What Is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is the process of reviewing what’s working, what’s failing and what can be improved upon across your social media channels.
Most people don’t look forward to audits. When’s the last time you were excited to get a letter from the Inland Revenue about issues with your tax return? However, not all audits are bad.
Yes, there are spreadsheets involved. And yes, you will have to get detailed. But it’s nowhere near as bad as you think. And with all the social media analytics tools available to help us, we can give you a quick acurate picture. On top of that, you will have a social media audit monthly, or quarterly if you prefer. As you start to get into the habit of reading audits, each one will become more simple.
Whether you’ve never seen a social media audit before or are unsure if you did it right, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to track your successful social media activity:
So, how often should you perform an audit?
Ultimately, you can do them as often as you’d like to. I recommend quarterly at the very least, but every week is best if possible.
The point is that you do it consistently and in a way that works for you.
We will create a spreadsheet to maintain all of the information you’ll be recording. We use Google Drive is a great place to do and its easy to share
Pull up Google Drive and select the “New” button.
From the drop-down menu, click “Google Sheets.”
Now, you’ll have a fresh spreadsheet to work with. I like using Google Drive because you can share them with your team, partners, and other vendors.
Next, ywe will label the columns.
These will be categories that list account information and key performance indicators.
What exactly should your columns contain? Here are some ideas:
- The username and URL for each platform that you’ll audit
- The number of followers for each account
- Engagement metrics
- Demographic information
- Popular content
These create a nice base to work off of. Here’s what my spreadsheet looks like now.
It seems a bit empty, huh? Let’s fix that by entering our account information.
I’d suggest that we date your audits or add monthly sections to them. This helps track monthly changes when you audit again in the future.
Since every platform is unique, you could also add columns for network-specific metrics.
With this basic template, you’re ready to use your auditing spreadsheet. Now, it’s time to get to work.
What should you do with your audit?
So, you’re sitting back and marveling at your in-depth spreadsheet. Now what?
It’s time to get marketing.
You now hold a great deal of data that you can use to improve your social channels and your business as a whole.
You should start with content.
What type of content does your audience like the most? Try producing more of this and measure the results next week or next month.
For example, you may find that your Facebook fans prefer videos over images. As simple as it sounds, delivering more videos could be the easiest way to increase shares and engagement.
Neil Patel posted this video on Facebook last year
And it was a direct result of a simple social media audit like this.
I’m investing a ton into video because I’ve seen that it produces the best results across almost every platform.
Now, I typically don’t talk about “finding your passion” and that type of stuff. I usually like to stick to nerdy marketing ideas.
But I’ve noticed that more personal topics like this get an awesome reaction.
So, guess what?
I’m adding more topics like this to my content calendar.
The whole reason for producing this content is to gain awareness and increase engagement.
The purpose is not to try and sell anything.
Instead, you want to mix content types and topics to drive the most interest possible.
Then, you can run retargeting campaigns with custom audiences to eventually sell to everyone who’s watching, commenting, and hitting the Like button.
Target a more defined audience.
With all of the research you’ve performed, you also now know a lot more about the demographics of your fans.
Things like age, gender, and location are much more concrete.
In the beginning, you probably had a rough idea of what your ideal user was like. Now, you know for sure.
I’d recommend searching for market reports based on your target demographics. These will give you further ideas on how to serve them better.
Even infographics like this one from Goldman Sachs on millennials can contain rich nuggets of knowledge about your audience.
Going off of this example, we might experiment by offering free shipping, discounts, or other convenience as the studies suggest.
Once you’ve compiled all of the previous data on your users, it’s simple to find out what works for them.
Reports and similar publications will detail trends and opportunities to take advantage of.
New sales channels and promising promotional strategies are some things to expect.
Overall, you know what your ideal user responds to the best, so you can tailor more content toward that.
Work smarter, not harder.
You now also know which platforms are delivering the biggest results.
You can use this information to implement what we call the “80/20 rule.”
It involves doubling down on the social networks that work the best for you.
Perhaps Instagram and Facebook drive the most traffic. If that’s the case, then focus your attention on those platforms.
Putting more energy into just a couple of networks may create more results than diversifying.
This rule also applies to content and advertisements. The data is telling you what works the best, so consider shifting your focus to just a few key areas.
At the same time, you can take this opportunity to test out different platforms. At the end of the day, you’ll never know until you try.
Maybe another social network would perform incredibly well, but you just haven’t tested it.
You can test a couple on a smaller scale and look at the results before you invest too much time into it.
You should also now be setting goals for your social accounts, including:
- Follower count
- Engagement numbers such as likes or comments
- Traffic that you drive to your website
When you perform another audit, you should be able to do it faster. You’ll be much more familiar with the process, which will help you streamline the process.
And, when you perform your next audit, you can track changes by comparing your numbers to your previous audits.
Over time, you will have a vivid picture of how your social accounts are developing.
Calculate budget and ROI.
Do you include ads in your marketing strategy?
If so, you’ll want to make them a component of your audit.
Ad platforms on Facebook and Pinterest, for example, will record the performance, costs, and other metrics for the ads you run.
Analyze which ad types and creatives are bringing you the best results. You could invest more of your budget into these while dialing back others.
This way, you can avoid spending money on advertisements that don’t deliver the most value.
Even small experiments with paid campaigns can help you better calibrate your organic efforts.
I integrate SEO and PPC for this very same reason.
I run a quick PPC campaign to find the keywords that convert best within an industry. Then, I’ll start building out content and SEO campaigns around this new data.
The same applies to social. Run paid campaigns to quickly identify top content, audiences, and so on. Then, tailor your organic efforts around what already works.
A social media audit doesn’t have to be long or tedious.
If you follow what I’ve outlined in this article, you can complete yours in as little as 30 minutes.
Every social media platform offers analytics and insights that you need to take advantage of.
You’ll become a master at all of them with enough practice.
They will enable you to improve your marketing strategies and speak to your audience in their language.
Preparation and organization are the keys to a successful audit. That’s why a simple spreadsheet is so handy.
You’ll want to keep a record of how these numbers increase or decrease over time. That way, you can draw conclusions about what’s working and what’s not.
Set a schedule to perform your audits, too. You could do them on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
Don’t be afraid to experiment by trying out new networks. You can add these to your next audit.
Set goals based on the collected data, and you’ll be consistently growing your social accounts over time.
What do you think is the most important part of a social media audit?