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How to Optimize Your Social Media Workflow

Managing your social media workflow in the constant chatter of Tweets, Likes and Direct Messages can be tough. A social media manager’s work is never done and it seems like a new task gets added to your checklist every week.

Whether you manage social media full time or if it’s a small part of your job description, a good workflow will get your productivity flowing at its maximum.

Figure out Your Own Productivity Hacks

There are quite a few productivity hacks out there. They all promise to shorten your work hours, while increasing your productivity. The “4-Hour Workweek” wouldn’t be a New York Times Bestseller if everyone was already working at their maximum productivity. It is important to note that there is no shortcut of value in social media marketing. The company that promises you 4,000 followers in an hour will not give you valuable customers.

In one study from the University of California, Irvine, researchers found that it took an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task after an interruption.

uc irvine study graphic

Think about this: how often are you interrupted in a day? This includes coworkers, customers and all your mobile push notifications. Navigating this landscape of constant interruption makes the social media manager’s work so much more difficult.

If you find yourself spending most of your time reacting (i.e. responding to Twitter mentions) and not planning, then you may benefit from a social media workflow plan.

Execute Your Tasks Like You Do Your Laundry

Batch processing is a popular method of getting tasks done. Chances are that you’ve batch processed before in your daily life.

batchwork graphic

Let’s say you’re doing laundry. For one set of clothes, you would presumably divide them into piles (e.g. delicates, whites, etc.), put each pile into separate washes, dry each accordingly, fold and put them away. You would not take one shirt, wash it, dry it, put it away and then start the process again with the next piece of clothing.

How does this apply to your social media workflow? Setting time aside to write your Tweets, look at your calendar and respond to comments may seem like more time upfront. But you’re really batching similar tasks together to help you become more productive.

In a blog post, Darren Rowse explained how he uses batch processing for social media, “On an average day I probably have 4-5 such ‘batches’. The reason that I do this numerous times a day is that it helps me to connect with different groups of people in different time zones.”

So the first step in creating your social media workflow is knowing all the tasks you have to get done. Lucky for you, we’ve created a handy checklist for you to use.

Social Media Manager Task Checklist

These checklists are intended for you to have a handle on the tasks a social media manager might do. These tasks depend on if you’re the only person managing the company’s social media account or if you’re part of a team.

Daily Checklist

daily manager checklist graphic
  • Check private messages and mentions
  • Curate content
  • Schedule posts
  • Manage blog post comments
  • Check the next day’s scheduled posts
  • Be aware of any breaking news that might affect your posting schedule

Extra Points:

manager extra points graphic
  • Check in on a marketing campaign
  • Collaborate with another department for future campaigns
  • Write and/or edit blog posts
  • Engage with influencers
  • Listen to your community
  • Plan your editorial calendar

Weekly Checklist

weekly manager checklist graphic
  • Review marketing campaign success
  • Review social media analytics
  • Find new accounts to follow
  • Check in on your competition

Monthly Checklist

monthly manager checklist graphic
  • Review social media analytics from previous month
  • Plan next month’s editorial calendar
  • Review current processes and tweak if needed
  • Set aside a few hours for a photo and/or video shoot

Time to Batch Your Tasks

Make friends with your favorite calendar app. For major time-consuming items like the monthly analytics review or planning your editorial calendar, block out time on your calendar for the tasks. If you’re responsible for creating content, you may find it useful to set aside a few hours each month to shoot all the photos and videos at the same time.

Take a few moments to write down your own task list and group them into categories that you can batch.

Automate What You Can

While not every task should be automated, it’s a good idea to consider what can be useful. For example, when you publish a blog post, do you share it automatically to Twitter?

Here are a few ways for you to add some automation to your social media workflow.

Automatically Post from RSS

Our Post via RSS feature is handy if you publish blog posts. Take a minute to setup your account to automatically Tweet every time you publish a post. You can also add other feeds besides your own. For example, if you work in social media, you could automatically share every time a new post is up in our Insights blog.

Sprout Social Post via RSS

Add Twitter Suggested Replies

While this is not exactly a fully automatic process (which is a good thing), loading our Twitter Suggested Replies feature helps cut down on your response time. You’re likely asked similar questions each day, so use this feature to cut down reply time.


Utilize Facebook Response Assistant

The Facebook Response Assistant can be activated in your Page’s Settings. When you’re off writing a blog post and filtering out distractions or even when you’re sleeping, you can have your Page set automatically respond to any incoming messages.

