As summer heats up, vacation time is a hot idea, but how do you take time off when social media never sleeps? Scour the interwebs and you’ll find all kinds of solutions offered in helpful blog posts, but as well-intentioned as these are, they’re often a best-case scenario. The bad news is, there are all kinds of pitfalls these blogs don’t mention, but the good news is, there’s a solution.
Scheduling Content: The Good, Bad and Ugly
A favorite solution suggested is to schedule content in advance. And let’s face it, there’s a lot to love about scheduling. Program it, and off you go, there’s a poolside somewhere waiting for you with a cold beverage not far off, right?
Most of the time, sure. Tons of evergreen content works for scheduling. And scheduling can mean you’re rotating new updates and content all hours of the day, for even weeks in advance. But what if something changes? What if there’s a human tragedy? What if someone of global importance dies? What if there’s a natural disaster?
In an example of advanced planning going wrong, in 2018, the hoop team Milwaukee Bucks had a 50th-anniversary celebratory setting where any Twitter user visiting their account was greeted with a fanfare of virtual balloons. Unfortunately, the team also fired their head coach that day, leaving users wondering if the social media team were just jazzed the coach was gone.
That’s bad enough, but having playful scheduled tweets come out while, say, a deadly hurricane is causing record floods or during some other humanitarian disaster, can come off as not just tone-deaf, but ignorant and offensive. Scheduling posts is fine, but someone’s got to be around to stop them from broadcasting in times of crisis.
Schedule Problems: One-Way Messaging
Another downside to using tools to schedule media is that sometimes campaigns are simply misguided, and blowback comes fast and furious. Not being ready and active when things go live can mean you’re unable to mitigate the damage.
Consider something like H&M’s tone-deaf Instagram post in 2018, when they had a young Black boy in a sweatshirt that said, “coolest monkey in the jungle,” but the Caucasian boy’s shirt said, “jungle survivor.” The righteous outrage was swift and vocal. Of course, they had a team in place to deal with the blowback but scheduling tweets and leaving a skeletal staff for follow-up and moderation can be a recipe for disaster if things go sideways.
Collaborating: Upsides and Downsides
Another solution is to orchestrate a collaboration or account-takeover to coincide with planned vacations. This can absolutely work if everything goes well. It can introduce you to a whole new audience, for starters. But it’s also putting a lot of faith in other people, particularly folks who don’t consider your brand the priority, and shouldn’t your brand be top priority?
It’s not fun playing the Negative Nelly here, but again, what if things go sideways and there’s a scandal that emerges about your brand during that down time? Will the collaborating team care about managing your crisis and protecting your brand?
Hire Someone: Temporary Fixes
Some blog posts suggest hiring temporary staff to manage the social media accounts, but social media isn’t some afterthought that you slap a bandage on and the problem’s fixed. For too long, social media was undervalued and dismissed as being what brands do merely because it exists.
Social media is, and should be, a critical part of understanding your audience, communicating with consumers, monitoring your brand resonance, and building relationships that ensure customers stay loyal. It’s not a job for some temp just looking for a paycheck – it’s a job for someone who deeply cares about your brand and understands your messaging, knows your products, and can communicate all of that. They need to know how to solve a crisis on your behalf and understand how to escalate or de-escalate as required.
Solution: Hire Us
While all these above methods have a degree of problem-solving, their downsides are risky. The answer to your vacation woes is ICUC. Did you know we began as a social moderation company? Our only job was to support brands and help them stay on top of every mention, message, and piece of media posted about their company or their products.
We’ve grown. We do a whole lot more now. We do social monitoring, social listening, social moderation, and we even provide total-package social strategies for our clients, from concept through to campaign. But, at our heart, we’re still passionate community managers.
And that’s the ICUC difference: Our team. We’re not just selling a suite of tools – we’ve got a powerhouse team to support you. Our team of over 600 social media experts are scattered around the globe and fluent in over 30 languages. They work in every time zone, all day, every day of the year.
Whether you need vacation coverage or you’re preparing the launch of a new campaign or you need support during a massive event, we do that. We’ve done crisis management during tragic events and campaign oversight during massive launches. We cover our clients on holidays and weekends, around the clock. We provide flex coverage and we’re totally adaptable in when and how we provide it, according to what our clients need.
Most importantly, we’re not some “B” team that gets used when the good players need a break. We’re total pros, we play first shifts and we play hard. We live and breathe our brands, learning what they do, how they do it, and what their voice is. We understand who our clients are and how they want to be perceived, and we make that happen.
So, go away. Unplug. Relax. Fire up the barbecue. Learn to parasail. Read some books. Nap in a hammock. Visit family. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Leave it all in our hands. We’ve got you covered no matter what comes at your brand online, because this is what we do.