Curious about what a social media audit is and how to do one for your business? Here are the exact steps to take.
Here's what you need to know:
- A social media audit is a process that is helpful and likely easier than most expect
- To perform a social media audit, find each company social media profile and check for completeness and brand messaging
- Watch for social media profile patterns and think about goals
- Consider what the best social media platforms are for your business and ensure ownership of the channels
Just hearing the word “audit” makes many people uncomfortable and anxious. It brings to mind tax season, filling out forms, and digging out receipts from every part of the house. Audits can be anxiety-inducing, but not all of them need to remain that way.
For instance, look at the social media audit. This is an important process for a company’s marketing team. Taking a look at how an online brand is managed (or not managed) gives a lot of important insights.
While it contains the word “audit,” it isn’t something to be fearful of. It’s a process that is helpful and likely easier than most expect.
What are the steps to take to perform a social media audit?
Regardless of whether this is the 1st audit or the company has done audits countless times in the past, several steps need to be followed. Make sure a spreadsheet or another method of taking down all the information is available to go through the easy steps.
Find each social media profile
Step one is to find all social media profiles for the business. Start with the ones that are frequently used but remember, others may exist. Some companies will have older profiles from the past, which are also useful for the audit.
While documenting accounts, note which are active or inactive and high priority or require attention. If any accounts seem to be fraudulent, that’s another thing to write down. Search on platforms and Google to determine which accounts are preset.
The platforms for the audit will vary by business but might include the following:
Check for completeness and brand messaging
After the profiles have been found, it’s important to look deeper at them. Take a look while pretending to be a potential customer. The profile should make sense to someone new to the business. Below are a few tips that may help:
- Check usernames: It’s a good idea to keep all social media profile usernames the same. This makes it easier for users to find the company. Using the brand name makes the process even easier.
- View the profile page: Each profile should have a cover photo. It should give insight into the brand from the company homepage. It’s also essential to properly format and size the photo for each social media platform.
- Embrace verification: Many social media platforms allow companies to verify their accounts after completing a set of steps. This is something to consider since it proves the account is authentic. Each site is unique, so check on the requirements for the one the company wants to be verified on.
- Read over the bio: All of the bios (and other information) on company social media platforms should be updated. It’s important that all of them reflect the brand’s vision statement and overall messaging.
- Update contact info: Be sure all the phone numbers, addresses, URLs, emails, and other contact information are accurate and look the same across every social media platform.
- Review pinned posts: Some platforms allow companies to pin posts. Now is the time to make sure these posts are relevant. Check whether they fit the business’ current marketing strategy and campaigns.
Watch for social media profile patterns
This step is all about finding what posts work best for the audiences on different platforms. All platforms are unique, and what works on one might not work on the next.
Throughout the audit, look at the engagement rate for some of the most recent posts.
Throughout the audit, look at the engagement rate for some of the most recent posts. Are there more shares, likes, and retweets on photos or videos? Are people on Facebook liking one kind of post while it’s the opposite on Instagram?
There are several things to review at this point:
- Best-performing posts
- Number of followers
- Tweets to the company
On the spreadsheet that has been started, type in all this information. Also, add tests or theories that could be conducted between now and the date of the next audit.
This can be used to define and solidify the social media strategy in the future to create better connections.
Think about goals
Now that the profiles are identified, and patterns have been found on what works and what doesn’t, the next step is to have goals for each social media profile.
Keep in mind that the goals often differ between sites. It’s best to have unique goals based on who the company connects with on a site.
A few of the goals that are popular include:
- Better community engagement: This involves increasing followers, shares, and likes. Having an increased reach means that additional potential customers will learn about the brand, which plays into brand awareness.
- Growing traffic to the site: On social media, engaged customers may move to the company website and other places linked to the profile. This increases the number of unique visits.
- Increasing brand awareness: Look at metrics like social share of voice, audience growth rate, and post reach to get an idea of the company’s brand awareness. The higher this is, the better, which means more people are talking about the company.
- Managing brand reputation: Tracking hashtags and brand mentions, whether negative or positive, is important on social media. Knowing what is going on behind the scenes makes it easier to stay ahead of any problems.
While choosing goals, remember each of them should be SMART. This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. These goals must have a clear objective that is easier to achieve than a general goal.
Consider the best social media platforms
At this point, strategic decisions can be made to better focus company efforts. Think about the goals for each account and think about the questions below:
- Are goals being met?
- Would another platform better meet goals?
- Is one platform better than another for certain content?
- Are customers on a platform the brand isn’t on yet?
There might be several platforms without a lot of engagement right now. Sometimes it’s more valuable for a business to focus on a small number of platforms that fit the company.
That means either customers use the platform, are likely to engage with the content, or something else benefits company marketing goals.
For those old social media profiles that haven’t been used in ages, decide whether they should be revamped or removed. In most cases, deactivating the accounts is the better option. Most of them are probably not contributing to the goals of the company.
Ensure ownership of the channels
While adding information to the spreadsheet, decide on a team or person who will be the owner of the social media account. This individual is the person who ensures that the account reaches the right audience, is on-brand, and is up to date.
Choosing a single person to be in charge of social media means there’s no need to share access with each new person who joins the team. Plus, it offers better security for the accounts since a limited number of people can access them.
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Having a specific plan makes it easier to build a strategy
When a specific plan is created based on the goals of the company, it’s easier to build a social media strategy that works for a particular company. While it can take time for a difference to be seen, audits will help the company stay on top of things as changes are made to improve the marketing strategy.
A social media audit doesn’t have to be frightening. They are essential to a robust digital marketing plan.
When a complete social media audit is done, it can be used to track progress over time. It ensures the efforts being made are creating an impact and are worthy of the time spent on them.