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How to Take a Vacation From Your Marketing

CHuntly

As a business owner, the most important thing you can do for yourself is take a break. It also happens to be the hardest thing to do if you are trying to run your business because the moment you go silent on the marketing front you will lose audience interest.

With the holidays right around the corner, it is the perfect time to take a breather from 24/7 entrepreneur brain. Taking both a physical and a mental break from your business (even if it’s a staycation) will help you avoid burn out.

If you’re looking to take some time off this holiday season, don’t let your marketing efforts suffer. Here are a few things to consider to keep that momentum going throughout your time away.

  1. Blog early: You should have a regular posting schedule for your blogs so your audience can come to expect content at a certain time. Keep that schedule going while you are away by writing your blogs ahead of time. Most blogging platforms will allow you to schedule each blog to go live at a specific day or time.
  2. Automation is your best friend: This requires a bit of planning, but if you work ahead of time, you can schedule content to go out while you are away. Work with a program like Hootsuite, Buffer, Mailchimp, etc. Try to stay away from the bots that automatically like and comment on posts as those can seem too contrived.
  3. Delegate tasks: If you already have a team in place, make sure you put someone in charge while you are away. Empower them to make decisions without you, but let them know that you are available for emergencies. If you are a solopreneur, hire someone you trust to look after things while you are gone. Start working with them at least a few weeks in advance so they are fully comfortable while you are away.
  4. Prioritize tasks: Not everything has to be done right now. Have a look through your to do list and rank everything by due dates. If there are things that need to get done before you leave, then get them done. If you have tasks with no due date or ones with later due dates, leave those to get done when you get back.

After taking some time for yourself, you will find that you return more refreshed, which usually leads to more energy to put into your business. Taking time away from your business will allow you to approach your business from a new perspective. It will make you a better business owner – and your marketing strategy doesn’t have to suffer.

Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.

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Don’t Feel Overwhelmed By Your Social Media Networks

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As a business owner, engaging on social media can often feel quite overwhelming. With continuously changing newsfeeds, tweets and posts, and so little time to go through everything, it is very easy to feel frustrated with real-time online content.

Quite honestly, we’d rather forget about this part of online marketing too. I mean, there’s nothing better than looking out a window, instead of having your eyes glued to a (small) electronic screen. Unfortunately, our ideal job as a professional window gazer will have to wait for now.

Seeing as this is no longer the 20th century, social media networks have significantly changed how we as people communicate and do business. Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay. No matter how uncomfortable or overwhelming it might make us feel, we have to use it to further maximize our business potential.

So, here are three easy steps to lower your social media anxiety:

  1. Master One Social Media Platform At a Time

Each platform is going to have its challenges, limitations and advantages. It is important to take the time to understand each platform’s functions, as well as the company’s ability to integrate new features to better suit market demands. For instance, did you know that because Facebook is currently gaining ground on Youtube video posts it is ready to promote your video posts over you picture posts? Or did you know that Instagram users are 58 times more likely to like, comment, or share a brand’s post than Facebook users, and 120 times more likely than Twitter users?

Really mastering how to use a social media platform, and understanding its significant tech changes, is important to the well-being of you, your business and your clients. Don’t rush into it, take your time and learn through observation and research.

  1. Scheduling is Your Best Friend

Quality content is Queen when it comes to social media. Have thousands of followers doesn’t guarantee engagement, especially if your content is not relevant, hard to read or outdated. This is why you should take a time or day a week to sit down and research trends, events or news related to your sector or field of business. Combine this with your company’s latest product events and promotions, and you should more than enough material to start scheduling posts for the following week.

By using tools such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social or Buffer, your life will be a whole lot easier. Schedule the time and day for your posts (and in some cases even the perfect target market), and forget about the days  when you wondered if you have the time to post online.

  1. Make Time to Engage with Your Followers

Social media is called ‘social’ for a reason. That’s why I like to recommend clients to set time aside to engage with their followers. Retweet, share or repost followers’ interesting, relevant posts. Interact, connect, follow-back and ask for feedback whenever possible. By doing so, you’re actively building brand-recognition and working towards customer loyalty and trust.

Most importantly, be respectful and have fun while engaging with others online. Give your business that unique voice that only you can give it.

Written by Marisol and Silvia Fornoni, Founders of JDC.

JDC supports socially conscious organizations with finding sustainable ways to tell their stories using visual design, engaging content and non-traditional media. We help you with anything from organizing fundraising campaigns to web design and social media management.

http://www.joint-development.com

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How to unplug from social media for the holidays

Evelyn

The holidays are just around the corner and hopefully you’re planning some well deserved time off. Yet if you’re a small business owner it can be difficult to take the time you need to rest and rejuvenate for the New Year. Emails, phone calls and the ping of social media notifications can be hard to ignore. You also worry that your online presence might suffer from your absence. But it’s important to know how and when to unplug, without losing your spot on the social media hierarchy.

Schedule content ahead of time

If you’re not already using a social media dashboard such as Hootsuite or Buffer, now is the time to look into one. Dashboards make scheduling content easy and can act as an inbox for all those notifications. Schedule a tweet or post a day. That’s enough to stay alive online, but not so much that the responses become unmanageable.

Set a time limit

Set aside ten minutes a day to check the accounts; then shut it down and walk away. By setting a time limit you can reassure yourself that all is well, without taking up too much of your personal time. Check to make sure there are no emergencies but then shut off the notifications. If you use Hootsuite you can actually create “quiet time” where your notifications go silent. Better yet, turn off the phone.

Only answer urgent inquiries

Be smart about what you respond to. Is that question urgent? Is that issue an emergency? It’s easy to want to answer everything right away, but many of the queries you receive can wait a few days until you’re back at work. Only answer those questions that are truly urgent.

Allow yourself to let go

Too often we get caught up in the details. While one negative tweet might seem catastrophic at the time, in the overall big picture it’s not worth much worry. The same goes for checking the Facebook page and sending out that tweet. If you go silent for a few days, nothing terrible will happen. Your business will not fail and your customers will not desert you. In fact they’re probably not online either.

My past experience as a social media manager for a large charity taught me the importance of work-life balance when it comes to managing your online communications. While being online and listening is important, having the courage to turn it off and take time for yourself and your family is just as, if not more, important.

So this holiday, turn off the phone and enjoy the season. I promise your followers will still be there in January.

Happy Holidays.

 

Evelyn Senyi is the owner and chief marketer for Recurve Marketing, a Toronto-based digital marketing agency that offers creative, effective and affordable marketing strategies for Canadian small businesses and non-profit organizations. Follow Recurve on Twitter @recurve_ca and on Facebook www.facebook.com/recurvemarketing.ca.

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