Your corners are dusty. Your drapes are dingy. And please for all that is fluffy in the world, do NOT look under the couch without carrying some type of dust-bunny deterrent with you. Your house has been closed up all winter and soon the sun will start streaming in and when it does, will reveal all of your dirt.
A social media manager's "dirt" ends up looking like unkempt dashboards, sloppy lists, and out of date community profiles. As busy as we all tend to get this stuff is critical to the success of campaigns and branding in the social space. If you let your "house" get away from you for too long well...we've all seen 'Hoarders' right? Setting aside time on a regular basis (seriously - open up your calendar RIGHT now and set yourself an appointment) will help to ensure that your 'maintenance' isn't one more thing that is swept under the rug.
This is a short but important list of things you should keep an eye on during your Spring cleaning. (In all actuality - you should be doing this quarterly. But let's be honest - it's March and I wanted a theme! )
1) Scrub Your Profile Information
Copy gets stale. Stale copy leads users and readers to believe that you've forgotten about it, or worse yet, don't care. Don't let this happen to your profiles. Use Spring's "springy-ness" as an excuse to go through all of your social media profiles and freshen them up. Put a new spin on your clever tag lines. Double check those url's. Be sure to consider any changes your company has undergone since last time you wrote these profiles. Has there been a change in personnel that is relevant to your account? Has the goal of the account changed? Are you still using the same landing page? (*cough* Now would also be a great time to refresh those bad boys eh!!)
2) Dust Off Your Dashboards
You've been pulling the same reports every week now for awhile. You've been sourcing the same data for just as long. While it's almost spring time, it's also almost the end of Q1. Time to open those little suckers up and look under the hood. Is the data you're collecting still clean? Is it being stored properly - and even more importantly is it being analyzed appropriately? Are you able to draw meaningful insight from the data you are collecting? Are you even collecting the right information? This is a good time to evaluate as well whether or not you're even asking the right questions you are collecting your data for. Remember - your data answers the questions that you're asking to inform your business decisions. It all starts with the data. If you're missing something or making a mistake there, then you could be making the wrong business decisions.
3) Sort Your Streams
In the day to day hub-bub it's easy to let things get out of control - or even more likely to have them slowly grow to an unmanageable size without you noticing over time. (Not that I'm saying that from experience or anything...) Use this time as an opportunity to organize yourself, your groups and your streams. Do a gut check on which ones you're actually paying attention to, those that perhaps you need to create and/or curate. Especially if you're representing a brand (which generally means you're following a lot more people) it can be very easy for places like Twitter to become so busy and out of control that you will have a hard time really building a community. Lists and groups when properly created and maintained will help you bridge that particular issue.
4) Empty Your Closets
On a regular basis I like to go through the people I'm following, both from a personal perspective but also as the steward of community accounts, and clean things up. I'm not necessarily talking about a big mass unfollowing/unfriending or anything but rather an honest evaluation of whether or not you're doing yourself and/or your business any favors by who you are or aren't following. If you do this periodically and regularly your steam should stay up to date, relevant and easy to manage. This also helps you to be sure you're following all of the people who engage with you regularly, or influencers in your niche.
Surely there are other corners of your "house" that could use some tidying up as well. Do you have any items on your list that you do around this time of year with your communities or sites to share? These may seem like simple tasks, but I now all too well how quickly social media professionals days can slip out of their control. Keeping an eye on these items regularly will ensure that no matter when a guest happens to stop by, whether it be a new follower reading your bio, a quizzical executive looking for some answers, or even a returning customer looking to engage, your house will be spic, span, and embarrassment free!
Kristy Bolsinger is a Senior Associate at PwC in Seattle, WA. She has previously worked at Ant's Eye View (acquired by PwC in 2012), and RealNetworks (GameHouse). Prior to her time at RealNetworks, and Ant's Eye View - Kristy was working as a Social Media Marketing Consultant and completing her MBA at Willamette University. She maintains a social media blog and can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.