Picture this: You manage your business's social accounts, juggling posts, ads, comments, and hashtags. You're constantly keeping up with the latest trends, tackling algorithm changes, and shifting your game plan as and when needed. It seems like a never-ending roller coaster.
But what happens if you decide to analyze what you're doing?
What if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture?
What if you want to know how well your social media efforts work?
You can focus on the numbers, but if you want to get a picture of how your social media strategy is working, you need to conduct a social media audit.
In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of conducting a social media audit and share some tools to help you do it.
Let's get started.
What Is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is a comprehensive assessment of your business's social media presence across all platforms. This evaluation process involves examining your social media accounts, scrutinizing their performance, and aligning them with your business goals.
It fundamentally provides insights into what's working, what's not, and how you can optimize your social media strategy moving forward. Key factors considered during the audit include your various social platforms, consistency of branding across platforms, audience demographics, engagement rates, and top-performing content.
An effective social media audit can help enhance your brand's online presence, identify growth opportunities, and ensure your efforts efficiently contribute to your overall business objectives. In short, it's an essential tool in your digital strategy arsenal that fosters continuous improvement.
How to Conduct A Social Media Audit: Step-by-Step Process
Here's the process for conducting a social media audit:
Before you begin, setting goals and creating a strategy is important. Consider the following steps to equip yourself with all the information required for a comprehensive audit:
A. Access to Social Media Profiles
Compile a list of all your active social media accounts. This includes major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and other industry-specific or niche networks where your brand has a presence. Confirm that you can manage and monitor these accounts during the audit.
B. Analytics and Tracking Tools
Ensure you're equipped with the necessary tools for collecting and analyzing the data generated by your social media profiles. This often includes platform-specific analytics tools (such as Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights, and Twitter Analytics) and third-party tracking solutions like Google Analytics, Sprout Social, or Highperformr.
C. Social Media Goals
Document your current social media objectives to serve as a benchmark for the audit. These may include goals related to brand awareness, audience engagement, lead generation, or customer support. This will help you measure your progress and determine if your efforts effectively contribute to your business milestones.
D. Target Audience
Define your target audience in detail by identifying key demographic factors such as age, gender, interests, location, and profession. This information is crucial, as it facilitates a more informed assessment of your audience engagement and content performance throughout the audit process.
E. Competitor Analysis
Compile a list of your primary competitors within your industry or niche. Select a few representative businesses that can serve as benchmarks for comparison during your audit. Identifying your competitors' strengths and weaknesses can offer valuable insights into opportunities for improvement and growth in your own social media strategy.
If you prepare for a social media audit by considering these key factors, you'll be well-equipped to conduct a valuable and data-driven analysis.
2. Create a Social Media Audit Spreadsheet
To ensure a systematic and clear analysis, it is worthwhile to establish a Social Media Audit Spreadsheet. This tool will serve as a repository of valuable data collected during the audit, paving the way for a transparent overview of your social media presence. Arranged by columns, this document should encompass aspects including:
- Platform: The name of the social media network (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.).
- Username (Handle): The specific username or handle used on each platform.
- Profile URL: The direct link to your profile on each platform.
- Profile Information: Overview of your profile details, including bio, profile and cover images, and contact information.
- Follower Count: The total number of followers on each platform.
- Engagement Rate: Metrics indicating audience interaction with your content, such as likes, shares, comments, and retweets.
- Posting Frequency: The regularity or rate at which you post content on each platform.
- Top Performing Content: A summary or links to the posts showing the highest engagement and visibility.
- Key Metrics: Other important data per your business objectives and target audience. This could include referral traffic, leads generated, conversion rates, etc.
- Notes or Action Items: Observations or potential steps for improvement noted during the audit process. These could be related to your content strategy, engagement, brand consistency, etc.
If you create a strong and well-organized audit spreadsheet, investigating your brand presence will be clearer.
3. Review Your Social Media Profiles
Examine each of your social media profiles and make note of the following:
- Verify your profile information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
- Ensure consistency in your branding (profile picture, cover photo, bio, etc.) across all platforms.
