Feeling overwhelmed with scheduling posts, launching ads, social listening, influencers, and all the other tasks that leave you no time to focus on your strategic goals? Not sure which tasks you should be doing first?
Breathe a sigh of relief! SEMrush’s SMM Checklist breaks down all your tasks into what needs to be addressed on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, helping you to prioritize your work and achieve consistency in your social media planning.
Things You Should Be Doing Daily
- Check and update your posting calendar.
- Reply to comments and questions.
- Monitor your brand mentions online and react to them.
- Discover industry-related keywords and threads.
- Check what your competitors are posting.
- Monitor industry news and hot topics.
- Discover trending hashtags.
- Monitor and comment on influencers' posts.
Checking and Updating Your Posting Calendar
Checking your posting schedule is something that should be done on a daily basis because you must be able to do the following:
Prioritize your content by moving your most important posts to the slots when your audience is most likely to be online.
To make room for ad hoc occasions.
To be able to juggle your content around in the ways I just described, you need a content calendar that has a drag-and-drop feature.
Replying to Comments and Questions
Replying to comments often requires an instant reaction to keep customers satisfied. If you are a social media manager, you know this without a doubt. But how many times have you been ignored as a customer? And how many times have you stopped using a service or a product because of that?
Keeping track of comments and questions from your current and potential customers is critical; your brand's reputation can depend on your responses and timeliness. Also, don't be afraid of the critical comments because they often can show you areas your company needs to work on, and they can give you the opportunity to show your brand's customer service values and skills.
Monitoring Your Brand Mentions Online
People will talk about your brand on the Internet, and you, in turn, will want to uncover how your brand is being mentioned. If an influencer mentions your brand you definitely want to know about it. Ignoring an influencer’s comment is either a missed opportunity or in the case of criticism, a potential reputation crisis.
Speaking of criticism, any company can find itself in the middle of a crisis. By monitoring your brand mentions online, you will be able to prevent a potential reputation crisis.
Unfortunately, it does happen that people forget to tag you (add an @-sign, for example) when making comments on social platforms. The easiest way to track mentions like this is to use special brand monitoring tools.
Discovering Industry-Related Keywords and Threads
By staying up to date with what is happening in your industry, you can avoid missing an important thread or discussion you might want to jump into.
Google Alerts is a great tool for this: it allows you to track any keyword across all the sources that Google tracks (including YouTube), and receive notifications.
Watch What Your Competitors Are Posting
Competitors share their news. Whether it is a new product, a big promotion or a special offer — all of these things can impact the loyalty of your customers. Keep an eye on your competitors' activities and find smarter ways to compete with them. Have they posted an article and left some of the users' questions unanswered? Be sure to address these questions in your posts and build an engaging discussion around them.
Monitoring Industry News and Hot Topics
Missing out on important industry news usually comes from forgetting to check your top information sources on a daily basis. Ideally, this is what your working day should start with. There are hundreds of tools out there (like Feedly or Inoreader) that can help you automate this process, saving you from having to go and check every site on your own.
For social posting, I suggest tools with dedicated content curation features because they will allow you to add RSS feeds from your favorite resources, so you can simply scroll through the list and post the articles you like with one click.
Discovering Trending Hashtags
Before conducting hashtag research, be sure to remind yourself of the goals you want to achieve with your hashtag strategy. Is it brand awareness, engagement, reach or are you looking to improve your client relationships? Try to find the right hashtag for each of the goals you are trying to achieve. Let's look at some examples.
Branded hashtags: Use these to build brand awareness. Example: #Charityball2018
Niche interest hashtags: These hashtags will be relevant to your niche audience, so try to explore their interests inside and out. Example: #dachshundlover
Seasonal Hashtags: Adding seasonal hashtags to your posts can significantly increase their exposure. Example: #christmaswear
Location hashtags: These hashtags will help you connect with local audiences. Example: #manchesterfood
Once you know what it is you want to accomplish, you will need to do some research to decide exactly which hashtags will help you.
Monitoring and Commenting on Influencers’ Posts
This suggestion is about finding opinion leaders in your industry and monitoring what they are up to in the social space. Whenever the opportunity arises, be ready to jump in with your expert opinion or prompt them to test your new tool or feature.
