Why Are Vacations So Hard For Digital Managers?

So we are approaching vacation season and my mind is turning to travel. Summer days walking through the streets of Paris, sitting by the sea in Istanbul and tasting wine in Italy… SIGH! The sigh is because, in my position, it is very difficult to take a vacation. So Why Are Vacations So Hard For Digital Managers?

Every decent corporation will give you paid annual leave each year so let’s be clear, this is not the issue. Here I am with 25 paid annual leave days sparkling ahead of me and yet I’m filled with trepidation and anxiety. Here’s why:

#1 Social Media Users Never Sleep

Social Media doesn’t care if you’re on vacation. It doesn’t care that you don’t want to respond to notifications or that you don’t even want to open your laptop. It keeps going, hurtling forward and if you are not paying attention it can spiral out of control. As a social media manager you have two options… delegate the whole lot to someone else or manage it yourself. Most social media managers do not have the luxury of a “stand-in” and so must continue as normal. Remember that your fans shouldn’t know that you are on vacation so your posts, tweets, comments and responses should be continuing as normal.

#2 Targets Don’t Stop

Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean that your targets are too! Your adverts need to keep running on Facebook, your promoted tweets are still going on over at Twitter and your sponsored pins are still happening at Pinterest and yes you have to check them. Of course, scheduling them before your vacation is helpful because then at least you will not have to organize translations, graphic design and other elements while you are away. If in doubt, place banner ads that you know in advance will be lucrative and then just check in on them from time to time.

#3 Your Team Needs You

The thing about social media and digital marketing is that it’s a central and intrinsic part of any marketing team. We need our team to help us make creatives, videos and other elements but they need us to push out campaigns, quickly spread minute to minute updates and contribute ideas in all the marketing meetings that take place. Your team respect that you are on vacation but there are still plenty of occasions when they will also need to contact you… wherever you are in the world!

So then how can I take a vacation?

The answer is simply; I take a vacation and timetable an hour of digital management into each day. Does it suck? Yes but there are ways to make it more bearable:

  • Schedule as many posts as you can in advance using Hootsuite or another similar scheduler
  • Activate all advertising campaigns before you go on vacation
  • Plan ahead to request all the graphics / videos you will need while you are away
  • Clearly handover to your team before you leave emphasizing their contributions in your absence
  • Set aside one hour only per day – turn off your Smartphone once that hour has finished
  • Decide on essential channels to maintain daily– eg Facebook and Twitter
  • Use “dead time” such as airport waits to catch up on your digital work
  • Don’t get distracted- log in, check your profiles then get the hell out
  • Have a contingency plan for digital emergencies

I hope that you enjoyed my article and would love to hear from you if you also have this problem! Tweet me @charli_says