When putting together a truly effective social media strategy, the first thing to do is to look at your current social media platforms and assess if these are successful and, if not, what improvements, if any, need to be made. Social media audits can also be used to help identify priorities, benchmark previous campaigns and posts, and plan your ongoing social media strategies. We’ve set out below eight key elements to conducting a successful social media audit:
Before you start a social media audit, you need to decide what success looks like to you. To do this, research and analyse all of your competitors to give you a base line to work from in measuring your own improvements going forward.
Produce a chart or spreadsheet that shows the relative strength of each competitor in terms of followers on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, shares on LinkedIn etc then detail the types of posts they’re putting up – the look, tone, frequency, topics and engagement level:
- Branding: what is their overall image and how do they portray themselves/their industry?
- Engagement: what is their current engagement rate? Is it higher or lower than yours?
- Frequency: how often do they post content? Do they use multiple social media platforms or do they focus on one in particular and, if so, which one and why?
- Popularity: how many followers/likes/retweets/shares do they have and what types of posts are they putting out? Are there any topics they discuss more frequently than others and how do those posts perform against others?
TrueSocialMetrics allows you to analyse up to two competitors for free, so this would be the social media monitoring tool you could use. If you/your client has more than two competitors though, another tool is HowSociable.
HowSociable’s approach is a bit different as it breaks down scores for different social media platforms, allowing you to see which ones work best for you and which platforms need additional time investment and content development.
- Evaluate policy and profiles
Does your brand have a social media policy? If so, read this carefully and then use it to evaluate your social media profiles before making any changes. During the evaluation process, create a mission statement for each profile. Examples include: to share company culture and achievements, and ensure that each profile aligns with your business goals and objectives. Set up a table with headings which will help you decide whether being present on that social network is worthwhile or not.
- Identify platforms
Create a spreadsheet or table to highlight how each social media platform is used, how much engagement it receives, what your average mentions are, what actions you’re driving and any other information relevant to your social media strategy. This will help you identify which platform generates the most engagement, and which platform(s) need more time and effort spent on it/ them, which drives the most actions and which are simply not working for you.
- Ensure profiles are on brand
Now that you know which social media profiles you’re going to continue using, it’s time to check that each is on brand. This means having a proper profile photo, cover photo, icons, bios and descriptions, etc.
- Find your advocates
The easiest way to determine who your biggest fans are is to monitor your social media accounts over, say, a week to see who talks about you, who engages with you on a regular basis and what is being said about your company by individuals. You can also use TweetReach to find out how far afield your Tweets have travelled.
- Understand content
Can you answer these questions: how many times do we post per day? Which type of post has the most and least engagement, and performs best on each social media platform?
To really understand your content and increase engagement, you should know the answers to these questions and tailor your posts accordingly. Do the same for social media advertising – for example, which platforms generate the most actions/conversions when paying for space and which has the lowest cost per action or conversion?
- Measure growth
You should now have an idea of which social media platforms you would like your brand to continue with and the next step is to set goals for each of these platforms – increase postings, increase followers, likes etc. - and put tools in place to measure your progress/ success.