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.

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.

Question: What did I leave out on my Trigger list? I’d love to add your ideas to make us better ‘Social Watchdogs.’ You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. My vision for the comments section is to see a community of people come together and help one another. I want to hear what you thought of my post and how it applies to your work. If I left something out, please contribute in the comments section. I'd LOVE to hear from you and want to keep this a positive, intelligent, well-written comment section.

  • Tim Anderson

    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!

    • Tim, have you heard of ‘Google Alerts’? Bloggers typically use this to see when people mention their name. This could easily be set up to ping you when someone mentions your client’s name or brand. https://www.google.com/alerts