Although you wouldn’t think it from the weather, summer is well and truly upon us, and for some lucky folk, that’s means holidays!
For a small business, time away needs to be handled carefully. You know that just because you are on holiday doesn’t mean your business can put up an out of office message and pause your social media activity.
One of the main advantages of social media is that you can communicate directly with your customers. So with regards to holidays, you can notify them of changes in business hours or that the business will be closed for a few days. Proactively reaching out to your customers is considerate and sets expectations while you are away from the business. The more information you provide upfront, the more your customers will feel taken care of. They’ll appreciate your transparency and be understanding of a temporary change in user experience with your business.
Automate your posts:
In order to sidestep live posting, planning and scheduling your content in advance is the way to manage your social media presence. There are a ton of tools out there that assist in automating your posts and remove the need to post in real-time. Or, if you don’t want to use an app, you can schedule posts directly from Facebook and Twitter themselves.
Top Tips for scheduling content:
- Don’t overschedule for holiday periods – especially if you have an e-commerce site. Holidays can be risky – customers wait longer for orders, and customer service is hectic. So it’s not the best time for multiple social media updates.
- Set consistent posting times – audiences need consistency and expect new content at certain times based on your posting behavior. Schedule your posts at the same times and same frequency while you’re away so there are no gaps in your social presence.
- Define your content – since your posts will go out automatically, posting about evergreen topics is recommended. Evergreen content is comprised of industry-related topics that are not time-sensitive or seasonal, and have ongoing relevance. Avoid asking questions, posting mini-contests or publishing content that may prompt questions or interactions you’ll need to quickly react to. Instead, use this time to re-share important updates from the weekdays such as a special offer or a link to a blog post.
- Plan for the unexpected – inevitably someone will need your assistance while you’re away and it may be urgent. In those cases where attention is required in a timely fashion, implement a customer service back up plan. If you have other employees, make that person visible and known as the point of contact during your holiday time. Include their name and contact information in any communication you put out prior to your departure. This way customers know who to ask for in your absence.
If you do have a holiday planned, try to unplug and enjoy without checking your social media apps every hour! 🙂