It’s great that you’ve taken the time and effort to create a good social media strategy for your brand. Now that you are regularly posting on social media, it’s time to stand back and allow your social media channels to do the work for you. Right?
Well, not entirely.
The social media space is continually evolving and if you’re not keeping yourself updated on new trends, you can soon find that your social content falling off the radar or missing the mark completely. From customisable chatbots to face filters to video content such as Instagram stories, there are mind-boggling ways to connect with your audience via social today.
As important as it is to plan and put out a regular stream of relevant content, it’s also equally important to review performance against set goals. It gives you a chance to see what’s working, change what’s not and possibly experiment with new trends and content types.
A social media audit is a great way to examine what’s working well, cut back on aspects that are hampering performance and implement new actions based on a detailed analysis.
But where and how do you get started?
Here are 5 steps to follow.
1. Track down all your social media profiles
The first step would be to make a list of all your social media profiles, both the official and unofficial ones floating around on the internet.
You might have experimented with video in the early days or years of your company, but there have been no recent updates in a while. Or perhaps a former employee of your team signed up for a social media account, but failed to follow through and the profile remains inactive.
Search for your brand name across all major social networks to identify test accounts or ones created by long-lost employees. Once you have a list, pull together all account details in a spreadsheet – Profile Name, URL, date of last activity, engagement (if any) and followers.
Next, go through each account with a fine-toothed comb to determine whether the profile is needed and/or whether it adds any value to your company. Some questions to consider:
- Do we need to use this platform?
- Is our target audience active on this social media platform?
- What is our objective or goal with regard to this social media platform?
Now would also be a good time to consider if any of the new and emerging platforms out there are worth spending your time on and whether you should consider including them in your social strategy.
2. Make sure details are consistent
From the right website links to visual imagery and branding, having a uniform look and feel is important to ensure your brand has a consistent presence across social platforms. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure that branding is uniform:
- Are all bio and profile descriptions match each other and updated?
- Are all the visuals and colours used consistent with your branding?
- Check all links in the profile and ensure they are uniform and working.
You can also check for consistency across all channels with respect to the type of content or regularity of posting (although you may have made a conscious decision to post more regularly on some).
3. Analyse competitors and influencers
A great way to improve your social media marketing is to observe and learn from others who are already excelling at it.
Identify your top competitors and/or list 3-4 key influencers in your industry. Then add their social media profiles to your sheet to compare and contrast their content and performance. Understanding their strengths and areas of improvement can reveal key insights that can help shape your own posts.
It is also an excellent way to try new ideas and draw on trends that are working successfully for others in your space. You could try and gauge, for instance:
- What sort of content are they posting (links, images, videos, gifs, polls?)
- How often do they post
- How many followers do they have
- What sort of engagement are they receiving
- Their approach and tone of voice
You can make a note of their tactics to get a feel for their social strategy, and perhaps use some of the ideas/initiatives to inspire your own strategy.
4. Analyse your own performance
Here comes the intimidating bit (well, unless you love data analytics).
It’s time to dig deep into your social analytics to uncover the dirt. This is a key aspect of your social media audit and will form of the bulk of your analysis as this is where you can glean the most interesting details. Compile a list of metrics to track. These could include:
- Shares (Facebook)
- Retweets (Twitter)
- Direct messages
You could even plot these on a timeline to compare them to previous periods and track performance over time.
Make sure you review all your top-performing posts i.e content which has received the most likes/comments/shares. You could choose 3-5 of your best posts and link to them in your spreadsheet. You could even identify the poorly performing posts and make a note of which content post types were not-so-effective. To find out which content types are working the best on each channel, categorise it across different content types: blogs, promotional posts, video, images, quotes/motivational, resources/educational, company/product updates etc.
To track overall performance, head to Google Analytics (and click on Acquisition) to identify which social media profile is generating the most traffic to your website.
5. Draft a list of action points
Now that you (hopefully) have a decent understanding of where you stand, it’s time to draw some insights so that you can use it to shape your future plan.
Based on your research and takeaway, you can identify new objectives and a list of action points to implement. Whether it is increasing engagement on a particular channel or be more regular with posting on another, your social analytics should be able to pinpoint what you need to focus on. Here are a few possible things you could action:
- Revised objectives and KPIs
- What new ways are we to increase interaction/engagement with users
- What is the right content mix and regularity of posting
- Resources required to put the plan into action
Rinse and repeat
Having an eye on the health of your social media accounts via a social media audit is essential if you want to see strong results.
It not only reveals great insights about your target audience and the way they interact with your content, but it also helps you track whether your day-to-day actions are making an impact in the long run. Additionally, it allows you to focus on areas that need improving and helps you evolve along the way.
Keep in mind that it isn’t just a one-time affair. Schedule a ‘spring clean’ of your social media accounts every 6 or 12 or 18 months (or more often if needed).
It may seem a pain at the time, but putting the effort into auditing your social media channels is definitely worth the hard work.