Spaceship Earth in EpcotWhat happens when the person in charge of social media for a company goes on vacation? As summer is upon us, this is something all of us that use social media for business should consider. As the sole employee of my business, I am always connected to clients and others no matter where I am. Even on vacation, I am connected via my MiFi and phone, so I can still monitor my social media accounts and email. For others, vacation, rightfully so, means a break from work. The email gets a auto-send vacation announcement, voicemail greetings get changed, but what about your social media accounts?

Here are some things you may want to consider putting into place before your next vacation:

Several months before your vacation, identify someone in your company that has experience using social media or an interest in learning. Train this person on the tools you use, how you use them as well as your overall strategy. In addition to how to use the tools and strategy, give them insight into the voice of your social media efforts. What type of language, tone and personality do you use as part of your strategy. This goes a long way to keeping the message consistent.

Create a more detailed editorial calendar for the time that you are away to serve as a guideline for your stand-in. Sure you hear people say that you shouldn’t schedule tweets or  Facebook posts, but sometimes, like vacation, it is better than silence. Give your stand-in, the prepared tweets and posts to publish while you are gone. Try to keep them pretty neutral in tone as you don’t want to stir up a controversy while you aren’t there to respond.

If nothing else, make sure that someone is monitoring your accounts. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your community is too. Wouldn’t that be nice if it worked that way? People may post questions or issues that can’t wait until you return. Prepare people to monitor your accounts and train them how to respond properly. Re-communicate the chain of command for responding to issues and questions, so people know who to go to in your absence.

Social media is a 24/7 proposition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a vacation and unplug. Plan ahead and you can relax on vacation knowing your community is still being engaged. What did I miss? What do you do when you go on vacation?