Facebook Response Assistant

Use a Service to Generate Your Social Media Reports

It takes time to build a robust social media report. If you find yourself spending time manually inputting data, it might be a good sign that you need an automatic report. Our reports are made presentation-ready. You can even subscribe to weekly summary reports just to make sure you’re on track.


Remember, not all automation is created equal. Figure out what kinds of automation is best for your brand.

Create Processes When You Find Yourself Repeating Tasks

Behind every good social media workflow is a series of strong processes. When you find yourself repeating tedious tasks like putting together a social media report, check and see if the process can be smoothed out. Tools have probably already been created for the pain point you’re experiencing.

How to Share a Blog Post on Social Media

When you publish a blog post, do you find yourself forgetting when to post on which network? Create a checklist and timeline that starts from the publishing date. It could look something like the below:

time to publish checklist

As you might be able to tell, once you decide on a social media promotion strategy for your blog posts, scheduling can be a no-brainer. The timeline will depend on how often you post and which networks you are active on. There are also exceptions. News-type posts might have a shorter lifespan than how-to guides.

Track Your Hashtags in One Place

Our Smart Inbox helps you consolidate your company’s hashtags across multiple social networks. Listening is an important part of a social media manager’s role. In order to provide the best customer care, you need to know what your customers are already talking about.


If you aren’t able to use Smart Inbox, you can use a service like IFTTT to automatically put all the Tweets that have a certain hashtag into a spreadsheet for you to look at later. Alternatively, you could also save searches in Twitter or set up a calendar alert every week to remind yourself to check up on hashtags.

Follow Relevant Accounts With a Discovery Tool

Our Discovery feature is useful when you need to find new accounts to follow. Based on your engagement history and similar posts, we recommend accounts that you might find interesting.

conversed with sprout social example

Take advantage of native features like Instagram’s Explore page to find relevant accounts. There are also many tools out there that specialize in finding influencers in your industry. Followerwonk and Klout can come in handy when you’re looking for new accounts.

There Is No Right Way to Execute Social Media

No social media workflow is the same. You may find that after batch processing for a few days that it’s not the best workflow for you. Or that some tasks can be batched but others will need a more flexible schedule. Whichever flow you choose, be sure to analyze it afterward.

We’re also interested in learning what you do to smooth out your workflow. Is there a favorite calendar app that you use? What automations have you put in place?

This post How to Optimize Your Social Media Workflow originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

Even the most seasoned content marketers make mistakes. In the world of SEO-driven content, with constant algorithm tweaks and changing search patterns, it’s nearly unavoidable. However, those same mistakes can often lead to discoveries that enable even better content performance.

The key is being able to recognize those easy-to-fix SEO mistakes and address them. As a result, your content will become an optimized, integrated network of metaphorical highways, leading searchers to best-answer content in a strategic and purposeful way.

So, what are the most common SEO mistakes, and how can they be addressed? Below, I’ve singled out the ‘usual suspects’ along with guidance on how to fix them while setting yourself up for long-term SEO success.

SEO Mistake #1 - Choosing Target Keywords Based on Volume vs. Relevance

How Keywords Affect Content Marketers: Great content isn't great unless people see it. But when content marketers overemphasize high-volume keywords, they miss out on meaningful engagement.

It’s tempting to plug into your keyword research tool of choice and select keywords with the highest search volume as your focuses for new content. But if the content you’re creating doesn’t match the search intent for that high-volume keyword, it’s unlikely to perform to your expectations.

The Fix: Google it! All jokes aside, evaluating the first ten search results for your target keywords can help you understand what searchers are trying to find, and what supporting content you should provide to truly be the best answer for that query.

While you’re analyzing those top results, pay attention to key factors that will shape your content creation and promotion strategy:

  1. What type of information is NOT included in top content, but is topically related? This can help you inform how you differentiate your content.
  2. What’s the content demand for that keyword? For example, are mostly top of funnel blog posts ranking, or are you seeing mostly product or service pages?
  3. How many backlinks and referring domains are pointing to the top search results? This can help you understand how competitive the first page of results is, and whether or not ongoing link building should be part of your content promotion strategy.
  4. How long is the top-ranking content for that keyword? This will help you determine ideal content length for your own post.

