5 Steps to Developing a Social Media Audit
1. Outline Key MotivatorsAt Ignite Social Media, every strategy and audit we do starts with the target consumer. If you lack rich knowledge about your customer, do some stalking of your social fans and followers (and I mean that in the least creepy way possible). Scanning the Twitter feeds, Pinterest pages, Instagram posts and potential blogs of your brand advocates can reveal a lot about what motivates them and what they enjoy. Obviously, using hard data is always preferable. Access to Global Web Index, Forrester or eMarketer can really come in handy to further help you grasp how much time your consumer spends on what networks and what their motivations are on each. Identifying key trends relevant to your target (ie. “sharing on Instagram is up among millennials”) combined with their passion points can help you to realign content and strategies that resonate.
2. Include the CompetitionAudits should include a detailed look at your competitors’ social media channels and strategies. This includes highlighting how they differentiate themselves within the space, the tactics they’re using on their channels, and key messages/themes evident in their content. I can’t tell you how often brands lack differentiation in social content. It’s important that when your content appears in front of your customers via their feeds, it’s distinctly different from the competition. A great audit will identify those opportunities.
3. Consider Re-Evaluating Key Performance MetricsIf you’re still reporting on Fan and Follower counts as part of your social media marketing success, it’s possible you need to re-evaluate those key performance indicators. Elevating your social media metrics to your overall business objectives should be a key part of the social media audit. Can you prove that increasing your follower count impacted the business? Chances are, on most social networks you still have to use paid media to get your content in front of those fans or followers, so are impressions among potential consumers more important? These are the types of things that you should evaluate and critique during the audit process.
4. Explore the Use of a Reliable 3rd PartyIf you jump into an audit with your social media manager leading the charge it may be difficult to stay impartial. That’s not to say that the team leading your social media can’t be critical of their work, but a true audit can’t be treated or seen as a performance report. A true audit focuses on the consumer journey with your content, the customer touch-points, the tactics being used, and looks to improve the whole of your social media strategy. If your team will be conducting the audit of your channels and efforts, be sure to coach them on how to do so as an outside source or from the POV of the consumer. Best case scenario: a social media audit is conducted through a 3rd party. This could be another member of the marketing team, a fellow marketer you trust, a valued member of your customer base, or an agency (like ours). It’s not typically a long or expensive process and will surely be worth it in the long run.
5. Consider ExecutionDreaming up a wildly new idea to reach your customers can certainly be a part of the social media audit process, but it shouldn’t be the only outcome of an audit. Are you auditing so you can check your social media strategy against the competition? Are you auditing to justify why you may need additional budget or manpower? Either way, be sure the audit specifically states the plan to execute or shift in the coming year to get the most momentum out of these networks.
Have you recently conducted a social media audit? What was your experience?
Do you need to? We can help you with that.