How to complete a social media audit
Social media can often feel like a huge guessing game. Not knowing what kind of content to post or how much of an impact your efforts are having can be frustrating. The good news is that completing a social media audit every quarter, or at the very least once a year, is the best way to stay on top of it all. If you feel like you’re juggling too much or not receiving the engagement you were hoping for a simple audit can go a long way to discovering any pitfalls in your strategy.
So let’s get started…!
What is a social media audit?
It’s not as daunting as it sounds, I promise. An audit is simply the process of reviewing your social media accounts metrics to assess growth and research growth opportunities. It’s a fantastic way to improve your company’s online presence and promote brand awareness. There are some in-depth templates and guides out there, but here are some easy steps you can take to rejuvenate your socials.
How to complete an audit
– Collate all Social Media channels
The first step is to locate all of your social media channels across all platforms. You can start by visiting each platform individually (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and Pinterest), and do a name search for your company to see what comes up. You can also type your company’s name into a search engine and you may be surprised to find an old YouTube channel with three subscribers!
Once you have sourced all of your profiles and assumed control of as many as possible, we can move onto the next step. It’s worth keeping a note of any accounts you don’t have control over or those that may be fake accounts as you can work with the platform to rectify these another time.
– Branding Consistency
Brand consistency is vital to creating brand awareness. A consistent image across all socials will help people become familiar with your brand which, in turn, can increase the likelihood of them using your service or shopping with you.
As you work through your audit, make sure your profiles “match”, this can include:
- Profile photo and banner images
- Bio and About sections, including;
- Links and landing pages
- Brand voice
It may be that your profile doesn’t change much, but if you run seasonal campaigns or even one-off events such as sales and giveaways it’s important to check your profile more often. You wouldn’t want your bio to link to your summer range in December!
Company Goals & Objectives
– What do you want to achieve from your social media?
- Increasing your brand awareness
- Creating or increasing community engagement
- Generating leads and sales
- Increasing traffic to your website
- Growing your audience
Coming up with a mission statement is a great way to stay focused and it should help you identify the key metrics to evaluate for each social media platform.
For most companies, the website traffic and subsequent conversions are good metrics to track here. All engagement on your social channels is important, but real return on investment happens when followers turn into leads and then customers.
Analysis & Metrics
This leads nicely into the analysis of your social media metrics and what they can tell you about your business performance. This is where you will be able to see if your platform is performing or if there is room for improvement. There are various templates and spreadsheets available online for you to input your metrics and see which platforms are working for you.
– Funneling from your socials to your Website
It’s critical to measure the relationship between your social media presence and how many people are visiting your website. This information will help you understand the amount of legitimate interest from your audience as well as which platform is generating you the most leads.
Using Google Analytics, you can source the traffic numbers under the “Acquisition” tab and filtering by “Social”. Here, you can focus on each social platform individually to find out which pages people are being sent to, and how long they are staying on your website.
It’s also possible to delve further into this. Let’s say you’ve run a campaign on Instagram using influencers and you want to find out who received the most conversions. You can give each person a unique URL that can be tracked on Google Analytics to show which person had the highest click-through rate. Using an Urchin Traffic Monitor (UTM) on Google’s UTM Builder site you can add a small, unique piece of code to the end of your website URL and then simplify it using a programme like Bitly.
Making sure some of your content contains a “Call To Action” will encourage people to click through to your website. This can be done using emotive language or encouragement such as sales, giveaways and competitions.
– Identify top-performing posts
Within each platform, you can drill down even further to see which types of posts are resonating with your audience. For example, they may prefer photos, videos, or even question based content – or maybe it’s a variation of the former. The native analytics for each platform can help you understand this by breaking it down into the following categories:
- Impressions (How many people viewed your content)
- Engagements (How many likes, comments shares etc)
- Reach (How many people your content was shown to)
Once you have identified your top-performing posts you can generate more of these going forwards for your marketing strategy.
– Tracking metrics and ROI over time
It’s good practice to check your analytics and compare your results from the same time last month (month-on-month) or last year (year-on-year). Over time, this will help you detect any variances such as seasonal campaigns or events.
