It’s no secret that there are few things that take up the same time and space in our modern, digitized lives than social media.
For business owners and marketing professionals, leveraging a social media presence correctly is a necessary part of targeting the right audience and broadcasting the information you want your customers to see.
That’s where a social media audit comes in.
The word “audit” probably brings more dread than inspiration to many of us, but conducting a social media audit is actually a relatively simple and even interesting process that can revolutionize your marketing strategy.
This post will teach you how to audit your social media following and make sure that you are making all the right efforts in all the right places in just a few minutes.
What Exactly Is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is a process of reviewing social media accounts and analyzing the social strategy and tactics used.
The information gathered in a social media audit can then be used to optimize your social marketing strategy, increase retention and improve overall engagement on the channels.
A social media audit does this by helping you hunt out the answers to questions like:
- How many people are following each social media channel?
- What kind of content is performing well and what isn’t?
- Are you posting at the right time? If not, what time is best for your audience?
- What kinds of engagement do your posts generate? What types of engagement are lacking?
No matter what your organization’s goal may be, wasting time, resources, and energy on marketing tactics that just don’t make the cut is never advantageous.
That’s why social media audits are important for everyone – if you have a presence online, you’ll benefit immensely from taking some time to check in on whether or not it’s actually working!
How To Run A Social Media Audit Like a Pro: Checklist
So, if a social media audit is such a powerful tool, what sort of things do you need to know to make running one a task that’s easy and truly useful?
Below are all the steps you’ll want to take to conduct your social media audit in just 15 minutes.
There’s always room to expand upon the tactics you use and how deeply you look into your data, but even a bare-bones social media audit gives you access to details that can totally change your marketing strategy.
Your plan should focus on two key areas:
Take a look at your own social media profiles
- List and document all of your social media profiles
- Analyze the branding, messaging, and details of each profile to note what works and what doesn’t
- Consider your organization’s goals and compare performance over time to address them
Develop a game plan to update your social media presence
- Find and study other brands or individuals in your field to get a feel for how they create and manage their own social media
- Reference metrics and create new goals that reflect your findings
- Determine what resources you’ll need to shift your social media profiles
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Create a list of all your social media accounts.
Which corners of the internet are you and your organization in?
Before you can understand your social media strategy, you need to gather all of its individual pieces.
You might think you know all the accounts representing your brand, but there’s a good chance that you don’t have a holistic view of everything representing your company on the Internet.
To make sure you’re starting out on the right foot, create a list of all the accounts that you know you have. You can get the ball rolling by running your organization’s name through social media platforms and checking what profiles are associated with your organization.
The most popular social media platforms for professionals – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ – should be your priority, but it’s a good idea to check other significant platforms like:
Keep an eye out for profiles that you don’t recognize. Unofficial or imposter profiles that are not owned by your company can hurt your strategy, so be sure to make a note of them so you have a means to take action against them.
Also take into consideration old and inactive accounts. Even if they exist, they’re probably not worth the effort of including in your audit and may be worth closing down.
Once you have tracked down all of your company’s social media accounts, take note of what you find and critical details like:
- The name of the social media platform
- The name and description of the profile
- The number of followers the account has
- Dates of recent activity
This is also a good time to consider if there are any other platforms that would be beneficial to your company to expand to in the future and jot them down.
We recommend creating a spreadsheet to keep track of all of this information in a way that’s easy to read and reference.
Now is where the critical piece of an audit comes into play. Be sure that your social media presence is deliberate and makes sense for your organization’s goals. To do that, you can ask yourself questions like:
- “Is this social media platform reaching our target markets?”
- “Why do we want to use this account?”
- “What are our goals for this social media account?
2. Analyze each profile’s branding and content
Once you’ve located them all, your next step is to analyze your social media profiles to study their branding and content and see if they are in line with your company’s overall marketing strategy.
This is a good time to check the completeness of your profile. See if the account has a clickable call to action for all platforms, such as a shop now link for an ecommerce site or a physical store location.
