As a solo or small business owner, it can be difficult to get away from your business. You may feel guilty because generating income is solely your responsibility. Or you worry that people will forget you if you’re not showing up on social networks in your usual way.
I get it. I just spent two weeks in India and as a solo business owner, I had to decide if I would just disappear for awhile and not worry about it, or make a careful plan to stay visible online. I’m sure you can guess that I chose the later.
I developed a two-prong strategy for staying visible while I was on vacation. You can easily do this, too.
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your business needs to come to a full stop. For example, I had two events coming up not long after my return and without active promotion, they would flop. I couldn’t take two weeks off from my promotion schedule.
My solution was to use MavSocial* to create and schedule content that would drip out to various social platforms. Because visual content is so important to use now, the MavSocial dashboard was the perfect choice for me.
Here are the steps I took:
- I set up campaigns for each event: Adventures in Visibility and the Facebook Ad program
- I created several images for each event and uploaded them to the digital library (I could have bought stock images from directly within MavSocial, but didn’t need to in this case)
- For each image in each campaign, I created a core message and saved it
- For each core message, I then created a Facebook post, LinkedIn status update and a tweet, modifying the message for the platform
- Each piece of microcontent was then scheduled for publication, usually on different days and times so I could catch the greatest number of eyeballs
MavSocial helped me streamline this process to the degree that I could upload, create a core message and adapt it to 3 platforms in about 10 minutes. NOTE: At this time it is not possible to schedule posts to Google+ through MavSocial.
What About Non-Promotional Content?
As a good online marketer you know you’ve got to mix useful content with your promotional content. I didn’t quite get it together to write and pre-schedule blog posts so I decided to recycle older, popular articles.
Again, I used MavSocial for scheduling. In this case, I only scheduled the posts on my Facebook page. I already have automation in place that tweets content posted on my page so I didn’t need to schedule tweets as well.
I selected blog posts that were a few months old and had received a lot of shares and comments. I knew these posts were popular, and I knew most people who are fans of my page probably hadn’t seen them the first time around (when you realize that about 2% of your fans see your content, you can see it’s a safe bet that you can repost content to get it in front of new fans without any blowback). I posted one blog post per day, Monday – Friday.
Because it’s my job and my livelihood to maintain my visibility, I appreciated having one simple tool that helped me pre-schedule content so I could continue to provide value to my community. If you’re not familiar with MavSocial, you can read more about here, sign up for a free account and watch this interview I did with the founder, Matthew Holden.
The second decision I made about my visibility while on vacation, was that I would post at least one picture a day on Instagram. After all, Adventure is my thing and I was going on a big adventure to India.
Since taking photos and posting them on Instagram is a real time, manual task, MavSocial couldn’t help me with this. I took about a thousand pictures in two weeks so you know I was active. My big decision everyday was what picture to share!
I chose to post my images first on Instagram because you can autopost simultaneously on your Facebook profile. I also have an IFTTT (If This Then That) recipe set up to autopost images from my Facebook profile to Twitter (you can read how to set that up here and why to do it that way vs. sharing directly from Instagram).
After an 8 hour harrowing bus ride, we made it safely to Rishikesh. And this is our view of the Ganges and himalayas from the restaurant where we had our welcome dinner. Stunning. Tomorrow, the first yoga and meditation. Up before dawn. #AdventureInIndia #Rishikesh #Ganges #YogisInRishikesh #yoga #nofilter
I prepped my followers in advance, inviting anyone who was interested, to follow me on Instagram or Facebook so they could vicariously enjoy my Adventure through my daily photos.
While my trip had nothing to do with business, it was exciting. I loved the comments and memories it triggered for people. My wifi wasn’t consistent, but I always looked forward to when I could check in and read the comments and questions.
Remember, your fans and followers want to know more about you than just how you can serve them with your business. Inviting folks to join you via the Web when you’re out and about, builds and solidifies those relationships. Sharing your offline adventures serves to keep you top of mind and develop stronger bonds with your community.
There is one caveat to this visibility strategy. Some will disagree with being public about your travels. And, I agree. You do need to be mindful about what you broadcast publicly on the web. If you’re not comfortable sharing your real time adventures, you can simply go with Prong #1 and pre-schedule your content with MavSocial, so there is no noticeable gap in your online activity.
Do you have a system for maintaining your online visibility while you’re on vacation? What steps to you take to stay top of mind with your audience?
Want to see more pictures of my Adventure in India? Click here.
*Full disclosure: I received an invitation to use the MavSocial software. I received a complimentary copy of the Pro+ plan and am being compensated for my time and content reviews. The review is based solely on my experience.