In Europe, it would seem that everybody just rips the month of July straight out of the calendar. People are off to exotic locations, summer houses, and family visits, recharging their batteries for the colder months to come. Most vocations come with a checklist for the “Leaving For Vacation” ritual. Email on auto-reply: check, inbox zero: check, any conflicting appointments cancelled or moved: check. Oh, and maybe clean off the desk to ensure a fresh start upon return.
Employees might go on summer vacation, but the world of content marketing never rests and your company will need to keep its production machine going. Your audience’s hunger for high-quality content will never be satisfied, and you don’t want to leave them to look elsewhere while you’re on a beach in the Bahamas. Don’t worry, you can have your holiday cake and eat it too, it just takes a bit of planning and thoughtful content management.
Depending on the structure of your content team (or maybe you’re the only one!), you’ll need to plan ahead and map out your material ahead of time. Scope out the window of time that your various team members will be gone, plan extra material to fill in the gaps, establish new deadlines (before they leave), and designate a point person in the office to push the content live and promote it.
Here at Falcon Social, vacation happens much the same as anywhere else. Our writers, designers, and social media managers all have summer plans, so we’re upping our production of blog posts and filling out our editorial calendar, so we can get an idea of what content we’ll have at our disposal. Although we do link to older blog posts on a regular basis, we don’t want to create a vibe of summer re-runs. It’s not that binge-watching old Friends episodes is bad, but sometimes you feel like watching the latest episode of Silicon Valley.
In order to maximize your relaxation this summer, while not leaving your audience hanging, we’ve compiled the following tips:
The last thing that you want to be doing as you head out the door to pack for your road trip to Yosemite is sitting at your desk trying to think of solid article concept. Do yourself, and your content team, a favor and schedule a brainstorming day in April or May to map out your planned content. Think about what will be on your audience’s mind over the summer months too – holidays, picnics, vacations of their own, etc. – and hook it into your content.
Outline And Schedule
Look at the vacation calendar and make note of the gaps when people are gone. Check that you have an adequate amount of fresh content planned to fill those spaces. Brief your team on the calendar, so everyone knows what the game plan is.
Cross-Train Your Team
While people are out of the office, you need to make sure that the most critical tasks are getting done, especially on the front-end. A missed expense report won’t bother anyone, except maybe the HR manager, but your audience will definitely notice if your blog or social accounts go silent. Automation is always a possibility, but you should make sure there is someone trained on how to use the social accounts who can respond to mentions and mitigate any potential crisis.
Double-Check Your Crisis Plan
Speaking of crisis, chances are, one will arise during your vacation – that’s just how the world works. A little planning goes a long way and will guarantee your afternoon Mojito isn’t interrupted by panicked emails from your staff back at the office. Double-check your crisis plan (Don’t have one? We can help with that) and adjust for any variances in staff assignments due to people being out.
Let People Know
Before you head out the door, make the rest of your office aware there’s some summer fun coming up, what your contingency plans are, and who their point of contact is.
So, in the week up to my own time off, I’ll be wrapping up a few major projects and verifying that the content calendar is packed with awesome content. Of course, being that this is the 21st Century, I’ll have mobile coverage or a wireless connection at all times, so I can periodically check in with my team and check that things are progressing as they should.
The purpose of vacation is to rest and recharge your batteries and spend time with loved ones. A little preparation in the months leading up to it can guarantee that you and your team get what you need from it, without your social media content strategy grinding to a halt. Make your social media strategy not only about planning your presence, but planning your absence too, to avoid potential risks, costs, and lost customer relations.