Things You Should Be Doing Weekly
- Synchronize with other teams' goals and upcoming activities.
- Creating a posting schedule for the week.
- Identify your competitors' best-performing posts.
- Track the results of your ongoing ad campaigns.
Synchronizing with Other Teams’ Goals and Upcoming Events
Have you ever missed a deadline or failed a project because you and your colleagues were out of sync as a result of using different tools and services to manage their activities? The best way to avoid this kind of situation is by having a shared marketing calendar, where you can assign tasks to your team members, track their completion, and receive timely updates on the project’s progress.
Creating a Posting Schedule for the Week
It is wise to remain consistent when creating a posting schedule for the week. You don't want to end up posting 15 posts on Monday and only 2 on Tuesday. Ideally, you should have a personalized posting schedule, with the same number of slots on weekdays; on weekends, it’s OK to post less, for obvious reasons.
Some posting tools allow you to create content queues once your schedule is all set up. That way, you won’t have to think about how when to schedule your next social media post; you merely send your post to the queue, and it will go live at a preset time.
Another important thing to remember is to leave room for ad-hoc campaigns (for example, holiday campaigns). Make sure you always have a spare slot or two per week where you can fit in such promos.
This article will help you avoid the most common mistakes in social media content planning.
Identifying Your Competitors’ Best-Performing Posts
Knowing how to identify your competitors' top-performing content is only half the job; you must be able to adapt it to your needs and audiences. Here are some tips on how to take advantage of your competitors’ posts:
Address the questions that they haven’t answered. Did you notice that some of their followers' questions remained unanswered? Be sure to address those in your articles, and provide your followers with unique value that no other competitor could give.
Identify their highest-performing post formats. The greatest thing about having competitors is that you are sharing the same audience. If you notice that their infographics are beating your video tutorials, it may be the time to reconsider your strategy.
Watch the types of content they are sharing. Do their online games cause massive engagement on social? Try to beat them with a fun holiday-themed quiz.
Tracking the Results of Your Ongoing Ad Campaigns
How will you know if what your strategies are working if you don't track your campaigns? Make a habit of monitoring the results of your ongoing campaigns weekly; this will give you an opportunity to tweak them in case something goes wrong. All major social networks have their own analytics services, which provide great insights into your performance. Adding UTM parameters to your posts and tracking them in Google Analytics will give you an even broader picture of your accomplishments.
Things You Should Be Doing Monthly
- Collect monthly stats.
- Analyze your competitors' social strategies.
- Compare your performance against your competitors'.
- Identify your month's successes and integrate them into your social strategy.
- Define the next month's ratio of educational to entertaining content.
- Research upcoming news and events that can be used to promote your product or service.
Collecting Monthly Stats
Before starting any activity on social, you must be clear about what metrics you are going to track to assess your performance. If you are entering the new market, think about how to measure your efforts of increasing brand awareness; the number of purchases is not important at this stage.
Once you define a set of metrics you should be tracking regularly; think about which tools you are going to use to spot trends over time. Instead of just checking your follower count once and forgetting about it, it is better to monitor it on a monthly basis to measure your progress.
Analyzing Your Competitors’ Social Strategies
If you think you need expensive tools to gain insight into your competitors’ social strategies, you are mistaken. Native analytics of social networks coupled with manual reviews of your competitor pages will be enough for you to spot their weak points.
Next, I recommend you check your competitors’ current ad campaigns by visiting their Facebook Info & Ads section; it will show you their current newsfeed ads and the landing pages they lead to. Who knows, you might find a strategy or two that you may want to test yourself!
Finally, remember to keep an eye on your competitors’ hashtags. Not only will you be able to spy on their special offers or competitions, but it can also help you spot any significant changes in their strategies.
Find out more about how to uncover your competitors’ social media strategies.
Comparing Your Performance Against Your Competitors
Once you know where your competitors are going with their social strategy, it is time to benchmark your performance against theirs. It is essential that you pay attention to relative metrics, such as engagement rate; it is a relative metric, which is calculated based on the ratio of total engagement to audience size. It is especially helpful when you are trying to compare the performance of profiles with large and small audiences. If you would like to know more about this metric, check out SEMrush's formula for calculating the engagement rate.
