When social media is a part of your job, it can be hard to disconnect and actually take a vacation. It’s just the nature of the job — whether you’re a team of one or 15!
But it’s that very same “always on” mentality that makes taking a vacation especially important for your mental health.
You need time to unwind and most importantly, unplug, so you can come back to work refreshed and re-inspired — even if you just take a “staycation”.
So what happens when you need a vacation from being glued to your phone? With the right planning and preparation in place, you can stop scrolling and start relaxing in no time.
Here are 7 tips for what to do before, during, and after your vacation as a social media manager:
Social Media Manager Tips for Before Taking a Vacation:
#1: Plan and Batch Schedule Your Content in Advance
Your well-deserved break from work is on the other side of a solid content batching session!
Having content ready to go while you’re away is the first step to having peace of mind while you’re logged off.
Sitting down to create and schedule all your content in one swoop will not only keep creative juices flowing but also allow for consistent, strategic planning.
From Instagram to Pinterest, you can ensure that all your social channels are still running smoothly while you’re sipping a cocktail on the beach (or binging your next Netflix series).
TIP: Schedule a couple extra days of content beyond when you’ll be back from your vacation. This “buffer” room will make it easier to transition back into work without feeling overwhelmed.
Want to learn how it’s done? Check out our guide on How to Schedule 1 Week of Instagram Posts in 20 Minutes!
#2: Choose a Point of Contact Person
Give yourself permission to hand over the reins. Whether you work on a team or are a solo-preneur, it’s a good idea to have a point of contact available to monitor social channels as needed.
Identifying a team member to takeover can help ensure things keep running smoothly and it gives the rest of your team peace of mind if a last minute change arises.
And if you’re a freelancer — you’re not doomed! There are plenty of great virtual assistant services that can help you with the basics. Or, consult your contact list of fellow freelancers to find someone you trust.
Who knows, you might even be able to work out a vacation trade agreement that’s friendly to both your mental health and to your wallet.
TIP: Be sure to set an Out of Office message before you bid adieu. And if it makes sense for your brand, you can even post a message on your social channels if you choose to go a little quieter than usual.
#3: Have Essential Documents Organized
Organization prevents stress. It’s a good rule of thumb to have your key processes documented and passwords securely stored so the preparation for handoff is a breeze.
And while working in social media can feel like a 24/7 demand, having an “in case of emergency” document with essential processes can make it easy to avoid last minute hiccups or handoffs.
This can be a simple shared Google doc or better yet, have this available in whatever project management tool you or your team uses for easy access.
#4: Set Expectations With Your Team (or Clients)
Set clear expectations for when you’re away — and give your team or clients plenty of notice. Be firm on when you’ll be unavailable and note any changes they should expect while you’re away.
There’s no need to apologize or feel guilty, either. Healthy work boundaries should allow for a little space to recharge and come back with your creative juices charged. Plus, time away can increase long-term motivation and productivity in the workplace.
To make passing things off to your team a little easier, use Later’s Access Group features. You can add specific team members to your Access Groups within Later, allowing them to see everything that’s coming up in the schedule and even make last minute adjustments to social posts if needed.
Everything you need to know about Access Groups on Later is available in this handy guide!
Social Media Manager Tips for During Your Vacation:
#5: Unplug and Delete Social or Work-related Apps
We get it — this is a tough one, but it works wonders for your mental health.
But if you really want to switch off and recharge, delete all social media or work-related apps from your mobile.
Taking the apps off your phone removes any temptation for scrolling and unconsciously checking-in.
If you’re on a staycation and don’t want to give up sharing your downtime highlights on Instagram, stick to deleting your communication-based apps like email and Slack.
You can easily reinstall the apps once you’re ready to log back into work mode!
And if you can’t completely check out from work, set a designated time once a day to check your accounts or emails and firmly stick to that window of time.
You can even set an alarm or use a tool like the Pomodoro timer to allow yourself just 20 minutes of “checking in” while you’re on vacation. Then when that alarm goes off, it’s time to power down and get back to the relaxation you deserve!
Tip: Set up quick-replies on Instagram for a mini OOO message, then flag the message to respond to it when you come back.
Social Media Manager Tips for After Your Vacation:
#6: Schedule Touch-base Meetings After You Return
Before you take your well-earned vacation, make sure to schedule touch-base meetings with your team members or clients for after you return.
This gives you a chance to catch up on what you might have missed to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Just be sure you don’t schedule them all the morning after you return — give yourself a little time to ease back into your workflow.
#7: Save Social Sharing for *After* Your Vacation
You might have sensed a theme here, but truly unplugging from social media is the only way to get a genuine rest. Not to mention the pressure to share on social media takes you out of the moment.
Go ahead and snap the picture, but wait until you’re back from break so you can stay present rather than stressing about what filter to use.
Once your vacation is over and you’ve settled back into your work, you might want to take some time to reflect on what things can be improved before your next vacation and take note to implement them before the next time.
Remember that you can’t excel at your job if you’re constantly burned out — and even though it might feel impossible to take a vacation sometimes, the first step is recognizing that you deserve a break and then taking the steps necessary to plan for a proper, stress-free vacation.
Ready to take a little time to relax and reboot? Later makes it easy for you to plan, manage, and schedule your social posts — for free!