Why do a social media audit?
Even though tracking social ROI is an often-cited challenge for modern marketers, social media audits remain an under-utilized tool for understanding how companies are doing on social.
A social media audit enables you to take stock of your organization’s social performance and helps you plan how to develop and improve it for the future.
By laying out all the data, it provides a unique opportunity to gauge and improve upon your social strategy to draw out the maximum ROI. Both in terms of tying it into your broader business goals, and ensuring it reinforces a positive brand and customer experience.
As marketers, we often hear about the 80/20 rule: the principle that 80% of results come from 20% of our actions or customers. A social media audit is one of your best tactics to coax out that 20%.
Luke Kintigh, Intel’s Global Content Strategist, also speaks about the 10/90 rule – that 10% of content drives 90% of traffic and engagement. That makes it vital to “find that 10% early and often.”
An audit is how you do it.
The questions your audit should tackle
A social media audit should answer the following questions:
- How are we performing?
- Is our content doing as well as it could be?
- Are we in line with the goals of our strategy?
- Is our team working collaboratively and effectively?
- Are we able to meet the demand of social requests?
- Are we equally strong on all of our channels?
- How is our brand being talked about?
- What are our competitors doing, and how do we compare?
- Are our channels meeting our KPIs?
A chance to seize the quick wins
Any audit will pick up on a host of small issues that can be quickly addressed.
For example, are you using the right hashtags?
Hashtags that are irrelevant to your audience or too heavily-used in your industry could hurt your posts’ searchability.
Or, are you scheduling posts at the optimal time?
Every social media network has its rule-of-thumb best times for posting. But these are always debatable, and closer investigation may show that your audience’s consumption habits simply don’t match up.
Sometimes these small tweaks can create immediate benefits.
A common oversight is not optimizing your content to a mobile-friendly format. That’s vital with mobile now accounting for 65% the time spent on digital media. For all you know, you could be losing your audience on something as avoidable as slow mobile loading times.
Identifying your best performing posts can provide insights into what works for you and why. In Falcon Publish you can see individual post and campaign performance – if you don’t have a social media platform you can also refer to Facebook Audience Insights or Google Analytics.
With social media platforms like Falcon, you have the added insight of sentiment analysis – simple rating of whether a comment on your social channels is positive, negative or neutral.
And address any strategic flaws
Sometimes brands simply veer off the best practice route.
Not adapting content and the customer experience properly to the various channels is a common one. Each network has its special characteristics, e.g. if your brand has a Twitter profile, you had better have the resources in place to ensure the quick responses expected by Twitter users.
An audit will ensure you don’t waste resources on channels that aren’t paying off, and shift focus to others that do.
These are the four key areas our Falcon.io advisors concentrate on when performing an audit:
1. Content performance review: a review and suggestions for improving content to better reach your objectives.
2. Workflow health check: evaluating your workflow for social media management and calling attention to any efficiency gaps or areas for improvement.
3. Social media inventory: an overview of all of your social channels.
4. Digital buzz monitoring: a look at the online conversations around your brand, competitors, and key industry terms relevant for your business.
When the social media audit is complete, review your findings and think about how you can adjust your focus and activities to improve your ROI.
For more on KPIs, read our post on Marketing KPIs: Measuring the Metrics That Matter.
Works for any kind of business
Online takeaway service foodpanda operates in 500 cities on five continents. A Falcon.io client, foodpanda recently asked our audit team to give their global social media presence a look over. They were not disappointed with what came out of it. Their social media manager, Cristian Dohi, said:
“The social media audit done by Alex and his team proved insightful, not just in terms of recommendations on how to optimize our pages, but also in identifying patterns and trends across time and the different channels. Moreover, following their recommendation to track additional metrics helped us get a more in-depth understanding of content performance.”
In another instance, we conducted a social media audit for Danish bank, Arbejdernes Landsbank. Its Communications Advisor, Maria Brems Rasmussen, was eager to identify what was working well for them and what wasn’t.
“It was great to have a statistical analysis of our performance, to look into the anatomy of our posts and our strategy, and move forward,” she added that another benefit of the audit was its independent impartiality, which proved helpful when presenting its results and recommendations to the other internal stakeholders.
You can read the case story here.
Getting it done
When completing a social media audit, comprehensive documentation and ample time are key.
Don’t underestimate the time or resources that you’ll need. After putting in your due diligence and with the results of your analysis in-hand, you’ll want to do three things: create clear, easily-sharable reports that detail the most important findings, share your analysis with your team and develop a fresh plan of attack for 2018.
Don’t forget to share your findings with other departments within the company, look for connections, and brainstorm new ideas together.
A social media audit is a unique chance for a fresh start. By knowing precisely how your brand is performing on social media, you can save time, sweat and tears with a social media strategy that really works.
Agree that it’s time for an audit? Then download our free Social Media Audit checklist below. For more on improving your returns on social media, be sure to check out our How to Understand Your Social Media ROI ebook.