9 Social Media Management Checklists


Managing everything that has to be done for social media marketing can be overwhelming. It’s important that you have a way to ensure that you cover all the bases. Each social media marketing platform needs its own individual plan, but this overview checklist can help you identify what you need to create an effective social media marketing plan on any network.

Develop Your Social Media Marketing Strategy


  • Know Your Audience  — Depending on the particular product you’re promoting your audience might be slightly different. For instance, if you are promoting a membership program you may only be marketing it to those who have purchased your book. Understand exactly who the audience is before you begin.
  • Study Your industry & know the Influencers — Understanding everything you can about your industry is imperative in making any social media marketing strategy work. Identify key influencers
  • Identify Your Competition — Don’t let competition frighten you. In fact, if you think you have no competition it should make you question whether or not you have a viable product or service. Keeping tabs on your competition can only make you better.
  • Define Social Media Networks / Platforms — Based on the knowledge you have about your audience, your industry and competition you should be able to identify particular social media networks and platforms to implement your marketing program.

Identify Your Resources & Budget


  • Staff — Do you have people in your organization now who can step up and assist with your social media marketing plan implementation?
  • Contractors — Do you  know of contractors who can assist in these endeavors? If you don’t know any, ask colleagues. Make a list of experts who can help you.
  • Software — What type of software might you need to help you with organizing, planning & implementation of your marketing plan?
  • Dollars — How much money can you devote to your marketing plan?
  • Time — Many people discount the cost of time when making a social media marketing plan. It’s important that you count any time you must invest so that you can decide how to find the time to execute the strategy.

Determine How You Will Manage Social Media Marketing


  • Social Media Management Software  — There are many different types of software available such as HootSuite.com which can make managing social media a breeze.
  • Virtual & Staff Contractors — Choose the contractors and / or staff who will be responsible for organizing, planning & implementation of your over all social media marketing plan.
  • Online Project Management Systems — Choose a project management system to use to help with implementation. If you already have one, add in social media marketing as a project along with the people who will be responsible for  different tasks.

Develop Campaign Goals & Objectives


  • Offer & Messaging  — Set up your offers and messaging for each social media platform that you choose to work with.
  • USP — Focus on your unique selling point to help you differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Calls to Action — Don’t skip the calls to action. Every time you submit a message through social media it needs to have a call to action based on the goal of the message.
  • Your Point — Never forget why you’re doing this. The point of the whole thing will depend for each campaign, keep referring back to the point to help you develop your messaging.

Optimize All Content & Marketing Materials


  • Prepare Marketing Collateral  — Press releases, blog posts, articles, images and more all need to be prepared with each platform, and message that you have in mind. You won’t always want to share the same image on Pinterest that you do on Facebook without some modifications.
  • Optimize Content — Content includes everything mentioned above. Ensure that your titles, the words you use, the benefits you describe, and the pictures you pick relate to your goals, your products, your services and your brand.

Optimize & Improve Online Real Estate

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  • WebPages  — Is your webpage responsive? If not, it’s time to ensure that it is. Responsive design is imperative with social media marketing because most people use their Smartphones to access social media.
  • Blogs — Can your audience read your blog from any device? Just like it’s important to design your website so that everything on there is responsive and works well, the same goes for your blog.
  • Newsletters — If you send out a newsletter is it focused, targeted, relevant, and responsive? Does it focus on providing the customer the education they need to make good choices?
  • Overall Branding — Be consistent across all social media platforms with your brand but also change something up for each social network based on that network’s personality.

Complete & Customize Your Social Media Profiles


On each platform it’s important that you personalize your profile, optimize images and make the social media unique to that particular platform, but still representative of your brand.

  • Facebook — Tag people & pages. Update daily. Ask for shares, comments & likes. The more engagement you have, the more of your audience will see your updates. Do the same for others in your industry. Try using promoted posts to get more targeted likes.
  • Google + — Add new people to your circles on a regular basis but not all at once. Weekly is best. Host a hangout on a topic in your industry. Attend hangouts on relevant topics. Share & post new content daily.
  • LinkedIn — Connect with new people and related companies each week. Try to set a weekly goal. Ask for recommendations of any one you’ve worked with on a regular basis. Don’t use the auto feature and send a mass request, make it more personal and build your profile and network slowly. Update your status daily.
  • Pinterest — Post examples of your work each week, follow other people’s pin boards, try to add at least one new board a week in a relevant category with at least five pins inside.
  • Twitter — Tweet daily. Retweet daily. Use appropriate #hashtags. Strategically follow new people each day. Don’t follow everyone in one day, adding a few people over a longer period of time is best.
  • Your Blog — Shoot for 20 blog posts a month, share with all your social networks with a unique blub for each network. Ensure that your titles contain relevant keywords in the titles and content of the blog posts.
  • YouTube  — Each week subscribe to at least one new channel related to your industry. Look for relevant videos to share on other social networks weekly. Record short tip videos each week to share with your audience. (Tip: Record your Google Hangouts).

