CONDUCTING A SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT
Given the rise of the Internet, most companies now use social media as a platform to market their business and services. That said, social media platforms evolve and change themselves, meaning that popular trends and audience engagement are liable to fluctuate. It is therefore important to track your business’s social media use to make sure you get the best return on investment, and one of the best ways to do this is through a social media audit.
HOW TO RUN A SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT
Step 1: Collect all Social Media Profiles
While this may sound like a trivial task as most businesses are already aware of their social media presence, doing this can remind you of old, deactivated accounts and make you aware of any fraudulent profiles trying to steal your brand name.
Having all of your profiles in one place can also make you aware of any missing information, crossovers between their metrics, and of any platforms you are not currently using.
Step 2: Assess Branding Inconsistencies
Once all profiles are located, ensure that there are no branding inconsistencies. This means that all contact information must be updated, all branding and campaign advertisements must be in-date and accurate, and all photos and graphics are consistent.
Make sure that all handles or nametags are correct. In general, it is best to make sure that they are the same across all platforms so that it is easier to find your profile. Additionally, any bios and pinned posts should be modernised and reflect the image of your business.
Finally, any URLs, destinations, and home pages should be functional. This is important to maintain the credibility and trust of your company.
Step 3: Find Engagement Patterns
Monitoring engagement patterns across your social media platforms is essential to establish which posts are working with your target audience. This can often be assessed by observing the number of re-Tweets, likes, followers, shares, and comments.
Doing this will show your business’s top-performing content, which you can use to find impressions and reach data. Most social media platforms have built-in analytic features that can provide overviews of the data.
Step 4: Set Your Goals
Once you have collected all of your social media profiles, it is much easier to compare the statistics from each one and to set goals for each particular platform. One platform may not be bringing as much return on investment as another.
Examples of goals for a social media profile can include:
- Increasing traffic to your website. It is possible to quantify how many engaged customers are using your social media profiles to visit your website.
- Expanding community engagement. Typically, this type of expansion will involve strengthening the number of likes, shares, followers, et cetera. A good way to do this is to increase your brand’s reach to engage more potential customers.
- Growing brand awareness. The growth rate of your audience, the influence of your posts, and the social share of voice are all indicators of how much your brand awareness is growing.
These are three examples of relatively common goals, though you may choose ones that are more specific to the nature of your company. Once you have chosen your goals, it becomes much easier to choose Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you can use to evaluate the impact of your social media presence. They should not all focus on one thing (such as increasing your following count), and they should typically differ from one platform to the next.
Step 5: Check your KPIs
Once you have your goals in mind for each of your social media profiles, it is time to use your Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, to measure how well you are achieving them.
For example, if one of your goals were to increase audience engagement, the KPIs to monitor would include the age and gender of the audience you are targeting, which hours of the day they are most active, and which days of the week they are most active.
Additionally, if one of your goals is to bolster your company’s leads and sales, you would ideally look at the following KPIs: website clicks, product views, product clicks, and calls and emails from your website.
KPIs are more specific than general goals and require careful attention; they are the backbone of the social media audit, as it gives you a chance to see which strategies are working and which strategies need improvement. Generally speaking, companies will focus on referral traffic, engagement metrics, and publishing rates.
Step 6: Calculate your Return on Investment (ROI)
Once you have identified your goals and evaluated the relevant KPIs, it is now time to conduct the ROI aspect of the audit.
This can be as simple as comparing the financial costs and returns of running each social media platform, but there may be non-monetary costs and metrics that need to be considered.
Having a visual purview of the social media audit is extremely helpful to calculate your return on investments: a good audit should include graphs, charts, and diagrams.
Step 7: Establish Action Items and Assess New Platforms
The point of a social media audit is to achieve your company’s goals more effectively each time: in order to improve, new tasks and goals should be set after each audit. These are called “Action Items” and should be shared with all stakeholders of your business. They also keep the business more organised and can hold employees accountable for mishaps.
They can be as long-term and short-term as you would like, or they can simply form a to-do list; so long as there are identifiable points of improvement that can be worked on in between each audit, then you have action items.
Examples of action items can include:
- Updating brand strategies or images
- Deactivating old accounts that have little engagement
- Changing the types of posts if they do not have a high reach
- Making a social-media content calendar to ensure that top-performing content is posted more frequently.
It is also important to consider if you’d like to become active on another social media platform, to transition from one to the other, or to delete your presence on an unpopular profile altogether.
Step 8: Plan your next Social Media Audit
The needs of business change from one company to the next. Naturally, this will mean that the goals of social media use will also differ from one business to the next. However, it is generally advisable to have a quarter-on-quarter (QOQ) audit at a minimum. That said, you can choose the frequency of your audits to fit your company’s needs.
Also, consider using the same social media audit template each time, so it is much easier to compare the performance metrics from the last audit with the current one.
Make sure that you have standardised your channel ownership to an individual or delegated team to make it easier to monitor any progress.
Good luck with your audit!
If you wish to discuss any of our services including a social media audit then please call 01706 482017 or complete the contact form here.