The checklist below is based on a social media checklist that Sprout Social social media manager Darryl Villacorta uses. Although we know it’s not a one-size-fits-all list, it’s a good starting point for those who are trying to figure out how often they should perform all of their social marketing activities.
- Respond to inbound social messages: Social media is quickly turning into one of the most popular channels for customer support, so it’s key to engage with the customers who are proactively reaching out to your brand. These days, ignoring customers on social media is similar to ignoring the phone ringing when they call your help centers.
- Monitor and respond to brand mentions: Sometimes when people are discussing your brand on social sites, they won’t actually tag you in the post. This means that there can be entire conversations happening about your brand that you’re not aware of, which can be a dangerous situation. Try using a social media monitoring tool to scan for conversations around your brand terms that you may not be seeing.
- Create conversations with brand advocates: Most brands out there have outspoken fans that they can rely on to provide some solid word-of-mouth marketing and brand advocacy. Think through some of the folks who frequently mention your brand positively, or those who share your content, and engage with them in order to bolster that relationship.
- Find and engage with potential customers: Similar to monitoring for unlinked brand mentions, it’s possible to monitor for mentions of keywords that indicate that someone is looking for a product similar to yours. Check out this article, which includes five essential ways to monitor social media.
- Research the social media industry: Social media is one of the most dynamic industries out there today, and if you don’t keep up, you can easily get left behind. Always keep an eye out for new networks to utilize or techniques to employ.
- Load your social editorial calendar: Social media never sleeps, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to. Schedule your social media content calendar in advance so that your posts can send even while you’re in dreamland. This is a look at Sprout Social’s social media scheduling tool.
- Post three to six times on Twitter: All of these numbers are up to interpretation, and you should only post as often to social as you feel comfortable with, but posting between three and six times on Twitter seems to be a pretty safe average for most brands. There are 500 million tweets sent every day, so it’s not far-fetched to think you’re allowed to take up six of them.
- Post one to two times on Facebook: With Facebook constantly tweaking its News Feed algorithm, it’s hard to get a solid read on what a good amount of times to post to the network is. As for now, it seems like once to twice a day is a good choice. Just make sure to not post anything overly promotional, as Facebook tends to penalize that with regards to organic reach.
- Post two to three times to Google+: This is one of the most debatable on the checklist, but it’s safer to err on the side of increasing your posting to Google+, since snippets of your Google+ page appear in search results for your brand terms. It’s also great to keep in mind you can post to unique Google+ communities, as well.
- Post one to three times to Instagram: Instagram is a burgeoning social network for brands. It’s important to take advantage of this newer social network by frequently posting great photos to establish yourself as a “must-follow” brand. Of course, the frequency of posts will often depend on how photogenic of an industry you’re in. Someone with a pest-control business may want to limit the frequency of posts.
- Post one to two times to LinkedIn: Business-to-consumer companies can get away with publishing infrequently to LinkedIn since the social network’s user base is typically in more of a business mindset. However, business-to-business companies should post as frequently as they can get away with, since it’s one of the few places you can catch someone on social looking to make business decisions. B2B companies should also take advantage of posting to various LinkedIn groups, as they can be a hotbed of tool recommendations and discussions.
- Study your products and services: Some of the most frequent questions social media managers receive have to deal directly with the products or services their brands offer. While it’s possible to assign these social messages to a salesperson or someone more apt to respond, it’s easier to be able to answer it on the spot.
- Monitor the competition: It’s important to keep tabs on your competitors, although you should never let what they’re doing dictate how you want to conduct yourself on social media. Following them can give you an idea of what type of content resonates with your shared audience and which of their social followers may not be happy with their products.
- Work on a blog post: Most social media managers speak on social media as their brands, which makes it tough to get their own names out there. See if your company will let you write your own blog posts. This will help you grow as a content creator, and it gives you something tangible to take credit for. Plus, you have a ton of great knowledge that other people can benefit from.
- Engage with thought leaders: Every industry has thought leaders that people turn to for the latest tips, tools and industry news. Establish a relationship with these people so that they will look on all of your products and updates more favorably and recommend you to their large social circles. If your industry doesn’t have many thought leaders, consider establishing yourself as that person.
- Engage with marketing partners: Online advertising is quickly becoming more of a team sport. Many companies partner with adjacent companies to exchange webinars and guest posts in order to get themselves in front of new, qualified audiences. Find out who some of your partners are and engage with them on social in order to strengthen that relationship.
- Discuss tactics with your team: If you’re working on a large enough account, you may have more than one person managing social at any given time. Although tools out there make it easier to collaborate on social as a team, you should still take some time out of your week to plan your future efforts.
- Run your social media analytics: Use a tool like Sprout Social to look inwards to your own social media analytics and find out which of your content resonates with your audience and which social media networks drive the best results. Then use that data to dictate your social media marketing strategies moving forward.
- Encourage sharing through employee advocacy: The best brand advocates that you have on social media are your co-workers. Encourage them to share some of your content on their social media sites and benefit from their word-of-mouth marketing. You can use an employee advocacy platform to make it easier for your fellow employees to find new content to share.
- Audit your strategy: As this can take a good amount of time, it’s best to conduct larger social media audits on a monthly basis. It’s similar to checking your social media analytics, but instead you dive much deeper into your data to figure out exactly how to approach social media marketing moving forward. Social Media Examiner has a great post on conducting your own social media audit.
- Attend local events: The very nature of social media management requires those working in it to be, well, social. So you can imagine just how many events are out there for you meet up with some of your cohorts. Something like Social Media Club Chicago a great place to go to learn new tips and strategies.
- Detox from social media: Social media is constantly moving, and it can get to be a bit overwhelming to have to constantly move with it. Once a month, you should take some time for yourself, which includes spending some time away from social media. Taking a social media detox can mean the difference between being a productive employee and someone burnt out on social.
- Collaborate with other departments: Social media management should never live in a silo. There are so many different departments that can take advantage of social marketing to achieve some of their own goals, like salespeople developing a better relationship with their customers. Take some time to sit down with your team to discuss how they can benefit from social media.
- Assess key performance indicators: Once you have three entire months’ worth of data, you can assess how you’ve performed based on the KPIs you’ve chosen to measure your performance against. Did you get as many impressions, clicks, mentions or new followers as you would have liked?
- Adjust quarterly goals: Consider how you performed during the quarter and use the data at hand to create new goals for the next quarter. If you exceeded your expectations, you should consider setting some loftier goals. If you fell short, you may need to reassess what you’d like to gain out of social and how you’re approaching it.
- Gauge team needs—more manpower needed? Based on your quarter’s success, or lack thereof, and the goals that you’ve set yourself for the upcoming quarter, seriously consider whether or not you need to bring someone else on to your to back you up.
Checklist clip art image courtesy of Shutterstock.