In recent years, businesses have learned the importance of smart social media. In fact, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites.Learn how to find out which social media strategies are best for your growing business: Click To Tweet
Also, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media, but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use. This statistic proves why social media audits are important for businesses to successfully grow.
Creating a social media strategy and having a clear plan for your businesses social media channels will help increase your chances of success. The best way to start implementing your strategy is with a social media audit.92% of marketers claimed social media marketing was important for their business. Learn why: Click To Tweet
A social media audit is simply the process of reviewing what’s working, what’s failing and what can be improved upon across your social media channels.
Are you wondering how to get started? There are plenty of social media analytics tools available to help you. One of our favorites is on SproutSocial. Depending on how big of a role your social media accounts play in your business, you may only have to do a social media audit monthly or quarterly.
Create a Social Media Audit Template
First, you’re going to need a spreadsheet to stay organized. Be sure to make it accessible for everyone on your team to be able to track and compare data. Also, include the percentage change for the previous month and year.
Here is a basic overview of what you should include in your social media audit checklist:
- Profile information: Include name, URL and the social media outlet.
- Posting frequency: How often content is posted on the account daily.
- Follower count: Include how many followers the account has to visualize growth patterns
- Referral traffic: This reports how many visits that came to a site from sources outside of its search engine. When someone clicks on a hyperlink to go to a new page on a different website, analytics track it as a referral visit.
- Channel specific metrics: If your business is using different avenues to drive traffic to your website, find out how many visitors come from each of those sites.
Find Your Best & Worst Social Channels
Most businesses aren’t able to be successful on every social media channel. There are just some channels that aren’t tailored for every type of business. Do a complete review of every social media profile you have, even ones you may have created years ago and forgotten about. If you can’t remember all of your businesses social channels use a tool like Namechk or Knowem.
To determine what profiles are the best and worst performers, you’ll have to check out their referral traffic, engagement and opportunity. The goal is to find out which platforms to focus on and which ones need to be nixed. For example, you may find your business receives a lot of referral traffic from a specific Twitter chart in which you participate but almost none from a Facebook engagement or even paid ads. While your competitors flourish on Instagram, you find a more receptive audience on LinkedIn groups. Test each area to determine which are worth your time and which are a waste of time.
Identify Top Performing Social Media Posts
It’s important to make sure posts are engaging and resonating with followers. You can measure this by using your audit to review the content you’ve shared and identify which posts had the biggest impact. Keep in mind that posts that got a lot of engagement may not get a lot of leads. It’s much easier to like a meme for example than to click through to download a white paper, so balance these numbers with a lead scoring algorithm like you might with other marketing initiatives. A lot of engagement content like what you see below may get +1, while a share or lead gen content might warrant a +3.
Identify your site’s most shared content
To find out which posts are getting the most social shares, I would recommend using a tool like BuzzSumo. It’s easy to use and will show you the social channels that have the most shared content on each network. Once you see what people are sharing, you can start digging into the WHYs.
For example, if you see tons of social shares, but very few comments or even little traffic, you might want to learn what the dissonance between your headline and content is. Or if you see a lot of downloads but few shares, you might build a campaign around boosting that content under a different title or on a different channel.
Define Your Audience
When first starting a social media marketing strategy, you probably envision who your target audience is. However, sometimes the people that end up following you will be the opposite of what you expected. Your audit should focus on who’s actually following you, not who you want the target audience to be. A good tool to use is Sprout’s Audience Demographic report to check out who’s following you on Twitter.
A great way to go beyond demographics though is to develop personas. Luckily, here at Red Branch Media, we develop buyer and candidate personas for each new client to help us get in the mindset of who we’re trying to reach. What do they do all day? What do they listen to? How do they interact online? What sort of content is most likely to excite and engage them? All these questions can be answered but first, you have to ask them.
Explore New Social Media Platforms
New social media channels pop up constantly, but this doesn’t mean you should jump on these new channels. Not every social media outlet is meant for every business, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t research them. Be aware of what’s out there, highlight new platforms that interest you, but if they don’t work out, don’t force them.
There’s nothing wrong with looking to see what a bigger company in an industry similar to yours is doing on the medium to inform your strategy either. Take notes as to what’s working for brands who have similar market shares to yours to ensure you’re not wasting time on a strategy or tactic that might cost you crucial money or time.
Create New Objectives and Goals
The point of a social media audit is to give you a better understanding of where you are currently and what changes to make in the future. After going over all the data, it’s time to create new objectives and goals for the month. Whether it’s getting more engagement, growing followers or broadening your audience, you’ll have all the data you need to make an informed decision.