A recent Mashable article questioned whether or not we should all be taking a break from social media during vacation. According to research cited in the article, only 26% of respondents would give up access to their smart phones or tablets during vacation and only 19% said they could manage an entire week without their smart phones.
This got us talking around the office about the importance of actually “checking out” while on vacation. For some of us, checking out means just that – ditching the devices and spending a week or more Jason Bourne-style – off the grid. For others (myself included) it means staying off email and work-related networks, but still occasionally updating our personal networks with vacation-related posts. Whatever “unplugged” looks like to you, if you play a role in your organization’s social media efforts don’t forget to plan accordingly – especially should something go wrong.
Social Media/Community Managers
Some considerations if something goes awry while you’re out:
- Ensure that whoever is taking over posts and responses understands your organization’s response plan and approval processes
- If you’ve scheduled posts, make sure more than one person has the appropriate log-in information, passwords and know-how to un-schedule posts if something out-of-the-ordinary should occur
- If you have campaigns in progress, make sure more than one person has contact information for your agency or vendor partners
Management Team Members
You might not be in charge of the day-to-day social media management, but if you play a role in the approval process, plan accordingly:
- Identify who can step in for you if something goes wrong and your social media team needs approval on a specific response. You don’t want to be the one holding up the process while trekking in Europe
- If possible, wrap up any campaign or strategic plan approvals prior to your vacation. If that isn’t possible, try to assign that approval process to a co-worker
- Be clear about your “in case of emergency” contact method (I tend to go with text messages), and set ground rules for how “emergency” is defined
- Ensure that everyone has your social media crisis/response plan in-hand before you leave
The details of how social media platforms and response plans are managed from organization to organization will definitely vary. But a little thoughtful planning will help you unplug and enjoy the Dog Days of Summer without so much anxiety… and not feel so bad about that “toes in the sand selfie” you’re considering posting to Instagram while enjoying yourself.
Jim Licko is a Senior Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy at GroundFloor Media, and while he does enjoy unplugging from mobile devices on vacation, he frequently blows up his Instagram feed while on said vacations.