Build Your Social Media Networks


  • Connect  — You probably already have people that you can connect with on each social media platform you join. Shoot for about 25 connects/followers/likes etc… to start with and then build on that each week.
  • Engage  — Understand social media etiquette for each network you choose to post on.  Be professional, make it about them, and seek to be a resource. The more you make it about them, and building relationships, the better social media will work for your business marketing.
  • Share — Don’t just share your own work, share other people’s work that is relevant to your industry and audience. Always remember the audience, ask yourself “Is this relevant to my audience?” If yes, share, if not don’t.
  • Recommend — It might seem counterintuitive to recommend other businesses, products, and services to your audience but the truth is, sometimes someone else will be better for the job. If you recommend good people, they will return the favor.
  • Build Expertise & Credibility — Share original content, relevant studies, books, webinars, and more with your audience when related. By adding in your own content and comments about the things you share you will build up your expertise. By sharing only relevant and screened information you build your credibility.

Monitor Your Metrics

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  • Engagement Level  — Before starting with metrics you should know your objective and have a way to measure that objective. Using a tool like HootSuite.com can help you measure engagement on a whole new level.
  • Customer Satisfaction — Are your customer’s satisfied once they convert? If you’re not sure, try asking them using social media.
  • Calls to Action Effectiveness — Are your calls to action working and producing the results you expect? If you’re getting results but not what you expected try testing other ideas to see what works best.
  • Feedback  — Always ask for feedback from movers and shakers and experts as well as your contacts, friends, followers, and likes. Let them lead the way and you won’t be disappointed in the results.
  • Other  — Any objective that you have should be reflected in a metric that you can monitor. Objectives are always exact and measurable.


Using this checklist to help set up your social media marketing plan can help you remember what’s important and avoid missing relevant ideas.

10 Tips for Staying Focused on Social Media

top_tenGetting sucked into social media distractions is a real concern for anyone using social media professionally. You might only plan on working on your Twitter account for 20 minutes, then look up 90 minutes later wondering where your time went.

Social media is notoriously distracting. So how do you stay focused when you’re working on your social media strategy? These ten tips will help.

Tip #1: Keep Your Business & Personal Accounts Separate

Mixing the two accounts is a recipe for disaster. You’ll log on to update your Twitter status, then get sucked right into the funny video of your next door neighbor’s niece.

If you have your accounts mixed, separating them alone will drastically boost your productivity.


Tip #2: Do Not Multitask

When you’re working on social media, you should spend that time only working on social media. Don’t do other things at the same time.

People will often try to do social media “on the side” while they’re taking care of other things. For example, you might be listening in to a company wide call that isn’t taking up your full attention. So, you might hop on Twitter at the same time to post a few things.

This is bad, because it trains your brain to not separate social media work time from other things. By not multitasking and only doing social media during social media time, you train your brain to work on social media in a very focused way.

Tip #3: Have a Daily Action Plan

Having a plan for how you spend your time on social media can really help minimize distractions. For example, if you plan on using your social media time to build an influence, you might break your time down like this:

5:00 – Schedule Posts in HootSuite
5:30 – Respond to @Mentions, Read Tweets, Retweet
6:00 – Send Personal Messages to Influencers

Don’t “wing” your social media.


Tip #4: Do Your Social Media When Your Work is Finished

Plan your social media time after the majority of your work is finished. Though social media is an important marketing venue, it’s rare that it’s really so urgent that it needs to be done early in the day.

Doing your social media last helps cut down the likelihood that your social media work would detract from the rest of your day.

Tip #5: Avoid Chats

Turn off your chats. Turn off Facebook chat, Google chat and any other chat programs you have running in the background. Many social networks will have a chat program weaved into their basic functionality. Make sure those chat systems are off.

Chats can throw your entire day out the window. Someone might message you and a 15 minute social media session suddenly turns into a 40 minute conversation. Often time’s you’ll have trouble saying no to someone’s communication because you don’t want to damage the relationship. You’re better off just turning your chats off in the first place.


Tip #6: Learn to Recognize Seemingly Urgent But Unproductive Behaviors

Do you really need to watch that 2 minute video that someone just uploaded? Do you really need to respond to that provocative comment?

A lot of the content you see on social media is designed to be inherently attention catching. They can seem urgent. But when you look at them objectively, you’ll find that it’s really counter productive to spend your time on it. Whenever you’re tempted to click on a link, ask yourself: “Is this really going to forward my business?”

Tip #7: Don’t Do It Alone

Doing social media alone is a big pitfall for many reasons.

First, there’s nobody to tell you when you’re going off course. Second, it’s easy to get distracted and not get things done if there’s nobody you’re accountable to. Third, you have nobody to share your triumphs with, which makes social media less exciting.

Having someone to share your social media ventures with gives you a strong framework to work in. Sharing your projects with a supervisor, a peer, with your business partner or with fellow online entrepreneurs can really help boost your social media focus.


Tip #8: Stay Focused on Learning One Thing at a Time

Social media users often try to take on far too much at once. They try to learn how to run a contest, how to learn new software, how to use a new social network and so on all at the same time.

