Keeping a steady stream of content available on your social media accounts is easier than ever. There are countless free tools you can use to keep social media from sucking all of the available hours out of your day. But before you start scheduling out social media posts for the next six months, there are a few things you need to do. Here’s a helpful checklist to look over before you post on social media.

1. Read the article you are linking to

Seems pretty self explanatory, right? Well, you would be surprised how many times I have clicked on a link that has NOTHING to do with the description in the tweet or Facebook post. Yes, it does take an extra 10-15 minutes to actually read through the article you are sharing, but trust me it’s worth it. If you don’t, you might be sharing a link to an article your company doesn’t even agree with.

2. Ask yourself, “Is this right for my audience?”

It’s really important to use social media to educate your customers and community with relevant information. Make sure you are sharing links to blog posts or downloads that are beneficial to your audience. Depending on the type of voice you have on social media, sprinkle in some fun information every now and then. You don’t want your social media timelines to be one long continuous stream of just your content. If you do post information from outside sources, make sure it’s in line with the content you are already sharing on social media. Here are some examples of how Twitter accounts can go awry (avoid these mistakes).

3. Proofread your posts

Ah proofreading, that annoying final step before you publish a blog post, send an email newsletter or post a tweet. While it does take some extra time, and sometimes an extra set of eyes, it is a crucial step to take before sharing on social media. Grammatical errors and misspelled words only lower your credibility. Completely read through your posts before you share them. Often times you will notice a word might not be spelled wrong, but you used the wrong word all together. If grammar isn’t your thing, have someone else in the office review your posts.

4. Test the links

Again, this is another critical step you need to take before sharing on social media. If you’re using a tool like Hootsuite to schedule your tweets or a link shortening site like, you need to double check your links. It can be really easy to accidentally copy and paste the wrong link into a tweet, completely screwing up everything. Followers will think they are going to read a blog post about one thing and then you send them to a completely different site. You can easily avoid this social media disaster by going back and testing your links. It will save you from being called out by your Twitter followers or Facebook fans.

5. Did you incorporate videos or pictures?

Visual content performs really well on social media. If your graphic designer spent time putting together images for your tweets or Facebook posts, remember to use them! Also, if you mention in your post to watch the video or get details from the image, you should probably include them or risk confusing the heck out of your followers. Take a moment to make sure you include any images or videos you mention in your post.

Even the social media pros need to review status updates and tweets before they publish them. Use this checklist before you post on social media to avoid embarrassing your brand and confusing your followers. When it comes to flubbing on the Internet, people have a hard time forgetting about what you did. Trust me, you’ll be thankful you took those extra 10 minutes to save yourself from a lifetime of embarrassment.