Image by Brooklyn Morgan via flickr

A Friday Afternoon Social Media Checklist

It’s 4 p.m. on a Friday and your social media to-do list still has far too many boxes unchecked. How do you shut things down? Since social media never sleeps, it often feels hard— if not impossible— to really accept that you’re finished with your social accounts for the weekend. Social media managers tend to check and recheck Facebook and Twitter until most of their weekend has disappeared in front of the computer.

We often plan our social media activities at the start of the week, but how many of us plan for the week’s end? To put your mind at ease before you head out for an actual weekend, use this Friday afternoon social media checklist.

Schedule content in advance (for Monday too)

If you work for a business that doesn’t have a team working on Saturday and Sunday, your social media activities on Friday should largely be spent scheduling your content for the weekend in advance.

Consider what type of content your audience would be interested in reading when they are at home in bed or in their living rooms, not at the office. Maybe this means more long form content, or a focus on less technical pieces. Cater your social media content to the weekend audience, and schedule it for high traffic times on Saturday and Sunday using Hootsuite.

You should also be scheduling your Monday content to avoid the nightmare scenario of trying to write a few blog posts, Tweets, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn posts in the first few hours of the dreaded first day of the week.

Clean out your inbox

In this case the inbox is symbolic for all ongoing social media issues you haven’t dealt with. Accept or decline the LinkedIn and Facebook friend requests you have. You’re going to have a new batch on Monday, and prolonging this task will only make the following week harder.

The same can be said of any social media support tickets you might have open. People who turn to social media to ask for help or offer feedback on your product expect a prompt answer and it’s always best to provide it. Plus, you want to close as many of these tickets as possible before you head out for the weekend so that you can start fresh on Monday. Coming into work with 10 angry customers from last week might just be the worst way to start a week. Put in the work and check off all these tasks.

Prep your mobile strategy (if you must)

Even if you’ve done all you can on Friday, some people just can’t let go— they hop online and check on things over the weekend, putting in hours of work on Saturday when they should be putting in hours of Netflix or beach time (depending on the weather).

If you must check on your social accounts over the weekend, strive to do so on your mobile device. This limits the amount of time and work you’ll put in, while still giving you peace of mind that things are going smoothly.

The right approach to mobile means preparing your social media management app to minimize the amount of ‘hunting’ you’ll have to do on that tiny screen. In addition to regular monitoring and publishing, the Hootsuite app allows you to follow search streams focused on keywords, like your business name for example. Set these up on Friday and check in (only if you really must) over the weekend. The idea is to get as much of your social media into one place before the weekend starts, to minimize your effort on those two special days.

Talk it out over a beer or burger

When 5 p.m. Friday comes around (or whenever the workload disappears), sit down with your social media team or with your work colleagues and talk over the week that was. It’s hard to focus on what worked and what didn’t when you still have a list of ten things to do. When all pressing tasks have been taken care of, you can free your mind to think about what you achieved and bigger projects you’d like to work on in the future. The best ideas come when there’s nothing hanging over your head.

Did we miss anything important? Let us know in the comments below.