Social media might be on 24/7 for all 52 weeks of the year but that doesn't mean social media professionals should be too. We know how hard you work and in order to keep your creative minds going it's always good to take a very well-earned break!
But you might be thinking - what happens to my social media accounts while I'm away? 😲
With just over two weeks until lots of us start winding down for the holiday season, today's blog is all about how to prepare to leave your social profiles and check your phone/computer as little as possible!
Read on to find our quick checklist to make sure you have everything sorted while you're away so you can relax into your hot chocolate knowing you have it all covered! 🙌
1. Schedule social media content to keep your audiences engaged
Holidays create a double edge sword for social media managers. On one hand it's a time for unwinding and relaxing ready to kick start the New Year with energy and enthusiasm. Yet on the other, it's a great opportunity for your brand to engage with people during their downtime. When they're most relaxed, and looking for entertainment or activities in between festive films, or even wanting to spend some of their Christmas bonus! 👀
When it comes to content, Facebook estimates that over 800 million people will actively engage in sharing Holiday-related content on their platform, and 86% through their mobile phone. So make sure your social media accounts are still populated with tailored, relevant, and engaging content to keep your audiences involved. 💪
Our tips for creating the right content for this period is:
- Look at how your content performed in previous years and build on successful posts 📊
- Get inspiration from other organisations (you can check out content we love here!) 😍
- Identify current trends on social media like relevant hashtags or themes to join conversations #️⃣
Don't forget that social media management platforms can help you do a lot of this work well in advance. You can efficiently schedule the majority of your social media content in collaboration with colleagues in advance, freeing up valuable time to respond to any inbound enquiries!
2. Reply to any outstanding questions on social media
With lots of us breaking for at least a couple of days, the last thing you want is customers left in the lurch on social media! Not only will the opportunity to engage them and leave a positive impression have passed, but it's actually sending a signal to the rest of your audience that you don't care enough to respond. 👎
So make it a priority to resolve any final social media customer service enquiries before you shut your computer down on the last day!
If you're concerned that you may have missed questions then why not use social listening to do a final sweep for untagged brand mentions? This is a great way to pick up additional questions and ensure that you really have ticked everything off. To perform this search we recommend searching not only for your brand name but the names of any products or services you provide along with common misspellings. 👂
Related Content: How to Harness the Power of Social Listening 💥
3. Make it clear when your social media accounts will be monitored
To prepare for any questions that might come in over the festive period, make sure you've communicated when your social media accounts will and will not be monitored. This reduces confusion and while you might still receive questions outside of your stated hours, your audience will be more understanding of the delay if you've been open and clear with them. 📢
We love an example of this from Lewis at Edinburgh City Council who was actually flooded with messages of thanks and appreciation from residents for clearly drawing the short straw in monitoring social media up until Christmas day! 🎅
Shout out to all of you like Lewis who will be on hand to support the public over the holidays! 👏
If your organisation is fully closing down for the holidays, messages like this from the mental health charity MQ are perfect. It's clear that their channels won't be monitored, but if emergency support is required, they've provided a list of contacts who can help. 🆘
Hi Lewis here, I will be monitoring social media as well as supporting our out of hours calls for Edinburgh City Council through until Christmas morning.— Edinburgh Council Help (@edinhelp) 24 December 2017
Happy Christmas to you all! Thanks for your support in 2017. We're not monitoring our social media over the Christmas period. If you need help this festive season, there are organisations listed on our website: https://t.co/KObl4G9OMG— MQ (@MQmentalhealth) 25 December 2017
4. Set automatic responses while you're away
If your social media accounts are not monitored over the festive period another step you can take is to set up temporary automatic responses to questions. This is a great option if you are concerned that customers or audience members will raise questions while you're away and not know where to find help. 🙋♀️
Setting a simple message that reiterates the fact that their question has been acknowledged but will not be responded to until a certain date unless it is an emergency is all that's needed. This is a really easy thing to set up in Facebook as you can see in the image below. Just head to your Facebook settings and to the 'Messaging' section to add your text! ✨
5. Double check you have the right social media notifications turned on
While you don't want to receive a notification for every action that takes place on your social accounts over the holidays. There are some things you might want to be alerted to such as emergencies. 📩
Setting notifications for the use of words related to emergencies or crises is an important step to make sure your organisation's reputation is protected over the holidays.
Similarly, you can set robust rules in social listening tools like CrowdControlHQ to be able to track conversations related to key topics across all networks, notifying the right people if a response is required. Allowing you to stay on the front foot and maintain a proactive stance. ✅
6. Test social media workflows
The penultimate step is to check your social media management platform workflows. Define the workflows that will allow you to route the right messages to the right people within your organisation to deal with inbound enquiries either in real-time, or once the holiday period is over.
It's important to dry-test your workflows to make sure that the schedule works fine, and the right people receive the right notifications to take action. A good plan will only work if the people involved receive the information in a timely fashion and in the most appropriate sequence so they can be efficient! 🏃♂️
7. Make sure you have a crisis plan in place
Last but definitely not least, with a reduced number of staff available over the holidays, it's crucial to make sure that should a crisis on or off social media occur, you have a plan in place to manage it. 🚨
For instance, imagine you manage the social media activities for an airline, your social media plan has outlined that you're going to engage with customers and wish them a Merry Christmas, with jolly festive messages scheduled and ready to go. However, unfortunately some of the planes are stranded on the tarmac because of poor weather on Christmas Eve, preventing people travelling to be with their families. 🌨
In such a situation, it's helpful to remember these four factors:
WHO – identify the person/team that will make decisions during a crisis situation and will respond to the immediate threats.
WHAT – define a strict policy on action to be taken in the event of certain situations including pausing all scheduled social content for review and creating alerts for crisis specific content.
WHEN – time is of essence in a crisis. Consider the frequency and velocity of answers to avoid an avalanche of complaints or concerns escalating on social media.
HOW – define operational procedures and practical delivery protocols on your social media platform (e.g. do you need two pairs of eyes to check the responses?).
Those are our steps to help you have a fantastically relaxed Christmas break, but we want to know your tips and tricks for preparing to go on holiday! Get in touch @CrowdControlHQ or drop us an email to say hi to email@example.com! 👋