It might be tempting to down tools with regard to Twitter, leave Linkedin for a lilo or favour your flip-flops over Facebook during the summer but if you want to maintain your business’s online presence you need to think twice before relinquishing your social media marketing at passport control.
Everybody needs a holiday or just to switch off from the digital deluge every now and again but there are ways to do things professionally, make sure the business stays ticking over and keep everyone happy. Taking extended breaks with no communication between you and your clients is unlikely to be one of them.
I wrote an article for my Social Media Column in What the Dickens? Magazine about the dangers of writers taking a social media hiatus for months at a time while they finish their books and, just as they shouldn’t alienate their readers and breakdown the relationships they’ve worked so hard to build, neither should business professionals.
Here are the disadvantages of long breaks away from social media:
- Losing touch – It takes considerable time to nurture business relationships, even via social media, and if you stop communication dead it will be difficult to re-establish those relationships later. Getting slack for a few weeks could end up causing you twice the amount of work and could even damage some relationships permanently.
- Ignoring clients –The world doesn’t stop because you’re on holiday and people don’t respond kindly to being snubbed (even if it’s not intentional). If you pin a note to the top of your Facebook wall or Twitter timeline letting followers know that you’re out of office and that you’ll reply on your return, it at least lets them know that you care. Even better, make sure you or a colleague checks in every couple of days and replies to customer service questions.
- Too late – Chichester Copywriter’s Katy has picked up some excellent feature writing work and has been asked to take part in some rewarding marketing/publishing events via social media. It’s a time-sensitive medium so if you don’t check in then you could miss out on all sorts!
- Nobody there – It’s unwise to automatically follow back or accept to connect with a stranger without checking out their profile, biography and last couple of posts. Can you imagine what will happen if your account looks inactive and dull to future followers? Prospective clients who click on your Twitter timeline eager and find that your last post was three months ago are unlikely to look into your business further.
- Happy hackers – In the event that your account is hacked – by not checking your account, reporting the problem and changing your password – you’re leaving yourself and your followers/connections wide open to further security breaches. This isn’t only an ethical issue but it’s a legal one too!
Here are some suggestions for managing social media marketing when on holiday:
- Stockpile inspiration – if you know that you’re going to be away, there’s no harm in getting organised. Note down things to post, bookmark articles to share online, favourite Tweets to come back to later and compile a document of future posts (short for Twitter and slightly more detailed for Facebook). You can then copy and paste these as and when you need them.
- Train up a colleague – even if you’re a sole trader or a small company, you’re likely to work closely with other businesses who can help out for a skills swap or work experience students/interns who are keen to learn more about marketing. With a bit of training, from you or a social media marketing professional like Chichester Copywriter, you can be confident that you’re leaving your online marketing in safe hands.
- Buffer the blow – Chichester Copywriter hasn’t always been a fan of scheduling posts because it’s not as authentic as communicating with people in real time. However, Buffer is really useful when needs must. It allows you to schedule posts for several social media accounts simultaneously, it’s easy to keep an eye on when you’re on the move and the Buffer team send you useful stats about your posts’ performance as well as reminders of when you need to top up your stash.
Here’s hoping that this article has been useful and that you enjoy your summer. For more information about Chichester Copywriter’s social media marketing services, including managing accounts on behalf of businesses and one-to-one training on how to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn for business, contact Katy today.