ImageAfter spending last weekend bungee jumping for my boyfriend's 30th birthday and spending this weekend planning a trip to Vegas for my dad's 50th, I’m realizing that I’m finding myself in the midst of a few bucket lists.

As time goes on, it’s easy to feel pressured to get things done. These milestones make it difficult to turn your head the other way and ignore the dreams you haven’t yet accomplished. Next thing you know—you’re jumping off a cliff.

This led me to think about creating a bucket list for my social media efforts. There are tons of different aspects of social media that I have yet to master, and I do feel as though the clock is ticking. My business needs to be successful when it comes to social media, and it isn’t getting any younger.

The Social Media Bucket List for the Ages

Below is a list of things that you should try to accomplish within the next few years if you hope to really get a good grasp on the power of social media:

1. Get involved with StumbleUpon. This social network has been out forever, it’s successful, and it’s a great way to promote your articles. Unfortunately, many still haven’t gotten into a good StumbleUpon grove. There are tons of social networks that fall outside of the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+), and while a presence on all of them isn’t always realistic, StumbleUpon is the one you should aim for once you have the major networks down pat. 

2. Utilize scheduling tools. Scheduling tools will help you improve your social media efforts by keeping you organized. You can share an article you see the minute you see it while still making sure you’re not tweeting five things in five minutes. This is also a great way to make sure you’re promoting your articles at optimal times, even if those optimal times aren’t optimal for you.

3. Complete A/B testing and gather real data. There are plenty of tools out there to help you determine what types of social sharing aspects are working for you. For example, a Facebook brand page has built in analytics that will help show you which posts are working. Take these analytics and look at them and listen!

4. Send a personalized DM on Twitter to like-minded individuals. There is nothing worse than getting an automatic DM. It shows that you aren’t overly active on Twitter and you’re really there just for promotion. Try to be there for the connection and the interaction. You don’t need to send a DM to everyone, but try to send them to individuals who are in your industry. It only takes a few minutes, and the interaction could go a long way.

5. Focus your posts around the demographics of your audience. Too many businesses just write about whatever they are feeling at that moment. You might create a great piece of content, but it won’t mean much if it’s outdated or out of place. Really think about your audience, and change your topic to cater to them (even if it’s not as fun to write).

6. Take the time to retweet other content you see on your Twitter feed. This is a no-brainer. Everyone knows they should do it, but people get lazy. Try really reading the posts that others are promoting; you might learn something!

7. Attend more social media chats and/or conferences. Many industry leaders offer Twitter chats or Google+ hangouts to discuss social media issues. There are also several conventions and conferences that you can attend to help improve your social media efforts.

8. Create connections with those who have commented on your articles. Many blogs give commenters the option of including his/her Twitter handle or link to another social profile. If you see that someone commented on your article and has included this link, go find them and connect with them! It can be time consuming so many people ignore this opportunity, but it’s well worth it.

9. Update your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is always up to date. It can be easy to let this slip through the cracks if you’re happy with your job and you don’t have any plans to leave, but it’s important to keep it up to date. This will help others really understand who you are and what interests you, which will help improve the quality of your connections.

10. Become more active in forums. Forums are becoming more and more popular in many industries, so consider visiting some of these forums and answering questions. This will help you brand yourself as a company that knows the answers and wants to educate.

What are some of the things on your social media bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: squidoo.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger at Highervisibility, nationally recognized as one of the best seo firms in the country. Connect with HigherVisibility on Twitter to learn more!