This morning when I peeked in at my Facebook stream, I saw this:
[It’s a grainy screen shot but reads: Dear Fan, it’s summer time and also Nutella® fan page will be on vacation for the next weeks. Our wall will be closed until September 1st. You might want to come back in September to find out our new activities and all surprises we are preparing for you! Enjoy your summer with Nutella®…]
It struck me as bold for a brand to just take a vacation but thinking about it more, why not? After all brands – and their Facebook pages – are run by people like you and I… who like our vacations. It helps that Nutella’s primary market is Europe and culturally most people take the entire month off so a brand doing so is likely to be more acceptable but vacations are a reality of most people’s work lives. I then got to thinking about communities and some recent calls we’ve done with community managers of periodic communities – FAWM and Movember – and thought about how energized both of those communities were. Vacations, breaks, and sabbaticals are not just wasted time to be begrudgingly given to people as a benefit to them. Especially in creative disciplines (and by that I mean any information/content/management discipline), people need time to reflect, pause, and consolidate their thinking in order to be energized and engaged in the next task or challenge.
Communities, like individuals, can’t keep up a frenetic pace week in and week out – no matter how interesting the content, the monotony of the activity can cause people to glaze over and tune out. At The Community Roundtable we’ve addressed that by switching our regular programming during the summer to book discussions and TheCR Summer Camp – essentially different types of activities that mix in a bit of off-topic fun. We hope that helps focus members when they re-engage in the fall. The Nutella post got me thinking though… maybe we need to plan a vacation too.