Megan Redzia - 09/29/2020
A social media audit sets the roadmap for a successful social media strategy by providing an objective view of your brand's strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
We’re often approached by clients who are looking to bolster their social media strategy so it can better help achieve the company’s overarching marketing goals. Oftentimes, the motivator behind this request is a strong competitive presence on social media coupled with frustration about the current strategy’s ability to drive business. But how do we know what changes need to be made to optimize your social media presence and make your investment in social media marketing worthwhile? A social media audit allows brands and agencies to determine which tactics are successfully hitting goals and which need improvement.
What exactly is a social media audit?
The word “audit” is just plain frightening, isn’t it? Most people immediately think of the IRS digging through piles of company paperwork. In the case of social media however, an audit should not be intimidating. We define a social media audit as an analysis of your business’ social media presence and competitors’ strategies to determine strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. Consider an audit a chance to step back and really analyze what’s working, what isn’t and what adjustments need to be made.
I often compare a social media audit to the use of market research by ad agencies. If you’re investing thousands of dollars into an ad campaign, you want to understand consumer needs and wants on a qualitative level before you develop that TV spot and run it across the country. The same holds true for social media. Developing social content, managing a community, and targeting an audience require an investment and an audit can ensure you get the best ROI.
What does an audit include?
What we include in an audit varies slightly depending on a brand’s objectives and needs, but typically incorporates the following components.
- Taking stock of owned accounts. Your company may have a branded presence on Facebook and Instagram that is being managed, but a company page that was started on Twitter 3 years ago and hasn’t been touched since. We track down all owned accounts and analyze them to ensure they are complete and consistent. This process includes reviewing:
- Page names
- Profile and page imagery
- Profile/bio text
- Brand voice
- Use of keywords and hashtags
- Page verification
- Analyzing page performance. We need to understand what content is resonating with your audience and driving conversations. We do this by looking at metrics such as engagement, link clicks, shares, referral traffic, and impressions. This portion of the audit also includes looking at your brand’s top-performing posts to identify patterns. Is your audience engaging most with videos? Are polls/questions getting the best response?
- Evaluating channel presence. Your brand likely had a reason for establishing a presence on specific social channels, but with the social media landscape changing so quickly, we want to make sure the ecosystem you’ve established is still driving the best possible results for your business. Each channel requires its own unique content and strategy, so it’s important to make sure your time is going to the right place.
- Understanding your audience. It’s important to understand who you are currently reaching on each channel by reviewing demographics. In addition, a social media audit should include looking at the types of conversations your target audience is having on third-party channels, and what they are posting about on their own pages. This will help to determine the type of content they want to see from your brand.
- Assessing the competition. Social media is a competitive space, with many brands all vying for the attention of the same audience. Understanding your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses on social media can help to develop a strategy that cuts through the clutter.
What are the benefits of conducting a social media audit?
A social media audit sets the roadmap for a successful social media strategy. Whether your social media is being handled in-house or by a social media agency, an audit will provide the data that’s needed to build a strategy that delivers the best results. There are many benefits to conducting a social media audit, but here are the top three.
- It eliminates the guesswork – An audit provides an objective view of your current social media presence that’s based on data and metrics rather than assumptions. Oftentimes, what a client initially tells us they believe needs to be changed about their current social media strategy does not marry up with the results of our audit. Taking the time to do research upfront will help to develop a strategy guaranteed to move the needle.
- You uncover the gaps and pinpoint the opportunities – If you don’t know where you are falling short in generating new customers and leads through social media, you can’t improve your strategy. It’s important to understand the strengths you need to build on and the weaknesses that need to be addressed.
- Learn how to outsmart the competition – Social media has become a pay to play model. In the new environment of increasing social advertising budgets and decreasing brand reach, getting the full picture of what the competition is doing and how you can do it better is key.
If you’d like to discuss how a social media audit can help improve your brand’s social media strategy, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.