Social media and the audiences that go with it are more diverse than ever before. What started out as a niche phenomenon for techno-geeks and college students is now a ubiquitous force in our society. Along with that shift, there has been a move towards the ever-increasing commercialization of the Internet. As most businesses know, a positive presence on social media is very important for growth. This is true both in terms of building relationships with existing customers and acquiring new ones.
Unfortunately, as the social media space becomes more important it also becomes more competitive. More and more companies must compete for the attention of consumers and business decision-makers on a daily basis. One of the best ways to stay on top of this trend, and ahead of your competition, is to occasionally perform a social media audit. This process gives you the opportunity to find out where you are doing well and what opportunities there are for growth. Let’s look at this process in more depth.
What Exactly is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is an in-depth analysis of your social media presence. It’s a way to measure how well you’re doing online, and it can help you make better decisions about what to do next. You thought it examined every aspect of your business’s social media presence. In addition, an influencer or other creator can use these audits to find out where they stack up against the competition.
You should do a social media audit that includes every online forum where your Business or personal brand participates. In the process, you may find that there are opportunities to pursue. You can also find new ways to rise above the competition in your field.
Why is It Important to Conduct a Social Media Audit Regularly?
While it’s easy to think of social media-related processes as a one-time thing, this is never the case with social media audits. In fact, this assessment needs to be performed regularly, just like you would with strategy or even an examination of your company’s books. There are several reasons for this.
- An audit gives you an overview of your brand’s presence across multiple platforms. One reason for this is that results are typically reported in the same place. For example, you might have a cross-platform analysis of a particular marketing KPI.
- It helps you identify your audience’s social media preferences. This helps you fine-tune your approach, and in addition, you can find out more about which content resonates best with your audience.
- It identifies opportunities for improvement in your social media strategy. You might find, for example, that Instagram stories are more effective than IGTV posts. Or, you might find a segment of your audience that you weren’t aware of previously, so that you can better market to them.
Components of a Social Media Audit
Like so many other things in business, a social media audit is a process with many different components. These components include:
- Engagement metrics. For instance, how often do people like, comment, or share your content? Unlike some other analytics data, engagement is relatively simple to understand.
- Audience demographics. The demographics of your audience should always follow your buyer persona fairly closely. However, by analyzing your audience demographics, you may find new opportunities to sell your goods and services. You may also find that your content is not reaching the people you need it to.
- Publishing metrics. Every marketing professional needs to know how many people consume branded social media content. On some networks, you can not only find out how many people follow your page, but how many people actually viewed your material. This can also help you see your overall level of influence.
- Channel-specific metrics. It almost goes without saying, that some metrics do not work on all social media platforms. In addition, some statistics only apply to certain channels. An obvious example is view counts on YouTube, which would contrast with page views on a website or blog.
As you can see, a social media audit is multifunctional and multifaceted. Done properly, it will give you a lot of facts and figures that can help guide your future social media and other content marketing efforts.
How to Conduct a Social Media Audit for Your Business the Easy Way
Just like financial audits or performance audits, you will go through a lot of data points with a social media audit. However, that does not mean that the process needs to be complicated. By staying organized and following the recommendations in this next section, you can make the overall process as painless as possible.
Create a Social Media Audit Spreadsheet
As I mentioned above, staying organized is key period one of the easiest ways to do this is by using a spreadsheet. You can use Excel, Google Sheets, a template, or specialized marketing software. However, the most important thing is that you track your progress easily and can keep all of your data in one place.
Take Stock of All Your Social Media Pages and Profiles on All Platforms
List out all your social media properties, whether they’re active or dormant. As the saying goes, the Internet is forever. Therefore, whether you are currently updating a page or not, you need to think about whether or not it accurately represents your brand.
In addition, you may occasionally find that you posted content several years ago that is still visible to the public and that is no longer appropriate. Likewise, you never know when you’ll find a previously neglected opportunity for evergreen content.
Finally, check to see if all these pages have relevant information about yourself or about your brand. For example, businesses will sometimes move their home office, change their phone number, or have key employees leave. Especially on a more professional network like LinkedIn, this kind of information needs to be updated as quickly as possible. Part of your audit, therefore, should ensure that none of this falls through the cracks.
