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Four ways to make social media pay while you are away

By Peter Roesler

A major benefit of social media marketing is that it gives business owners and marketers a platform where they can continuously engage with their fans and potential customers.

Social networks are active 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing companies to continually promote a brand with fresh content. However, it takes a lot of effort to keep social media marketing going and any sizable absence is noted by followers and visitors alike.

So how do business owners, continue to manage the social media accounts for their companies while they are on vacation?With a little planning and the right technology, it’s possible for a business owner to maintain their social media marketing efforts even when they are away from the office for a few weeks.

Here are four tips for handling social media while on vacation.

1. Delegate responsibilities when possible
The simplest answer for handling social media marketing while on vacation is to let someone else do it. If a business owner has an employee who has the time to handle the additional responsibilities, giving them the reins to the company’s social media accounts is a quick fix to the problem.

But business owners and marketers need to take care when letting new people take over social accounts. Make sure they can log into the account from the computer they will be using (logging in from a new computer or location will lock an account on some social media networks) and that they are familiar with how the network works.

Also, review the guidelines for interacting with fans, since they will be the voice of the organization while the business owner is away. And let the person know under what circumstances they should seek approval before doing something, so that they don’t inadvertently make promises that the business owner would have difficulty fulfilling.

2. Write content in advance and schedule it to post automatically
The lion’s share of the work in social media marketing is creating and finding content to post.
This means that most of the work a business owner needs to have done for social networks while they’re on vacation can be done in advance. Writing posts in advance also ensures that there is a consistency of style and voice for the brand.

This would be lost if someone else jumped in to write posts for two weeks and then left just as suddenly. Use auto posting tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Tweetdeck which make it possible to schedule posts in advance.

Using such tools is especially important for marketers who are posting their content on several platforms because it saves a tremendous amount of time. In some cases, using tools like these is the only way to schedule a post in advance (e.g. Twitter).

3. Inform fans that you’ll be away
For people who use social networks that identify them personally (like Twitter or LinkedIn), write a post that notifies people about the vacation. This way, people don’t feel like they are being purposefully ignored.

A valuable business opportunity could be lost because of such a misunderstanding. Additionally, business owners may even consider posting a photo from their vacation. It let’s people know what’s going on and it helps to humanize a person or brand who the viewer has only encountered online.

4. Use a social media management system to consolidate alerts
Use a web program or app to send alerts from social media accounts to one location. This will make it possible for business owners to quickly check to make sure there are no crises that need to be handled immediately. Hootsuite and Nutshellmail are two examples of programs that can aggregate social media accounts into one dashboard.

The previous tips take care of most of the things that business owners need to be concerned about while they’re on vacation; so having a social media management system doesn’t mean the business owner will spend a lot of time with it. However, the simple truth is that it is unwise for a business owner to completely disconnect from their business while they’re away.

Negative or inaccurate information can do a lot of damage in a week on social media, if no one is paying attention to issue a rebuttal or clarification. Even if someone has been delegated to handle the normal things, taking five minutes, once a day to make sure the kingdom isn’t burning, is just what a savvy business owner would do.

For business owners whose long-term strategy is to grow their business through content marketing and social media marketing, leaving social media channels unattended and without updates for several weeks is counterproductive. But as the above tips show, maintaining social media accounts while on vacation doesn’t have to distract from the fun.

If a business owner plans accordingly, they can ensure that their company continues to grow when they are away.

 

Peter_Roesler-1-2Peter Roesler, president of Web Marketing Pros, has an extensive background in all things marketing, social media, and search engine optimization. His impressive work history includes VP of Development at AppSoft Development, Director of Multimedia at Advantage Services, and Creative Director at Mammoth Technology. He is continually drawing upon his own talent and skill to help small-to-large corporations all over the nation improve their overall Internet standing and appearance. Among his experience, Peter thoroughly enjoys the continual challenge that SEO work brings. To keep up with the ever-changing dynamic of optimization, Peter studies and researches current methods and standards of the process. When he is ahead of the game your company is, too.

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