The holiday season is almost upon us!

I know that as a busy business owner that thought may fill you with equal parts excitement and panic (it does me!)

Whilst you can’t wait for your getaway, you may be worrying about how you’re going to get everything done and keep things ticking over whilst you take a well-deserved break from your biz.

Social media is just one of the things on your pre-holiday to do list but it’s also the one that can sneakily follow you on your jollies.

It is super important to the well-being of both yourself and your business that you find time to switch off. Not just a break from working but an opportunity to actually step back and unplug from the online world. Easier said than done, I know! I’m the worst culprit for having a sneaky “5-minute” check of my social media only to end up losing an hour down the rabbit hole. It’s so easily done, and yet when I do manage to unplug I absolutely feel the benefits.

So, how to make it happen?

Here’s my holiday checklist to help you make sure your social media habit doesn’t sneak into your suitcase, whilst keeping your marketing rocking all the while…

1. Get some content in the bag
You probably don’t want radio silence on your business accounts whilst you’re away so it’s a good idea to create some content that can go out in your absence.

Whilst you’re at it, you might even want to create a few standby posts to have in the bag in case you’re ever away from work unexpectedly. That way, you always have something you grab and post if needed.

2. Use scheduling tools to feed your accounts
Using a scheduling tool means that you can load in your content, set a time and date for each post to go out and it will take care of it all without you having to lift a finger.  Perfect for when you’re on holiday!

3. Don’t invite engagement if you’re not there to engage
Scheduling posts in advance are super useful for when you’re going to be on holiday, but be mindful of the type of content that you’re sharing.  In particular, avoid inviting engagement if you’re not going to be there to reply to your community.  Now is not the time to start a debate or pose a thought-provoking question, as neither your followers nor yourself will benefit from starting a conversation you aren’t able to be involved in.

4. Enlist help
Whilst you may not be directly inviting engagement, there may, of course, be comments and messages that really could do with a response in your absence.

You have a couple of options here, depending on where the engagement is likely to come from.  On Facebook, for example, you could set up an autoresponder on Messenger that will reply to any messages explaining that you’re not around and letting people know when to expect a reply.

The other option is to ask someone you trust with your social media accounts, such as a virtual assistant (VA), to monitor comments and messages for you whilst you’re away.  This will give you the peace of mind that everything is being taken care of and you can relax and enjoy your holiday.  Just make sure to leave clear instructions on how you would like your helper to respond or deal with any messages that you receive.

5. It’s OK to check in
If you can’t, or don’t want to, unplug entirely then it’s absolutely fine to check in but do set yourself some boundaries otherwise social media could end up consuming your holiday.

5-10 minutes a couple of times a day should be more than enough for check-in if you’ve followed the other steps on this list.

The key is to go on to social media during your check-in times with purpose.  Don’t be tempted to get sucked into the newsfeed, if you’re there to check comments and messages then stick to that and log off when you’re done.

6. Start planning early
Don’t leave it until the last minute to start creating and scheduling in that content! Inevitably, unexpected tasks crop up – especially when you’re trying to wrap everything up and get away on holiday.  If you leave your social media until the day before you’re due to go away and then a client calls and asks you to do something, more than likely it’s going to be your social media that falls by the wayside.

7. Give yourself some breathing room
With point #3 in mind, give yourself a day or two either side of your holiday where you have posts scheduled in as well.  You’ll be particularly grateful of the breathing room at the other end of your holiday as it will give you chance to get your head back into work mode, catch up on your emails, and any urgent bits and bobs that have cropped up whilst you’ve been away, without having to worry about what you’re going to post on social media on your first day back.

And there you have it, 7 simple steps that will allow you to unplug and recharge your batteries. Now, go and enjoy your jolly!

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