Prioritize Your Social Media Channels for Audit
Even if you have a large team, you can generally only do one thing at a time. Therefore, you should prioritize your social media accounts based on their importance. Criteria should include your target audience and what they contribute to your overall social media strategy.
You should more thoroughly assess the channels that have the highest impact on your business. That’s because adjusting your strategy or content in these areas makes the most difference the fastest.
Check if Your Branding is Consistent Across All Channels
One thing that brands must do occasionally is change branding. Sometimes, it has simple as changing the company logo or slogan. In other situations, a company might change its name to reflect new aspects of its business. A recent example is Facebook, which changed its company name to Meta. Although Meta has retained the Facebook brand, there’s a new set of logos and branding for the parent company.
When your company makes these changes, it’s critical to make sure that these changes are reflected across all of your brand assets. Be sure to check your profile information or bio, banner images, logos, and more. While you’re at it, check for broken links and inaccurate website locations.
Finally, be sure to check your Hashtags. Many companies will use one primarily for certain campaigns, and then largely discontinue use. In other situations, they might introduce a new hashtag to reflect their new company branding. Make sure that all hashtags on your social media pages reflect current usage.
Open the Analytics Page of Your Social Channel
Every social media platform has a native analytics dashboard for you to check and analyze your page’s performance. Usually, these are free, at least for business customers. Metrics to look for include impressions, link clicks, shares, referral traffic, hashtags, and engagement. However, it’s also useful to have a social media dashboard or other advanced analytics tools. These will help you edge out the competition with more comprehensive information.
Further Reading: 41 Killer Social Media Tools You Should Know
Identify Your Top-Performing Platforms and Posts
Based on the metrics, check which platforms are the most vibrant and the types of posts that are popular with your audience. For instance, a lot of quirky teen brands do best on tick tock or Snapchat. On the other hand, B2B brands often live on LinkedIn.
Likewise, your top-performing posts provide a wealth of information. For instance, you may find that your followers really enjoyed that quirky joke, or that tutorials for your products are wildly popular. You can then capitalize on these successes in future campaigns. Conversely, if something doesn’t work very well for you, then you probably should quit doing it.
Analyze Social Media Referral Traffic
One of the objectives of social media strategy is to get referral traffic, acquire new customers and generate sales. Identify the pages and platforms that are sending the most referral traffic, then double down on your efforts with these locations. For instance, you might find that LinkedIn blogs do especially well at getting people to your product page. Or, you might find that influencer collaborations on Facebook should be more effective. To find this information, navigate to your Google Analytics page. Referral traffic is referred to as a form of acquisition. You’ll also see other referral sources on that page.
Create a Game Plan for Each Platform
Once you’ve gathered the data for each social media platform, and done any modernization necessary, you can start working on your social media strategy. The strategy should include elements for each profile and page that you currently manage across all platforms.
As part of his game plan, identify your goals for each platform. These can include:
- Increasing brand awareness, or how many people know about your brand.
- Improving engagement, such as the number of likes or comments on each page.
- Building your audience, or how many people visit your brand profile regularly.
- Increasing referral traffic, such as through a landing page or by advertising a blog post.
- Generating more leads and sales.
In accordance with these goals, create a list of action items for each platform. Your social media dashboard and other tools can be especially helpful at this stage.
Tips for Creating an Effective Social Media Audit Report
Audit reports should not only provide data but also insights into how well your social media efforts are performing. At the end of your audit, you should be able to clearly articulate your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Here are some tips to help you craft an effective report:
- Create a template for your audit. This way, you can be sure that your data is consistently represented across audit periods.
- Start by identifying what you want to achieve from the audit. For example, you might be troubleshooting poor performance on a particular platform or seeking further growth from a successful page.
- Define the scope of the report. Otherwise, you can overwhelm decision-makers with too much information. In some cases, you’ll want to create multiple reports from the same audit but with different emphases.
- Include key performance indicators (KPIs) in the report. This helps your team interpret the data more accurately.
- Ensure all required fields are filled out. While you never want to include too much information, you want to ensure that they have enough to proceed. In addition, you want to make sure that a report from one social media audit is distinguishable from the report on a different one.
