We all need to recharge during the holidays, especially PR pros and brand managers who, when they're not checking their brands' Twitter and Facebook accounts, are having visions and nightmares of trolls and haters on the attack. If only trolls and haters needed to recharge as well. They seem to have endless energy.
So as long these sleepless critics are on the prowl, a clean break from social media is not really an option. During down times like the last week in December, relative silence on social media—provided there are no crises that directly affect one's brand—is probably fine and in some cases respectful of one's audience. But listening—well, that's another story. Somebody's got to be on the watch.
PR News asked its followers on Facebook if they thought it was OK for brands to take a social media break during the holidays. As of Dec. 21, we had received more than 40 comments, and of those, only five were wholehearted recommendations that brands should take a break. Otherwise, the general theme was that brands are not people and do not need and should not take a rest. Shutting down entirely on social channels is a needless risk.
Scaling back was offered as an option by some commenters, but most seemed horrified at the notion of letting go of the wheel and letting their audiences take over unsupervised, like parents leaving town for the weekend so their kids can reenact scenes from Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused.
Some offered good, specific tips. Krisleigh Hoermann pointed out that "crises tend to occur the Friday night before a holiday, so no [you can't take a break], but you can scale back a little and ensure you have fun, conversational posts that don't require as much time monitoring." Will Fordham said typical messages from brands might be perceived to be a little off message in the dead period between Christmas and New Year's, but that it might be a good time to "showcase the human voice behind the brand more."
Here's hoping your December holidays are as restful as they can possibly be, and that your social media channels are festooned with nothing but tidings of peace and love.
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI