Just like your house, your car, and your closet, your social media efforts also deserve a bit of tidying up from time to time.
Social media audits are conducted to help you identify gaps and give you more clarity on how your brand performs across your social media networks. At the same time, it’s also an opportunity to understand the relationship between your brand and your audience.
A thorough assessment of your organization’s social media presence and performance will help you:
- Develop (or adjust) your social media strategy and make sure it aligns with your business goals
- Discover trends you can use to create or modify social media campaigns
- Receive valuable insights into customer sentiment and brand perception
- Justify social media spend and provide proof that it’s worth the time and effort.
Now that we’re halfway into the year (yeah, I had to doublecheck too), what do you say we conduct a nice summer social media audit (read: clean-up)?
You can put away the vacuum and rubber gloves for this one. All you’re going to need is a cup of coffee (optional) and these five steps to help you perform a social media audit.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
1. List Your Owned Channels
This first step may seem somewhat mundane, but it will help you stay organized and keep the bigger picture in clear view. Start by listing every one of your company’s social profiles including the handles, hashtags, and follower counts. Note the internal owners for each channel, as well as password/governance considerations.
Once you have the complete list, go through each channel, and describe its primary purpose. For example, perhaps your focus on LinkedIn is lead generation, while Instagram is more for brand awareness. Also jot down what you know about your audience on each platform—the more descriptive you can be, the better.
Finally, take note of each profile’s “congruence” with the other channels. Is there consistency in the tone, imagery, branding guidelines, etc.? Or are there notable differences?
2. Review Channel Performance
Now that you have all the profiles side-by-side, begin assessing each channel’s performance as a whole. Look at the traffic you’re receiving, the current follower count, the follower growth rate, the number of mentions, and the number of shares. How does each channel stack up against the others?
B2C companies will want to pay special attention to their community/ engagement metrics. How many messages are you receiving? How many are you responding to? What’s the sentiment rating across your messages and mentions?
Another, more operational metric to assess is posting frequency. Is your posting schedule aligned with the best practices for each platform?
3. Review Content Performance
At this point, an overarching view of your social media “footprint” should be forming. The next step will require you to zoom in to a more granular level: content performance. This phase will likely form the bulk of your auditing time, as you’ll need to observe metrics at the individual post level.
The underlying question you should be seeking to answer is, “which specific posts and content pieces are performing best—and why?”
There are a number of different stats you’ll want to consider during your content performance review. Here are some examples to get the wheels turning:
- Performance Checklist
- Best and worst-performing posts
- Posts with the most engagement (likes, shares, comments, video views)
- Audience (demographics and psychographics)
- Publish time for top-performing posts
- …and a lot more!
4. Review Ad Campaigns
If you’re running ads on social media, you should review your ad performance separately using the built-in analytics tools on each platform. You’ll want to approach this similarly to content performance (above), but with the additional considerations of ad spend, a/b test results, cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-acquisition (CPA), and cost-per-mille (CPM).
When analyzing your advertising metrics, it’s important to keep your goals in mind. The goal of your ad campaign will determine which metrics you should be paying the most attention to. For example:
- If your goal is awareness, you should be looking at volume, reach, and amplification.
- If your goal is engagement, you should be looking at likes, shares, and comments.
- If your goal is website traffic, you should be looking at clicks and conversions.
Remember, the underlying question you’re addressing with all of this is, “What’s working well, and what isn’t?” Every brand’s social media presence will have relative strengths and weaknesses—it’s your job to define exactly what they are.
5. Competitor Analysis
Up until now, the entire audit has been focused on your brand’s social media efforts. It’s time to turn the focus outward and size-up the competition. Since social media is an inherently public-facing medium, you have a great deal of visibility into other companies’ efforts.
Scan through your competitors’ social media profiles and take note of
- How they are using social media
- How many followers they have
- How much engagement they’re receiving on their posts
- How they engage with their followers
Assessing your competitors will reveal how you stack up in comparison. You might come away with some inspiration for a new initiative—or perhaps you’ll discover some gaps you’d like to work toward narrowing. Either way, this is valuable information that can help you refine your tactics and strategy.
Follow these five steps religiously and you’ll end up with a social media presence that’s as clean as a well-polished kitchen cabinet.
But let’s not get too cocky…
I finished my audit, now what?
What you’ve done right now is only laid the groundwork that’s going to help you make more informed business decisions on your future campaigns.
For an even more squeaky-clean and effective social media presence, you’re going to have to answer these questions:
- How are my social channels contributing to the overall business?
- How do I demonstrate the value of social media marketing to my company?
- …and the million-dollar question, what is my return-on-investment and how do I calculate it?
Well, my young padawan, find what you are looking for, you will.
Sorry about that, I write like how Yoda talks when I build suspense to reveal something big and exciting!😊
*Circles back to the topic*
So, to answer that million-dollar question, we wrote an eBook that covers everything from conducting a social media audit to setting KPIs and aligning with overarching business goals. It’s full of examples and inspiration so you can prove the worth of your social media efforts.
The How to measure your Social Media ROI is for marketers, such as yourself, to demonstrate the value of social media marketing to your company. Download the eBook today and discover how calculating social media ROI helps in quantifying the value of your social efforts.
Oh, and did I mention that the eBook was free?