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How to Keep Your Communication Chugging While Out of the Office

One of the things I truly love about modern-day communication is the fact that so much of it can be automated. I recently spent several weeks on vacation in France, and let me tell you: my business didn’t suffer as a result.

With the right tools and setup, your communication efforts can keep moving full steam ahead, even if you’re not driving.

1. Schedule Your Blog Posts

I’m big on writing several weeks’ worth of blog content at once so I can dedicate a chunk of time to focusing on my (or my clients’) blog. Then, I don’t have to worry about creating content for a while.

WordPress lets you schedule your posts so you’re not manually posting them when you want them to go live, so feasibly, you could write as much content as you need to cover you while you’re on vacation or just busy.

Bonus Tip:

Because weeks can go by before I write for a blog again, I keep a document with topic ideas that I can refer to when I sit down to write.

2. Plan Out Your Social Updates

Plan - PR Communication

You can also schedule social updates in advance. Multiple social media dashboards (including Cision’s) let you choose the date and time you want a given update to go out.

Also, Facebook Business Pages let you schedule posts. I like to spend an hour or two a week scheduling a regular cadence of updates across all my social profiles, then I check in for a few minutes a day to respond to anyone who’s sent a message directly to me.

Bonus Tip:

You can also apply this strategy to content sharing on social media. When you find an article of interest to your audience, schedule it so you’re not posting several shares on top of one another.

Want to make Instagram your most successful channel? Click here for our free tip sheet!

3. Automate Your Emails

Once you create emails in your email marketing software, you can set it up to send whenever someone new signs up for your mailing list. So while you work, sleep or vacation, you can be sending out emails to new subscribers.

Bonus Tip:

If you sell ebooks or other informational products online, you can use a tool like Zapier to automatically create a contact in your email list from your customer data.

4. Find a Mini Me

PR Communication - Help

If you’re going on vacation, you might still need some human interaction in your place. Designate a member of your team (or if you’re a solopreneur, maybe your assistant or a freelancer you work with regularly) to respond to your social media updates or email inquiries.

Sure, your business won’t fall apart if you just put an autoresponder up, but customers (as well as potential customers) feel better if you give them a point of contact while you’re out.

Bonus Tip:

Don’t wait until the day before your vacation to train someone on what they’ll need to do in your absence. Set aside a chunk of time long before then to train them on what you need done, and to give them time to acclimate to the work.

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean your brand has to suffer. Set up these processes and score customers even if you’re on a beach in Tahiti!

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Images: Jeff S. PhotoArt, GotCredit (Creative Commons)

About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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