How to Conduct a Social Media Audit
Is your social media marketing strategy working? The fastest way to find out is with a social media audit. A social media audit will give you a comprehensive overview of all your social media marketing efforts, enable you to keep track of key information and performance, and help you identify opportunities for improvement.
First, you’ll need to create a social media audit template. Free versions are available from Sprout Social and HootSuite or you can create your own Excel spreadsheet. Here's what you'll need to include for a comprehensive social media audit.
Social Media Profiles
The first step of your social media audit is to find every social media profile for your business across all social media channels. It should be fairly easy to remember and record the social media profiles you still use, but don’t stop there. You should also include any profiles you set up that you have since abandoned or never use, and make sure you find any profiles that were set up by employees in your company’s name.
To make sure you have them all, Google your company name to see what social media profiles come up, or enter the name of your company in Namechk to see which social media platforms have an active profile with that name. You should also perform a search of your company name on each social media platform to find any profiles you’ve forgotten, or any imposter accounts that have been set up with your company name.
For each profile, enter the social media channel name, username, and profile page URL in your social media audit spreadsheet.
Once you have a complete list of your social media accounts, you’ll need to create a list of things to check for each of those profiles. Some examples include:
- Has the account been verified?
- Do you know who is authorized to use the page, and what level of access they have?
- Have you created a vanity URL for your profile page?
- Are your profile page names and handles consistent across all channels?
- Does your profile page have a complete and up-to-date About section?
- Does your profile page have an engaging and current profile image?
- Is there a link to your website, and do all links work?
- Does the tone of the content on your profile page reflect your brand image?
- Does your profile page use your current brand colors and logo?
Create a column for each item on your checklist and review each social media profile to ensure they meet the standards you’ve set.
Next, you’ll need to look at the engagement of your social media audience in each channel. Depending on the channel, this can include likes, followers, comments, reactions, shares, retweets, mentions, link clicks, reach, impressions, and engagement rate.
If you plan to track these metrics over time, leave space to record percentage change from month to month or year to year. Tracking year-over-year numbers can give you a better idea of the long-term performance of your social media marketing, and avoid any unusual season-related spikes.
Unless you abide by a strict publishing schedule, chances are the frequency of your social media postings fluctuate depending on a number of factors. To find an average for each social media channel, find the total number of posts over a year and divide it by 52. This gives you an average number of posts per week, which is a good starting point for deciding what your optimum posting schedule should be.
Some social media channels offer analytics tools that let you find the best posting time, both day of the week and time of day. For every channel for which these tools are available, make note of the posting times that give you the best engagement rates so you know the best times to post in the future.
Knowing your social media audience will help you create content that they find valuable, which will increase engagement and website traffic. For each social media channel, find the number of followers.
Worried about fake followers? TwitterAudit will let you enter your Twitter profile name to see how many of your followers are real. Social Audit Pro will do the same for your Instagram profile, and Facebook Like Checker will provide a breakdown of your Facebook fans per country, so you can see if there is a suspicious number of fans in bot-infested countries like China, India, and Russia.
Once you’re confident you have an authentic follower number for each profile, it’s time to get some more detailed information about your audience. Check the insights or analytics section of each platform to find out key demographic information offered by each channel, which can include gender, age, geographic location, metro area, job title, or industry. Enter each data point into your spreadsheet.
For each social media channel, create columns for each type of content: text, photo, infographic, GIF, video, link, etc. Record what level of engagement each type of post has received to see which type of post your audience is most likely to respond to.
You should also categorize your posts by topics, to better understand what subject matter your audience likes. Do they engage best with company news, industry trends, promotions, events, product how-tos?
Check the analytics of every social media channel to find your top performing posts by engagement, reach, likes, and shares.
Website Referral Traffic
To see how many visitors each social media profile is sending your website, you'll need to look at both the analytics of each social media platform as well as Google Analytics.
In Google Analytics under Acquisition, click Social to see the number of website visits generated by each channel, as well as how long they stayed on the site and how many pages they viewed.
Now that you have a more complete picture of your social media presence on all the channels you use, perform an analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for every platform. What are you doing well and what needs improvement? Where do you see potential for improvement and what might prevent you from reaching your goals?
Your SWOT analysis will give you a better idea of which channels are most effective for your brand and where you should focus your social media efforts in the future.