After living in Florida for over 20 years now, we are accustomed to getting “storm-ready” every summer for Hurricane season. We put together a Hurricane kit (batteries, flashlights, first aid, radio etc.) and stock up on canned goods and bottled water. We keep water-tight plastic storage boxes in the garage in case a storm threatens and we need to pack up our most important items for evacuation. When the kids were younger, there were a few times when storms got close enough that they actually started packing some of their favorite toys in the hurricane boxes in case we had to leave quickly.
Unexpected “stormy” conditions are inevitable in any small business and may interrupt your normal day-to-day social media plan. Because social media is so social…a prolonged absence on your part can have a negative effect on your entire social media program.
So plan ahead and get your social media plan storm-ready: decide which 3-5 social media activities must be done on a regular basis. These activities will be different for each business, but in general you should:
- Respond to comments/questions/messages in a timely manner
- Post updates on social media sites or your blog at least once a week
- Meet client deadlines (or immediately let your clients know if you cannot meet a deadline)
So how do you make sure these “must-do” activities get done?
Put resources in place now that you can count on in case a storm arises:
Create some “evergreen” content: several blog posts, helpful tips, etc that will be of value to your social media community no matter when it is shared.
Set up email notifications for each social network so you are alerted when someone posts a comment or sends you a message.
Determine which employees, colleagues or even family members could step in to assist you and then make arrangements with them before an unexpected situation occurs. (i.e. show them how to upload a blog post, schedule a Facebook post, use Buffer or Hootsuite to post Tweets)
Create a customer service plan that keeps your clients updated
If an unexpected event occurs that will drastically diminish your presence on social media, put together a statement that explains to your community why you will be less active.
Showing your community the “human” side of your business is not a bad thing, especially when you let them know you will have help during the event and their questions/needs will be addressed.
So just like we get storm-ready here in Florida every summer, make sure your social media plan is ready for anything unexpected in your business.