A Social Media Vacation: Taboo or Tolerable?

Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by Alan

Technology and social media have an ever-growing presence in today’s world. Whether you see the role of social media growing in worldwide events like the Olympics, our national political coverage, or your day-to-day life, it is changing the way we communicate.

When we make the decision to disconnect from our lives for a while, in the glorious time we call vacation, many of us still stay connected through social media. Admit it, technology makes traveling easier through apps, mobility, and access to information. However, the pressing urge to continue creating and sharing content doesn’t allow us to fully relax. This is especially true for those who manage social media accounts for brands and business.

For a brand, taking a vacation from social media can be unacceptable to fans. Many people, like author Mark Schafer, have experienced lost followers and lower Klout when they return from a vacation. Self-made businesspeople, like Andrew Zimmern of the Food Network and Eva Chen of Teen Vogue, choose not to disconnect with social media and sometimes even share more while they’re vacationing. Andrew Zimmern’s Twitter account shares personal activities and feelings (ex: “Heaven. Vacation at the Cabin. Midwest at its finest”) in addition to professional-related opinions and musings. Small businesses like New York’s Big Gay Ice Cream Truck felt the need to inform customers that they would be on a social media hiatus during their vacation and still continued to post about their store. In the Wall Street Journal, co-founder Douglas Quint responded, “We need to appear active. We want to appear in people’s Twitter feeds once or twice a day”.

The pressure to stay connected is taking time and resources from small businesses. There are even new programs for small businesses to manage social media accounts more easily, especially when the campaign manager is away. At the same time, it is necessary to be reliable and consistent to your followers and fans.

Should taking a social media break be unacceptable for brands or is a temporary disconnect okay? What do you think?