Social media doesn't have to be overwhelming. For busy business owners and content creators, here is a seven-step daily checklist to help make sure you're maximizing organic growth of your accounts, engaging with your existing community and potential followers, and staying on top of new content trends.
Step 1: Check notifications
The first thing you should do on any social media platform is to check for new notifications. Here's what you should do:
- Do a quick overview to make sure there aren't any significant issues to address.
- Look at new followers. Are there any new people you may want to send a quick hello to?
- Go over new comments. Make a mental note of any comments you may want to respond to (more details in step number four).
Step 2: Check direct messages (DMs)
Next, you'll want to check your direct messages (also known as DMs). Good communication and prompt responses are important for all businesses and creators.
The bigger your business or account becomes, the larger the number of messages you'll receive every day. While it might not be possible to respond to every single one promptly, there are ways to organize your inbox to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
For example, Instagram business and creator accounts have two different mailboxes: Primary and General. All incoming messages go into the Primary folder, but you can move ones you want to act on over to General and move them back (or delete them) when you're done.
You can also mark messages as "unread" (even though you've read them), to remind yourself to respond later.
Step 3: Post a story or two
Now that you have checked notifications and messages, it's time to start posting. Posting stories in the morning is a great way to keep your community engaged and have them start their day with you.
Maximize audience engagement by posting interactive stories like polls, Q&As, quizzes, This or That, etc.
Step 4: Engage
Now that you've posted some stories, let's dive deeper into engagement. Go through the comments you took note of in step oneand start responding! Remember to be authentic and personable in your responses. Don't forget to go through recent posts from the past few days to make sure you haven't missed any pressing comments.
Another way to engage with potential followers is to scroll through the Explore page on Instagram and the FYP (For You Page) on TikTok and leave comments on posts that relate to your account. By providing value through your comments with humor or education, you can draw new people over to your account.
Step 5: Check your content carefully
It is important to review any content before it gets posted. Whether you are using a social media scheduler that auto-posts your content, or you choose to manually post, make sure you review the following:
- Post date and time (for auto-schedulers)
- That you're using the correct image or video
- That there are no grammar or spelling errors in your captions
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Step 6: Post
If you post using an auto-scheduler, always check that the content has been posted properly after it's published.
If you're manually posting, do one last quick review and post away. It's helpful to set an alarm on your phone to make sure you don't miss the posting time.
To help with regular posting, you might want to create a weekly posting schedule. Start with this weekly schedule planning spreadsheet from Microsoft Create and modify it to reflect your weekly posting goals. Add a new tab each week.
On Instagram, it can be helpful to repost new content on your stories. Here are a few ways to maximize story reach and engagement:
- Post a few story slides that lead up to the content repost story. Increase people's curiosity about what the post contains that encourages them to click on the post.
- Ask a question in the repost story that can only be answered by the post.
Check your Instagram account insights to see best times to post on your account.
Step 7: Research new content
An important part of social media is to keep up with the current trends and emerging patterns. This ensures that you are creating content that people are interested in and engaging with, and gets your content prioritized and promoted by the platforms.
Here are some suggestions to help you research and find new content ideas:
- Go through the Explore page on Instagram, the FYP (For You Page) on TikTok, and any other homepage of other social media platforms and take note of what types of content you're seeing multiple times, as well as what catches your eye.
- Go to accounts and see what types of questions people are asking in the comments. This is a great way to get content ideas that your target audience wants to see.
- For short-form video content, scroll and take note of what sounds you're hearing five or more times as well as other video trends. Trends move quickly so make sure to recreate applicable trends within the week.
And there you have it! A daily checklist of tasks to do on social media to ensure that your account is set up for maximum organic growth and engagement with your ideal audience.