedule LinkedIn and Google+ updates in exactly the same way.
On Facebook, you can schedule content ahead on your Facebook page very simply. You add a status update as normal onto your Facebook page but instead of clicking “Publish”, click on the downwards arrow then click schedule.
You can also use a Facebook app like PostPlanner which works in a very similar way.
Instagram users can also schedule ahead of time using a webtool called Schedugram. You upload the images, you can also edit them on the site, add the first comment if you want to add a few hashtags and schedule the time you want them published. There are also tools available to schedule Pins for Pinterest like Viraltag or Tailwind.
So you are all scheduled ahead but what about the day to day engagement that gives your accounts the authenticity to be trustworthy and of value to your followers?
Set up social media app notifications to manage your time on holiday
Well there’s not a magic tool out there that will do it for you… but you can make life simpler by downloading the apps for the social media platforms you are using and setting up your notifications within each app so you can respond to mentions, comments and engagement without having to constantly check your phone.
When you have set up your notifications within each social media App you are running, you also need to make sure that the app is within the phone settings notification list too.
The last bit of advice I have is that you must remember you are on holiday! Dedicate half an hour maybe twice a day to respond to the notifications and have someone that you can delegate actions to back in the office!
Happy holidays and don’t forget to pack your phone charger!
P.S. If you really do want to switch off and unwind, outsource your social media while you are away. Relax in the knowledge that it is being managed professionally, in a timely way and your customers are blissfully unaware that you are sunning yourself (well unless you choose to tell them of course.)