SEO Mistake #2 - Targeting the Same Keyword with Multiple Pages or Posts

How Same-Topic Targeting Affects Content Marketers: Pressure to create comprehensive content on a topic can actually result in dilution within search.

The conventional wisdom that more is better doesn’t apply universally — especially when it comes to SEO-driven content. Creating multiple pieces of content that target the exact same keyword is a surefire way to stand in your own way of success. There’s enough competition out there for B2B marketers without having to compete with your own content.

For example, a B2B technology company that wants to rank for B2B software consulting should optimize their service page for that term based on what is currently being served in search results. But, if they also create a series of blogs or resources that are targeting that specific term, search engine bots will be confused about which page is the best answer for that query. This could result in none of the content appearing in the top 10 results, in favor of competing sites with a more clear ‘answer’ to that query.

The Fix: Determine which of your pages or posts is the best answer for that particular query by analyzing ranking and analytics data. Which post or page sees the greatest amount of engaged organic traffic for your target keyword, and most closely matches the associated search intent?

Once you’ve determined your target page, it’s time to evaluate the remaining content targeting that keyword. Look for opportunities to:

  1. Remove or prune low-value or outdated content. Is there a blog post full of stats from 2009 that’s hindering your priority page’s chances of ranking? It might be time to consider removing that post and implementing the proper redirects.
  2. Optimize existing content for related, but different, keyword targets. For example, if you have a priority post for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and another post that more closely relates to ‘Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, consider optimizing that post for the latter and implementing internal links back to your priority cookies post.
  3. Combine closely related content. For example, if you have several blog posts around your targeted keyword(s), consider combining those posts into a longer, more robust piece of content.

SEO Mistake #3 - Ignoring Internal Link Structure

How Internal Linking Affects Content Marketers: Links are like electricity on the web, lighting up content for people and search engines alike.

Content is discovered by links. Your site’s internal linking structure tells bots (and users) which pages are most important, and which pages are most relevant to specific keywords. If you link to several pages from the same anchor text, for example, there will be some confusion about which page is truly ‘about’ that topic. Other times, you could have pages or posts on your site that are orphaned, with no internal links directing users or bots their way. This can confuse your site users, search engine bots, and even your own team. Confusion is not a ranking factor!

The Fix: Make sure you develop and continue to update your site’s keyword map. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists your page’s URL and associated target keyword(s). This keyword map will help you determine what anchor text should be used to link to your target pages.

Next, conduct a site audit to determine:

  1. If there are orphaned pages that need internal links
  2. If you are linking to multiple pages with the same keyword-rich anchor text
  3. Where there are opportunities to create additional supporting content
  4. Where you might have opportunities to reduce and prune existing supporting content

Next, you’re going to want to crawl your site to find any orphaned pages. Then, map those into your overall keyword strategy and implement internal links.

SEO Mistake #4 - Ignoring Data from Other Digital Tactics

How Marketing Data Affects Content Marketers: Inspiration often drives ideation for many content marketers, but data drives optimization for ideal content performance. Marketing performance data can provide both.

Any data you can collect about how your audience engages with your content has the potential to be an SEO gold mine. For example, analyzing the keywords from your paid search campaigns can give you insight into which keywords are your best converters, and what content best suits searchers for those terms. Social posts that get the greatest amount of engagement can tell you which topics your audience is most interested in. Ignoring data from your other marketing and sales channels means missing out on an opportunity to better engage your prospects.

The Fix: Meet with different teams or departments to find out what kind of content performs best on their channels. Look at the data each platform or channel provides and compare that with your site analytics data for a full picture. And, be sure to share your channel performance data with the rest of your marketing team. The more information available related to content and marketing performance, the better equipped you are to optimize.

SEO Mistake #5 - Giving Up

How Persistence Affects Content Marketers: Content performance in search is a long game and persistence is essential for success.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes a lack of results can feel demoralizing, but giving up is simply not an option. You wouldn’t stop building your house just because the nearest lumber yard ran out of wood, right? You’d find another lumber yard and keep plugging along.

The Fix: Take a step back. Re-evaluate the search landscape, your competitor’s organic presence, and your site’s overall health. Being able to remove yourself from the frustration can help you find opportunities you may have missed and additional whitespace to tackle.

Next, seek out advice from other SEOs. Ask questions on social media, in specific groups or forums, or send a question to your favorite SEO blog. If budget permits, enlist the help of a consultant or SEO agency that can help you break through your roadblocks.

