We are in the first day of a four day long weekend. This means time to relax and recover from the challenges of work. It also means time to focus on what we enjoy doing or taking a short break. All of this means that social media for businesses will take a hit as there are few people watching what is happening.
Today there was an interesting brief exchange on Twitter about how brands and organisations manage their social media during bank holidays. The issue was that many have explained that the social media feeds are not going to be monitored for four days. (That in itself causes me some concerns because it is an opportunity for people to undermine or attack the organisation unchecked.) But as soon as they have explained that the feed isn’t being managed then tweets appear.
It is something I hate – scheduled posts. They really don’t work for me and I think they absolutely have to be used with caution. There are many examples of when inappropriate tweets are issued because of something that has happened nationally or internationally. It can be very damaging for things to be issued when events have taken a turn or something significant happens.
Social media is essentially all about being social. It is a chance to discuss, exchange views and have a conversation. With scheduled tweets it is like us having a conversation with an answering machine – not very satisfactory at all.
I understand that we can’t expect people to work 24/7 to keep social media feeds responsive and monitored. It would require additional staffing that we don’t actually have in the current challenge financial climate. However, if the business will have people available to deal with telephone enquiries then perhaps we have to rethink the processes that shut down social media but keep the phone lines open.
There needs to be a rethink about how we arrange our working days. It means increased flexibility whilst ensuring that people have the chance to get some down time and that they are able to take holidays at appropriate times. All this can avoid us having to resort to scheduled tweets and an absence of voice on social media, which is vital if we are to improve our online service.