Social media use and marketing are on the rise. Before you can go ahead and create a social media marketing strategy, you need to conduct a social media audit. It is the first yet most crucial step in developing a robust strategy. Auditing helps you analyze social media accounts, their performance, and find opportunities. Not sure what is a social media audit and how to do it?
What is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is a systematic process to review your social media account profiles, strategy, and performance. It is just like any other audit that reviews overall performance or current standing. So, you’ll need to inspect your social media accounts in an audit.
According to Buffer, social media audit should look at two key things:
- Social media profiles inspection
- Finding the profiles and accounts that perform best.
These are the two key tasks that you must perform for an effective social media audit. It will help you see current standing and what platforms to use for future marketing (based on performance metrics). One thing that an audit will show you is: The best way to improve social media performance.
Here is an example of a social media audit template to give you an idea of how it works:
This is a detailed audit template that covers competitors and opportunities too. There aren’t any rules as to what you can and cannot include in a social media audit. You can make it comprehensive or stick with the basic profile details as in the example below:
It all comes down to the purpose of conducting an audit. What do you want to achieve with a social media audit? The answer to this question will help you pick the right template and course of action.
Social Media Audit Importance
Social media audits are important for several reasons. It is a document that shows you a clear picture of where you currently stand and how and where to move forward.
Here are key benefits of social media audit:
- It helps you compare social media performance across different platforms in terms of your selected metrics such as user engagement
- It shows you a clear picture of the current standing of your social media accounts and their performance
- You can identify campaigns and marketing techniques that are doing well and the ones that don’t perform well
- You can use the audit to identify social media marketing opportunities that you might never know otherwise
- It provides you with data to improve the performance of social media campaigns.
What is the Best Time to Conduct a Social Media Audit?
There isn’t any right or wrong time to do an audit. You can do it anytime as per need.
In fact, it must be need-driven instead of time-driven.
It must be done regularly. It is a good idea to do audits quarterly to ensure your company is moving in the right direction.
A need-driven audit, on the other hand, is one that’s based on a need. For example, you are creating a new social media campaign and want to know the social platform with the highest engagement. This is a perfect time to do a detailed social audit to make your campaign successful.
How to Do a Social Media Audit
Performing social media audits can turn out to be a daunting task if you don’t know how to do it or if you are doing it for the first time. Here is a step-by-step guide to performing a social media audit like a pro:
- Find all social media profiles
- Complete all profiles and ensure consistency
- Check analytics of each social media account
- Identify opportunities
- Set goals.
1. Find Social Media Profiles
This is a quick and easy task. You need to find all the social media platforms where your business is/was active.
It becomes difficult when you are doing a social media audit for the very first time. Because you’ll have to find all social media profiles that you created on any platform 5 years back that you aren’t using anymore.
Once you have identified and prepared a list of available business accounts, the next audits become easier.
Create a sheet to record everything including:
- Social media platform
- Profile URL and name
- Last activity
- Any other details you find.
2. Complete Profiles
Once you have prepared a list of all the social media profiles of your business, it is time to overview them, complete them, and ensure consistency.
You need to do two things:
- Update and complete all the profiles with current details such as logo, avatar, business address, etc.
- Ensure all the profiles have consistent content and images. If you have a style guide, make sure all the profiles follow it. Remove/delete content that is inconsistent and/or obsolete.
Here is an example of consistency:
A social media style guide helps you maintain consistency across all social media platforms. A style guide will help you identify:
- Brand voice
- Color scheme
- Content type and its formatting
- Hashtag use
- Visual guidelines.
You can then follow these guidelines for all the social media accounts and profiles to maintain consistency. Here is a guide and a free template to guide you to create a style guide for your brand.
3. Check Analytics
It is time to review the performance of each social media platform and each profile individually. If you have more than one account on a social platform, review performance individually.
Here are the key metrics that you must check:
- Number of followers
- Publishing frequency
- Organic reach.
Compare these metrics for all the accounts and historical data. See how well you are doing, what platforms and profiles are doing better, and find the ones that are performing worst.
4. Identify Opportunities
This is a crucial part of the audit process. Identify growth opportunities. Once you’ll analyze reports and analytics, you’ll find out a lot of opportunities such as:
- Profiles that are doing exceptionally well for a specific post type
- A social media platform that is outperforming others
- A content type that does well.
Besides, you can get ideas from your competitors. See what they’re doing and how they’re doing.
This will give you a good idea of where to go from here.
5. Set Goals
Finally, you can set goals for the next quarter based on the analytics and opportunities.
It is a critical step. Don’t miss or skip it.
The purpose of the social media audit must be to grow your business. If you won’t set goals or chart recommendations for the future, what’s the point of the audit?
You can create goals, recommendations, or simply prepare a list of growth opportunities. This will prove to be of great help for social media campaigns and marketing strategy.
Social Media Audit is a Life-Saver
Imagine creating a social media strategy and then multiple social media campaigns without an audit? You’ll end up nowhere. If you don’t have any idea of how many Twitter accounts your company is using, how could you outperform your competitors on Twitter?
Don’t skip social media audits. This simple systematic process will optimize your social media spend and improve performance significantly.
Featured Image: Unsplash