Each task individually might not seem like it’s challenging to learn. But when you pile your plate high with new things, you’re going to have a scattered attention span. That sense of being scattered will cause you to be more easily distracted. It’ll also take you longer to learn any skill than if you learned them thoroughly one at a time.

Learn to focus on learning one thing at a time. Once you master that one thing, then you can take on something else.

Tip #9: Use Tools to Condense Your Sessions

It’s nearly impossible to focus on your work if you have to log into Twitter, Facebook and other social networks many times throughout the day. But many audiences do expect you to post updates throughout the day.

That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that you use tools like HootSuite (shown below) and TweetDeck to schedule posts and updates. These tools allow you to communicate at the frequency that your followers expect, without having to distract yourself from your workday all the time.


Tip #10: Be Metric Driven

When you’re accountable for delivering metrics and you use your social media time in a goal driven manner, you’re going to be much more productive. It’s when you’re just “doing social media” for the sake of doing it, without a goal, that tends to detract from focus.

If you don’t have clear metrics, you’ll have a hard time staying driven. After all, you won’t know when you’re doing things right and when you’re doing things wrong, so it really doesn’t matter what you do. But when you have clear metrics, you’ll know exactly when you’re on track and when you’re not.

What you track improved. Track your social media progress.

These ten tips will help you stay focused on your social media activities, so you progress quickly in the social sphere and so your social media activities don’t detract from the rest of your workday.

What to Include in Your Social Media Plan

socialmediaYour social media plan is like the rails that your social media train runs on. Without the rails, the train could still move quickly – But it would just run everywhere, and quite possibly be dangerous. The same goes for social media.

You can spend a lot of time on social media without actually getting much done. You can even damage your brand by spending too much frivolous time on social media. On the flip side, with a strong social media plan, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for building your brand and your following.

So what should you include in your social media plan?

Core Goals and Metrics to Track

To start with, you should have your core goals and your core metrics figured out right at the very beginning.

Begin with your goals. What do you want to use social media for? Are you trying to meet JV partners? Are you trying to land speaking engagements? Are you trying to expose your brand to more people? Are you trying to build up your follower count? Are you trying to drive traffic to your site and get actual buyers?

The metrics you’d track stem directly from your goals. For example, if you’re trying to build up your follower count, you might track virality and new followers per day as your core metrics. On the other hand, if you’re trying to make sales, visitors to your website might be your most important metric.

You can’t have a good social media plan without clear goals. Start your planning by figuring out what your goals are, then pick your core metrics to track.


What Social Media Sites You Plan to Cover

Your plan should cover exactly which social networks you plan to be on. The networks you use depend mostly on who you’re trying to reach.

Let’s say you’re trying to land more speaking gigs. In this case, being on Facebook might not be the best way to reach your target audience. Instead, getting on LinkedIn is probably your best avenue, followed by Twitter.

Don’t neglect smaller social networks either. For reaching an early adopter crowd, Google+ could be a very viable option. Smaller communities might have their own social networks setup on Ning (as shown below).

The long and short of it is this: Go where your audience is.


track_timeBreakdown of How to Spend Your Time

Your plan should have a detailed outline of how you plan to spend your time. For example, your plan might look something like this:

Monday: 30 Minutes Scheduling Facebook Posts, 30 Minutes Scheduling Twitter Tweets
Tuesday: 30 Minutes Replying to Messages, 30 Minutes Posting on LinkedIn Q&A
Wednesday: 60 Minutes Post on Forums, Comment on Blogs
Thursday: Repeat Monday
Friday: Repeat Tuesday

Try to segment your activities into different “buckets.” When your time in one bucket runs out, move on. Don’t let yourself get sucked into one thing for too long.

List of Essential Actions

What are the most important things you have to get done every week?

If you’re trying to land speaking gigs, then an essential action should be to respond to any conference organizer within 3 business hours. It doesn’t matter what else you’re doing, this takes precedence.

If you’re trying to build a social media following, your essential action might be not missing a post. You have a schedule and you stick to it rigidly. If something might detract you from hitting your posting deadline, those things have to wait.

Having a list of your essential actions can help you prioritize tasks in a busy work environment.

A Plan for Outreach & Connection Building

Two things you should have as part of your plan are building your audience and deepening your connection with your community.

Your outreach strategy should be, again, tailored to your goals. If you’re trying to reach influencers, you might comment on their blogs for several weeks before shooting them a direct Twitter message. If you’re trying to build a Facebook audience, your strategy might involve putting out innovative content every month.

As for building connections, the most important thing to realize on social media is the value of a single person. It’s easy to get lost in the statistics and the crowd of a thousand likes. But often time’s your biggest breakthroughs – PR7 links, JV opportunities, speaking gigs, etc – Will come from the most unexpected places.

Whenever you can, reach out and get in touch with people one on one. Acknowledge your fans and build real connections.

Adjust Your Plan When Needed

Don’t treat your plan as something that’s set in stone. Treat it as something that’s organic. Your plan should grow as you grow and as your audience grows.

Figure out what’s working and what isn’t about your social media plan, then adjust your plan accordingly. Treat your plan as a living document. Use it as a tool to keep yourself and your company on track as you head towards your goals.