There is no doubt that social media is a powerful marketing tool. Ninety-six percent of small businesses use social media marketing in their overall marketing strategy. But you want to make sure you’re not just winging it. If your brand or organization is on social media, ask yourself the following questions:
- How do you use data to inform your social media strategy?
- How do you know if your social media strategy is working?
- How do I show ROI for my social media strategy?
What is a social media audit?
A social media audit can answer all of the questions above and more. Think of a social media audit as taking inventory of your organization’s social media presence and performance with the goal of making it better. By organizing all your current social media analytics, an audit offers a chance to enhance your social strategy and maximize your return on investment (ROI).
What are the benefits of a social media audit?
Before jumping headfirst into anything, it’s always important to understand why. Why should you do a social media audit in the first place? Sprout Social gives a reason that we really like: “Modern social media strategies should be based on data and goals. Accountability matters and the impact of social shouldn’t be a question mark.”
Following your social media audit, you’ll gain insights into:
- Enhancing your social media strategy
- Identifying your top-performing social media platforms
- Strengthening connections with your target audience and key demographics
- Identifying actionable strategies for immediate improvement in results
Who should do your social media audit?
It’s likely that you’re already quite busy, isn’t it? But putting your effort into social media is definitely worth it. And you don’t have to do it yourself. A third party can perform a social media audit (e.g., a consultant, branding agency, or an integrated digital marketing agency). This helps make sure the audit is both comprehensive and objective, bringing a fresh perspective to your social media strategy.
How often should you conduct a social media audit?
This answer should be determined by your organization’s bandwidth. If you’ve never done a social media audit, you should do one! Many sources recommend quarterly, but that’s not always possible for a full audit. If you can’t do a full audit, make sure you do a report monthly or quarterly of your social media platform’s analytics. An analytics report will give you valuable information, including:
- Platform demographics
- Top performing content
- Engagement rates
- Post reach
- Audience growth rate
Social media analytics tools can help make the creation of these reports simple. And if you’re not sure which metrics to track (and how to tell a story with your data), we covered this in an earlier blog post.
How to perform a social media audit
There’s really no right or wrong way to do a social media audit. Just make sure that before you begin, you know the purpose of why you’re performing the audit.
Step #1: Take inventory of all your social profiles
Start by creating a comprehensive inventory of your social profiles – handles and URLs. It might seem like a no-brainer but don’t limit this to just the major networks like Instagram or Facebook. Include even those less prominent ones that you don’t have as many followers or posts. Include the following in your inventory of each channel:
- Your purpose: Why are you on this channel?
- Your follower count
- Your current audience: Data on age, gender, geographic location, and interests.
- Key metrics: Engagement data (e.g., likes, shares, comments), posting frequency, and reach
Step #2: Ensure consistency in your branding, language, and identity across all social profiles
This includes your social media bios and any “About” language, logos, banner and cover images, destination URLs and landing pages, and hashtags. Everything should be consistent with your brand’s visual identity and brand voice.
Step #3: Evaluate your current social media presence and establish social media goals
With your inventory list present, take a look at your current resources and time spent on each platform and figure out how to make the most of your presence on each platform. Consider the following:
- The perks, downfalls, and unique characteristics of each platform
- Do you have the resources in place to maximize your presence on each platform?
Don’t hesitate to step away from social media platforms that don’t align with your company’s objectives. Instead, invest your time and resources in platforms that are effectively driving conversions and a stronger ROI.
From there, it’s easier to establish social media goals. Social media goals will help you use your social media channels in different ways.
Step #4: Dig into data and analyze your social media performance
The data and your content will help you analyze your social media performance. When looking at your data, ask yourself:
- Do the posts you share align with your objectives?
- Which posts exhibit strong performance, and which ones underperform?
- Upon reviewing your audience data, are there any unexpected insights that might necessitate adjustments to your social media strategy?
- Determine where it’s most beneficial to allocate more of your time and efforts.
Step #5: Find out more about your target audience
This involves social listening. Utilizing social media listening tools can significantly simplify the process of monitoring hashtags, user handles, subjects, or brand names. This approach provides valuable insights into the interests of your audience and industry. You can also conduct surveys or focus groups to find out more about your target audience.
Step #6: Analyze your competitor’s social media channels
Embrace the idea of seeking inspiration from others including competitors – both direct competitors and other brands selling different products and services to a similar target audience. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What platforms do they emphasize?
- Which content generates the highest engagement for them?
- What kinds of calls to action (CTAs) prove effective?
- Do they favor videos, text, or images? What performs most effectively?
- Which captions elicit increased audience interaction?
- What communication style do they employ when engaging with followers – is it formal, informal, friendly, etc.?
- How can you replicate and achieve similar outcomes?
Just remember to take inspiration, but explore how you can incorporate your brand voice into it.
Step #7: Decide whether or not you want to join any new social media platforms
No matter what, it’s always good to stay on top of new trends in social media marketing. Whether a new platform sticks around and becomes a sensation (i.e., TikTok) or is just a flash in the pan (i.e., Clubhouse), the decision to become an early adopter should be weighed carefully.
Step #8: Develop a new and improved social media strategy
Create a list of ways to enhance your social media strategy based on the findings from your audit. Start by aligning your efforts with your company’s goals and then present the findings to your team to discuss the next steps. Your revamped social media approach continues to support your broader company objectives. Remember that social media should always align with your overall business goals.
Tools that can help with a social media audit
A social media management tool simplifies the process of collecting analytics, allowing you to access data from all your social media channels in a single location. If you don’t have access to such a tool, you can rely on the built-in analytics provided by the social media platforms you regularly use.
You probably have Google Analytics, specifically GA4, already configured. If that’s the case, you can include Google data in your audit. This includes understanding your traffic sources or where the majority of your social traffic ends up, reviewing search data can help you align your social marketing efforts with your search visibility and what your current audience is searching for.
Overit’s approach to social media audits and social media strategy
At Overit, our process for social media starts with listening. This includes conducting a social media audit. These serve as your social media roadmap or training manual for up to three social networks and are written to break down every aspect of your campaign (account build and optimization, finding followers/fans, tools to use, content ideas, etc.) to make it actionable.
Your social media audit from Overit will include:
- Analytics Review
- Content Audit
- Audience Research
- Competitor/Gap analysis
- Asset Library review (audio, video, etc.)
- Interview with the client team to find out what they’re doing with social, want to do, capabilities, etc.
Learn more about our approach to social media strategy and how we can help you audit your social media accounts.