Yes, we said “auto pilot.” Are you shocked? Well, don’t be. If you’re not a retailer whose livelihood depends on Christmas sales, then this post is for you.
Why You Should Take a Break This Holiday Season
If you are an entrepreneur or, for that matter, any small to medium business owner, you’re no doubt exhausted from the pace of keeping up with social media during a pandemic. For some businesses, it was their only marketing activity and a lifeline to maintain their customer relationships.
But this time of year, the competition for attention is crazy. The retailers are leading the way, trying to gain any sales they can to salvage the year. Likewise, many nonprofits are making one last attempt to get donations to secure their future.
It’s hard to rise above these two forces. It might be the perfect time to take a break. But we’re not saying ignore your social channels entirely.
Here are our 4 key ideas on how to do it well so you can take a break and come back in January ready to tackle new social campaigns!
Engagement erodes beginning around Dec. 15, so take this time to preschedule as much content as possible through to the New Year. One of our past clients, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, had this fabulous Christmas tree in their foyer. Each department created a signature ornament for the tree. We photographed them individually and started scheduling an ornament of the day acknowledging the department, with a picture of the ornament. These were wildly popular among the hospital fans and gave us a break. Some of these creations were full blown dioramas and amazing to see.
If you don’t have that kind of holiday tie-in, that’s okay too. If you’re a nonprofit, you can schedule gratitude messages to volunteers, employees, donors. It’s a great way to wrap up the year. A small business could recognize employee contributions and feature employees each day.
2. Keep It Light
While you’re thinking on how to preschedule everything, make sure to keep the content fun and light. Lots of your fans are mindlessly scrolling, so just give them a little something to remember you by when you resume your big schedule in January.
3. Create a Monitoring Schedule
While you want a break, you can’t completely ignore your channels. Create a sensible monitoring schedule so you just peek in, see if you need to respond to any comments or activity and then go back to enjoying holiday time away from the screen. We manage channels for a number of clients. Here’s what we do at the holidays: each team member has a three day monitoring schedule. For some clients they will check all the channels for fifteen minutes, twice each day on their monitoring day. For others, the channel check is once per day. We have 4-5 of us working in this way, so starting 3-4 days before Christmas, we implement this schedule, so each person only has to sit at their desk for a couple of days! It’s brilliant.
4. Try Using Bots to Manage FAQs
If you haven’t tried using the Facebook bot, now is the time to give it a try. You can set automatic responses to the most frequently asked questions so the bot answers for you. We do this for several clients for things like how do I find a hotel in your destination? What are your holiday hours? Things of that nature. Here’s an example of a “bot” in action on a business page (picture). Especially if you are sold out, closed for the holiday, not reopening until a certain date and time, you can let the bot answer the question and continue to enjoy your time away.
Don’t Go Away for TOO Long! We don’t recommend that you be mentally or physically away from your vital social media channels for more than three weeks but for many small businesses, the two week reset will do amazing things to refresh you. We highly recommend it. Happy Holidays!