How to conduct a social media audit: a step-by-step guide
Nine out of ten adults in the UK use the internet at least once a week. Among other popular activities like checking email and shopping online, social media remains one of the most popular ways to use the internet. Is your brand’s social media ready to be seen?
A social media audit will help you see if your current social media is where you want it to be. If it’s not, your audit will also provide information to help you fix it. Without taking the time to refine your social media strategy, you’ll never capture the attention of all those millions of internet users.
However, a social media audit means more than taking a quick scroll through your brand’s Facebook or Instagram. Here’s your complete, step-by-step guide to completing a successful social media audit.
What Is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit means taking the time to thoroughly evaluate your brand’s social media presence. Then, to complete the audit, you’ll make changes to optimize your existing social media profiles, and your future strategies.
A social media audit isn’t something that a brand does just once when it’s starting out. Instead, regular social media audits need to become a routine part of the job.
An audit lets you see what’s working and what isn’t. It also provides the chance to revise social media strategies as your brand evolves, and as social media itself changes.
When Do You Need Social Media Audit?
Not sure if your brand needs a social media audit at all?
Here’s a hint: yes, it does. All brands need regular social media audits!
However, deciding when you need a social media audit is another story. Here are some signs it’s time to take a closer look at your social media strategies.
1. Your Social Media Isn’t Getting Results
If you’re not seeing healthy results thanks to your social media strategies, it’s probably time for a change.
Maybe you haven’t seen any new Twitter follows in a while, or your Facebook followers all stopped commenting. An audit can help you fix this and get the results you want.
2. It’s Been a While Since the Last Audit (Or you have never done one)
Has a year or more gone by since your last social media audit? If so, it’s probably time.
Of course, you can do social media audits more than once a year, too. However, if you hit the one-year mark with no audit, that’s likely a sign that your social media strategies and profiles are falling out of date.
Even if nothing changes at your brand, social media changes often. New trends crop up, and apps get redesigned, making new strategies necessary. An audit helps you keep up.
3. Your Brand Has Changed
No matter the timing, major changes to your brand always mean it’s a good time for a social media audit.
Maybe you’ve adjusted your target audience, updated your logo, or taken a whole new direction. Your social media needs to reflect those changes, whatever they are! An audit ensures your social media stays on track with the brand’s latest version.
Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Social Media Marketing Audit
Now that you know whether or not you need an audit, here’s every step to follow for a successful social media audit.
Step 1: List Every Profile
First, you’ll need to know what you’re working with.
Scour the internet to find every social media profile your brand owns. Make sure to list all those profiles somewhere organized, like on a spreadsheet. You’ll need to audit and update your profiles one at a time, so keep the information orderly.
Don’t forget to include old or little-used profiles in your audit. Out-of-date information floating around online doesn’t reflect well on your brand. Use an audit to update the profiles that still matter, and delete the ones that don’t.
Step 2: Check the Basics
Now that you have your existing profiles laid out, and you’ve deleted the ones that aren’t relevant, it’s time to check the essentials on the rest.
You’ll want to start with the basics. Does each profile visually reflect your brand? Does the language line up with your brand’s values? Is the information in the bio up to date?
You should also check out the followings you have on each profile, and record those numbers on your spreadsheet or list. By the time the next audit comes around, you’ll be able to see how much they’ve changed.
In this step, your goal is to look at your social media as though you were an average user. Will your target audience see compelling, consistent, relevant information from your brand on each platform? If not, you know you need to make some changes.
Step 3: Analyze the Data
Once you’ve completed this basic overview, it’s time for a deep dive. Next, you’ll go behind the scenes and get into the analytics of each profile.
Some platforms offer certain analytics already. However, to learn more about how well your social media is working, you may want to invest in a social media management system. This software can show you more about engagement, impressions, and more on each post.
Step 4: Find Your Top Players
As you sift through data, you’ll see that certain platforms and certain posts do better than others.
For example, maybe you had one Instagram post that got a surprisingly high number of likes. Maybe your Facebook has way more followers than your Twitter.
Once you’ve found your top players, your next task is to find out why they’re doing so well. For example, is more of your target audience on Facebook than Twitter, or have you just been posting on Facebook more often?
In this process, you should start to see some patterns. A certain type of post, or posting at a certain time, may get great results.
Step 5: Refine Your Focus
Knowing which social media content performs well for you, and why, will help you think about the next steps. Now, it’s time to set some goals and refine your focus.
Now that you know where the holes in your social media strategy are, focus on fixing them. For example, posting more on Twitter might help you get more followers. Then again, maybe you’ve realized your target audience doesn’t really use Twitter, and it’s time to focus more on Instagram instead.
In addition to focusing on your most useful platforms, start focusing on the posts that do the best. If your followers usually respond better to image posts than text posts, you’ll want to post more images in the future.
Step 6: Make a Strategy
With all you’ve learned so far, it’s time to make a strategy.
Define exactly what you’ll post on each platform, at what times, and how often. Note any platforms that need to be revised, and plan how you’ll do it.
For example, maybe you’ll transition your Instagram feed from random images to colour-coordinated or themed ones, and include more nature pictures since that’s what gets good responses.
Your strategy might also include following other people and interacting in different ways. Want more engagement, for example? Then you might plan to respond to user comments on posts regularly as part of your strategy.
Make sure to include both organic and paid social in your strategy. Organic posts and ads can work nicely together to help you reach your goals.
Step 7: Create a Calendar
To make sure you can stick to this strategy, create a content calendar.
This calendar will firmly define what you’ll post on each platform, and how often. For example, maybe you’ll post on Twitter three times a week, with one original post and two shares or retweets.
Your calendar keeps you appropriately active on each relevant site. It can also allow you to plan out posts ahead of time.
You may even want to start using social media scheduling software at this point. That way, you can plan out your posts and schedule them ahead of time, freeing up more time for other important social media activities.
Step 8: Measure Your Progress
You don’t need to wait until your next audit to measure how well your new content is working! Instead, you should frequently track analytics to check your social media results.
If your goal is to gain new followers, and your plan is to post content at a different time of day, check every week or so to see if your followers are growing. If not, you may need to revise that strategy yet again.
Ready to Try a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit may sound like a lot of work. However, it’s better to do an imperfect social media audit than none at all. Don’t hesitate to get started!
That said, many brands also bring in professionals to conduct social media audits and help them strategize. Unless you’re already an expert, you can get better results from a professional audit than you can from one you do yourself!
Wondering if an expert audit and strategy is what your brand needs? Check out our portfolio here for a taste of the great results we can offer, then get in touch about our social media marketing services!