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The holiday season can be stressful enough as it is. Shopping for gifts, planning family gatherings all while trying to enjoy every moment of it. On top of it all, for businesses and content creators the show must go on. Online marketing is a huge opportunity during the holiday season, especially in today’s world where the majority of people are shopping online. This is a time of year that is meant to be enjoyed. So managing your social media during the holidays effective is crucial, but should be the last of your worries.

It’s no secret that many find social media to be one of the more overwhelming parts of their business operations. This isn’t usually a business owners area of expertise, unless their lucky enough to have a social media manager on their team. For content creators and influencers it’s second nature to them. But regardless of your situation managing social media during the holidays can be a lot to handle for anyone.

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The good news is with the right planning, tools and mindset you can make your social media efforts run smoothly and stress-free. Let’s take a look at 5 of our tips to help you take the social media load off during the holidays.

Tips for Managing Social Media During the Holidays

1. Plan, Create & Schedule Content in Advance

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Whether you’re taking well deserved time off or working through the holidays, you should definitively plan out your content in advance. The last thing you want to do is be scrambling to come up with content while trying to keep up with your family. So before you cause yourself unnecessary stresses take the time to plan out your content calendar for the holidays. Doing this will also ensure that you continue to stay active and consistent without any pressure.

Once you have your plan in place you should work on creating all your content before hand. Get your images and videos shot and edited, and of course you don’t want to forget about your copy like captions or blog posts. Not only should plan and create all your content in advance but you should also schedule it to self-publish. Many social media platforms have built in tools to schedule content, like Facebook’s Business Suite publishing tools. There are also 3rd party apps and websites like Hootsuite that can help you manage all your social media scheduling in one place.

2. Set Your Holiday “O.O.O.” Messages

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An important part of social media is staying connected, so it’s important to remember to set all our Out of Office messages for any periods of time you’ll be offline. This is a traditional practice in the corporate email world, but we often forget about our social media channels. Facebook’s Business Suite allows you to manage both your Facebook and Instagram inboxes in one place. A great built in feature is their automated responses, that can act as an O.O.O. notice during your absence.

3. Host a Giveaway or Contest

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If you’re looking for filler content to keep your social media accounts active during the holidays, consider hosting a giveaway or contest. Not only is this a great content idea, but it’s also a great way to give back to your followers for their support throughout the year. Some choose to host “12 Days of Giveaways” as a countdown to Christmas, where they host 1 giveaway a day for their audience. You could also choose to host a holiday treasure hunt or one big massive giveaway based on your capacity.

Remember, giveaways are also a great way to get brand exposure, so it’s important that whatever you choose to give away fits your identity. A hair salon for example might give away a gift card or hair care package. Whereas a fitness influence might have workout clothing or accessories as their prizes. Your audience follows you because of their interest in your niche, so it’s a no-brainer that something in line with your brand will be of interest to them.

4. Inform Your Audience About Down Time

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Honesty is always the best policy. So if you’re choosing to take down time on social media you should definitively inform your audience of your absence. It’s nothing to be afraid of doing, after all we are all human and deserve time off to refresh. Creating a post outlining the period you’ll be away, and how they can get in contact with you in the mean time is more than enough.

5. Live in the Moment

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Our best piece of advice is to take the pressure off yourself and live in the moment. The good thing about the holidays is everyone else is spending time enjoying them too, so it’s generally a lot quieter in the world of social media. However if you are looking to stay active in some way, try creating content that flows with whatever you’re doing in that moment. This is especially helpful for influencers and content creators who can at times take hours to create a single piece of content. Going out Christmas shopping? Snap a picture of your OOTD. Brunching with friends for the holidays? Don’t forget to capture that meal! There are so many ways you can find a balance of enjoying yourself and still creating and publishing Instagram worthy content!