July 5, 2021 - Brittany Garlin

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Out of Office: Planning Content When You’re Going on Vacation

Planning content when you’re going on vacation can be stressful when you manage multiple client’s accounts. Social media marketers and employees in digital marketing agencies are always ‘on’ with their work. As everyone knows, social media never sleeps, which means hard-working individuals that manage business accounts and track metrics on social media hardly get any rest. Social media managers and marketers rarely take holidays out of anxiety for their business accounts. 

This ‘always available’ mentality is what affects the mental health of most social media managers. It is necessary to plan content before going on vacation, so that you can unplug from all social media, and refresh the mind and body. Many social media marketers are online nearly 12 – 14 hours daily and manage their personal accounts. Constantly staying online and looking at screens, analyzing trends, following metrics, and responding to all positive and negative comments is harmful to health. 

Coming back after a break will help the mind get rejuvenated, refreshed, and your work will be reinspired with a fresh perspective. 

What Do Social Media Managers Do?

Everyone’s talking about social media management like it’s no big deal! Is it? What does a social media manager do? Isn’t it just posting some stuff online?

No. It’s not. Being a digital media manager and marketer is a tough job. You need to be available 24/7 to help with business profiles and accounts across various social media platforms and portals.

Social media managers do the following:

  • Plan and develop social media marketing strategies 
  • Implement and execute editorial calendars to content guidelines
  • Manage social media channels, community posts, and other digital media
  • Schedule posts and finalizing content
  • Work with editorial, graphics, video, and audio content teams
  • Analyze trends and viral content
  • Conduct weekly reporting and analysis of all social media metrics (likes, clicks, shares, follows, shoutouts, and so on)
  • Optimize and Analyze campaign performance
  • Manage paid ads and conversion rates
  • Communicate with thousands of users, followers, and target audiences
  • Maintain brand voice and tone
  • Evaluate and make suggestions to improve brand recognition and increase customer engagement

Apart from these skills, social media managers also use their expertise to critically evaluate the success of online campaigns and make hard decisions regarding the social media strategy. These skills aren’t easily taught to another person, and they take time to cultivate with experience. While it is easy to learn social media marketing with the many resources available, managing multiple business accounts is a different ball game.

Social media managers in digital marketing agencies have to simultaneously run campaigns on multiple sites for various clients. Not only is this challenging, but these managers have to forego sleep in place of a new product or service launch. 

Tips for Planning Content When You’re Going on Vacation

1. Plan and Schedule In Advance

Content creation and selective posting according to schedules are what make social media marketing great. Usually, managers and executives create and curate all the social content in advance and schedule it on the editorial board. While this is a great way to keep everyone on the same page, it is not feasible if team members are on leave or on vacation. 

Planning and scheduling everything in advance is the best way to ensure the work gets done even when you are Out Of Office (OOO). Digital marketing agencies and experienced marketers use scheduling software to help create, finalize, and post content at set dates and times. The more time you allocate to the posts in advance, the better the scheduling of tasks. 

Agency Vista has launched our very own social media scheduler that is available in every agency profile dashboard. Our publisher enables agencies to manage both theirs and their client’s posts and content visually before posting it live on social media platforms. With the clean design, agencies can easily have a holistic view of all of their scheduled content pieces for their various clients in one easily accessible calendar. Right now, there are no extra fees to begin using this product — each agency profile on a starter plan has access to schedule content for ten social media profiles.  

Planning content when you’re going on vacation consists of having everything edited and scheduled, to allow you to have peace of mind before leaving. You should also take the last two days before your holiday begins to review all the scheduled work and make any last-minute changes. Doing this will allow you to take a few extra days off. 

2. Select a Point of Contact Person

Almost all of us have been the recipient of emails that state a person is out of office, and in case of emergencies, we can contact so-and-so person. This specific person is called the point of contact. You would delegate some of your responsibilities to another person while you are planning content when you’re going on vacation. This person could be an assistant, co-worker, or boss. 

Identify capable team members with experience in your work. Selecting a team member who has never worked in social media marketing and does not understand how to schedule and track posts will not be an asset. Instead, there will be chaos, and you will probably be on the phone throughout your holiday putting out the fires. 

When handing the reigns over, you should ensure that you explain all the work. Not knowing how to perform a task can be detrimental to social media management. When billions of tiny details can go wrong, giving your colleague an overview is a must. For anything particular, they can reach out to you. 

Before you sign out from your accounts and head out to your vacation, set automatic Out Of Office messages in your email account for any incoming emails with the address and phone number of the point of contact for the interim period. 

3. Organize all the Documents

Apart from scheduling and appointing another person as a point of contact, social media managers in digital marketing agencies are also responsible for all contracts and paperwork. These agreements and working documents contain all the details about the work structures, flows, deliverables, and milestones agreed upon with the client. They also have the social media strategy and editorial guidelines mentioned in hard copy format for perusal. These documents are critical for social media marketing.

Apart from these contract-related documents, social media managers are also responsible for keeping a record of all updates to software, key retrieval pins, and passwords. They also have other sensitive information regarding the client sign-ins and activity details as a backup. Before going on holiday, you must hand these documents off to your supervisor or the agency’s owner. In case of an emergency or if you are held up, the business owners will have access to all the confidential files and data about the client and the social media accounts.

