By Sophie Zen
The summer holidays are ahead of us but before you start dreaming up all the roadtrips and adventures you want to be having… let’s talk about social media.
We all know that social media doesn’t sleep but that doesn’t mean you have to risk your holiday break just for the sake of keeping up. So here are my four steps to sustainable social media over the summer holidays.
1. Have a plan
You might be thinking it’s too early to plan your social media for the summer break but I believe that having a plan (as far in advance as you can) is where the magic happens.
So take this time to think about your goals for the summer holidays. This is bigger than social media and takes into consideration your entire business strategy.
Here are some questions you might like to consider:
What is your business goal during the summer holiday?
What are three things that you want to focus on?
Do you have any special events, dates or launches happening?
Now grab a calendar or create a spreadsheet to map out your business vision, focuses and important dates.
While you’re planning, you should also decide how frequently you want to show up on social media during your holiday. Depending on business activities, this could be slightly higher or lower than usual. The trick is to make a conscious decision and stick to it.
2. Gather your content
You can now start to gather your content for social media. For example, if you have a special launch happening during the summer holidays then you can start to gather promotional images and copy. Or if you’re going away on a break, you could find some reposted images from your destination and write a post about what you’ll be doing while you’re there.
The holidays themselves can also provide content ideas. For example, you can create a branded quote image to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy New Year’.
I suggest creating all the content for the summer holidays and getting it together in one document before you try to schedule it in. Why? Well I believe it takes less time to do something when we batch similar tasks. Writing content is a lot different to scheduling content so when you focus purely on creating, we can truly find our flow!
As you gather content ideas, mark it in the calendar or spreadsheet that you created in the last section. I like to map out ideas on a calendar then create a separate document where I collect the images and captions.
I do this in a simple Google Document where I create a table with three columns. The first column is where I add the image thumbnail, the second column is where I write the caption (adding hashtags and emojis) and in the third column I include the date that the post will be scheduled.
Continue to gather content until you’ve filled all the spaces in your calendar taking into consideration the frequency that you decided on in the previous step. There is no need to post every day unless there is a special event, launch or offering to share.
3. Get scheduling
Once you’ve mapped out a plan and have gathered your content, it’s time to get scheduling your content. Facebook allows you to schedule directly from your Facebook Page and it will automatically post it. Instagram is a bit different and has a two step process. Mobile apps like Hootsuite, Later and PLANN will allow you to plan your posts and ‘schedule’ them for a specific time but you will still need to hop on your phone to manually copy and paste the image and share to Instagram. This is something to be aware of if you are going to be away from internet for some period of your holidays.
4. Set your boundaries
So you’ve done the hard yards and have planned, created and scheduled your social media for the summer holidays – yay! But you’re not quite finished yet!
It’s unlikely that planning and scheduling social media will mean you can switch your phone off for the next month. You still need to check in, write back to comments and check your messages. This could easily become overwhelming when you’re trying to unwind so that’s where boundaries come in!
Before you go into your holidays, have a think about your social media boundaries. How often do you want to show up during this time and can you schedule in certain times of the day for social media?
And if you can, I would recommend taking some time off. In service-based businesses, summer holidays are a slower time so don’t feel like you can’t take a week or two off social media.
Make sure to tell your followers that’s what you’re doing and say when you’ll be back but then, switch off and enjoy the space to rest up and get the creative juices flowing for a beautiful new year!
Sophie Wood is a social media mentor who works with coaches and creatives to transform their social media. She does this through social media coaching, social media management and her signature online program Sacred Social.