There are no two ways about it, social media has become an influential virtual space where the platforms are not only used for networking but also for advertising your brand and products. The power of social media is commendable as you can reach a large number of people but if you are “winging it” with a post here and there with little to no planning, your social media efforts will not yield any results. Enter: social media audit. The word audit is scary but don’t be alarmed because it is anything but scary. We all know social media is a crucial part of developing an efficacious social media marketing plan, but, what is a social media audit anyway? We will answer this question in this article and also explore how to do a social media audit.
What is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit means accumulating key information about social media presence and the social media accounts used for it. An audit will give you a clear picture of your social media efforts and will point you towards a better way to boost your results. Here’s what a social media audit should show you:
- what’s effective and what’s not
- whether fake accounts are stealing your audience
- whether you should revive, repurpose, or shut down old accounts
- strategies to engage your audience
How To Do a Social Media Audit?
If you are conducting a social media audit for the first time, don’t worry. We have mentioned all the essentials of a social media audit below:
1. Recover All Your Social Media Passwords
What we mean here is to find out and locate all your forgotten social media accounts. You might think that you keep all your social media accounts handy but there might be some old accounts that you might have used before you put together a social media strategy. It's time to unify those accounts.
There might be a few networks that you are no longer using such as a Pinterest account or Tumblr profile. If these profiles are not active then you don’t have to track them. All you need to do is ensure that they are claimed by your company. On the contrary, a few of the networks that you’ve been ignoring are actually engagement goldmines and are actually a perfect fit for your brand.
2. Set Goals for all the Platforms
Once you’ve uncovered which networks you want to use for your brand, set specific goals for each of them to stop yourself from getting overwhelmed. Your goals may look something like this:
- Increasing community engagement
- Increasing traffic to your site
- Increasing brand awareness
- Growing your audience
- Generating more leads and sales
Setting your goals will give you a direction to move forward with your strategy. Goals will help in making your presence known to your target audience and inform you about the metrics you should track on each platform. For instance, your Instagram followers are growing faster than your Facebook’s but the latter is bringing in more leads and converting them into customers. So, when you consider metrics, the goals’ metrics matter.
3. Ensure Your Branding on all Platforms is Consistent
Every social media must have consistent branding, yet some details can be easily overlooked. While conducting a social media audit, you must thoroughly substantiate that your profiles have matching creatives, campaigns, and promotions on every platform. A few that should match are:
- The writing style of the ‘Bio’ and ‘About us’
- Banner images and profile pictures
- Destination URLs and landing pages
For brands that run seasonal campaigns, it is essential to double-check if they are still holiday campaigns in the offseason.
4. Comb Through the Data
After knowing which profiles you are auditing and what metrics you are looking for, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands on the social analytics data. A good social media analytics tool can quickly pull up your metrics and keep them updated on a neat dashboard. It can also point out the recommended metrics that need attention such as shares, links, traffic and more. Compare the results with the same period last week or month. Over time, you will spot traffic anomalies and tweak your social media strategy as required.
5. Identify the Top-Performing Post
With social media analytics at your fingertips, you can easily dig into individual posts and unveil which posts have got the highest engagement. You can easily find out if your audience likes photos, videos, or question-based posts. Analytics can show you the impressions, engagements, reach of each post, and even hashtag performance. This will give you a clear idea of what type of content is working for you. After that, you just need to fit that type of content more in the upcoming social media calendar.
6. Find Out How You’re Channelling the Social Media Traffic
Undoubtedly, measuring the relationship between social media presence and your website is important. This shows which posts generate interest in your audience and which platforms generate the most leads. You can either use Google Analytics for traffic numbers under ‘Acquisition’ after filtering by ‘Social’ or you can use other analytics tools.
7. Understand Your Audience for Each Platform
As you are evaluating how each social media platform is helping you build a presence and a brand, it is important to understand your target audience. To do this, you have to start with audience demographics. For instance, Snapchat users are usually Gen Z and Facebook users are usually millennials and the messaging for both audiences must be different. Similarly, gender must be included in your social media strategy.
8. Decide the Right Channel for You
Now that you’ve collected enough information during the social media audit, it is time to strategize and focus on a social media platform that suits you the best. You have set the goals, you’ve analysed how each social media platform is performing, you’ve identified who you can reach via each platform. Now, you have to link each platform with your social media strategy. If you see a clear connection, then go for the strategy. If not, then pull back on certain channels for now and focus on the channels that can offer the best ROI.
9. Systematize Channel Ownership
Rather than providing the password to various team members, it must be centralized in one place. To be exact, one person or a team must handle one social media channel. This person must be responsible for consistent branding, up-to-date accounts, and regular posts. Moreover, this person will be in charge of all the approvals on the account, strategic decisions, and providing access to team members.
10. Do it all again
Social media audits are not a one-off process. They must be conducted regularly to ensure everything is going as planned. The best way to generate consistent ROI is to perform quarterly audits. This ensures that you circle back to the outlined goals. One of the best ways to conduct an audit is by using a social media audit template. Let’s see why it is important to use one.
Why Use Social Media Audit Templates?
Handling social channels is not an easy task. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook keep evolving and changing their algorithms. Moreover, user behavior is also changing fast if not faster. Therefore, yesterday’s strategy might not work tomorrow. As we have seen, social media audits can take a lot of time and a social media template can help.
A template includes the current state of your social channels, how your marketing efforts are working, and the template’s most important part is a section of recommendations and suggestions for improvements.
To Sum It Up
For a successful social media marketing campaign, an audit is necessary. It gives you a clear picture of what is working and what is not. It unifies all the social media channels and helps you in forming a bulletproof strategy that works. Also, by comparing month on month and year on year results, you can always tweak the strategy to work better.