When was the last time your company conducted a social media audit?
If your answer is “not recently” or “never”, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Most brands, I would argue, rarely or never perform these types of audits. They take time. They cost money. And, they take time and energy away from teams that are already stretched to the max.
However, a good, in-depth social media audit is worth it’s weight in gold. Why? Here’s a few of the reasons companies have come to me for social media audits over the last 12 years (at last count, I’ve done 20+ of these social media audits over the years):
#1 – We need to adjust/revamp our social media strategy. An audit gives you the perfect “pause” to re-shape your social media strategy. The triggers for this are many: A new CMO; a new social media lead; a new direction/strategy for the company.
#2 – We don’t love our existing social media/content partner and we need an outside perspective. Interestingly enough, I probably get this one the most. The company isn’t quite satisfied with their current agency. And, in many cases, for good reason (often times it’s an agency that doesn’t specialize in social, so they’re a little out of their depth). They want to know where they’re falling down–and where they can crush it in the months ahead. But, they have no idea where they’re at because they’ve been outsourcing social–they need a fresh perspective and a fresh start.
#3 – We want to see how we’re doing. I don’t see this one all that often–but this is the approach I believe more brands should adopt. Conducting a social media audit annually (or bi-annually at a minimum) is a great way to evaluate how your team is doing, where you’re doing well, and where you could be doing better.
So, there are some very good reasons why companies should be doing these social media audits on a regular basis. Now the question is: What’s included in a social media audit?
#1: Start by reviewing and analyzing the branding of your social media accounts
Is the branding consistent? Do banner images across all your social profiles match up? Are your profile pics consistent?
Are you using consistent language? What about “About” sections–when was the last time you updated those?
#2: Next, review and analyze your brand social media metrics
How often is the brand posting? If you’re like most brands, probably too much! But, count the posts on a monthly basis going back a minimum of 3 months to get a feel. How does that stack up with best practices? How does it stack up against your resources? If your team was stretched in 2021, was it worth it to post 30 times a month on Facebook?
What are the reach and engagement metrics? Again, go back a minimum of 3 months–6 months for optimal analysis. Look at total engagements, but also break things out by likes, comment, shares, etc. Are you super heavy on likes and very light on comments and shares? That should tell you something about your content–especially if your goals revolve around engagement. Remember “likes” are a dime a dozen these days.
How much traffic are you driving from social to your web site? I’m discovering a lot of people don’t even really track this that often–and you should be. Especially considering how many links I see in social posts! Is that working? If social is driving less than 5% of traffic to your site, the answer is probably “no”! Which, should definitely alter your strategy in the year ahead.
How many leads are you driving from social media? And do you know exactly where they’re coming from? Do you know what the cost of acquisition is?
#3: Get a handle on your existing social communities
Review social demographic info on your existing communities. Facebook, in particular, gives you a bunch of data here. Review this on an annual basis, as it does shift. Especially look at your followers vs. your engaged audience–what’s the difference? LinkedIn also gives you some good demo data about your audience–is your content matching up with who’s following you on each platform? Make sure to look at age ranges, geographies, interests and, on LinkedIn, things like seniority.
#4: Which social media content is resonating, and which isn’t
Review impression/engagement numbers. Again, go back 3-6 months. Break it down by month, and then by post. You’re looking for peaks and valleys, as well as trends among content–which is driving more awareness and engagement than others?
What content is performing best in terms of: Total engagements? Comments only? Shares only? This is a key part of the entire audit. Look closely at what kinds of content for each of the above, too. For example, how is promotional content performing vs. more education-focused content? Look at format, too. How are photo posts performing vs. video posts?
#5: Review your competitors’ social media activities
How large are their social media communities? Do the counts and maybe even put together a chart that shows how your company stacks up against the competition.
What does engagement look like? Could you review the last 10 posts for each network? Ideally, you’d look at least at a month’s worth of data here for each competitor. But again, put together a chart that shows how your company stacks up against competitors in terms of engagement per post. You will be surprised at the results.
How often are they posting on each network? Cadence matters. If one competitor is posting just 5 times a month on Facebook, and you’re posting 30+, and they’re seeing better results, that should tell you something!
What content is working well for them? What isn’t? Just like you did for your channels, look closely at what kinds of content themes are working for competitors. And, formats.
#6: Review your leaders, employees on social media
What networks are they most active on? For most, this will be LinkedIn, but could also include Instagram and Twitter.
Are leader profiles complete? How could you optimize them? Most of the times, I see leaders falling down in two key areas when it comes to profiles: Banner images and not using the “Featured” section.
What kinds of content are they sharing? What kinds of formats are most popular? Look closely at content themes–are they posting too much about your brand? And, are they sharing too many company posts and not sharing enough organic pics?
What kind of results are they seeing? What content is resonating? What kinds are not? What I’m seeing right now is organic posts (photos and videos) are working the best. What’s not working: Shared posts from the corporate account.
#7: What’s going on in the industry?
What hash tags are most used in your industry? Do you even know? If not, now is the time to figure that out–because it can change.
Who are the major influencers? Again, something a lot of people don’t really know. And you might say, “we don’t use influencers, why would we need to know who they are?” Because even if you don’t use influencers, you definitely want to know what these folks are talking about. Because, most likely, those are the issues your customers care about. Influencers are much better at being plugged into that kinda stuff than brands are.
What are the popular topics of conversation? See above.
What social networks are customers gravitating toward? Where is your audience in 2021? Are people leaving one network (ahem–FACEBOOK!) and moving to others, like TikTok or Twitter? Brands are rarely going to stay a step ahead of their customers–but they can at least stay a half step behind!
Those are some of the big things I look at when I conduct these social media audits. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than what I listed above, but I think this gives you a pretty good idea. It can be a time-consuming process, which is why companies hire people like me.
If this sounds like a process that might benefit your company–and you don’t have the time to do it yourself in the New Year–send me a note. I’d be happy to chat about what a social media audit might look like for your business!