If you run specific paid or organic campaigns on any platform, it’s imperative to calculate your return on investment, ROI for short. In a nutshell, this is just how much you spent on ads, materials and labour compared to how much your company made as a direct result of your social media marketing efforts. There are some free, easy to use tools out there that can help you calculate this such as this one: ROI Calculator.
– Understanding your platform audience
Demographic data should guide your brand voice and the types of content you post; different generations will react differently depending on your content, which is why drilling down into age and gender metrics is key. Most social platforms will have this information in their native analytics, and ideally, your audience data should be similar across your platforms and skew towards your target audience. As an example, here is a snapshot of our demographic data on Facebook which is very similar to that of our Instagram.
Streamline Existing Socials & Opportunities for New Platforms
– Passwords/Username Details & Ownership
Ideally, every social platform should be “owned” by one person or, at the very least, under the same team email address. This way, it’s clear who is responsible for ensuring the accounts are up to date and verifying who else has access to them. Unifying usernames, creating secure passwords and holding them in a central location is also important.
– Consider the best and least performing platforms and the effort that is required to maintain them
By now, you should have lots of information and a good understanding of how your socials are performing. This is a good time to make some strategic decisions about where to focus your marketing efforts. Look at how each channel is performing and weigh up the ROI versus how much time and effort is required to manage each one. Maybe it’s time to consider a new social channel to replace or supplement ones that no longer perform as required.
– Research new and upcoming platforms
New social media platforms emerge all the time so it’s worth keeping an eye on those that become popular, especially with your target audience. Adopting new platforms can help you position yourself in front of your competitors. At the same time, don’t stretch yourself too thin as it’s best to master a couple of platforms, or even just one to begin with, instead of doing half a job on lots of them!
Competitor analysis is the process of researching your market competitors and seeing what they are doing in terms of their content and advertisements. First things first, write down a list of all the companies you believe to be in competition with. Next, you could do some generic Google searches to find other similar companies in your area or further afield. Those that rank well (on the first page of Google) will be strong competitors – and keep an eye on those who have paid spots on the top of Google’s search results!
– Facebook Ads Analysis
Back in 2018, Facebook released a page/ads transparency tool which allows users to view what ads a Facebook page is currently running. If you track this information on a monthly basis, that will give you a good oversight of their trends and any changes to their marketing strategy.
To do this, simply visit the Facebook Ad Library and search for your competitors by their page name. Remember to turn off any Ad-blocking tools you may have running as this will cause the tool to return no search results. Alternatively, you can visit their Facebook page and navigate to the Page Transparency section. Clicking on this box will bring up the Ad Library once again. If they’re running ads in multiple locations, you’ll see a drop-down list that allows you to define the ads by location. You can identify which regions your competitors are focusing on, as well as if they’re targeting a new country or region.
Congratulations! You’ve taken great steps in optimising your social media channels, which means it should be even easier next time you complete an audit. Here’s the last bits you should consider:
– Schedule regular audits every quarter
If possible, schedule in some time in your diary to complete an audit every Quarter or at the very least, once a year. This will keep your channels optimised, on brand and engaging for your customers. It’s also ideal to complete an audit if something significant as a rebrand occurs as you want to make sure every social (and your website) is looking its best.
– Social Media optimum size guides
Every now and then, platforms will undergo a User Interface (UI) makeover, which means that things such as profile photos, banner photos and content resolution sizes may change. Here, you can find an up to date spreadsheet containing all optimum resolution sizes for your images. When a UI change occurs it could be that images become blurry or important information is cropped off your banner image. Using image editing software such as PhotoShop or Canva, you can create images based on the exact resolution required and adapt them for each platform as needed.
There you have it! You’ve completed your social media audit!
The great thing is, you can dig into the analytics as much as you feel comfortable, for example, Google Ads and Analytics can offer a wealth of information if you drill down into its various sections. It may be that it’s not required to change something each time you complete an audit, but taking the time to check is the most important part.