Traveling and Social Media: How to Run Your Small Biz On the Go

We all know the feeling of dread that comes from waking up in a glorious hotel room with a massive swimming pool, a spa, and a full day of fun planned, only to think, “I should be working.” After all, your business can’t wait till tomorrow, right?
You’re right. It can’t. But… while you’re travelling, you shouldn’t have to be attached to your phone or computer at every opportunity. Keep reading to learn how I personally have fun AND run my biz while travelling!

How to run a small business while traveling travelling business owner advice for business owners

First, let’s cover WHY social media must be maintained while you’re on vacation. Social media is the fastest moving promotional platform, so missing a day or six can be detrimental to your brand. Moving from posting every single day, several times a day, to not posting for a week – even if you tell your audience that you’re on vacation – can seem inconsistent to newcomers and cause your audience to decrease in size.

Maintaining your social media presence is a lot easier than you would think. Let’s go over a few really easy tips and tricks for creating an effortless, consistent presence while you aren’t even online!

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Scheduling

Scheduling your posts out in a strategic manner can enhance your business while you sleep, or even attract clients and give them top-notch attention while you’re offline. I have several systems in place, even for my day-to-day so that I can focus on writing more and better content rather than hanging out on Twitter for hours on end.

Buffer

I have Buffer set up to publish my social media posts strategically, starting at 1am. Buffer is inexpensive at $10 a month, and can ensure peace of mind for a low-cost investment. I did my research for my time zone, which you can easily do too by Googling it, to find out when and how often I should be posting, as well as the best times to post what kinds of content. Here is a great article on when to publish what types of posts or promos at what times. Once I’ve scheduled out my posts on each platform, I move on to make sure that my Pinterest has a consistent presence, too.

BoardBooster

I utilize BoardBooster to ensure that my pins are getting re-pinned and looped all day long. The cool thing about BoardBooster is that you can create campaigns that will cause it to automatically pull pins from certain boards and pin them to others each day, and you can also use the looping feature to re-pin certain pins from the very bottom of your boards to the top. It’s an exciting program, but you have more options than just that one. Tailwind is another very popular scheduling service for Pinterest. I’ve used it and loved it – and the only reason I switched to BoardBooster was because of the looping feature.

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ConvertKit

This is not a necessary email system to have, but I prefer it to Mailchimp and just about every other email automating system. ConvertKit ensures that when I’m not available to welcome a new client on board, my email can ensure them that they’re well cared for and wanted, as well as respond to anyone who opts into a form or an offering I have on my website.

Crowdfire App

Crowdfire is an automated response service, as well as a tracker of your social media following. It tells you when someone unfollows, and when someone follows. It can also be set up to send automatic messages to new followers, which is what I’ve done with my Twitter account. Crowdfire is currently only for Twitter and Instagram. My automatic message looks like this:

Heyo! Thanks so much for following me! Let me know what social media outlets you hang out on, and what your blog URL is so we can be friends! 🙂 – Allie http://alliewilliams.co/

A lot of people don’t respond, but I’ve had a few specific followers respond and say thank you, and that while they realized it was an automated message, they still loved that I wanted to be friends with them. One even said it was the most welcoming message they’d ever received on Twitter!

Once you’ve scheduled out your social media posts for as many days as you’ll be gone, it’s important to know what you will need to do while you’re gone. There will be some upkeep required.

running a business while travelling social media advice

Upkeep

Upkeep is part two of your vacation process. It requires daily check-ins with your clients, your social media accounts, and your email. While you’ve scheduled out all your posts and such, your job isn’t done. Each morning – or each evening, whichever you prefer – dedicate about an hour to being online and being present. This doesn’t mean posting things or creating content – that’s for before you go. It means interacting: answering emails, responding to Tweets and comments on your Facebook posts, and commenting on Instagram pictures that speak to your brand. This interaction – at just an hour a day – can exponentially increase your reach before sunrise. It also ensures clients that even when you’re out of town, they can expect first-rate service from you.

There are a few things that can help with upkeep.

Outsourcing

If you have a virtual assistant, you know what I’m talking about. She’s perfectly capable of hopping online for a few minutes each morning and whipping out some replies, checking your email, and responding to inquiries. Outsourcing your small tasks to someone is much easier than trying to control it all by yourself. I would, personally, still hop on each morning just to make sure that my VA doesn’t have any questions and that everything is running smoothly. It’s good to trust your virtual assistant, but it’s also good to keep an eye on the business that has your name on it.

