Auditing your social media is necessary. It helps you understand your audience, what content they are engaging with and how (if) they are moving from your social media further down the sales funnel. To conduct an audit you need to create the parameters that will go towards understanding the metrics.
As you build your audit document, it gives you the opportunity to think about your goals for each account and evaluate whether your existing strategy is working. This allows you to see how each social account functions within your social strategy.
A social media audit will present a clear picture of your current efforts and help you define the best way forward. It will also leave you with a single strategy document that lists all of your social accounts, the goals for each, who’s responsible for each channel, and other key information that’s important to strategy development and maintenance.
Conduct a social media audit in 9 steps
1. Create a document for your audit
Create a spreadsheet or Exel file to record your findings. It should include:
- the link to your profile, such as Twitter or WhatsAp
- your social handle
- the internal person or team responsible for managing the account (also known as the “owner”—for example, the social marketing team)
- the mission statement for the account (for example, to promote company culture using employee photos, or to provide customer service during office hours)
- the top three posts in terms of engagement
- three important metrics
- key demographic information
You should also include a column for any relevant notes about the account.
2. Track down all your social media accounts
List all of the accounts that you and your team use regularly. Ensure that you include old profiles created before your company had a social strategy, they might have been abandoned and you need to decide whether to shut them down or reinvigorate them.
This is also a good time to identify networks where you don’t yet have a social presence, so you can start thinking about whether you should add them to your social strategy, or at least create profiles to reserve your handle for the future.
Search the web
Google your company name and the name of your products to see what social accounts come up. If you find accounts you don’t recognise, do some investigating to determine whether they’re actually connected to your company, or if they’re impostor accounts run by someone not affiliated with your brand.
Search social networks
After your Google search, it’s worth visiting each of the main social networks and searching directly for your brand and product names to see if you uncover any unexpected accounts.
Once you’re sure you’ve tracked down all the relevant accounts, set up a social media monitoring program to keep an eye out for any new impostor accounts that might pop up in the future.
Log your findings
Record all the relevant accounts you find in your audit document. Record any accounts that require further research.
Record imposter accounts and make notes about the steps taken to have these accounts shut down or disassociated from your business. This can take some time and requires you to follow up with social media companies to resolve any misunderstandings.
3. Make sure each account is complete and on-brand
Once you’ve logged all of your accounts, assess each one to make sure it’s consistent with your current brand image and standards. You should check the following:
Profile and cover images
Make sure these incorporate your current brand logo and imagery.
You have limited space to work with when creating a social media bio, so it’s important to make the most of it. Make sure all fields are filled in completely and accurately with current brand messaging.
Try and use the same handle across all social channels. You might need different handles if your accounts serve different purposes, such as a help account or a sign-up account.
Make sure you link to your homepage, an appropriate landing page, or a current campaign.
Evaluate your pinned posts to ensure they’re still appropriate.
4. Identify your best posts
For each account, look for the three posts that had the most engagement. Record links to these top-performing posts in your spreadsheet.
Once you’ve recorded all of these posts, go through all of them and look for patterns. Do you tend to get the most response when you post photos? Videos? Do people respond to the same kinds of posts on your Facebook page as they do on your Twitter account?
Record any patterns that you might find. You can use this information to inform the content type that you create in the future. It is also useful to record what is not working as well as anticipated so that you can make improvements.
5. Evaluate performance
Use analytics to gather some key insights about each social account. If you haven’t created a mission statement for each social account, do so, it will help you understand what your goals are for the different types of accounts.
Your mission statement should help you identify the key metrics to evaluate for each social channel. If you’re trying to foster engagement, you’ll want to track likes and comments. If you want to drive traffic, you’ll track website visits.
As part of your evaluation, you might find that some of your social accounts are much more effective than others. For the accounts that don’t perform as well, you need to decide whether to adjust your strategy, invest more time and resources, or discontinue the account.
6. Understand the audience for each network
Audience demographics are useful for understanding your demographics. For example, Instagram users tend to be much younger than Facebook users, and LinkedIn users tend to have relatively high incomes. You can also dive deeper to learn more about the demographics of your specific followers on social media using analytics and tools like Facebook Audience Insights.
7. Decide which channels are right for you
Now that you have an audit, you can make informed decisions about which accounts work for you and which are taking too much time with little reward.
Looking at how each channel is performing, along with who you can each through each platform, look for ways to tie each social account back to your social media marketing strategy. If you can’t see a clear connection, or if it looks like the results do not justify your investment of time and resources, you may want to consider pulling back on certain channels so you can focus your energy on the ones that provide the best return on investment.
8. Centralise channel ownership and passwords
Allocate each social media account to an individual or team to manage. This person will need to be in charge of necessary approvals on the account and will guide its strategic direction.
Rather than giving various team members the password to your social accounts, it’s important to centralise the passwords in one place. This means you don’t need to change the password every time someone leaves your team or moves to a new role, and it helps protect the security of your social accounts.
On your social audit spreadsheet, indicate the channel owners, and whether you’ve set each account up using a tool to control passwords. Work towards having all accounts set up with centralised password control by the time you do your next social audit.
9. Do it all again
A quarterly social audit is a great way to keep your social accounts producing the best ROI, and ensures you regularly circle back to compare the work you do day-to-day with the goals outlined in your social media strategy.
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