A strong social media presence is essential for any business. Without it, you’re unlikely to hit certain goals, especially concerning visibility and sales. However, simply crafting a strategy isn’t enough to make it a success. You also need to regularly check up on your social media efforts to ensure they’re delivering the desired results, and assess whether the platforms you’re focusing on are worth the effort. This process is known as a social media audit, and it’s a surefire way to boost your social presence.
In this post, we’ll explain what a social media audit is, and how it can benefit your business and marketing efforts. We’ll then explain the steps you’ll need to take to carry out an effective audit across your various platforms. Let’s get to it!
It’s probably fair to assume that, as a business owner, you’ll understand the importance of having a detailed social media strategy. Overall, a clear idea of how your business will use channels such as Instagram and Twitter is likely to increase your chances of success.
We’d love to say that this is all you need to achieve social media stardom. Unfortunately, like any other area of your business, your channels usually need regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. As a result, it’s advantageous to audit your social media platforms on a regular basis.
In short, a social media audit is the process of reviewing what is and isn’t working, along with ascertaining what can be improved upon. Establishing this will enable you to alter your strategy accordingly, and may even save you some money.
What’s more, paid social media advertising likely takes up a large part of your yearly budget. In fact, the money set aside by businesses specifically for this purpose is expected to almost double by 2023.
Although this is usually a worthy investment, an audit may reveal your cash is better placed elsewhere. Paying more attention to high-achieving areas of your business could help you achieve better results further down the line – beneficial for both you and your customers.
How to perform a killer social media audit (in 5 steps)
As it can be quite a lengthy process, we’re not expecting you to carry out a social media audit every week. However, you should aim to do one at least every few months. With this in mind, it’s time to get started! Here is our five-step guide to performing a killer social media audit.
Step 1: Create a template for your audit
The very first thing you’ll need to do when undertaking a social media audit is to plan how you’re going to proceed. Creating an audit spreadsheet will help you to organize each area of operation, and ensure nothing is missed during the process.
Basic details, such as the name and URL of any profiles.
Engagement metrics including ‘likes’ and followers.
The mission statement of each individual account. For example, you could note that the intention of your Twitter page is to raise brand visibility.
Key demographic information about your intended audience.
If this all sounds a bit confusing, don’t panic! Creating a spreadsheet (especially one containing so many metrics) can be tricky. Fortunately, social media management tools such as HootSuite have created handy templates to help get you well on your way.
Step 2: Track down any social media profiles attached to your brand
Now you have a document in place to track the most important info, it’s time to collect every single social profile associated with your business. During this process, you can begin to weed out any unnecessary or abandoned channels, and decide what to do with them.
Primarily, question whether you think they’ll be of use in the future. For example, are the profiles hosted on a platform relevant to your business, and do you have the time to flesh them out? Remember, poorly managed social media can have a negative impact on your brand, so try to assess them honestly and prune accordingly.
This is also a good time to consider whether you want to create an account with a channel you haven’t already populated. For example, Pinterest is often ignored in favor of the ‘big three’ (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter). If you feel it could be beneficial to your business to have a presence on this site, so be it!
If you’re unsure of how many accounts you hold, there are plenty of online resources to help you out. Simply enter the name of your business into sites such as Namechk or Knowem:
In a nutshell, these sites can give you an ‘at-a-glance’ view of the sites you’re able to register your business with (based on the username you entered). Once you’ve tracked them all down, you can add them to your spreadsheet and take further action.
Step 3: Analyze the effectiveness of your social profiles
Your next step is to dig into the data of each profile and see how well it’s performing. This will likely form the bulk of your social media audit, as it’s where you’ll uncover what’s working, what needs to be improved, and any areas for potential opportunity.
If you’ve followed our earlier advice (or used one of the provided templates) you’ll already have outlined some good metrics to note. Here are a few more key examples for good measure:
The number of clicks a link has received.
The rate of referral traffic from an advert.
The number of impressions a post has.
The number of likes a post has.
How you’ll actually get this information will vary from platform to platform, though most platforms have built-in analytics. You can also use our very own social media tool, Revive Old Posts, to connect automated posts directly to Google Analytics with UTM tracking:
Once you start to enter this data into your audit document, it should quickly become obvious which platforms are outperforming the others. This will become even more apparent as you begin to conduct audits on a regular basis and spot any underperforming channels. If one is seriously lagging behind, you can then begin to put in the work to improve it. This process may also uncover areas for future development.
For example, an aspect of your social presence you hadn’t previously held much value in may be performing better than you thought. Devoting more time (and investment) to this area could lead to a real positive change in your engagement – or even sales further down the line.
Step 4: Redefine your chosen target market
When you first created your social media strategy, it’s likely you had a clear idea of your target audience. Well, as with all aspects of business, your initial thoughts are subject to change.
You may find that the group of people you thought would be engaging and converting with your social profiles just aren’t. In contrast, there may be a demographic you hadn’t previously considered engaging with who are actually interested in your content. Uncovering this information will help you to decide your next steps.
Much like above, you’ll need to consult your analytics to find specific visitor data. All of the most popular sites will give you access to this information, as will the majority of management tools.
As always, enter the data into your audit document, and look for patterns forming in terms of the demographics who frequent your channels. This will let you know how consistent your approach is, and whether you need to take action.
If it isn’t consistent, it could be a sign that your brand identity is a little scattered. In this instance, it’s worth checking over the kinds of content you share on your channels and adjusting it for a more uniform approach – or at least changing things to target that particular user on a temporary basis.
Step 5: Create new goals and repeat the process
The final stage is to complete this whole process again. Admittedly you don’t need to do it right away – but it is important to carry out audits on a regular basis. As we’ve already touched upon, social media is always changing. Your approach should too.
Try to conduct an audit at least every few months, as this will help you to identify potential problems before they become a major issue. Going through the auditing process is also a great opportunity to set yourself some growth-related goals.
For example, you could take note of any trends that seem to be emerging. You can then set a targeted focus on this area during your next months of operation. Whatever the goals you decide to set, paying attention to your audit data is likely to help you achieve them.
Although it can be a time-consuming process, conducting an in-depth social media audit is a great way to accurately assess how well your chosen channels are performing. You can then begin to give more attention (and investment) to high-value areas and provide a better service for both visitors and potential customers.
In this post, we’ve suggested some of the possible steps you could take to complete a successful social media audit. Let’s go over them quickly:
Create a template for your audit that identifies any key information.
Track down any social media profiles attached to your brand.
Analyze the effectiveness of your social profiles.