- Check your privacy and any other platform-specific settings that may impact visibility or security.
- Make note of any inactive or outdated profiles that need to be deleted or archived.
This will help you get a clear picture of where your brand is currently positioned across social media platforms and give you an idea of what needs to be updated or changed moving forward.
4. Identify Your Top Performing Content
Understanding which content resonates best with your audience is crucial to shaping an effective social media strategy. During your social media audit, review your posts over the past six months to a year (or a timeframe that aligns with your business goals).
A. Identifying Top-Performing Posts
Evaluate your content based on engagement metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and mentions. Identify the posts that got the maximum engagement, as these are the ones that resonated with your audience.
You can also track your website's referral traffic or conversions from particular posts, depending on your specific business goals. With Highperformr, you can get all these insights at your fingertips.
B. Analyzing Content Themes
Look for any trends or recurring themes among these top-performing posts. Perhaps your audience appreciates behind-the-scenes looks at your company or industry, enjoys informative blog posts, or is more receptive to user-generated content. Identifying these themes can provide a roadmap for shaping future content.
C. Content Format Preferences
Pay attention to the format of your successful posts. Is your audience interacting more with videos, images, infographics, or text-based posts? Maybe Instagram Stories or Twitter polls are engaging your followers more. Understanding format preferences can help you optimize the type of content you create.
D. Successful Messaging Styles
Evaluate the tone and style of your high-performing content. Is your audience more responsive to a casual, friendly tone, or do they prefer a more professional, informative approach? Get a sense of messaging that clicks with your audience.
By systematically identifying and analyzing your top-performing content, you can demystify audience preferences and tailor your future strategy to create more likely content to engage and inspire action among your followers. This targeted approach to content creation, informed by audience preferences and past success, can significantly enhance your overall social strategy's effectiveness.
5. Examine Your Competitors' Social Media Presence
Keeping an eye on your competitors' social media presence is essential to any social media audit. By investigating their strategies, you can glean insights that might inform your approach and better understand what works well within your industry. Here's a detailed method on how to audit your competitors' social media presence:
- Identify Your Competitors: Select key competitors—these should include primary business competitors and brands whose social media presence you admire within your industry.
- Review Their Social Media Platforms: Examine the different platforms they use, noting what each is used for. This can give you ideas about new channels you might incorporate into your own strategy.
- Analyze Their Content: Take a deep dive into the content they post. What types of posts do they share? What is their tone and messaging? Do they leverage user-generated content, influencer partnerships, or multimedia content like videos and infographics?
- Look at Engagement: How well is their content performing? What kind of content garners the most likes, comments, and shares? Notice any trending topics or themes that drive significant engagement.
- Identify Their Posting Frequency: How often do they post? Determine whether their audience responds more to frequent short posts or less frequent but more in-depth content.
- Investigate Their Unique Strategies: Do they run social media campaigns or contests? Do they use specific hashtags or collaborate with particular influencers? How do they handle customer interactions, feedback, and complaints?
- Consider Their Branding: How do they present their brand? Is their visual branding consistent across platforms? This includes their logo, color scheme, and overall aesthetic.
Examining your competitors' social media activities can help you learn what works and what doesn't.
6. Evaluate Your Social Media Metrics
Evaluating your social media metrics can provide invaluable insights into the performance and effectiveness of your social media strategy. They help you understand what works, what doesn’t, and where you can improve to optimize engagement and reach. Here's a breakdown of key social media metrics to consider:
- Engagement: This determines how your audience interacts with your content. Key engagement metrics include likes, comments, shares, mentions, and retweets. High engagement often indicates that your content resonates with your audience.
- Reach and Impressions: Reach is the number of unique users who have seen your post, while impressions represent the total number of times your post was displayed. These metrics indicate the scale of your visibility on a platform.
- Follower Growth Rate: Tracking your followers' growth over time can inform you about the effectiveness of your content and overall social media strategy. Rapid growth might indicate successful campaigns, while slow or negative growth might hint at areas requiring improvement.
