Washington Nationals rain delay by dcjohn on Flickr
Torrential downpours, power outages, floods. That’s what’s in the forecast for most of the east coast today, as businesses and municipalities scramble to brace against mother nature.  But inclement weather is more than just an inconvenience.  The delays they generate can also result in lost productivity and revenue.  When you can’t work (or can’t get to work), you can’t do work.

This highlights one of the undervalued upsides of social media: it’s asynchronous.

Social media happens on two fronts: the real-time conversations you’re having with your customers, commenters and colleagues, and the conversations you’ve seeded , which then flower without requiring your own direct attention.

For example, social media scheduling services like CoTweet and HootSuite allow you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates and other public messages days, weeks or months in advance.  If you have a major project, press release or event worth promoting, you can spend one day scheduling a campaign’s worth of promotions, and then adjust the plan as needed based on performance and feedback, rather than making arbitrary changes on the fly.

If your blog is on a schedule, it’s smart to write ahead.  Bloggers don’t always have time to create new posts on the days they’re due, but if you write additional evergreen posts on your less-busy days, you can save them as drafts now and publish them on those hectic days when you have nothing new in the bullpen.  (Just make sure you double-check those “standby” entries before you post them, to ensure that your point of view — or the facts — haven’t changed since you first wrote it.)

And if you never have time to get ahead, have someone else do it for you.  Ask guest bloggers to write additional content for your site, which you can stockpile for rainy days.  Or hire a firm to create your content — like us at Creative Concepts.

Delays, accidents and catastrophes happen.  One bad day shouldn’t derail your business — or your profits.  By anticipating those “unknown unknowns” today, you can take steps to prepare yourself for any curveballs that nature, your personal life or your crashed computer will throw at you next.

Image by dcjohn via Flickr