See How Easily You Can Become a Social Watchdog

Main­tain­ing social media seems sim­ple when first get­ting start­ed. But with­out a fre­quent­ly reviewed “scrub-list,” you’re des­tined to for­get things. Greater suc­cess and high­er engage­ment will come your way if you learn to think of your­self as a Social Watch­dog. It’s easy.

A few years ago, I was main­tain­ing a client’s Face­book and Insta­gram account. We added Twit­ter and LinkedIn to the mix a few months in. I didn’t mean to for­get about LinkedIn, but I did. Even though I was on track to con­sis­tent­ly check “all social media,” one plat­form always fell through the cracks. (This gets hard­er if you’re a part of the client’s web­site and blog con­tent too.)

Has that happened to you?

Have you ever for­got­ten to do some­thing? Even for items out­side of social media? There are always impor­tant tasks that fall through the cracks but present an emer­gency at the last minute. If you’re like me, that dri­ves you crazy. You don’t want to wait and have to rush. If you had a trust­wor­thy sys­tem to remem­ber every­thing, this wouldn’t have hap­pened.

Introducing Trigger Lists (a.k.a. Scrublists or Checklists)

Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty expert David Allen rec­om­mends using check­lists or “scrub lists” to keep your brain clear. If you use a Trig­ger List to keep an eye on your social media, you will eas­i­ly become a Social Media Watch­dog overnight. Your atten­tion will be focused and you will proac­tive­ly address items before they’re due.

[share­able cite=“Josh Mitchell”]Use Trig­ger Lists to keep an eye on your social media & you’ll become a Social Watch­dog overnight.[/shareable]

Trig­ger Lists are com­pre­hen­sive lists you “scrub” to ensure you’re check­ing all aspects of a project. Even if many items on the list don’t cur­rent­ly apply to the project, you review them any­way. Their pur­pose is to trig­ger your brain about an issue. If an item doesn’t apply right now, it might apply lat­er. By review­ing the full list fre­quent­ly, it gives you the ben­e­fit of stay­ing clear because your brain is aware of items that will or could become impor­tant. More often than not, the Trig­ger List will spark a new idea you hadn’t thought of, mak­ing you more pro­duc­tive.

The issue with using standard Todo lists & our brains to remember stuff

When mak­ing ‘nor­mal’ check­lists and todo lists, we write down what has to be done or accom­plished. But the issue is we stop there. We don’t take time to think of ques­tions that might arise in six months or a year from now. By doing this, we set up a sys­tem focused on what needs to get done NOW. The issue here is we are not proac­tive­ly focus­ing on what might need to get done next week. This is about antic­i­pa­tion, clar­i­ty, and aware­ness.

The solution & the birth of ‘Watchdog awareness’

The key to using Trig­ger lists is to review the list con­sis­tent­ly. Once a week is a good start­ing point, but that might be too often. Hav­ing a GOOD Trig­ger list writ­ten will not just ensure impor­tant tasks are fin­ished, but the ‘oh yeah’ tasks addressed, too. When you remind your­self to review these on a con­sis­tent schedule—even if you don’t do every­thing on the list—you’ll be less like­ly to wake up in a cold sweat won­der­ing if you did that thing you were sup­posed to do. This is because you KNOW and can trust that you’re going to review it every Fri­day, no mat­ter what.

Create your trigger lists

Below, you’ll find a trig­ger list I’ve cre­at­ed you can swipe for social media. My list is a good start­ing point, but I tweak my trig­ger lists often. I add things that came to my brain so the next time around.

Social Watchdog Checklist

  1. Check all social plat­forms. Scrub all of the plat­forms you’re on: Face­book, Insta­gram, Twit­ter, Pin­ter­est, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. Be sure Buffer or Hoot­suite are work­ing to pub­lish con­tent there con­sis­tent­ly.
  2. Check any review plat­forms. Some­times these are over­looked. Any­one can post reviews to Google, Yelp, Face­book, Foursquare, and oth­ers. If one neg­a­tive review lingers on the web, that’s bad. Take a sec­ond to reply to that per­son and see if there’s a way you can make it right. If you it’s still impor­tant you reply for oth­er peo­ple who will see the review. Don’t let it linger unreplied. I rec­om­mend thank­ing peo­ple for their pos­i­tive reviews. A sim­ple “Thanks, John!” goes a long way. Remem­ber, peo­ple WILL see this no mat­ter what then they’re search­ing for your busi­ness.
  3. Check web­site com­ments. Com­ments on blogs are also vis­i­ble by any­one online. Unless they’re on your radar to check each week, it’s like­ly you will for­get.

Check Social Platforms — Breakdown

When you’re being a watch­dog for social media, you’re look­ing for

  • Posts writ­ten to the page. Are they replied to? Are people’s ques­tions answered?
  • Com­ments. If the com­ments sec­tion is crazy, there’s only so much you can do to mod­er­ate. But if peo­ple have asked ques­tions in the com­ments section—sometimes they do—have you answered them?
  • Mes­sages sent to the page. Are they replied to—even if it’s to say, “We will get back to you!”
  • Reviews. Have reviews been addressed?

Stay on track

Again, the key to mak­ing this work is that you TRUST your sys­tem. Do you trust your cal­en­dar? Do you trust the post-its on your com­put­er or do they blend in? Review­ing fre­quent­ly and trust­ing your sys­tem is your path of least resis­tance.

[reminder]What did I leave out on my Trig­ger list? I’d love to add your ideas to make us bet­ter ‘Social Watchdogs.’[/reminder]

2 thoughts on “See How Easily You Can Become a Social Watchdog”

  1. I’m cur­rent­ly in charge of man­ag­ing a brand’s online pres­ence, and in our space it some­times can be dif­fi­cult. It’s an insur­ance brand, and insur­ance can very eas­i­ly rub peo­ple the wrong way at no fault of their own.

    We do a lot of the stuff you men­tioned — most notably we make it a point to active­ly engage with our pos­i­tive reviews as well as our neg­a­tive ones. It’s such a small task that can go a long way.

    One thing we do have an issue with is find­ing an effec­tive web crawler that will search for peo­ple men­tion­ing our brand out­side of the social accounts, review sites, etc. that we man­age. There are tons of forums that have thou­sands of pages that could be talk­ing about the brand, and we have no way of man­ag­ing them all (or even know the exist).

    Would love to see a post about the best web scrub­bers!

    This was a good post!

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