social audit

The Benefits of Doing a Social Audit

For millions, social media is little more than a place to post the latest selfies and food pics, but as an entrepreneur, you know it has much more to offer. With nearly half of the world’s population using some form of social media, your customers are bound to be there. What’s more, recent research indicates that more than 50% of consumers use social media platforms to research products before making a purchase. 

Running a business takes time, but, your social media presence is too important to place on the back burner — you need a plan for reaching your customer base, and the best way to evaluate the effectiveness of that plan is through routine social media audits.

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Why social media audits are necessary

No one hears the word “audit” and expects to have fun. Social media audits require a lot of work, but they do offer some hefty benefits to businesses in return.

To perform a social media audit, you’ll need to analyze your presence across all platforms. It’s crucial you look at every platform your company has ever engaged with, not just the one you post to most regularly. One piece of content at a time, you’ll determine whether the videos, photos, blog posts or blurbs you post are meeting your goals outlined in your social strategy, using your key performance indicators to discover what works and what needs fixing. 

As you take in the complete overview of your online presence, nagging inconsistencies between various profiles are bound to jump out at you. Unifying your branding across the web will maximize your credibility, and the data you’ll uncover during your audit will provide direction to reach a larger audience, as well as how to inspire them to increase engagement with your brand. The more frequently you are able to conduct social media audits, the more opportunities you will have to capitalize on these opportunities.

The What, Why and How of Content Audits

Creating a cohesive brand across all social media platforms 

As part of your audit, analyze your social media presence across every profile you’ve created as a business. Go through each and every platform, forum, channel, feed and website carefully. Ask yourself if your brand image and style is cohesive across the entire Internet, ensuring that your messaging is up-to-date and your company information is accurate on every profile. 

Even tiny inconsistencies in digital presence can weaken your brand’s authority. For instance, a platform with summer specials still featured in the middle of fall looks unprofessional and lazy. If your brand’s content doesn’t spark your own interest or provide insight to a problem, it likely won’t serve your followers either.

How to perform your social media audit

Before you conduct an audit, the first step of a successful social media audit is understanding exactly what you are hoping to get out of each platform. In other words, what are the goals and objectives outlined in your social media strategy? Why are you taking the time to create and post videos to TikTok or pinning new pictures to your Pinterest board each day? It’s critical that every piece of content you share works toward these goals. 

Knowing the “why” behind your marketing efforts makes all the difference. For example, some people are using social media to grow their following. Some may want to acquire new sales leads or direct more traffic to their online store, while others are using it to build their brand’s authority. You may have different goals for different platforms, so take time to consider this carefully if you have not yet done so.

Once you have determined your goals for each social media profile, you can then choose the data you need to best analyze your success. Create a spreadsheet with each profile and its goals and objectives along the top with performance indicators or metrics down the side, enabling you to better track and measure those goals.

Next, visit each platform and mine the data you need. If you’re attempting to grow your audience, take note of your total followers, how many you gained, how many you lost and how those numbers compare to your last audit. Remember, numbers don’t tell the whole story. Make sure you also analyze your audience’s demographics and how they interact with your content. If you’re bringing in followers who love your videos but could care less about your products or services, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy. 

Conversely, if your goal for a platform involves boosting engagement, use the platform’s insights tool or a reporting software to examine how many shares, likes, saves and comments each received. Look into the demographics of these followers to find out whether or not you’re connecting with the people you intended to target. 

To figure out what is bringing the most engagement, choose your top 10 most active posts on each platform and evaluate why each was successful. If your audience seems to prefer video content over the written word, give them more of what they want. If they frequently comment on your blogs, start producing more on topics relevant to their interests. In many cases, you will find that what works like magic on one platform flops on another. When you discover what resonates with followers on any given profile, do more of it. If you have trouble uncovering this, don’t forget to just ask your audience what they’re interested in. There are plenty of creative ways to start a dialogue with your followers and learn what they want to see more of.

Now that you’ve established your goals and evaluated your progress with cold, hard data, it’s time to reap the rewards. You should be getting a picture of where your efforts are most efficient and where you can make your presence more effective.

Throughout your social media audit, if you encounter a specific platform that’s not meeting your goals, consider using a different type of content or tone that would attract and engage with more followers. Another option could be investigating what works for your competitors on that platform. If you feel the payoff of reviving that particular profile isn’t worth it, disengage and focus your time on work that will offer greater mutual value and ROI.

7 Simple Reasons Your Social Posts Are Falling Flat

How to update your social media plan

After your deep dive into the data, you should have a clear direction about actions that will make your social media presence more effective. The idea is to take what you’ve learned and apply it to the goals you set at the beginning of the audit. 

For example, you may have noticed neglected platforms in desperate need of optimization. Perhaps, while researching demographics, you discovered you need to retarget your marketing strategy. While studying competitors, you may have decided changing your content’s style would boost engagement, or found that you simply need to post more frequently. 

The final step in the audit is updating your social media strategy with objectives that help you improve. At the end of this process, you should have actionable ideas that bring you closer to achieving each of your social media marketing goals. Remember, making these objectives measurable enables you to evaluate your progress during next month’s audit.

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