- Use graphs and charts to highlight important points. Visualizing important information makes it much easier to understand and interpret.
- Include screenshots or images if needed. This can be especially effective if one or more of your profiles needs to be updated with current branding.
- Set a goal, follow through, and monitor your progress. No point in doing a social media audit if you aren’t going to take action based on what you learned. However, you want to make sure that your goals make sense considering the information you already have. Therefore, you should be well informed about current metrics before making any decisions.
How to Use the Results of Your Social Media Audit to Improve Your Marketing Efforts
Once you have completed your social media audit, it’s time to use the information gathered to improve your marketing efforts. Here are some suggestions:
- Identify gaps in your current social media strategies. Sometimes, you’ll find that there are opportunities to end your brand are missing out on. When this happens, you should consider pursuing them.
- Understand your strengths and weaknesses. As they say, nobody’s perfect, and that’s true of brands on social media as well. On the other hand, everybody is good at something. Using the information from your social media audit, it’s easy to improve in areas where you are weak and capitalize on your strengths.
- Determine the best approach to address any issues identified. In some cases, there’s more than one way to resolve deficiencies. However, some approaches are typically more effective than others. You should always try to maximize your efforts.
- Develop a plan for improvement. It’s always harder to meet your goals without a plan. Therefore, identify and clearly delineate the path forward before you begin.
- Implement changes based on the findings of your analysis. In other words, don’t make changes just because you like the idea. Changes in your brand’s social media strategy should always be data-driven.
Social Media Audit Templates
As I mentioned above, consistency is key. With that said, it can be fairly hard sometimes to design your own social media audit template the first time. Fortunately, HubSpot has provided a free template. You can use this as is, or adapt it to your business needs.
For smaller businesses, Whitney DeBerry has a simpler approach. Her template helps you get down to the point quickly but has a bit less information. Nonetheless, it’s a great place to start.
Social Media Audit Checklist
If you aren’t sure where to start, Hubspot can also help you with a brief checklist. You can find it on your website, and it keeps the process very simple. However, as always, make sure the steps are suitable for your business. My guidance above makes this easier.
Similarly, Buffer has some ideas you may find helpful. For instance, they list some less common social media networks or sites that you should monitor occasionally. Their checklist helps you ensure each of these bases gets covered.
Further Reading: The 20 Best Social Media Management Tools You Need to Know
The idea of doing a social media audit can sound intimidating. However, it’s an essential step to ensure that your social media presence remains competitive. Fortunately, by following the directions in this guide, you’ll find the task much easier.
Hero Photo by Merakist on Unsplash
Social Media Audit FAQs
A social media audit is an effective way to evaluate the health of your online presence. This audit refers to the process of closely examining aspects such as content, reach, and engagement across all your social networks. With a proper assessment, you can assess which channels are performing best, uncover areas for improvement, and recognize what’s working or not working with each network. It provides an invaluable source to refine your strategies and maximize your campaigns online.
The 4 key questions that you should be asking when conducting a social media audit are:
1. What channels am I using and are they appropriate for my business?
2. How am I performing on each channel compared to industry benchmarks?
3. Are my current social strategies engaging customers and driving conversions?
4. What content works best for my audience and builds brand awareness?
A social media audit is necessary because it helps analyze the effectiveness of your social media campaigns, understand how users engage with you and your content, improve customer relationships, make well-informed decisions on what content to share, and increase visibility and Brand awareness. Ultimately, a social media audit will not only identify areas in need of improvement but also open up opportunities to invest more strategically in activities that lead to success.
When presenting a social media audit to a client, it is essential that you clearly explain the services you offer and the benefits they will receive in return. You should be thorough when covering each aspect of your audit, provide well-researched statistics and facts, and then present solutions and solutions tailored to your client’s needs. The goal is to make sure they understand how valuable the social media audit is and that they feel comfortable entrusting them with their objectives.
Social media audit tools provide businesses and individuals with a comprehensive view of their accounts across various social networks. These tools give users an overview of their current presence and performance. Furthermore, they equip users with data-driven insights on how to optimize engagement as well as how to measure campaign results in order to increase the value of their investments in digital marketing efforts.