A Guest Post by Miles P. Murray
The papers are signed and you’re ready to hit the ground running on improving your client’s social media presence. You’ve taken a high-level look at their platforms and have some general ideas on what could be better—but it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty and do a full social media audit.
You don’t have to set aside an entire day to get a solid idea of what’s working, what’s not, and what could be better. Here are the most important parts of a social media audit that you can easily put together in an hour or less.
What’s a Social Media Audit?
The term “audit” has a bad reputation. A social media audit is simply the process of reviewing a brand’s social media metrics, growth, and overall presence on its platforms.
Figure out their social media objective
Not every business uses social media for the same reasons. Some companies only use social platforms as a way to keep customers and employees in touch with important updates. Other companies rely heavily on social media to drive traffic back to their site, connect with their target audience, and convert customers.
Make sure that you and your client are on the same page as to what they want their social media to do for their business—this will directly impact how aggressive you are with your posting, your social copy, the types of creative assets you use, and your entire strategy. Are they looking to get more followers and get their name out there? Or do they want their social platform to influence and increase sales?
Document All Social Profiles
You (hopefully) already know about the main profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but do some digging to make sure there aren’t any unofficial accounts out there. Do they have other smaller accounts like Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, or Reddit? Start putting together a spreadsheet that includes information like:
- The social media network
- The URL
- The account handle
- The account name
- The number of followers and following
- The date of your last post
Take a look at which ones aren’t adding to your main social objective. Ask yourself if being on that specific platform is helping or simply taking up important bandwidth. If you don’t have a solid reason to be on that platform, it’s ok to let it go and focus your efforts on platforms that will actually help you grow.
Review Creative & Copy
Branding consistency across every platform ensures your business is recognizable. This includes using the same logo, background images, image style and color, and copy tone. If you don’t have a set branding guideline that talks about those and outlines those branding choices, you’ll need to create one.
You should also review the content formats you’re using—as well as the formats of your competitors. Are they using GIFs? Videos? How often are they interacting with their followers? Is their tone more friendly and conversational or more professional?
Review SEO Opportunities
Search engine optimization rules everything these days; social media is no exception. While Google has said that social media doesn’t directly influence your SEO rankings, your accounts do correlate with elements that do influence your rankings. That means you still want to make sure you’re posting relevant content that provides social signals to search engines that your content (and business) are interesting and helpful to users.
Start Tracking Important Metrics
If you don’t have an idea of your starting point, you’ll have no idea how much you’ve actually grown. Important metrics to keep an eye on for social media include
- Follower count. This is a basic but important metric that will help you see if people are actually seeing your posts and finding your content helpful.
- Posting frequency. Tracking this can help you see if there is any correlation between how often you post and your follower count.
- Engagement. This is another important metric that shows whether or not the content you’re posting is actually resonating with your audience. You can track engagement in a number of ways like retweets and reshares, but the most common formula is: likes + comments + shares / views.
There are lots of pre-made templates out there that can help you get started tracking metrics for each post. Once you’ve figured out which metrics and information are most important for your business, you can add more information like:
- Optimal posting time
- Consumer interests
- Household income
Repeat As Needed
Keep in mind that audits don’t have to be a one-time thing. In fact, they shouldn’t be a one-time thing. If you’re seeing a dip in engagement, or simply aren’t seeing the success you want/think your posts should be having, it’s probably time to do another audit and see where the issue is. Happy auditing!
Also published on Medium.