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Your Ultimate Social Media Checklist by SEMrush

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Your Ultimate Social Media Checklist by SEMrush

This post is in English
Maria Raybould
This post is in English
Your Ultimate Social Media Checklist by SEMrush

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

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

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.

SEMrush Social Media Poster

Automate Your Social Routine

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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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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.

SEMrush Social Media Tracker

Advanced Competitive Analytics

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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

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:

  1. Reach. Watch out for metrics like followers/fans, impressions, traffic data.

  2. Engagement. Your metrics here may include profile visits, active followers, brand mentions, comments, shares, likes, and clicks.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?
Been there, done that, but nothing excites me more than writing. Slowly but surely grasping the ins and outs of inbound marketing.
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Vipish malhotra

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Thank you for this great and more useful article. I'm reading your post and get unique concept and informative knowledge every time. it's more helpful for me.
Vijay Mandeep

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Hi Maria,

Quite an interesting article! I was surprised to see an infographic of checklists at the end. I was wondering while reading the article as to how would one remember their daily tasks without a task sheet.

Vijay Mandeep
Hi Vijay, glad you liked the article. Thanks for pointing that out, I just moved it up to the beginning of the article. Thanks!!
Ajay Singh Rajput

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Wow Thanks Maria It must be very helpful for me to do my daily, weekly and monthly activity on my pages and social media accounts and and keep a check on it. I am bookmarking your article in my browser so that I can follow the check up.
Wish you very Happy New Year
Ajay Singh
Ajay Singh Rajput
Hi Ajay, thanks for your comment, I appreciate it :-) Hope you have a great year ahead!

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

but hashtags, if someone does not know how to compile, I advise you to Especially good for beginners.
Amit Sharma

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Thanks a heap, Maria! Really appreciate the help. One follow up question - are there other tools like google trend which can tell me what people in a particle city are searching for? Thanks a lot!
Amit Sharma
You're very welcome, Amit! The first tool that comes to mind with regards to your question is CPC Map: it's an interactive map displaying the regions of your selected country, where you can look up the most popular keywords and their CPC in a particular region (not city though) and industry. At the moment, the tool is in open beta and free to use. Alternatively, Keyword Planner is a great keyword research service. What exactly do you need this kind of tool for?
Viatore Orbis

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Your article is helpful for me. Thank you
Viatore Orbis
You're very welcome!

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good looking
Bella Willson

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Hi..! Hope you doing well and thanks for sharing it give me a lot of information and honestly the way you represent your information it's amazing..!
Bella Willson
Hi Bella, this is a great compliment indeed, thank you very much! Hope you get to test some of these tips in 2019.. Happy holidays!
Amit Sharma

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Maria, great article. Have one question- if it’s an account of a local politician, what tools can be used to track issues and relevant content for a small city? Thanks.
Amit Sharma
Hi Amit, thanks for your question. There are two tools I can recommend:
If you know which particular media you want to track, you can enter their domains in the Social Media Tracker and monitor what they’re posting on social and which of their posts get the highest engagement. The tool also allows you to see your mentioners and mentions on Twitter. If you’re looking for a more advanced tool to work with your brand mentions, try the Brand Monitoring tool: you will be able to add specific domains to your trackign list and monitor in which context they are mentioning you. I hope this answers your question, let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you.

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

can i put here my link?
for backlink ^^
thanks before
Seline Eveline
Hello, Seline! We don't appreciate "just for advertising" links here on our blog, and such comments may be considered spam and deleted. If you want to share a tool you're using for social media planning/competitors' monitoring, I suggest putting a name of it here and also tell why you find it useful :)
Andrew N.J.

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

A very detailed workflow for social media managers, I love this. Thank you, Maria!!
I have a question about social media poster: there's no posting tool for Instagram, do you plan to implement it anytime soon? A notification is okay, but it would be handier to post directly from the tool
Andrew N.J.
Hi Andrew, it’s Lesya from Social Media Poster dev team :) Right now we are waiting for Facebook to make API available for Instagram direct publishing for everyone; when this happens we’ll implement direct Instagram publishing as soon as possible.
Andrew N.J.

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Lesya Zherebkina
Oh, this is fantastic news, thank you, Lesya. I've been waiting for this for quite a long time! Looking forward to an announcement, hopefully, it won't be long before the release 🤞
Tamim Hassan

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

WOW, It,s a great content ever. After reading it i properly understand what to do.
Thanks for this content.
Tamim Hassan
Always glad to help, thank you, Tamim! Did you find any unexpected checkpoints in this list, or maybe something you consider the most useful tip? :)
Tamim Hassan
You're very welcome Tamim!
Moss Clement

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Great read, Maria. Your article is timely as we walk into 2019. Marketers are scrambling for ways to upgrade their digital marketing activities–investing in various digital marketing assets including social media. Many will be focusing on marketing automation and that's where using the SEMrush social media tracker plays a vital role. My recommendation is to measure your 2018 campaign to figure out your performance. This data will enable you adjust where necessary. And as you pointed out, analyze your competitors as well.
Moss Clement
Thanks Moss - I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. And thanks for sharing your way of planning your social activities for the year ahead. So did the social media tracker help you with competitor analysis at all? What did you think of it? It would be great to know your opinion.
Ann Newell

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

This is great! Both for beginners to keep everything in mind and experienced social media managers to double check if they're doing their daily routine right 👏
I used to monitor competitors' SM activity with Rival IQ, but looking for something new to try. Any recommendations? 🤓
Ann Newell
Hi Ann, thanks for your kind words about the article :) I'm sure Maria will be glad to see your feedback!

As for the tools to track your competitors' activity, I can suggest trying the SEMrush Social Media Tracker (learn more about it in our knowledge base: Pretty obvious recommendation as from a SEMrush employee, but it's really worth a try :D

Thanks for the question, let's see what our community members use :)
Ann Newell
Hey Ann, thank you for your comment -- I hope you get to use this for your social media planning next year!
I do agree with the author below that SEMrush's Social Media Tracker is a decent alternative to Rival IQ. It comes as a suite, which does both competitive analytics and scheduling if that's what you're looking for. You can always try the free version to see if you like it. I also use Facebook's Pages to Watch service to keep an eye on my competitors' posts. This feature can be found in your Facebook Insights.
Hope this helps! Let us know if you get to try any of these tools. Have a great day!

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