Social Media and Online Marketing Checklist
Would you like a Social Media and Online Marketing Checklist to go through for the year ahead? Below you will find 20 items that I truly believe are worth doing (and I have been online since 2001 and have been attending up to four events every week since then to keep myself up to date).
A lot has changed in the online world in the last year.
For a start, more people are spending time on their social media channels and less time on general search.
Personally, I have been unsubscribing from as many email newsletters as possible in an effort to increase my productivity and only go looking for information ‘when I need it.’
That said, I used to be a newspaper subscriber and hoarder! I wouldn’t be able to find the time every day to read the whole newspaper, so I stored them on my shelved coffee table thinking, maybe I will read it tomorrow. When the coffee table could no longer hold any more newspapers, it was time to recycle them. Sadly, I never got around to reading them!
I have also heard that more and more people are searching within their social media platform of choice for the content they would like. For example, if they like TikTok, they search within TikTok before they go back to a search engine. This is a significant change in behaviour.
Yes, all of the algorithms are trying to keep us scrolling, especially on our mobile devices, for a lot longer.
As far as I can tell, the jury is out on whether we should just create short-form video content and skip the rest, but personally, I still like images and text as I feel I can absorb more information more quickly in short bursts that way, so for now, I still share a mix of formats.
Carousels have been very popular on several platforms.
As to long-form content overall, I am seeing a significant reduction. I launched my fifth book in January and despite some very targeted direct message marketing to over 500 people, I didn’t get one sale! That said, I have sold books via my online webinars and other activity and one new consulting client came to me because I had published five books!
So in short, the world of social media and online marketing is constantly changing.
Here is my list of some tips that I believe are worth doing now!
- Update all of your social media profiles. I say this over and over again in my training, but the number of people who actually do it is very low. Each platform is constantly updating and changing their fields and options and if you can squeeze in an extra keyword, link, detail, image, connection point, why not?
- Download your data. Each platform allows you to do this and it is important in case your account is closed, hacked or otherwise compromised. I would suggest you do this at least every six months.
- Publish your content on your website first. Oh how I wish the website department and the social media department would merge! The only place where you can genuinely keep your content forever (and find it again) is on your own website. I always publish my content on my website first and share it on social media second. I even include links to where I have published it on social media on my website so that the search robots can prove that I am active on social media.
- Repurpose your content as often as you can. Yes, some platforms provide a range of great tools to make your social media content sparkle, but why share it on only one platform? Or have another platform’s logo all over it? For example, I produce short form videos (less than 60 seconds) in portrait mode and share it on my website first and via four channels – YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and TikTok.
- Select the social media platforms that are most suitable for your target audience. Yes, there are a lot of platforms that you could be on and some provide more value than others. Some will reach your target audience and others can be more helpful with your search engine results. Please, be fully conscious of the value of each.
- Be aware that statistics can lie. Yes, Facebook is currently attracting the most users, but this includes their Messenger offering as well as their more general offering. If I am only using Facebook for messaging, I may not see your Facebook Post or Reel, so keep this in mind.
- Artificial Intelligence is on the rise. You may have noticed a significant increase in predictive text appearing on your screen in programs, platforms and searches. This assistance is based on what people have mostly done before and you need to keep a critical mind rather than blindly ‘allow’ the AI to take over.
- Alliances are increasing. Google indexes every Tweet sent on Twitter immediately in Google Search results. Bing indexes Facebook Reviews in Bing Search results. Publish one video a month on YouTube and you will regularly receive video results in Google Search results. Do not put all of your eggs in the Google basket as these alliances are making alternatives more appealing.
- Directory Listings still offer value. Now is the time to have both a Google Business listing and a Bing Places listing as well as your own country directory listings (here in Australia, that includes free listings on White Pages, Yellow Pages and True Local). Make sure you keep these up to date and see if you can find other high domain authority websites for adding your details too.
- Membership Listings need to be updated. How often do you pay for a membership that offers a free listing but you don’t complete it and you don’t keep it up to date and you don’t list it on your website, LinkedIn Profile or back end of Google either?