Setting a timer

Clocking your time online each morning will help you not get carried away or sit there for too long and miss the four-wheeling trip you scheduled a week ago. After all, those photos of the mountains at sunrise won’t take themselves! I use my iPhone timer and set it to 60 minutes. If I’m on any longer, it’s for an absolute MUST-DEAL-WITH-NOW situation, and nothing more! If you feel more needs to be done, consider discussing an expansion in your VA’s work with them. They might welcome the opportunity, and even if they can’t take on more work, you can still do the other things you wanted to do when you get home from vacation.

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Now you’re fully equipped to go on vacation without guilt! In a nutshell, here are my tips and tricks:

  1. Schedule your posts and email responses to form sign ups
  2. Keep up with the responses by dedicating a certain amount of time each morning to social media and email
  3. Outsource, outsource, outsource
  4. Never stay online longer than you said you will unless there’s an emergency
  5. Get outside and have fun!

About the author: Allie Williams is an entrepreneurial blogger, the founder of the BizBabes Unite online community. She works from home and lives in Alaska, soon to be So-Cal.

 

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  • Jessica Bradshaw

    Thank you! I will be looking in to these at the beginning of the summer to prepare for my trips!

    • That’s awesome, Jessica! I’m glad you found it helpful! 🙂

    • Goody! I hope it really helps you when the time comes! Where are you planning on going this Summer?

  • What an awesome post!!!! I use Crowdfire and Boardbooster. I really struggled with the upkeep of my blog when we visited Florida. I feel like I was glued to social media even when I didn’t want to be. I think that I learned a lot from that trip!

    • Thank you, Chelsea! 🙂 I LOVE Florida, where did you go? I lived in Orlando for a year, and had such an amazing time 🙂 It’s so hard to switch off from social media, I’ve noticed it too when traveling! I hope this post was helpful 🙂

    • The first time you go somewhere and try to juggle vacationing and running your biz, you learn SO MUCH! I know I certainly did. Social media can snag you even if you only open your phone to send a quick text or something… haha I had to put my phone away a lot of the time! Florida sounds amazing – I’ve never been!

  • I just got back from a week away and while I scheduled posts, I totally slacked on the responding to comments and social media part. It’s a lot of work to get it all ready to go, but I think if you schedule things you can enjoy your vacation even more. Great tips!

    • I completely agree, Carolann, it’s definitely tricky to stay on top of it all! Scheduling sure helps 🙂

    • Right?! Responding is always the hard part. Dedicating that time in the morning before you do anything else can really help keep the overwhelm at bay, I think! 🙂

  • Super! Just sitting here with a cold beer, trying to run my small business haha! 😀 Great tips!

    • I know, I saw your photo on Facebook! I don’t even like beer, but I’m jealous, haha! Enjoy!

    • A cold beer sounds so nice! hahaha I’m glad you liked the tips! Hope they help 🙂

  • These are great tips! I do try to be a bit careful about the ones that auto-share old posts because it’s always a little weird to see a Christmas post in July…

    • I had to be careful about that too! Plus, about six months ago I had a completely different niche than I do today, so it really didn’t work out for me, but it’s fantastic if you can customize it! 🙂

    • Haha, that’s so true, Heather! There are some programs where you can exclude certain posts, though – which is quite helpful! 🙂

  • Rica Lewis

    I just recently started using Board Booster and I’ve had good results and am seeing growth. I had long neglected my Pinterest account, so I have lots of catching up to do. This is a good post, and I will definitely be using these tools so I can disconnect when I visit the Bahamas in July. Ahhhh:)

    • That’s so great, Rica! 🙂 I’m not the best at Pinterest, I’ll admit – I can’t for the life of me see it as more than pretty pictures, haha. I’m glad it was helpful – and enjoy the Bahamas! 🙂

    • Hooray! Boardbooster is fun – and because I’m SO BAD at keeping up with Pinterest, I really needed something to help me out! 🙂 I’m so excited for you and your trip to the Bahamas! Have fun!!

  • i currently use tailwind for my pins and it works well. im looking to get into buffer so that way im not glued to my phone all the time 🙂

    • I’ve completely fallen for TailWind, too! Buffer is great, and so easy to use! You’ll love it 🙂

    • I love Buffer! I use it daily, especially for Twitter. I haven’t found that it’s particularly great for Pinterest, but then again, I have BoardBooster so I haven’t had a chance to try it. Let me know how it works!

  • Thanks for letting me guest post, Lisa! I enjoyed writing this article and really enjoyed working with you!

    • You are so welcome, Allie! Thank you for sharing your knowledge on the topic! 🙂

  • I need to start doing more scheduling and outsourcing. I spent way too much time on tedious tasks and do everything real time. Not a good use of time at all! Great post!

    • It sure helps to have your automation and scheduling on point when travelling! Glad you enjoyed the post, Lena! 🙂