Social media has become one of the most powerful marketing tools to attract attention, convert visitors and reward loyal customers with a robust experience. Of course, social media marketing also has a strategic element to it. Effective social media content, placement, and messaging all factor into things like your company’s brand image, as well as other strategic marketing goals.
As social media marketing continues to evolve, more and more companies are using it to develop brand awareness and drive sales. To help ensure success, sophisticated metrics are analyzed to find the most effective platforms and content to connect with users. One of the best ways to gather these insights is to perform a social media audit.
What Is A Social Media Audit?
When you are dealing with the IRS the word “Audit” can put most people in a panic. When you are dealing with social media, an audit is less of a stressful experience, and more of an opportunity to embrace a revitalizing, strategic change in your social media marketing plan.
The goal of a social media audit is to look at things like:
- Assessing your current social media marketing efforts
- Assessing which of them are more effective than others
- Determining the effectiveness of your content
- Identifying if brand guidelines are clear and being followed” and “Determining if platforms are being utilized in all ways relevant to the brand
- Identifying any outdated profiles that need to be shut down or deleted
- Identifying outdated profiles that need to be revived, repurposed
- Identifying new opportunities for you to grow and engage your audience
Why Does My Business Need A Social Media Audit?
Social media’s effectiveness and strategic drivers have evolved. As established platforms evolve, and new social media platforms gain popularity, it can leave you with past social media profiles that are outdated and content that fails to connect with your audience.
The overarching goal of a social media audit is to develop a clear understanding of the effectiveness of current social efforts as well as identify opportunities to improve results. This includes the ability to parse effectiveness based on specific demographics, as well as accurately assessing how well you are reaching critical audiences. Once completed, you will have a more cohesive strategy rife with key details that are easy to understand and implement.
Which Social Media Platforms Should My Business Audit?
All of your current active social media accounts and profiles will benefit from a social media audit. Though the top platforms that most businesses target include:
If you are using other social media platforms and you are outsourcing your social media audit to a third-party source, then you need to make sure to communicate all current and past profiles on all social media platforms. This can help identify past profiles that need to be deleted or profiles that can be repurposed with great efficacy as part of a revised social media marketing plan.
When reporting this information be sure to include
- The social media network the profile is found on
- The correct URL
- The profile’s name
- The profile’s description
- The number of followers or fans for each profile
- The date of the last activity
How Is A Social Media Audit Performed?
There are several important stages to an effective social media audit. Each needs to be minded with exacting detail and the pertinent information collated. Let’s explore some of the more important details that are often performed in this audit. Each social platform is different, and could have various analysis points that are specific to that platform. Below we will get into some of the more important ones, albeit not a completely exhaustive list.
Finding All Social Media Profiles & Accounts
The first stage of a social media audit calls for identifying all social media profiles and accounts on all social media platforms. This involves:
- Locating and documenting all official and unofficial social media profiles
- Examine all details on these profiles to make sure they are on message & consistent with the brand image
- Evaluating all social media marketing goals and assessing their performance
Comparing To Competitors
When applying metrics to these social media profiles, most audits will also look at how the social media has performed against the closest competitors. This includes measuring their metrics on engagement as well as their use of images and brand message consistency. We should always take notice of what other influencers are doing that are in the same niche as yours, often looking at those who have a large and engaged follower base.
- How do the competitors promote their brand?
- Is there a sense of personality or culture?
- How many followers are there, and how often does everyone post?
- Do followers engage with the posts?
- Does the brand engage with followers?
- How does the competition handle sensitive issues or bad reviews?
- Are the posts texts, images, videos, questions, surveys?
Everything we asked ourselves about our competition can also be applied to our brand as well. While there are certainly some objective metrics that will be applied in the course of a social media audit, there are also some more subjective questions to consider. This includes asking yourself and your in-house marketing team:
- Why are we using this particular social account?
- Do we need to use it?
- Does it help meet our marketing or sales goals for this social media platform?
- Are we reaching our demographic target markets with this social media account/profile?
Answering these questions will help guide you on the priorities you place when applying objective metrics to your social media audit results.
Checking Completeness Of Profiles
One of the biggest mistakes made by a lot of companies who are having struggles gauging the effectiveness of their social media marketing comes from incomplete profile information. This can include things like missing fields, inconsistent use of logo, not linking URLs, and incomplete bio information. Even something as seemingly simple as not including the company’s location can impact your geographical ranking amongst your competitors on popular search engines.
Checking For Consistent Image Use
Image use and consistency is also a critical component of an effective social media audit. It applies to both your presence on social media, as well as the recognition of your brand image across social media platforms. Inconsistencies in things like image use, logo placement, and even typeface can affect your brand image.
Where Do We Find This Information?
Social media audits need to be and sometimes are exhausting. You will need to review each social medial platform, account, and profile. This includes:
- The Profile & Cover Images
- Each Profile & Bio Text
- Consistent Use Of Handles/Nic Names & Abbreviations
- Pertinent Links
- Pinned Posts
- Verification Information
A lot of the popular social media platforms include their own analytics guides to help you assess key metrics. This includes:
How To Use Social Media Audit Information
With a meticulous approach, you can use the information collected by a social media audit in a variety of ways. It helps to employ a strategic approach that involves:
Evaluating Channel Performance
The metrics created by your social media audit will let you evaluate the performance of each social media platform and how each of your profiles is performing. You can then break this down to understand which platforms are worthy of continued investment, which ones need to be retooled, and which profiles you should consider removing.
Identify Top Performing Posts
Examining what has worked thus far with your audience can help you uncover what resonates with them, and gives your team insight as to what you should be posting more of. The opposite is true for posts that are a waste of time because no one seems to care.
Tracking Your Results
It helps to look at the performance of your social media marketing over an extended window of time. If you have made key changes in your social media marketing during that window, you should be able to see those results in your metrics. In some cases, they can even be graphed.
This can help you understand which messages, profiles, content, and platforms are the most effective for reaching your target audience. You can even apply this information to determine if your efforts at a timed segment were effective or not. This can help you gain more insight into how you are funneling your social media to your brand, and what that audience does once they get there. Do they buy? Leave comments or reviews? Perhaps you get more leads.
Calculating Your ROI
The end goal of any effective social media audit is to understand where to allocate your future investments in social media marketing. By applying thoughtful analytics and answering subjective questions with objective information, you can assess your return on investment on a platform by platform and profile by profile basis. This will help you understand where your marketing efforts and social media marketing money will best be used in the future.
Discover New Objectives & Actionable Items
Lastly, all this great information can help you come up with a complete assessment template or social media SWOT analysis that will help your business grow!