My apologies as its been quite awhile. The blog was the one thing, sadly, that had gotten sidetracked with myself and another colleague being away on holidays. On top of this, we had been working on a major project, where funnily enough in this day and age, did not require us to be online. For us, this last project was about going back to the pen and paper. We were there on site with measuring tapes and sketch boards. Working and talking to the clients face-to-face. Its great to still connect to people like this and for some of your clients – you’ll know – it’s their preferred way.
Nevertheless, being away on vacation added to the time away from our business friends and followers. In this international borderless world where everything happens 24-7, it is very hard to stay completely away from it all. We managed a couple of little things that didn’t impinge too much of our time whilst we were holidaying away. Have a read on…
How to stay engaged online whilst still enjoying your holiday?
1. First things first though! – Let people know you will be away. Make sure you turn on the automated ‘Out of Office’ message for your email account. Make a little news about it on your website. Let your regular customers know when you see them or talk to them on the phone – even a little sign at the counter. People will understand that you will not respond immediately or if things are not running as smoothly as they know it normally would. If you are on a break – then you should be.
2. Smartphones. If you feel the urge to be connected online whilst abroad- you need a smartphone. I know many out there, probably will laugh at the simplicity of the answer and obviousness of it but I know there are still plenty of small business people who have not moved on from their simple texting and dialing cell phones. Some are still just using their landline phones. It can take some coercion for these people, my father included, to move away from their candy bar “calls only” cell phones. You don’t even need a fancy touch phone or anything extremely expensive – it just needs to be able to connect to the internet and be able to access Wi-Fi (wireless internet). Most chain hotels nowadays provide access to free Wi-Fi for their guests. Being online, even just on your phone will let you check your emails intermittently and access networks like Twitter and Facebook.
3. Twitter had seriously become our best friend as a way to stay engaged whilst being on vacation – still looking and keeping active! We were able to send out status updates, forward (retweet) on relevant news to followers and at the same time reply to other posts. I was also able to send out simultaneous posts to and from my Twitter to our various accounts. For example, my Foursquare account is connected to my Twitter posts so that the moment I check-in somewhere it immediately shows up on my Twitter (at my discretion also). It at least made us look busy!
4. Prioritise- answer important emails only and remember to put a disclaimer about you having limited time and internet access whilst you are traveling. Worry about the other emails when you get home but at the same time don’t ignore those that require action simply because you are on holidays. Your customers will remember this favour you’ve done for them. Check those emails only in your down time. You don’t even have to do it often.
Thanks again, guys and I hope you all do get a chance to holiday soon.
Until next time, au revoir!
Jennyfer and Bubblertalk team