Finally, we have two big SEO bummers that are tougher to fix, but absolutely necessary to address.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Migrating Your Site with No SEO Plan

How Migrating Without a Plan Affects Content Marketers: A bad migration can effectively undo your hard work, reducing content visibility and creating more user friction.

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of SEOs cringing around the globe. A botched site migration can wreak havoc on your organic positioning and torpedo your results. It can take months, even years to recuperate organic visibility to pre-migration levels.

The Fix: Always, always consult your in-house SEO team or SEO agency when you’re considering a website migration. Before you move forward, it’s imperative you have a plan for technical, on-page, and off-page factors.

If you’ve already migrated your site and have experienced a loss of organic traffic and rankings, start with a site audit. Check for the basics, like whether or not your site is being indexed, first. Then start to evaluate technical factors like broken links, crawl errors, and duplicate content.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Recovering from a site migration is a challenge for even the best of SEOs, and sometimes those big challenges call for a little teamwork.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Not Optimizing for Mobile

How Not Optimizing for Mobile Affects Content Marketers: Even the greatest content can’t stand up to a bad mobile experience. Users will bounce, reducing engagement and sending negative signals to search engines.

Mobile accounts for about half of web traffic worldwide. Knowing this, in March 2018 Google started migrating sites to mobile-first indexing. Providing a seamless mobile experience is no longer optional, especially when you’re living in the wild world of search.

Sites that didn’t properly prepare for this can and will likely see some declines in organic search traffic and rankings as a result. And, as more sites follow mobile best practices, more users will notice and become frustrated by poor mobile experiences. This leads to declines in other pivotal ranking factors like on-page engagement. In short, if not properly addressed, a poor mobile experience can wreak havoc on your search visibility.

The Fix: The first thing to do is to conduct a mobile audit on your site. Understanding your site’s mobile performance is step one toward making improvements. Look for things like:

  1. Mobile site speed. A couple great tools for this are Google Page Speed Insights and Pingdom. These tools can tell you where to look for issues like slow-loading code, images that aren’t optimized, and other technical issues.
  2. Mobile experience. Visit your site on your phone. Ask someone who doesn’t use your site regularly to do the same. Record your experience, take notes on where you get stuck and why. Click on everything. Turn your phone into horizontal mode. Try to think of every single way a user could browse your site. And, don’t forget to try a site search on mobile.
  3. Look at mobile analytics. This will tell you key metrics like mobile bounce rate, mobile time on page and pages per session.

These steps will help you build a hypothesis to test against. Is your mobile bounce rate crazy high? Does your site take a long time to load? Is your time on page way out of line with desktop traffic? Then, use A/B testing to root out the discrepancy. Use these same metrics to test if the fix is working. Then, repeat with another element.

So, What Does This All Mean for You?

Ultimately, following SEO best practices as a content marketer can reduce performance-related headaches and set you up for long-term success.

For example, when Innovatech Labs decided it was time to make major changes to their website, they worked with our team at TopRank Marketing to implement a safe website transition strategy, minimizing their risk of reduced content visibility on Google. This assessment involved avoiding many of the big risks mentioned above, including linking, use of data and keyword research which allowed us to act quickly post-migration to combat organic traffic declines. The result? Double- and triple-digit increases in organic traffic (and increased conversions, too!).

A best-answer content strategy focused on creating content with the most relevance to their audience was the ticket to better marketing performance for a martech SaaS company. Working with the team at TopRank Marketing, long-tail and hyper-relevant keywords were researched for a comprehensive content strategy to help the brand content become the best answer for those queries. The “best answer” approach and topics were applied across organic and paid efforts. As a result, the volume of both paid and organic MQLs increased, leading to better content performance and spontaneous proclamations of love from the client’s sales team.

Fixing these big SEO mistakes aren’t only for short-term wins. Our longtime partner Antea Group USA has achieved amazing triple-digit growth over three years by avoiding these big mistakes and implementing an ongoing commitment to SEO-driven, best answer content.

As I mentioned earlier, even the most experienced content marketers can make these common SEO mistakes. But, with the right SEO strategy driven by diligent execution and monitoring of results, you can get back on track. The key is to be intentional about your site’s architecture, as well as the content you create, and to never, ever give up.

Still feeling stuck? Or maybe your team doesn’t have the resources to take on this battle alone? Check out our SEO services, tweet us your thoughts @toprank, or drop me a line in the comments. We are here to help!

The post 5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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