5 things social media managers should know about surviving the festive season

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Christmas

The festive season is nearly upon us and most social media managers deserve a well-earned break after a long year after growing their social networks and participating diligently across all the social networks they manage. I have listed a few things you can do which will ensure that you keep your community happy and afford you some time off.

1. Let your followers know you are taking a break
There is no harm at all in letting the subscribers to your blog and newsletter, your followers on Twitter, Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections know that you are going on leave and that they will not hear from you as often as they are used to. Schedule a blog post announcing the fact and schedule a few announcements on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks you participate on.

2. Plan and schedule a few updates
Schedule a few blog posts to be published at regular intervals during your time off. This will ensure that there isn’t total silence and that your subscribers will have some material to consume. Being the festive season you may want to focus on blogging content that is related to this time of year. You can use tools such as Hootsuite and Socialoomph to schedule a series of updates for Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook too.

3. Check in now and then
Have a cursory look at your mentions on Twitter, updates on LinkedIn and Facebook and comments on your blog once a week. Attend to any important items and leave the rest until you return from leave. Your followers will value your commitment.

4. Share some of your holiday experiences
Many shy away from this altogether but for those that enjoy sharing a few pics with their followers, this is an ideal time to do so. I enjoy mountain biking and the outdoors so I will be sure to share take a few photographs whilst mountain biking or hiking in some exotic location and post them on Twitter and Facebook.

5. Don’t forget to send a festive season greeting to your community
Take the time to send out a few messages across all the digital platforms you manage to wish all your followers and subscribers and to thank them for all the support they have given you this past year.

Happy Festive Season

I would like to end this by wishing everyone a happy and restful festive season. Enjoy the rest and the time you will be spending with your family and friends. Thank you for your support this past year and come back recharged and ready for a fruitful and abundant 2013!

One final comment – according to the Mayan calendar, some believe that the end of the world will occur sometime in December 2012, so if you are an ardent believer in these predictions, go crazy with the credit card and have that extra portion of pud at every meal.

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  • http://twitter.com/RichSimmondsZA Richard Simmonds

    Great post David, I look forward to eating the extra pud with you at the pub in Montrose! We may even post a photo or two.

  • http://twitter.com/RichSimmondsZA Richard Simmonds

    On a more serious note, I agree fully with David we should never stop entirely. We need to remember that this is social business, but note that social comes before business in the context, if we drop the social ball we lose the business ball entirely.
    Social is always about trust and what sustains that trust is consistency.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doktornik Nikolaus Eberl

    Great points, David! This should be required reading for Business
    Leaders, especially relevant for B2C marketers. By the way, the Mayan Calendar
    does predict a revelation rather than a catastrophe (if my reading is correct:-)
    It appears that what they are alluding to is a “global restructuring”
    - maybe they were aware of the Social Revolution! Anyway, hope retailers are
    taking your message to heart – there is no reason why anybody should be
    spending their festive season in shops rather than online !

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    I doubt I will be eating pud in the pub in Montrose :) Thanks for the feedback Richard.

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Thank you for your comment Nik!

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Along the same theme, have a look at this article written by Judy Gombita (@jgombita) – Festive Byte: Views on When to Ho-Ho Them and When to Tranquilly Fold Them http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/12/20/festive-byte-views/

  • http://www.antonkoekemoer.com/ Anton Koekemoer

    Good one David!

    The only problem with social media/SEO/Digital Marketing is that the internet never sleeps. It continues to move forward so it’s important to setup a schedule for your updates over this period if you are planning to lay low for a bit.

    In a connected world where everyone uses a smartphone/tablet, people expect that when they enquirer about something, they want an answer immediately. My advice: if you want to take a break from your social media strategy, make sure you have setup processes and notifications so that you can be notified immediately if anything happens that you should be aware of.

  • http://twitter.com/davegreenway David Greenway

    Feel free to share your holiday experiences with your community, unless that involves you drunk tweeting at 3am from the wrong account on your phone.

    Great article David.

  • http://twitter.com/Green_Guerrilla David Anthony Alves

    Howsit Dave, great post and thank you for sharing your festive time insights. I love this time of the year – mainly because I get to see what brands execute in terms of their “off-peak” content strategy. It’s interesting to see hoe many brands shut down – some entirely, some stay on and while other attempt to speak to their disinterested audience at a futile attempt to keep the ball rolling. I think this time of the year can be capitalised on by brands who know how to play their cards right in the mobile space. I continuously drive creative teams to think mobile first – because of two things – 1) Because during this time, most of a brands audience is not sitting in front of their PCs, they’re out and about, shopping, spending time with family and friends or simply sitting in front of their TVs and 2) any creative executions that should be going out to the intended audiences to be easily interacted with and seen via a mobile phone. Just a thought…thanks again, Dave! Have a wonderful festive period.