Ensure all images and videos are appropriate and consistent with your company’s marketing message. Also, ensure you use the same usernames and profiles across all social platforms to avoid confusing customers.
For example, if your company has accounts on Facebook with a username of “ABC Company,” make sure that the account is also on Twitter with the same name. This will help customers easily find and identify your company regardless of their preferred social media platform.
A great way to do this is by taking a look at not just the settings of each profile (where you can view profile picture, descriptions, and more), but also the posts themselves.
Keep in mind that some variation across platforms can be a good thing. Your audience likely uses Twitter, for example, much differently than they do LinkedIn, so a more informal or brief style of messaging on the former doesn’t have to be a problem.
Still, consistency overall across your accounts is an important part of creating a brand, a style or “feel” that is associated with your organization and helps consumers recognize who you are.
Here are a few more ideas to be aware of as you analyze and note details about your content:
- Image – Is the image presented on your account appealing to your target audience? What message is the image trying to convey? This isn’t limited to just profile details, but also imagery used in posts.
- Description – What did you write in the description? Is it engaging and compelling? Does it draw in an audience that could be potential customers or fans?
- Engagement— What was the level of engagement from the post? Were there any comments or shares? This is a good indication if your content is eliciting an emotional reaction from your audience.
You can add these details to your spreadsheet to make the process easier or use a tool such as Hootsuite to keep track of what you need to know.
4. Evaluate each channel’s performance and compare it to your goals
The hard part is over; with your research completed, you can take a step back to see the reality of your strategy matches its purpose.
Take the information from the previous step and figure out how each channel is performing by platform. Then reference your organization’s goals or initial strategy to get a feel for how much the two align.
For example, Facebook posts with a video have a better engagement rate, then it could be beneficial for your company to focus its marketing on multimedia content rather than long posts.
Also use this time to determine which platforms work best for your company and which ones may need more attention.
Gathering all this data will help your company identify what works best for its overall branding, and it will give you an idea of which platforms are growing the quickest and which have stalled.
It will also help you set goals for your social media strategy by determining how much time you allocate to each platform and which ones will be a priority. Again, Google Analytics can be a useful tool for gathering this data and tracking channel performance.
Take action: Update your social media marketing strategy
With the roadmap toward improving your social media presence laid out, you can shift gears and focus not on where you are, but where you want to be.
First, make a plan for how you want to market your brand and ensure you are working with the right people at the right time. A few questions to ask yourself when formulating your plan are:
- ”What marketing channels should I invest in?”
- ”How can I better reach my target audience?”
- ”What kind of content should we be sharing?”
- ”What resources will we need to reach our goals?”
- ”How will we measure the success of our strategy?”
- ”Are there any other platforms or channels that could complement our brand and offer a larger reach?”
As you strategize, remember to keep in mind who ideally will be engaging with your content. Existing data can help shed some light on the best audiences to target to see real results.
One way you can do this is by looking at the reports on each platform and seeing who is liking, commenting, or sharing your posts. In addition, understanding the age, gender, and location of your consumers will help you know who your target audience is and how to reach them.
Using this information, you can now create a more refined and accurate marketing strategy to target your audience.
Plus, you can save time, money, and effort that may have otherwise been wasted on tactics that don’t actually produce results. And, in an increasingly chaotic professional world, there’s no gift greater than that.
Social media audits don’t just let you take inventory of the present – they can also help give you some insight into the future and ensure your digital presence grows with your organization.
Here, we’ve outlined the most basic steps for carrying out a social media audit, but large brands tend to go a step further by utilizing algorithms that analyze their competitors’ success, creating a content map and content calendar, and much more.
If you want a complete social media audit and the resulting comprehensive social media marketing plan, reach out to Brenton Way. Consistently ranked as the best marketing agency in LA, Brenton Way manages marketing for successful brands all over the country.
We have the tools, knowledge, and innovation you need to take your social media presence above and beyond.
Get in touch with Brenton Way today to find out what the absolute outer limits of your brand’s success can look like!