The Social Media Managers’ Guide to Taking a Well-Earned Break this Holiday Season

We know that social media never sleeps, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a break either. There’s not long left until lots of us start winding down for the holidays. Make sure you have everything sorted before you go so you can relax into your hot chocolate, knowing your social media is covered!

Follow our checklist to get prepared for a stress-free social media break this holiday season.

1. Schedule Social Media Content

Managing social media over the holidays has its benefits and drawbacks. They’re a great time to unwind and relax, ready to come back in the New Year refreshed and ready to get creative. But, they’re also the perfect time to engage with your audience while they’re relaxing between film marathons and mince pies!

When it comes to content, social shoppers over the holiday season are savvier than ever. If they don’t have a pleasant experience with your organisation on social media, they will take their business elsewhere. Schedule plenty of tailored, helpful, and engaging content to keep audiences happy.

Our top 3 tips for creating the right content for this season are: 

Social media management platforms can help you do a lot of this work well in advance, leaving you stress-free over the holidays. You can efficiently schedule the majority of your social media content in collaboration with colleagues in advance, freeing up valuable Christmas film time! 

2. Reply to Outstanding Messages

The last thing you want is customers left hanging on social media while you’re away! Not only will the opportunity to positively engage them have passed, but it’s actually sending a signal to the rest of your audience that you don’t care enough to respond. Make it a priority to resolve any social media customer service enquiries before you shut your computer down on the last day. If you’re concerned that you may have missed someone then use social listening to do a final sweep for untagged brand mentions. This is a great way to pick up additional questions and ensure that you really have ticked everything off.

Related Content: How to Harness the Power of Social Listening

3. Announce When Social Media Will be Monitored

To prepare for any questions that might come in over the festive period, make sure you’ve communicated when your social media accounts will and will not be monitored. This reduces confusion and while you might still receive questions outside of your stated hours, your audience will be more understanding of the delay if you’ve been open and clear with them.

If your organisation is fully closing down for the holidays, messages like this from FSB Scotland are perfect. Their channels won’t be monitored, but if member support is required, they’ve provided a number to their customer service line. And who can resist a festive GIF from a classic Christmas film?

4. Set Automated Responses

If your social media accounts are not monitored over the festive period, set up temporary automatic responses to questions. This is an excellent option if you are concerned that customers or audience members will raise questions while you’re away and not know where to find help.

Setting a simple message that acknowledges their issue but says they will not be responded to yet is all that’s needed. This is a straightforward thing to set up on Facebook, just head to your settings and to the ‘Messaging’ section to add your text!

5. Double-Check Your Notifications

While you don’t need a notification for all social media activity over the holidays, you may want to be alerted in emergencies.

Setting notifications for the use of words related to emergencies or crises is an important step to make sure your organisation’s reputation is protected over the holidays.

Similarly, you can set rules in social listening tools like SoCrowd to track conversations related to critical topics across all networks, notifying the right people if a response is required. Your organisation can maintain a proactive stance, even over your time off.

6. Test Social Media Workflows

The penultimate step is to check your social media management platform workflows. Define the workflows that route the right messages to the right people to deal with inbound enquiries either in real-time or once the holiday period is over.

Make sure you also test your workflows to make sure that the schedule works fine and notifications are sent out. A good plan will only work if the people involved receiving the information in a timely fashion and in the most appropriate sequence so they can be efficient!

7. Prepare Your Social Media Crisis Plan

Last but definitely not least, with a reduced number of staff available over the holidays, it’s crucial to make sure that should a crisis on or off social media occur, you have a plan in place to manage it.

Let’s imagine you manage social media for an airline, your social media plan has outlined that you’re going to engage with customers with jolly festive messages scheduled and ready to go. Unfortunately, some of the planes are stranded on the tarmac because of poor weather on Christmas Eve, preventing people travelling to be with their families.

In such a situation, it’s helpful to remember these four factors: 

  • WHO: identify the person or team that will make decisions during a crisis situation and who will respond to the immediate threats.
  • WHAT: define a strict policy on action to be taken in the event of certain situations, including pausing all scheduled social content for review and creating alerts for crisis specific content.
  • WHEN: time is of the essence in a crisis. Consider the frequency and velocity of answers to avoid an avalanche of complaints or concerns escalating the crisis on social media. 
  • HOW: define operational procedures and practical delivery protocols on your social media platform (e.g. do you need two pairs of eyes to check the responses?).


Those are our steps to help you have a relaxed Christmas break, but what’s your number one piece of advice for switching off over the holidays? Tell us on Twitter @SoCrowd!