Identifying Your Previous Months’ Successes and Integrating Them Into Your Social Strategy
Has there been an unusual spike in likes and comments in response to that video you posted a few days ago? Don't be afraid to experiment with your best-performing content and “recycle” it; this can either mean rescheduling it for another time or adapting it to the current month’s goals and strategy (for example, making an infographic or a quick animation out of your previous month’s post).
Defining the Next Month’s Ratio of Educational and Entertaining Content to Product Content
When it comes to posting, it is crucial to maintain a healthy ratio between your product content and external content. Whether it is going to be 70:30 or 50:50 should depend on the audience you are targeting. If you want to build a community around your brand, make sure you take into account your target audience’s interests.
Run an experiment; try different ratios of entertaining content to product content each week during a month and see which ratio works best for your audience.
Researching Upcoming News and Events That Can Be Used to Promote Your Product
Did you know that holidays and events make your customers more receptive to your marketing campaigns? Spicing up your campaigns with some fun ideas is a great way to entertain your users and give them a good reason to check out your products and/or services.
However, occasion-based marketing is a tricky science, and our case study will give you some great tips on how to run thematic campaigns with maximum efficiency.
Also, be sure to check out our Social Media Events Calendar 2019, made especially for social media managers to help them keep up with all the events, holidays and meaningful days that matter to their target audience and schedule them right there and then.
Things You Should Be Doing Quarterly
- Review and evaluate the last quarter's KPIs and see where you stand.
- Make sure your brand image is consistent across all social channels.
- Conduct audience analysis to see if you are targeting the right people.
- Set your goals for the next quarter.
- Define your KPIs for the next quarter.
Review and Evaluate the Last Quarter’s KPIs and See Where You Stand
Just like I advised you to collect monthly stats about your posts’ performance, I suggest you do the same quarterly. With quarterly reviews, however, try to focus less on details and more on the bigger picture.
For example, you may want to reassess the channels you are targeting; if some of them don’t seem to bring any results, why continue being active in them? Invest your time and energy into those channels that work for your audience.
Make Sure Your Brand Image Is Consistent Across All Social Media Channels
Does your company have a corporate style guide or a brand guide? Now is the right time to find out. Make sure your tone of voice along with all the images you post, including scripts and colors, match your brand’s style and are consistent across all social networks.
Conduct Audience Analysis
Ideally, a social media audience audit should be carried out at least every quarter. This timespan is just enough for you to be able to spot any mismatches between your real audience and what you have been imagining them to be.
Start by gaining insights into your followers' interests and demographics by using the analytics provided to you from your social network accounts (Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights, etc.)
After that, picture your ideal customer (you may end up with several personas if you are active on more than one social network).
Finally, tailor your content to your ideal customer personas.
Set Your Goals and KPIs For The Next Quarter
Remember to always set your quarterly goals based on your company’s and your team’s goals; this will also help you in creating a content plan for the next 3 months and with setting priorities correctly.
Social media KPIs are there to help you determine the performance of your social media campaigns and their ROI. Here, you must go beyond vanity metrics like follower and like counts. Instead, try to focus on the following:
Reach. Watch out for metrics like followers/fans, impressions, traffic data.
Engagement. Your metrics here may include profile visits, active followers, brand mentions, comments, shares, likes, and clicks.
Leads. There are different ways of measuring social media lead generation. Speak to your analytics team, or check out this article to learn how to approach this task.
Conversions. How will you measure the ROI from social media, unless you track customer acquisition and conversion rates? Applying segments to your Google Analytics is a great way to track conversions.
To learn more about how to set KPIs correctly, check out this article.
We hope that this checklist will make your life as a social media manager a little easier!
Making these items part of your routine will help ensure you never miss important news, will stay up to date with current trends, and will stay aligned with your target goals both individually and as a team. Tick away and feel proud!
Topics to Discuss
- How do you plan your social media activities?
- What tools and services do you use for planning and monitoring your competitors’ activities?