It’s tax season, which means that it’s likely you’ve heard the scary word “audit” floating around. But don’t be alarmed – we’re not going to talk about a tax audit today (feel free to take a big sigh of relief that tax audits can be talked about on another day.)
Instead, we’re going to discuss a social media audit, what it is, why it’s important, and how it’s not nearly as scary – or complicated- as it sounds.
It’s no secret that social media is a vital part of any successful business strategy. But it’s also no secret that we often see businesses improvising their social media plan with no clear objectives or strategy in place.
We completely understand why that happens, though.
They may not understand the critical role social media plays. They may have a small team with little to no time to put towards social media. They may feel overwhelmed by the many changing trends and uncertain if they’re doing the right things. Or – you may be in a position as a new social media manager for a business that inherited the social media channels from someone who was winging it and haven’t had time to slow down, take a breath, and really review what’s working and what isn’t working.
Whatever the reason, conducting a quick social media audit goes a long way in letting you know whether or not your social strategy aligns with the goals and objectives of the business they represent.
What is a Social Media Audit and Why is it Important?
While it sounds scary and complex, a social media audit is simply your brand’s roadmap to social media marketing success. And who doesn’t love success?
When you perform a social media audit, you compile essential information about each social media account, all in one place. It creates a clear picture of your current efforts and shows the best ways to improve those efforts and get better results. Once complete, a social media audit will give you a solid strategy document that will inform all of your social efforts right at your fingertips.
How to Perform a Social Media Audit
While there is no hard-set approach to a social media audit, there are some key steps and particulars most good social media audits share.
List all of your Social Media Channels
Can you list all of your social media accounts? You may think you can, but it’s always good to double-check.
Start your audit by recording all of the accounts that you or your team uses regularly, but remember that this may not be an exhaustive list.
Once the regular channels are listed out, try doing a quick google search by searching the business name and name of the products/services and see what social accounts come up. If there are accounts you do not recognize, do a little digging to determine if they are actually connected to the business or false accounts.
Make sure to note if any accounts you find don’t have login access available to you or if you are unsure if the account actually belongs to the business.
Define Specific Goals for each Network
To prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed by all of the information in front of you, take time to hone in on the unique social media goals for each active platform.
Some goals could include:
- Increasing traffic to your website
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating more leads
- Encouraging community engagement
- Growing your audience
Just remember – you don’t have to try and hit every single one of those goals. Instead, start with one goal for each platform, see how focusing on a specific goal will improve social performance, and add on goals as needed.
Ensure Brand Alignment
Once you’ve found and gained access to all legitimate accounts, now you need to ensure they align with the business’s brand. For example, is the brand coming across as clear and concise? Is there outdated or unnecessary information?
A few noteworthy things to look at for brand consistency:
- Account handles
- Profile, cover, post images
- Bio/Profile or About Us copy
- Post copy
Evaluate these key elements and determine how they reflect the brand and how consistent or inconsistent your brand is across platforms.
Check-In on those Social Media Metrics
Repeat after us: Social media metrics are your friend.
An essential part of a social media audit is reviewing metrics for each platform. The historical data will inform what types of content are performing great or not, show your audience demographics, inform on ideal post times, show engagement levels, and more.
Make sure to look at how the numbers compare to a week ago, a month ago, and even a year ago. This will give a clearer picture of performance over time.
Document where all social media channels are regarding metrics and performance during the social media audit. This way, you can compare it to how the metrics look as you move further along in your social media strategy and see if it’s working positively.
Identify Your Top-Performers
Now that your metrics are documented, it’s time to hone in on individual posts and how they’ve performed.
For example, does your audience love video over photo? Maybe they engage a lot with question-based posts or posts with a lot of copy.
Note which types of posts perform well consistently. As you do, you’ll begin to see a clear picture of exactly which kind of content works best for each channel. From there, all you need to do is craft more posts of those successful types into future social media content calendars.
Clear Out the Unnecessary
Now that you’ve reviewed, analyzed, and adjusted your strategy, it’s time for a bit of spring cleaning. The concept of “less is more” really applies to social media marketing.
Having accounts on every single platform isn’t a guaranteed win when it comes to your social strategy. In fact, having accounts on too many platforms or on platforms that don’t align with your business industry can do more harm than good.
If you’re a niche ice cream parlor, you don’t really need a LinkedIn account because LinkedIn is more for corporate-type professionals looking for networking opportunities. However, posting branded content on Instagram or short videos on TikTok is where this specific industry tends to perform exceptionally well.
Consider your goals for each social media platform and look at how each one is currently performing. If there isn’t a clear connection between your goals and the social platforms, it’s time to remove those channels from your list.
Standardize Login Credentials
One common headache felt amongst social media managers is that login credentials are either not documented or documented incorrectly. Rather than giving various team members the passwords to the social channels, it’s crucial to centralize passwords in one single place. Make sure there is a hub where all of the login credentials live and are actively updated if passwords are changed. This should be a secure, password-protected place to keep the login credentials safe. And don’t forget to add any security-question type information to help with logins from different devices or locations.
Even better, create long passwords that don’t have any meaning or would be easy to hack or guess.
Rather than giving various team members the passwords to the social channels, it’s essential to centralize passwords in one single place. This creates better security and fewer chances of passwords being forgotten, changed, or lost.
Document in the social media audit if there are any channel owners, if you’re using a tool to control passwords, and the central location of the passwords.
Keep Moving Forward
At this point, your social media audit is likely filled out. So, what is the next step?
Do it all over again.
Not right away – but plan out occasional times to complete a social media audit again throughout the year.
The nature of social media is that it is constantly changing. Because of this, you should be conducting regular audits to ensure your goals are still being met, trends are being followed, and accounts are still protected and secure.
A quarterly social media audit is ideal – but even twice a year will go a long way in helping you maintain your goals and sanity (it’s tough out there in the land of social media!)
While this list is not exhaustive, it will give you the groundwork to win at social media in ways you may not have before.
Are you feeling ready to spring clean with an audit on social media? It doesn’t sound so scary now, right? So, go forth and use your freshly made social media audit to create impactful and successful social media strategies and content!