Social media marketing has become an essential part of online marketing strategy, especially among small businesses because of its cost-effectiveness, ability to reach targeted audiences quickly, and generate more leads/sales. (Ciprian, 2015) Knowing where your social media accounts are making an impact is important for your business.
Why have a presence on social media if you don’t really know the benefits that presence is providing?
Conducting an audit is the primary way you can hone in on how successful your social media strategy is and the areas you should strengthen. Auditing doesn’t have to be a lengthy process, but it is one that you should perform every month to see any trends that are developing.
At Woodland Strategies, we collaborate with business owners and marketers in creating clear strategies that are based on defined outcomes. Having a social media presence is an integral part of marketing strategies today and in the foreseeable future. Successful digital strategies are not about aesthetics or style, but a fit between your brand promise and delivery. (Prahalad, 2020)
By performing regular audits on your social media accounts you can see critical metrics of how effective those marketing efforts are. What is the best way to audit your social media accounts? In this article, we will demystify the audit process by simplifying the steps involved in auditing your social media accounts.
What is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is a series of steps you can take to assess and sharpen your business’ social media profiles and strategies in order to stay on top of your online presence. Basically, it is a process that is used to measure the success of your social media strategy across accounts and platforms. It will identify your strengths, weaknesses, and the next steps to improve.
An audit can include impressions, comments, likes, shares, and other interactions. You can also see which of your posts are getting the most engagement and the specific audience that is engaging the most.
Some of the questions you should ask when conducting an audit are:
- What do I want to achieve?
- Who is my target audience?
- Am I being successful in reaching my target audience?
- Which social media platforms am I using?
- Am I using any social media tools?
- How will I measure success?
Why Conduct a Social Media Audit?
As a business owner and/or marketer, it is important to stay up to speed on the best ways to use social platforms as a marketing, advertising, and branding tool. Auditing your social media helps you review how those efforts are tracking against your business goals. It helps your business refocus your social media marketing on your business goals, in case the two have gone askew. An audit will indicate how well you are performing, what needs to be changed, what your priorities should be going forward, and how well you are (or your team is) equipped to make the most of social media.
Completing an audit will enable you to know which areas to focus your resources to get the best results. For example:
- Is a presence on various media bringing in new customers?
- Are your channels retaining old customers while engaging with others?
- Are there online profiles that are not aligned with your business’ marketing plan? If so, should you realign them or dispose of them?
Define Your Goals for Social Media Strategy
Before getting started on the audit, be sure you are clear on what your goals are for the social media marketing strategy. Either define or revisit your goals and have a clear strategy in place. This also means having specific goals for each social media network you have a presence on. Looking at these will give you clarity about what your marketing efforts on each platform should be geared towards.
What do you want to achieve with social media? What are your goals and content marketing strategy for your business? Spend time on this and then move on to the audit. Some examples of social media goals:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Discovering audience insights
- Building engaged community
- Growing traffic to your website
- Gaining broad social media reach
How to Conduct a Social Media Audit
Conducting an audit on your social media accounts isn’t difficult, but it does require you to gather some information, especially in the beginning.
Collect Your Social Media Profiles
Create a list of all your social media profiles. Start with all the social profiles you have established even if you aren’t active on all of them. This might include platforms you aren’t using like. Keep track of the following elements for each platform:
- The social media network
- The URL
- Your profile name and/or description
- The number of followers or fans
- The date of your last activity
Next, decide on the platforms you want to focus on. As you progress into the audit, you may see that some profiles are top performers that you didn’t realize were.
An easy way to record this information and keep it organized is in a spreadsheet. For example, you can set up a row for each social media platform with columns for the site name, URL, profile name, followers, and last activity.
Analyze each social network as to its performance. This can be somewhat tedious if it’s not your bailiwick, but it is the way you will learn how each network is performing.
Look at these key statistics:
- Traffic each social network is driving to your website
- Sales that can be attributed to each social media network
- Newsletter sign-ups from social media
- The size and engagement rate of each social media network
These statistics will tell you where your audience is engaging most.
Most Important Metrics
Next, you can determine how each active social media network is performing by looking at the metrics you feel matter most to your business, based on your goals and business objectives.
Questions to ask include:
- How many followers does it have?
- How many reaches and impressions are there?
- What are your top posts?
- What are your lowest-performing posts?
- What is the number of engagements and what is the engagement rate?
Here are some of the most important social media success metrics to track:
- Audience growth rate
- Engagement rate
- Referral traffic
- Video views
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Conversion rate
- Cost-per-click (CPC)
- Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
Analytical Tools to Help in the Audit
There are a number of analytical tools available to assist you in obtaining the numbers for each social media platform. Using a tool can decrease the amount of time the audit takes.
You can also use the built-in analytics tools for each social network for sorting and locating your top posts for the metric you have chosen. You can find guides and instructions on these tools easily.
Look across all of your active social media platforms and be sure your branding is consistent.
- Check your profile and cover photos including image sizes.
- Be sure you are using the same username on all social media profiles.
- Check the URL you provide with your bio information.
- Write bio content that describes your brand and products in a way that is user-friendly.
Schedule a Strategic Marketing Consultation with Woodland Strategies Today
Keeping up with how successful your social media presence is performing is only one component of an effective marketing strategy. At Woodland Strategies, we can assist you in all aspects of your strategic planning and marketing, as well as business development, consumer relationships, marketing strategy, and so much more. Our strategic planning agency works with businesses and organizations around Minneapolis to help them develop a roadmap to meet their goals and achieve success. Please contact us by filling out our contact form or giving us a call today at 952-303-4594.