Performing A Social Media Audit
What is a social media audit?
Upon hearing the word audit, many people immediately recoil. Taking a deep dive into any area of your business or life always seems daunting and unappealing, however, this process, whether it be for personal finances, company productivity, or in this case, social media, can be hugely rewarding and insightful.
A social media audit is no different to any other audit, in that it entails gathering all of your current social media data, performance analytics and design elements and dissecting them, before reassessing your strategy and making positive, measurable changes. When it comes to social media, many companies, in particular those managing in-house, often make the mistake of falling into a familiar pattern of activity, without giving a second thought as to whether their content is performing as well as it could be. A social media audit allows you to refocus your attention on the areas that are performing well, and overhauling those that are bringing absolutely no benefits to you whatsoever.
The very first step in this process is to identify all of your social media channels. This includes defunct channels that you may have set up years ago, and are sitting unused. These silent channels act as a distraction when customers and fans are looking for you online, and may cause confusion. Only keep the channels where you see potential for growth and engagement, and delete the rest.
Before starting your audit, make sure that you have clearly identified the core metrics which you will use to measure success and failures. As a general rule, the below metrics should give you a well rounded snapshot of the current state of your content:
Engagement Metrics: This includes all measures of engagement, including likes, shares, reactions and comments. These can be found within the in-built analytics feature included on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Publishing Metrics: How much content do you publish and when?
Audience Demographics: Again using the analytics features available to you, remember to record your audience demographics, namely gender, age and location.
Now that you have the basics covered, you can start the process of implementing your social media audit. We have split the audit process into two parts.
Part 1: Your Content
This section looks at the nitty gritty of your social media strategy, where you will examine the content that you have been putting on your feeds to date, looking beneath the surface at your engagement rates and follower growth. Each of these steps should be repeated for all of your social media channels, as results will almost certainly vary.
Outline the timeline from which you will work from. We would recommend using your past three months’ worth of content.
Using each platforms built in analytics, record the following:
How many times you are posting per week
Weekly engagements, breaking this down into likes, shares/retweets and comments
Weekly follower growth
Next, reflect on what types of media you are using. This includes the use of GIFs, videos, images and links.
Make a note of your top performing hashtags.
Make a note of your 10 most engaged posts and analyse whether:
There is a consistent media type that outperforms the others
These posts have been shared at similar times of day
The content in these posts is consistent or varied
Make a note of your 10 worst performing posts and analyse the same elements.
Once you have completed these steps for each of your social media channels, you should be starting to see various patterns within your results that indicate what type of content it is that your fans really love. You may have been certain that pushing your online wine shop was going to be the key to sales, but if your followers don’t enjoy this content, you need to embrace a more holistic approach to selling online and swap some of that content out for more engaging posts, such as behind the scenes action at the winery, or educational posts regarding your wines. If people enjoy your content, they will engage and begin building a digital relationship with your wines. When the time comes for them to purchase, they are more likely to choose you, as they will feel an element of familiarity and trust with your products.
Part 2: Aesthetics
The second part of your audit will focus on the aesthetic and design elements of your social channels. Having consistent visual branding across your channels will reinforce your brand identity which leads to better brand recognition.
To ensure that your visual identity is consistent, take a look at the following areas of your social media output, highlighting any inconsistencies:
Overall appearance: Your profile pictures and cover images should be consistent across all of your channels. Furthermore, ensure that these are correctly formatted and cropped, in line with each platform. Finally, make sure that the images you use are high quality, using blurry images immediately gives the wrong impression for fans visiting your page for the first time. Other elements to look out for:
Are your profile bios aligned?
Are the links in your bios correct?
Post Layout: Make sure that there is a level of consistency within the posts themselves. Your posts should build their own identity, whether this is regular uses of emojis and hashtags, or ensuring that the imagery that you are using is the correct size and format for each channel.
Now that you have completed your audit, it is important to capitalise on your work by outlining action points. You may find that there are only a few areas that need your attention, or that your entire strategy needs to be revisited.
Here are a few tactics in particular that you can look at adjusting going forward:
Platforms: Are you seeing next to no meaningful engagement on some channels, and above average engagement on another? If the majority of your fans are on Twitter, make sure that your strategy is in line with this, and that you post more frequently here.
Type of posts: You may have found that there are standout posts which outperform the others, in which case, make these the core of your social strategy. If you have a content strand which doesn’t delivery meaningful engagement, consider adjusting it or even scrapping it altogether. Quality over quantity is key on social media, and continuing to share content that your followers don’t like makes them more likely to unfollow you.
Frequency of posts: If you are seeing results that suggest fewer, more meaningful posts return more engagements, consider reducing your output.
With all of this auditing under your belt, you should now feel reconnected with the state of your social media channels, and ready to make constructive changes in order to keep your profiles successful and thriving. Whilst a fairly time consuming task, actioning this type of audit every 3-6 months is a great way to avoid your content getting stale, and encourages new ideas and problem solving. One of the biggest mistakes brands can make when it comes to their social media channels is letting their content themes run on for too long without inputting any new concepts, and this is a great way to encourage creativity.
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Terrified at the results of your audit? Contact us for Champagne social media management on a Prosecco budget!