While listening to one of my favorite podcasts on the way to work last week, I heard a segment about email forgiveness. You know, those emails you receive and completely forget to respond to and then when you do remember, it’s far past the appropriate time frame to respond? Yeah, we’ve all been there. This team of podcasters created their own ‘holiday’ for responding to such emails and acting like no time had passed.

This made up holiday got me thinking about the appropriate window of time for responding on social media. For most communication, response is key to social. If you don’t answer a question, your audience will seek out the answer elsewhere. So, how do we combat that at a time when so many people are out of the office on vacation? We pulled together a few of our favorite tips, tricks, best practices, and examples of mistakes to avoid to help you navigate the land-mine of social media while relaxing on the beach.


Avoid Controversy While Away

Some marketing professionals argue that controversial content isn’t a bad thing. The old ‘no press is bad press’ trope is alive and well in marketing today. But right before stepping out the door for a well-earned vacation is typically not the best time to post that article that might ruffle a few feathers. These things can easily get away from you, so post accordingly.

Don’t Forget About Ads

If you’ve dabbled in ads for your business online, specifically on Facebook, you know people are prone to commenting on these ads when they come through their timeline. Most of the time, this is great interaction! It means people are interested, and your message is reaching more people through sharing and commenting from your audience. But, as we all know, social media is not immune to negative feedback or trolls posting on your ads with negative messages or irrelevant posts. The last thing you want is to pay for a post to reach audiences you’ve never interacted with before with negative feedback you didn’t get the chance to respond to. Here at Iconic, we embrace the power of online ads, but they need a bit of special attention to make sure issues are addressed and your money is well-spent. If you’re taking some time off, make sure you have a team of marketers behind you managing these communications. The last thing you need to worry about with your toes in the sand and a fruity drink in your hand is a sponsored post making the rounds online with negative or inappropriate messages.

Take Your Audience With You

If you run and maintain a small business and you are a one-person social media machine, take your audience with you! Half of the appeal of social media as a business is showing the personal side of a brand. What better way to do that than to share with your audience what you’re up to! Remember, there is a big difference between a personal account and a professional account. Sorry, but followers of your business probably don’t want to see 15 posts from the butterfly garden you hit up before your flight. Keep the content relevant to your business or industry and show people what traveling with your business in mind looks like. You have a unique perspective of the world, through the eyes of what you do every day and your professional expertise. Share it while you’re away and engage your audience to share their own experiences outside of the daily grind.

Get Your Crisis Plan Ready

It wouldn’t be a crisis if it didn’t come at the most inopportune time, right? Preparing for a crisis is a good idea, no matter how long you’ll be gone. In reality, you should have a plan ready to go at all times, regardless of whether you’re taking a vacation. A well-crafted crisis plan should guide anyone in-office to address a variety of issues, so be specific! If it is just you, a crisis plan is handy for editing pre-written responses to reply to questions, issues, or comments quickly and with content prepared with a level head. When something unexpected happens, we all have the tendency to jump to anger, anxiety, or misunderstanding. Pre-written responses will help you craft appropriate responses with a baseline you can trust.

If you’re gearing up for some time out of the office, or everything discussed above is totally lost on you, it’s probably time to call in reinforcements. We’re more than happy to help get you started or fully take the wheel and guide the ship to social media success. Remember, social media is incredibly powerful in connecting to your audience, and just because you aren’t there doesn’t mean people aren’t talking about you. Protect your brand, and have some fun while doing it!