With only a few business days remaining before many of us down tools, switch off, and disappear for a well-deserved break it feels that offering you a checklist of pre-holiday tasks is apt. Many of us will be taking a break not only from work but also from managing social media accounts and using the platforms in general in the form of a digital detox (which I highly recommend). So making sure everything is in order ahead of Christmas Eve is certainly a good strategy to avoid any holiday boo-boos!
Here's a short list of things to do before you take a break.
Task 1: Communicate your Office Hours
First of all, make sure you've updated your Google My Business listing with your seasonal opening hours. Is there anything more frustrating than Googling a business, seeing they are open and making your way to the business premises just to find they're actually closed?!? If you also have an out of hours number that you plan to use specifically over the period you could publish the number through the listing as well, if appropriate. Just remember to update this again in the new year.
For your other social media platforms, a simple post would do the job. You can use the pinned post function on Facebook, Twitter and your LinkedIn Company page to ensure the post remains top of your updates.
Task 2: Check your scheduled posts
Whether you are using an automated scheduling tool or scheduling en mass, you need to check the content you have scheduled. Have you paused your automation on relevant days? With what is scheduled to post, have you checked the wording to avoid any call to actions suggesting people call you or pop in while your business is closed?
Quite often replacing the scheduled slots with an unbranded Christmas message works well. But if you're intending on radio silence over the Christmas break – make sure it's definitely radio silence!
Task 3: Email Marketing
Again, this is about checking automation. If you have something set up that pulls your blogs together and sends a news round-up on a monthly/weekly basis you can either pause or change the delivery date; remembering to change it back in the New Year of course!
If you are currently running any nurture sequences, many email marketing systems will allow you to control which days of the week your email gets sent. Just block out the non-business days for now (or pause the automation in its entirety). Again, stick a note in your diary to switch it back on in the New Year.
Task 4: Get Ready for the 4th January
This year, the first working day is 4th January. On that day any Christmas related branding should disappear and be replaced with standard imagery. (You're obviously free to choose an alternative date to make the switch!)
Before we break for Christmas we'll already have our updated 2021 headers and banner images ready to go for our social media platforms. Our posting templates that include seasonal elements will be put to bed for another year and we'll be ready to kick off 2021 on brand. The snow will disappear from the website and so will the image of us in our Christmas hats.
Task 5: Turn off those notifications and remove those apps!
Most people now have a phone that keeps pinging. For anyone responsible for managing social media for business purposes however, those pings can sometimes come through at an alarming rate! For many of us, the effort required to keep social positive and use it as the number one comms tool during a global pandemic has been exceptional. Add to that the brainpower required to think and rethink every post and every comment to make sure it's still in line with current Covid rules and guidance… well this year has been exhausting for many of us.
Take the opportunity to indulge and be present with your loved ones without the distractions. You'll be forgiven if over the Christmas period your response rate drops a little. It's terrifying, I know, but have a cleanup, remove some Apps. You can add them back in the New Year.
That's it! Get the above done and then – sign off for Christmas. Have a magical break. This year is going to be different for many and tough for some. Wherever you are and however you spend it I hope you get to enjoy the downtime. Use it to reconnect with what and who matters most to you, reflect on what you're grateful for and come back in 2021 with a spring in your step ready to smash the year. We'll be here ready and waiting to assist you.