- Focus on the most important statistics. There are plenty of vanity metrics out there and a Post that goes viral can be exciting. But if you are not regularly increasing your followers or subscribers and you don’t engage and post at least every week, you are not getting maximum value from your online presence.
- Review your policies and style guidelines. If you have social media policies, do you abide by them? Does everyone know what they are? Do you have style or editorial guidelines and do you follow them? How much content is generated by people outside of marketing? How many people engage with content outside of marketing? How many employees support your social media efforts?
- Prepare for a crisis. It is not a case of ‘if’ it will occur, it is ‘when’ it will occur. If you have procedures in place, you will respond much more efficiently and effectively and you are much less likely to be traumatised or overwhelmed. Keep screenshots of anything suspicious – make sure you date and time stamp those as they may be needed for an investigation. Pause before reacting.
- Increase your security protocals. If you are using social media on behalf of an enterprise, it is a good idea to have a separate mobile device for this purpose that can be given to someone else when the person goes on leave. Using a personal device can be risky. Make sure all login details are changed every time someone leaves. Consider two factor authentication for senior leader accounts and do NOT have your date of birth visible or even add it in unless essential.
- Consider using new features as they appear. When a platform introduces a new feature, it will often be ‘promoted’ more than existing features. Whilst I do not recommend that you use every shiny new option, you can sometimes spot these bonus options whilst still using your existing repurposed content.
- Use the free options first. I am always staggered by the number of people who will throw money at social media advertisements but they will not do all of the free options first, they won’t battle test whether or not something is engaging and they will spend money on social media before another activity that leads to direct sales (like following up all enquiries, asking existing customers for referrals, bringing people together that can make buying decisions etc). Make sure that any paid activity will be seen and acted upon by your target audience. Just because you paid for an ad, it doesn’t mean someone will see it.
- Consider lifetime value content. This is why I truly value LinkedIn Articles and Newsletters and YouTube videos as they can appear in online search results years after first publication. Yes, we need to ‘feed the beast’ of social media on a regular basis, but if certain types of content provides value beyond 12 – 72 hours, it is definitely worth including in your marketing mix.
- Utilise platform tools. Hashtags, Tags or Mentions, emojis, pictures that tell a story in one glance, alternative text on images, links on images, subtitles or captions that can be read with assistive technology (not just burned in the image), these are all important options that make your content accessible to robots and people of all abilities. Being able to watch a video with the sound off is useful for someone with or without hearing. Consider scheduling content within the platform and review the insights they provide. Use additional tools like Canva.com which is constantly being updated and providing new options.
- Be consistent but be creative too. Quality content shared on a regular basis with good engagement and responsiveness is essential. But nobody wants to see the same boring template all the time. Yes, mix it up. Yes, get some insights from your employees, your customers, your stakeholders and even your competitors if you dare. Shop around. See what others are doing and keep your style fresh and fabulous.
- Keep learning and adapting. There are plenty of online courses, micro credentials, webinars, forums, articles etc that you can use to keep yourself up to date. Allocate an hour a week to your own personal development, even if that just means doing a competitor analysis and borrowing a few ideas. Look for local and international counterparts. But never forget WHY you are on social media and online. If a new option becomes available, always ask yourself, is this aligned or a waste of time?
I am the first to admit that the online world can be a time wasting vortex.
That we can easily be seduced by trends and technology that have been cleverly crafted to catch our attention and keep it.
At the end of the day, we need to focus on what is urgent first, we need to be clear about what is important and we need to be prepared to say no to what does not serve our overall vision and mission.
There are days when I am challenged by the online world. I will admit it.
But overall, I love the variety.
I love the challenge.
I love the positive impact I can generate if I remain respectful, creative and ethical.
I hope this article helps you focus on what will work for you.
And if it is going to be of any value, please do at least one thing.
It will only take a minute.
But then you would have gained some direct value from reading this piece.
And I will be super happy! 🙂
I will be even happier if you consider buying one of my books! 😉
If you would like some assistance, I am happy to help.