Social media offers practically endless opportunities for powerful marketing. However, you'll only make the most of this potential with a carefully structured, data-driven strategy, particularly when it comes to measuring results.
You need to know that your social platforms of choice are working for you, delivering the outcomes you're looking for and generating a good return on your investment.
Learn more: Growth Hack Your Social Media with These 8 Tried and Tested Techniques
One of the most effective ways to gain these insights is with a social media audit. This will give you a detailed overview of this area of your digital marketing, so you can ascertain which aspects of it are performing well and what needs to change.
What is a social media audit?
A social media audit is a full examination of the various social channels and accounts your business is using, the activities you're engaged in across these platforms and the results you're achieving.
It can encompass a wide range of metrics and key performance indicators, including:
- Follower growth
- Social sentiment
- Web visitors by channel
You can also use this as an opportunity to ask whether you're focusing on the right social networks for your needs and if your profiles are up-to-date and optimized.
Conducting regular audits of your social media is crucial, since it helps you ensure this hugely important cog in your marketing machine is always running smoothly and generating strong returns.
So how do you plan and execute this process in a way that increases your chances of getting the best out of it?
Build a profile inventory
Starting with the basics, you should have a detailed inventory of every social platform you use. While this might seem unnecessary - as you probably feel confident you can list your active channels without having a written record of them - you could be surprised to find that you have old, unused profiles that you weren't even aware of.
It's important to keep track of all of your social media accounts, since each one is a reflection of your brand and a medium for the message you want to convey to your customers.
Check branding and consistency
Once you have clear visibility across all of your social platforms, you can take the opportunity to engage in one of the most important and beneficial parts of any audit: ensuring consistent branding.
The key components of your brand should be standardized across every account. That includes:
- Logos and imagery
- Color schemes
- Language and the tone of voice used in your marketing copy
- Bio information
- Destination URLs and landing pages
If you fail to do this, your audience will receive mixed messages and you'll come across as disorganized and unprofessional.
Focus on engagement and results
Marketing - whether it's in the social media realm or any other space - is all about getting people to engage with your brand and, ultimately, make a purchase from you.
Learn more: What Types of Social Media Posts Actually Get the Most Engagement?
Make sure you have this in mind when auditing your social platforms and the content hosted on them. Ask targeted, data-specific questions that will generate actionable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing, such as:
- Which platforms are directing the most traffic to your website?
- How many leads gained from social media are converting into customers?
- What content types are achieving the most impressions and audience engagement?
This will help you better understand your social performance, while also building awareness of your audience's needs, interests and preferences.
Set goals for each platform
Every social channel is unique, so it makes sense for each one to have a defined strategy and specific goals.
If you're steadily building your follower count on Instagram but not seeing the benefits in terms of website traffic, for example, you could set a goal to increase the number of click-throughs from this channel by 10% in the coming quarter.
Other platforms will present their own challenges and opportunities, so the targets you set should be clear and unique to each one.
Act on what you've discovered
All the time and hard work you've dedicated to your social media audit will be of little benefit if you don't turn your conclusions into action.
What changes should you make to your social marketing as a result of the lessons you've learned? Perhaps a new content strategy is required to build awareness and increase engagement on the likes of Twitter and Facebook, or maybe you could benefit from launching your brand on an entirely new platform, such as TikTok.
Whichever direction you choose to go in with your social marketing, make sure it's backed up by the data and insights gathered from regular, focused audits.