Are your investments in social media platforms paying off? For the majority of businesses, this seems to be the case. According to a 2021 report by Sprout Social, a whopping 91% of surveyed executives said they planned on increasing their social media budgets in the next three years.
This one figure says everything you need to know about the importance of social media marketing. But how do you make sure that you’re getting the best possible return on your investment?
Well, you can start by conducting a thorough social media audit.
With social platforms evolving practically by the day, it can be hard to keep up with all the updates and ensure that you’re using all the available features to the fullest. That’s why it’s important to keep close track of every social account and see if there’s something to improve on.
In this article, we’ll show you how to perform a social media audit that will reveal the key opportunities and weaknesses of your social media strategy.
What Are Social Media Audits?
As formal or daunting as it may sound, a social media audit can be quite fun. There’s a plethora of social media audit tools that do the legwork, allowing you to focus on the creative part and tweak the strategy.
It all comes down to understanding what’s working and what isn’t. Doing so allows you to put your resources to good use and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your social media pages.
There can be many outcomes of a successful social media audit:
- Analyzing and reevaluating your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) so that you can see if you’re on the right track.
- Refreshing your content to ensure that your posts are up-to-date and relevant.
- Gaining a better understanding of your audience and competitors through social listening.
So how do you achieve this?
Here are some useful tips on getting social media audit results that will reveal all you need to know about the present and future of your strategy.
1. Start with Brand Integrity
Let’s start with something simple but crucial – brand integrity and consistency. Again, fancy words for a straightforward idea – making sure that your brand’s visuals are uniform across different social platforms.
Check the profile pictures and banner images on your social media profiles to ensure they follow the same theme. You’ll want to do the same for posts that rely heavily on visuals like Instagram posts and infographics. Colors, fonts, and overall design should have a common thread that your audience will recognize you by.
Another thing you’ll want to check is the bios on all your platforms. If there are any URLs, make sure they lead to working landing pages to avoid confusing the audience and stunting your web traffic.
Finally, are your social media accounts verified? If not, check the verification guidelines for each social platform to see if you can get that blue check. It will set you apart as an industry leader, which can do wonders for your social presence and overall business performance.
2. Analyze Engagement and Identify Patterns
What engagement metrics are you tracking? Likes and comments? Account mentions? What about engagement rates?
It’s crucial to consistently measure performance so that you can identify your best-performing posts. You’ll get valuable insights into how your target audience perceives your social media efforts, which is a good starting point for fine-tuning your social strategy.
So how do you do this?
Luckily, little to no legwork is needed here. There are plenty of platforms that give you all the data you need and make social media audits much simpler. Better yet, each platform where you have a business account comes with detailed social media analytics that you can use to make tweaks to your strategy.
This is especially important if you’re running paid campaigns. Identifying your top-performing posts will make your ad campaigns more likely to reach the target audience, thereby saving you money.
If analyzing all your social media platforms individually sounds like a hassle, you can choose between many third-party platforms like HubSpot and Sprout Social. They come at a price, but they’ll give you insight into all the important metrics and audience data you can wish for, making them well worth it.
3. Check Your Keyword and Hashtag Use
What’s your hashtag performance like? Are you using enough of the right ones?
These are among the crucial questions to ask during social media audits. Hashtags are crucial for social media presence, and you want to make sure that yours are on point.
Again, technology is your best friend here. Not every platform allows you to identify popular hashtags, so you’ll have to do some digging to find those that are trending. You can use Keyhole, Hashtagify, and a variety of other tools to see what hashtags perform well in your niche.
Of course, this is just the first step, and the next one is making sure you only go with a select few hashtags that will give your social accounts the most traffic.
Each platform has its own sweet spot when it comes to hashtag use. For instance, It’s best if you go with more than 11 on Instagram, but just a couple on Twitter. To take full advantage of this limited space, you’ll want to carefully select the hashtags you use.
Ideally, you’ll scrutinize every hashtag to analyze the following key metrics:
- Demographic data of those using the hashtag
Of course, you should never forget about your brand and how the hashtags reflect it. Consistency is key, so factor it in when choosing any keywords and hashtags.
4. Zoom Out and Analyze Channel Performance
Not every social media platform contributes to your marketing strategy the same. Do you know which of them is bringing in the most value? If not, answering this question should be at the top of your social media audit priorities.
To assess the performance of your social media channels, you must first have clear goals in place. For instance, Facebook might be your main lead generator, but TikTok might just be there to grow your social media presence without necessarily giving you potential clients. Twitter could serve the purpose of staying in touch with your community and increasing engagement, while LinkedIn serves the purpose of expanding your network and boosting brand awareness.
There are hardly any rules as to what each social network should do; it all comes down to the specifics of your marketing strategy. What matters is that you do have the goals in place and know how to track the key data that tells you if you’re meeting them.
For each of your platforms, you should list out all the important goals and related KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). For instance, if your goal is brand awareness, the KPI can be your follower count. If your goal is website traffic coming from specific social accounts, you can use Google Analytics to track Network Referrals.
There can be many different goals and KPIs, but you get the general idea. The goal of a social media audit isn’t just to see how well you’re doing overall, but also to make sure that each platform does its part to contribute to your social media marketing strategy. Pull up your sleeves, do some digging, and find the key insights you need to fine-tune each platform
5. Examine and Update Your Social Media Marketing Processes
A successful social media strategy involves meticulous planning. You should have content planned quite a bit in advance and maintain a consistent uploading schedule. If you haven’t already, look at your current social media strategy as a step-by-step process and see what you can optimize.
Some of the questions you should ask yourself are:
- Do you have content/posts for the next 2-4 weeks?
- Are there quality checks to ensure your content is relevant and value-driven?
- How quickly do you reply to comments/messages, and can you speed it up?
Wherever you notice any inefficiencies, have a brainstorming session with your team to see how you can remove them. For example, if it takes too long to reply to your followers’ inquiries, you can create templates that will speed things up.
A social media audit isn’t just about the performance of your platforms, but your team as well. Have a clear marketing plan in place, streamline your social media processes, and review the strategy occasionally to check for areas of improvement.
Take Your Social Media Strategy to the Next Level
When you perform your first social media audit, it may seem a bit overwhelming. There are many social metrics to track and decisions to make. With each next audit, it’ll come more naturally and you’ll undoubtedly get the gist of it.
Better yet, you can find a social media audit template online that will help you structure the audit process. Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to get to work. Dissect your social media accounts, use the tools at your disposal, and make sure to put the collected data to good use.