- Referral Traffic: By integrating your social media with analytics tools like Google Analytics, you can see how much traffic your social media channels are driving to your website. This can be crucial, especially if one of your goals is to increase website visits.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): The number of clicks on your social media posts or ads. A high CTR suggests that your post or ad captured viewers' attention and compelling them to learn more.
- Conversion Rate: The percentage of users who completed a desired action after clicking on your post or ad, like making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter. This metric is vital for understanding ROI from social media.
- Audience Demographics: Understanding who your followers are can help you tailor content specifically to your target demographic. Information about your followers’ age, gender, location, and interests can be incredibly valuable for targeted content creation.
These metrics together provide a holistic view of your social media performance and areas for improvement. Regularly evaluating these metrics helps you get the most out of your social media strategy, ensuring continuous evolution and refinement.
7. Adjust Your Social Media Strategy
After conducting a thorough social media audit and evaluating your social media metrics, it's crucial to take the insights you've gained and apply them to your strategy. Adjusting your social media strategy can help you optimize engagement, reach your target audience, and achieve your goals more effectively.
Here are the steps for adjusting your social media strategy based on the results of your audit:
- Revise Your Goals: Revisit your social media goals and, if necessary, update them based on new insights you've gained from your audit. Make sure your goals are in line with your overall business objectives.
- Optimize Your Content: Leverage the information you've gathered on top-performing content, audience preferences, and content formats to create content that resonates with your target audience. Adjust the messaging, tone, and style according to your findings.
- Adjust Posting Frequency: Based on your audit results, determine if you need to adjust your posting frequency to better align with audience preferences. Experiment with different posting schedules to find the spot between high engagement and avoiding oversaturation.
- Refine Platform Strategy: Reevaluate your platforms and consider expanding to new platforms or eliminating underperforming ones. The key is to focus on platforms most effectively reaching your target audience.
- Incorporate User-Generated Content (UGC): If you have found that UGC performs well, create opportunities for users to produce and share content related to your brand. Promoting UGC can boost brand credibility and foster a strong community.
- Monitor Your Competitors: Keep an eye on your competitors and learn from their successes and failures. Consistently revisit your audit process to stay informed about industry trends and evolving customer preferences.
- Track and Analyze Metrics: Continue to track and analyze key social media metrics to evaluate the success of your updated strategy. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your strategy is vital for continued improvement and staying relevant in the ever-changing social media landscape.
An audit of your social media strategy will help you understand how it can be improved so that you are better able to achieve your goals.
Benefits of a Social Media Audit
Here are some of the key benefits a social media audit can offer:
1. Better Understanding of Your Audience
A social media audit gives you an in-depth understanding of your audience - who they are, what they appreciate, how they interact with your brand, and more. It offers insights into consumer behavior patterns and gauges the effectiveness of your messages and content. This understanding allows for a more targeted and effective marketing approach.
2. Streamlining of Social Media Efforts
A calculated social media approach prevents unnecessary efforts by highlighting what works best for your brand. A thorough audit measures the performance of all your social media accounts and allows you to allocate resources to the platforms that deliver the most value.
3. Identifying Successful Strategies
By looking at your most successful campaigns and tactics, you can identify what resonates with your customers. This helps you to recreate these successes and build better marketing strategies moving forward.
4. Assessing Your Competition
Conducting a social media audit also extends to understanding your competition. By examining the competition, you can understand their social media strategies, including the platforms they use, the content they post, their frequency of posts, and how they engage with their audience.
This competitive intelligence allows you to measure how your brand stacks against others in the same space and helps to identify opportunities or gaps in your own strategy that can be adjusted to strengthen your brand's competitive positioning.
5. Boost Brand Consistency
A social media audit ensures all your platforms are aligned with your branding guidelines.
Whether your brand voice is professional, playful, informative, or humorous, it's essential this is reflected consistently across your communications. The way your brand is visually represented -- color schemes, logo usage, and image styles -- should also be uniform. Consistent branding not only solidifies your brand image, but it also leverages recognition and familiarity among your audience, helping to build trust and strengthen customer relationships.
