Social media marketing is a viable option for businesses of all sizes. If your brand uses social media as part of its marketing strategy, you need to understand how to complete a social media audit.
I know. Just the word “audit” sounds scary.
But don’t get alarmed. With the right plan and clear objectives, it’s easier and more helpful than you think.
A social media audit does more than give you a snapshot of what’s happening on your social channels.
It allows you to see things from a different perspective and make data-driven decisions that will help improve your overall marketing strategy.
This guide will explain everything there is to know about conducting a social media audit and give you a clear structure to streamline your audit process.
A social media audit is the first step to understanding how your business can best interact with its customers on social networks.
By doing an audit, you’ll review your business’ overall social media activity and metrics to assess growth. You’ll also learn what kinds of content are successful for your business.
Don’t let the word “audit” scare you away. Performing a social media audit may involve a lot of spreadsheets and data mining, but with the right tools, the process will be a piece of cake.
For example, by using Socialinsider, pulling out your most important metrics is a cinch.
Of course, we know that each business is unique and has different objectives and priorities.
But this guide is a great starting point for every social media manager who wants to ace their next social media audit (whether they need another approach or it’s their first).
To make sure you’re using your social media presence effectively, below we’ve broken down the step-by-step process for your audit, which can be repeated every time you want to analyze your social channels.
Locate all your social media profiles
Before starting your social media audit, you first need to have a clear picture of your brand’s online presence.
At first glance, this seems like the easiest task in the world, right?
But stop and think for a while.
Beyond giant platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn), which are straightforward to spot, some lesser-known networks or platforms have lost in popularity or are just starting to be in the eye of the public.
Did you create a Pinterest page a while ago out of impulse?
Do you have a YouTube channel with just a few subscribers?
Or have you just started your TikTok account and didn’t see much potential in it?
Regardless of the state of your social media profiles, you need to record and take notes on each of them in your document.
This will help you uncover growth opportunities for the platforms you’ve been ignoring or decide on the necessity of keeping a presence on those channels.
TIP: By doing this identification step, you’ll also be able to spot if a particular profile was created with good intentions by someone from your company or by an impostor.
Identifying fake accounts or spammers will provide a cleaner list of social channels to focus your social media efforts.
Make sure all accounts are consistent with your brand
Everyone can (and most probably has) an online presence nowadays. But not everyone is good at it.
Let’s break it down for you. Consistency is key.
After you’ve done tracking all your accounts, you should check each of them thoroughly for two main reasons:
- See if the profiles have been completely filled out
- See if they’re in line with your brand
Let’s take them one at a time.
All social media platforms offer a ton of customization options these days to make them look exactly as you want, so it’s easy to miss a spot.
Start by opening the customized settings from each channel to ensure you’ve checked all the boxes, from images and texts to locations and websites.
The next step is to check for consistency among all your channels regarding creatives, campaigns, and promotions.
These are the main components to look for:
- Bio and “About” section: social platforms offer limited space for users to fill out, so make sure you make the most of it and consistently describe your product/service.
- Profile and banner images: use the same profile pictures across the board so that your brand is easily recognisable.
- ULRs and link destinations: mention your landing page (or an important product page, blog post, or ongoing campaign) on each network to help streamline your traffic.
- Hashtags: use the keywords you want to be affiliated with as your hashtags.
Take a look at how we keep consistency at Socialinsider, from Instagram…
Notice a pattern here?
Open up your social media analytics tool
Now that you know which social media profiles you want to audit, have set up all the details in the profiles, and ensured consistency, it’s time to open up the social media analytics tool of your choosing.
You can do a basic social media audit with the help of native apps. Still, we recommend considering a paid social media analytics tool because it can speed up the process of pulling your metrics.
With Socialinsider, for instance, you can measure the performance of your social accounts simultaneously and track all the meaningful metrics, like engagement rate, reach, impressions, followers’ growth, posts evolution, demographics, and much more.
This way, you will not only have access to plenty of data and insights, but you’ll have all the information centralized into a single hub.
You can even download presentation-ready reports in a few clicks.
For each social network you want to audit, identify the top three performing posts and add their links in your social media audit document.