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Good advice Dave :)

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Thanks David. Check out this article written by my colleague Judy Gombita (@jgombita). I am sure that she will welcome your comments: http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/12/20/festive-byte-views/

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Very good advice, thank you Anton!

  • http://twitter.com/HermDegs HermDegs

    Hi Dave and everyone else reading these comments.

    Thanks for your article Dave, as well as sharing Judy’s article; both feature great tidbits of info we can all use to inform festive season digital strategies. At the risk of repeating some (or most) of the sentiments echoed below, I think the simple approach is this: if you’re serious about your marketing strategy being totally integrated, social media should not ‘slow down’ when your other marketing efforts maintain a normal (if not higher) frequency in their respective channels. To David Alves’ point below, mobile is the first screen and is going to see a surge in usage over the next 6-8 weeks, so ensure your mobile strategy is sound and in place ASAP.

    My thoughts are a blend of the comments below, above and on Judy’s article: don’t stop, just adapt. it’s a fun time of year for most of us, so what better way to humanise your brand? Show pictures and videos of your staff having a good time. If you manage an outdoor’s type brand, show fun and festive themed images of the products. Get people to show pictures of them using the product in the same vein. if you’re hosting a year-end function where your clients are involved, capture the moment and post a gallery for others to see just how much you value relationships with your customers (just obtain their (your client’s) consent first and be sensible about what you post, of course).

    I’ll stop there before I delve off topic and into content strategy…although the reality is content strategy is really what this is all about. I too am an avid MTB’er and cyclist, and to borrow Specialised’s mantra “Adapt or die”.

    Enjoy the festive period Dave (& everyone else); I hope to join you for a spin!

    Regards,
    Herman

  • Adrian Lee

    haha, so cool. Nice, short and sharp tips. Good reminder, David, for those social media managers who are planning to engage in the ‘silly season’. Good holidays one and all!

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Thank you Mr Lee! Have a good one!

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Thanks Herman. Some interesting ideas you have posed.

  • http://twitter.com/DazMSmith Darren Smith

    As a digital citizen, the social era has me switched on 24/7 365 … though there are time when I consciously & willingly unplug and scale things back. But my expectations are that when I’m back, so too will be the services and resources I seek. That’s just the way it is. Managing the tone & tenor of conversations and content throughout the year remains important, as we respond to events that impact us personally and professionally. Life’s ‘curve balls’ don’t stick around for specific dates on the calendar.
    Does this make it easy for businesses and community managers? Nope. It’s hard and going to get worse. But there are no other options in a 24/7 365 world. The downside of the social era is here to stay.

  • Dot

    Brilliant advise, as always! Thanks David!

  • http://twitter.com/ohgodknows Greg Arthur

    People like to follow people and that is why the brands that have been successful on social media are those that have portrayed a human face. Taking a break is human. Posting pics of holiday activities is human. While I agree that it is necessary to maintain some of your usual content I would rather encourage social media managers to include more ‘human content’ throughout the year because this would resolve the issue of not having much content over this time anyway. I would agree though to avoid those drunk 3am tweets that Mr Greenway refers to in his comment. ;)
    Thanks for the article David and enjoy your break.

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Thank you Dot!

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Thanks Greg :) and thank you Mr Greenway for injecting some humour :)

  • http://twitter.com/rajharie Raj Harie

    Hi David,
    Great post and I think it exemplifies the personal connection that you have created with your network and it’s something that Social Media managers tend to forget.
    Enjoy the festive season and the scenery :-)

  • http://pauljacobson.org/ pauljacobson

    Good suggestions and I am going to save this in the hope I do some of these things before I head off.

  • http://www.SquirrelSocial.com/ Jared Lamorte

    Great post! I think for some of us, these tips might not be as effective. In our office we are managing several different sites for multiple clients. And I’m not sure checking Twitter and Facebook once a week will cut it. Do you have any suggestions for busier organizations on how to manage social media sites?

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Hi Jared. You are quite right. I was talking specifically about social media influencers that are quite visible. Managing a company’s social media is a different story! In your case you have to maintain your presence.

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Thank you Richard!

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    And you Raj thank you !!

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