The holidays are coming, and the last thing you want to be doing is scrolling through your social media accounts to make sure your marketing is up to date. Take the time to automate your social media and email so that you can unplug over the holidays and spend valuable time with friends and family!

We’ve put together the ultimate social media marketing holiday checklist with the most essential tasks to remember before you take off for the holidays.

1. Prepare and schedule your social media so that you don’t have to touch it once you are offline.

You probably already prepared your holiday promotions calendar months in advance, so there is no reason why you can’t line it up to post automatically while you are gone. Plan and shoot all the images you need, draft up all the copy, and organize your posts so that your sales and marketing funnel can operate without you for a few days. Then use a social media management tool, like GAIN, to automatically schedule posts across all of your channels so your audience stays engaged even while you are frosting cookies.

2. Write and automate your blogs to post while you are celebrating with family.

Even when you switch off, your audience is still engaging and looking for information – especially if they want to make last-minute purchases. Stay relevant by preparing timely blogs, maybe about the frustrations of last-minute holiday shopping, which are helpful to your customers during this stressful time. You can automate these posts to publish across your networks at times when they will be most useful to your customers. Your audience will appreciate the gesture and will hopefully remember your helpful words when they make their next purchase.

3. Draft and schedule your holiday email message to clients.

Make sure your loyal customers feel appreciated during this holiday season with a special email that acknowledges their support. Whether this is a promotional deal or just a quick thanks, you can add value for your clients by remembering to thank them for continuing to work with you, market for you, and use your products. A company cannot exist without its customers, so make sure you prepare your holiday well wishes before you go.

4. Turn on your out-of-office message.

Even if you don’t completely shut off your email during the holidays, it is a good idea to set up an automated message so you can respond less frequently without doing any harm to your reputation. Yes, customer service is very important, and your customers definitely appreciate fast response times, but marketers are humans, too. Your out-of-office should be brief and to-the-point, making sure to provide helpful information that your clients might need while you are away.

5. Optimize your sales funnel.

A good sales funnel can work even when you are offline, so make sure your emails are automated and your ads are prepped. Up to 40% of purchases are made online every holiday season, so don’t waste this opportunity by letting a product languish in someone’s shopping cart. Consider offering free shipping to customers who spend a certain amount, since up to 93% of shoppers take action for free shipping. You can make your funnel work for you even when you are enjoying the holidays by automating emails and ads to keep your customers clicking.

6. Create helpful calendar reminders to share across all platforms to keep your customers up-to-date on your promotions.

Your customers are busy, so make it easy for them to remember when to shop so they get the best details. Send email reminders, post on social media, or update your website so that they always know what to expect. Plan to send an email a week before the promotion, another the day of, and a third on the day so your customers feel the time-pressure to buy when prices are right.

7. Update your social media images to reflect the season.

Starbucks always receives great marketing coverage by changing its cups for the holidays. You can do the same by creating a set of holiday-themed photos or banners to spread across your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s a small touch that helps put your customers in a holiday mood and lets them know that you are paying attention. Just remember to change them back when you return to the office.

To ensure that your customers spread the message for you while you are away, develop a witty hashtag that they can share when they purchase your product. Word-of-mouth is powerful, and people especially like to get advice from others they know during the holiday season, especially when there is a lot of pressure to buy from all over. Create a hashtag campaign that your audience will enjoy so that they keep sharing your message even as you sit by the fire.

These tips will help you unplug and enjoy the holidays without running off to make sure your social media campaign is still running. Even if you can’t avoid checking email on your time off, automate your campaigns as much as you can so that most of the work is done before you leave the office.

The post originally appeared on