This will help you understand what your audience is most interested in seeing and tailor your content according to their needs.
Does your audience prefer short format video content?
Do they engage with your Facebook content the way they do with Instagram?
Or do they engage more with photos?
Don’t forget to take notes as you navigate through your best posts and try to look for patterns in your audience’s online behavior.
You’ll understand what works best on each channel and test your theories in your next social media audits by recording your results. With time, you’ll refine your social media strategy and learn how to win your audience’s hearts.
As the metric to determine your best posts, we recommend engagement (comments, likes, shares, etc.), but this might not be the best metric to track for every brand.
Impressions (or views) or reach (the total number of people who see your content) are also important metrics to consider, but the key is to determine which metric aligns best with your goals.
You can access Socialinsider’s report templates as a starting point for your social media audit.
Evaluate each network’s performance
Determining your top-performing posts gives you an idea of your strongest points on social. But this is not enough if you want to run a comprehensive social media audit.
While looking at individual posts is always a great starting point, you must record your overall channel performance to have a clear overview.
Because all this lesson about top-performing posts would be in vain if you don’t know what kind of performance you’re trying to achieve.
So if you haven’t established specific goals and action items for each account, now it’s the perfect time to do so.
These are some social media goals you might want to take into consideration:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating more leads and sales
- Increasing community engagement
- Growing your audience
- Bringing more traffic to your site
Keep in mind that all these goals need to be tailored to each platform. You can’t use the same criteria to evaluate a profile that is meant to build community engagement to one mainly used for traffic conversion.
After setting up your platform-specific goals, it’ll be easier to establish key metrics to evaluate for each social channel.
We’ve created guides on how to use analytics for each platform:
As you go deeper in your social media audit, it’s essential not to forget who you can reach through each channel.
By auditing demographic data, you’ll understand how to address your audience, adjust your tone of voice, and customize the content to your followers’ specific requirements.
You can do this by looking at the follower demographics such as gender, location (country or even city), and education.
For example, the TikTok audience tends to be much younger than Facebook’s audience, and LinkedIn users tend to have higher incomes.
While these overall audience statistics are a great starting point, you should take a look at the demographics of your specific following on each social network.
Decide which channels are right for you
Now that you’ve gathered enough information about your social channels, it’s time to make some strategic decisions that will help you maximize your social media marketing efforts.
Start this step by thinking about each goal for each platform.
Try to tie these objectives to the performance of each social media channel, along with the target audience for each platform.
Can you make a clear connection between each account and your social media marketing strategy?
If yes, you’re doing a good job, and your social media audit is on the right track.
If you don’t see a connection, you may want to consider withdrawing certain channels that don’t perform that well to focus your energy on the ones that provide the best ROI.
TIP: At this stage of the social media audit process, you can also assess opportunities for new social media platforms.
For example, maybe you haven’t started a presence on TikTok yet, but it was on your list.
Now it’s the perfect time to do so because becoming an early adopter of new platforms can help you position yourself before your competitors.
Every social media marketer knows that it’s always a good idea to jump on new social media trends.
Track the results over time
Social media audit is not a one-time only type of process. It’s important to conduct regular audits on your social channels to keep track of your results and look for any changes in your social media performance.
This way, you’ll see what worked smooth in the past and what bombed, so you’ll know where to focus your energy and resources.
Whether your last social media audit needs some updates or if you’ve never conducted one, this is the perfect time to get started.
Don’t let the process scare you away. It doesn’t need to be full of fuzzy metrics, but not based simply on likes and follows that don’t really tell a story about your brand.
Performing a quarterly social media audit is a great way to keep an eye on your channels and ensure they’re generating the best ROI.
However, depending on your business stage and your social media objectives, you may want to conduct an audit more often or less often.
No matter what regularity you choose, remember that it’s mandatory to circle back to compare your daily work with your social media goals.
If you want to improve your social media performance, you need to master your data.
Conducting a social media audit is meant to help you do exactly that. Hopefully, after going over this guide, you’re ready to dig into your numbers.
If you want to have access to all your social media metrics in one hub and make every social media audit run easier, test our Socialinsider’s features with a free trial.
Are you ready to perform a social media audit?