6. Enhance Engagement
One of the fundamental aspects of a social media audit is identifying what type of content drives engagement with your audience. Engagement can take many forms, such as likes, shares, comments, and follows. An audit can highlight successful content - the posts that generate the most significant response from your followers.
You can then strategically plan your future content based on these elements to encourage and increase engagement, thereby fostering a more connected and interactive online community.
What Are Some of the Social Media Audit Tools That I Should Be Using?
A range of tools can help you conduct a thorough and insightful social media audit. While there are numerous tools available, here are three standout options with varied strengths:
Highperformr is a Social CRM platform designed to help businesses, creators, and entrepreneurs enhance their social media presence. It leverages AI (Artificial Intelligence) to improve social media engagement and promote growth.
- AI Coach: Highperformr utilizes AI to generate, develop and fine-tune social media content ideas. The AI Coach helps adapt content to match the unique tone of the user, ensuring consistency across all posts.
- Content Scheduling: Highperformr offers automation tools for scheduling social media content, allowing users to plan and schedule posts efficiently. This helps maintain regular engagement with followers and ensures the content is posted at optimal times.
- Content Creation: The platform provides suggestions for content enhancement, presenting options to make the content 'crisp', 'spicy', 'positive', 'professional', fix grammar and spelling, or even 'surprise'. The tool can also generate hashtags, emojis, and create images for posts, offering a range of ways to diversify and enhance social media content.
- Analytics and Insights: Highperformr provides daily, weekly and monthly insights based on the user's social media performance. The platform visualizes these statistics to help users stay on track with their social media objectives. Its analytics allow for meaningful interpretation of data beyond raw numbers, enabling a more precise understanding of the content performance and audience engagement.
- Safe Social Engagement: Highperformr offers guidance on who to engage with on social media, helping its users maintain a secure online presence.
As a comprehensive platform for social media management, Highperformr combines analytics, content creation, scheduling, and AI coaching to provide a one-stop solution making it a powerful tool, especially for Twitter users. Highperformr is designed to streamline social media strategy, improve online engagement, and ultimately fuel digital growth for its users.
Google Analytics provides crucial insights related to your social media performance.
- Social Media Referrals: Google Analytics tracks all referrals from your social media channels to your website. This data gives you insight into which social platforms are driving the most traffic to your site and can help tailor your social media strategy to focus more on those high-converting platforms.
- Conversion Tracking: Google Analytics allows you to set up goals to track conversions from your social media efforts. This could include newsletter sign-ups, product purchases, or appointment bookings. This data is crucial for understanding the ROI of your social media activities.
- Customer Journey Analysis: With Google Analytics, you can analyze your audience's path or journey on your website after arriving from a social media platform. This understanding can help optimize your site experience to increase conversions or other desired actions.
In the context of a social media audit, HubSpot offers crucial capabilities that can help businesses assess and improve their social media strategies:
- Performance Monitoring: HubSpot’s social media tool allows you to track and measure the performance of your social media efforts across various platforms from a single dashboard. This includes metrics like likes, shares, comments, click-through rates, and reach. By delivering all this data in one place, it becomes easier to spot trends, identify successful content, and uncover areas that require improvements.
- Integration with CRM: HubSpot’s primary strength is its integration with its own CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. With this integration, you can track how your social media efforts are contributing to your broader business goals. For example, you can see how many leads or conversions were generated from a specific social media campaign or post.
- Competitive Analysis: Although not explicitly a social media audit feature, HubSpot's ability to monitor and report on competitor activities can be crucial in a social media audit. Understanding how your social media presence and performance compare to your competitors can provide valuable insights for refining your social media strategy.
HubSpot essentially provides you with the broad data and analytics you need to conduct a thorough social media audit. By leveraging these insights, you can set clear objectives, identify successful strategies, and make informed decisions to enhance your social media campaigns.
Conducting a social media audit is important to ensure you're getting the most out of your social media efforts.
By evaluating your profiles, content, audience, and metrics, you'll have valuable insights into what's working and what's not and how to adjust your strategy accordingly.
Remember to revisit your social media audit regularly to ensure you stay on track and evolve your approach to better meet your objectives.