Having this contingency in place is critical in ensuring smooth functioning in your absence. If you do not have physical copies but have stored all the information online or in Word Documents, it is best to share them on a secure password-protected pen drive or the secure company cloud server. 

A week before you leave for your holiday, you should have a meeting with your supervisor or the owner and explain each document. Business owners often do not look at the details of the contracts and agreements since they have teams in place to take care of all the paperwork. If there is a need, the owner should be made aware of all the documentation and its uses. 

4. Set Clear Goals

When planning content when you’re going on vacation, it’s important to set clear and measurable goals and milestones. Social media marketing is a success only if it is measurable and quantifiable. Since the success of a social media campaign depends wholly on the numbers, it is pretty normal to set clear goals. 

While preparing for your handover, you should host a meeting with your team members explaining the work breakdown structures, goals, and deliverables. Knowing and understanding the expectations you place on them will help your team members achieve the goals and milestones quickly. If they have queries or issues, they will have enough time to clear out the confusion and get clarity before you leave. 

If you are unavailable or your phone is out of the coverage area, your team will not panic and continue to do work successfully. You should also give software access to the point of contact and team members working on the content in your absence. 

When setting these goals for them, always remember that you will not be present to guide them and will need to trust their judgment. Allowing them this direction will also help as a trust-building exercise between you and your team members. 

5. Create a Backup Plan

A good manager knows that being Out Of Office does not mean out of responsibility. Creating backup plans and contingencies is crucial to ensuring that the work goes on properly. In case of content contingencies, you should ensure there are separate files stored and maintained. Doing this will keep the scheduling on track and will not interrupt the workflow.

Backups are also crucial in emergency situations like natural calamities, fire breakouts, and more. Storing separate files on the cloud-based internal system (password protected) will keep all the information safe and handy. 

Not all backups are data-related. You may also have to plan for social media emergencies like getting locked out of accounts or a new viral trend. Since these things can happen, and there is no way of predicting social media trends and viral content, having backups that deal with these developments is a good practice to have. 

Many social media managers keep templates of additional content in case they are unavailable. Video, audio, and written content can quickly be edited to incorporate the new changes. 

6. Review the Content and Editorial Guidelines

Most social media managers expect their teams to remember the content and editorial guidelines. However, it is best to review everything once more. There may be members in your team who are unsure or do not remember the procedures. 

You should sit down with your content team and go over everything in detail. Sit with the editorial calendars, scheduling software, content voice, and branding guidelines for each client. Doing this will build confidence in content creators and editors and bring the entire process into stark focus. Doing work on multiple accounts may sometimes blur the lines between guidelines. Having an open meeting and allowing team members to take notes and access these guidelines on the agency server will be an excellent way to keep the quality check in control. 

Being on holiday does not mean there will be no feedback on various client social media accounts. No matter how critically you look over the content, there are always people who post negative comments and trolls who do not like the work or favor the competitors. As the social media manager, it is your responsibility to review the content and explain to your team members how to respond to such negative comments. 

In case of hurtful name-calling, abusive language, indecent images, or videos, let the team members know whom to report these incidences to and respond appropriately. Unfortunately, it is impossible to counteract each situation. Instead, speak to your team about the protocols in place. 

7. Internal Response Timeline

Internal response timelines are usually not in focus. However, when you are out of the office, there is a chance you would need to set some timelines in place. It makes sense to readjust and change the response times, diversify work, and allocate specific duties to different people. 

You should also have flowcharts in place if the team needs to respond to unusually large social media activity spikes. Sometimes, the content does become viral, and there is a lot of mentioning and sharing on social media. If this happens when you’re out of the office, your team should know how to handle the increased inactivity. Preparing them for the eventuality that the content will be a hit is better than allowing them to take matters into their own hands. 

Internal response timelines will help sort through the maelstrom of feedback, comments, likes, tweets, shares, and inquiries that your team will have to field off. It is best to be prepared that the content you have planned will have excellent results. Doing this will keep the team motivated and will keep morale extremely high. 

Wrapping Up

Planning content when you’re going on vacation can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! When you are on holiday, remember to avoid keeping track of each small detail. Sometimes you must let the team work out the issues themselves. You may feel compelled to step up and call them or tell them to change something. As far as possible, try to avoid doing this since you will be on vacation. If you disconnect mentally from the office and all the marketing aspects that you have to handle, you will come back feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. Staying in vacation mode will help calm your stress and recharge you. 

You should also remember that constantly stressing about the job will cause mental burnout sooner rather than later. You should trust your team and let them help you. You will get a chance to review everything once you return from your holiday. Also, you should remember that your team members will call you in case of an emergency. 

Take this well-earned time off to relax, unwind, and spend time with nature or your loved ones. Going on holiday is meant to be relaxing, not stressful. Planning content when you’re going on vacation can ease stress and assist in allowing you to be more present in the moment.

So, what are you waiting for? Start scheduling your content in advance with Agency Vista today — available on all new paid plans — plus, our free plan.

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