You’re so excited about your upcoming vacation that you can hardly contain yourself! Finally, you’ll be the writer posting photos of umbrella drinks and tweeting about glorious sunsets, or blogging on your website about amazing Mayan ruins. Authors are always in search of new content for marketing and promotion: What better way to captivate your audience than to share on social media about the on-the-spot research you’re doing for your next project while enjoying your dream vacation?
Unfortunately, social media like Facebook and Twitter is used by 4 out of 5 burglars as the new-millennium way to find an easy target. So when you post vacation photos, you’re announcing to everyone—thieves included—that your home is unoccupied.
Before you go on holiday, check out these anti-burglary tips. And be sure to back up your manuscripts on the Cloud or on a thumb drive that you can stash in a safe place. This way, if the worst happens and thieves break into your home and steal your computer—at least they won’t abscond with all of your carefully edited writing and new drafts.
Social Media Vacation Safety For Authors
Writers who post daily on social media and upload blogs to author websites have to balance vacation safety against marketing and promotion needs. In your efforts to walk that tightrope, consider these tips.
Avoid Announcing In Advance. It may be tempting to gush about your plans the moment you purchase the plane ticket to Europe, but that allows more time for thieves to catch wind of your plans and cook up plans of their own.
If You Must Talk About Your Travels, Wait Until The Last Minute And Limit The Listeners. Take advantage of G+ “Collections” or Facebook’s List feature. By separating your friends into custom lists or collections like “colleagues,” “book fans,” “college friends,” “family,” etc., you can choose to share certain posts to a smaller circle.
Practice Patience. Rather than instantly sharing selfies, hold your trigger finger. Once you’re home, you’ll have time to curate your photos, craft clever posts and tweets, and then schedule their release for maximum engagement using Twitter, Facebook, Hootsuite, and other social media management tools. The same goes for blog articles to be posted on your website.
Schedule Posts For Release While You’re Away. If you’re a frequent poster on social media, a sudden extended radio-silence may alert a savvy thief that you’re off slurping rum runners. Use your Facebook Page’s scheduling feature or a general social media management tool to schedule your typical daily posts while you’re gone.
Temporarily Enable Timeline Review. If you’re going away with friends who tag you in every photo, those images will show up on your page and alert thieves that you’re having a grand time in the Caymans. To avoid this, enable Facebook Timeline Review while you’re away.
The Bottom Line: Just Be Smart, Not Scared
Not so long ago, thieves trolled coffee shops and supermarkets, listening for local folks chatting about upcoming vacation plans. Or they drove through neighborhoods, scanning for piled-up newspaper deliveries or overflowing mailboxes that would signal an unattended home. Now they just tune into social media, where writers make a point of broadcasting information to the public. Fortunately, by paying attention to basics and using a few best practices, you can boast about your vacation, boost your engagement stats, and still protect yourself, your home, and your valuables.
Question: Do you use a social media management tool like TweetDeck, Facebook Page scheduling, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or any other tool—and which do you like best?