Between content creation, scheduling posts and measuring results, it can be easy to forget to check in with other aspects of a social media strategy. Performing a social media audit on a regular basis to go beyond analyzing traffic and follower metrics is one of the best ways to identify new opportunities for improvement.
For instance, marketing teams often spend hours making sure a brand’s social channels look perfect at the beginning of a campaign; however, they rarely revisit this work on a regular basis. Not to mention, social networks change their news feed formats and content policies all of the time. Therefore, a social media audit is a good opportunity for marketers to update their posting policies for each brand, identify best-performing content and check in with competitors.
Here’s how marketers can conduct a thorough social media audit and ensure their social media campaigns are reaching their full potential.
Review the social media workflow
For marketing teams that manage multiple brands, it’s important to outline a social media workflow for each brand. Who is responsible for content creation? Who schedules the content once it is approved? Who monitors and responds to comments or questions?
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Outlining the responsibilities of each team member involved in the social media strategy for each brand is crucial so that everyone knows who is in charge of what. New members may join the team or client needs may change throughout the year, so keeping this workflow updated and available for the entire team to access at any time is important.
Review the brand voice
Another key element of any social media strategy is the brand voice. Everyone that comes into contact with a brand’s customers or users on social media should have a clear understanding of the brand voice. This ensures everyone on the team handles both positive and negative interactions consistently. Each social network will have different audiences, therefore requiring a slightly different voice. However, the brand voice should still be consistent enough that it’s recognizable and reflects the brand’s values and goals.
Each team member should review each brand’s voice guidelines during a social media audit, including those that might be involved with the brand indirectly, such as customer support team members. Take some time to examine how both marketing and customer support teams respond to comments and questions on each social channel. If there are any inconsistencies, now is a good time to update the social media policies accordingly.
Review social media page descriptions
A social media audit wouldn’t be complete without verifying contact information and making sure important company information and descriptions are up-to-date. Marketers should have a list of every social media page URL registered for each brand, regardless of whether or not the page(s) are being used in the current social media strategy. Tools such as Knowem and Namechk can help find social media profiles that have been forgotten about or left inactive.
Using this list, marketers should check that each page is up-to-date and includes accurate company and contact information. Every link in the bio or descriptions should also be clicked to ensure it takes visitors to the right place. Finally, it’s important to check the permissions on each page and make sure that only the right team members authorized to work on a brand have access.
Claim names on new channels
A social media audit is also a good time to claim a brand’s name or vanity URLs on emerging social apps or platforms. According to Bloomberg research, Generation Z will surpass Millennials as the most populous generation this year and the social channels this generation uses – such as ephemeral apps – are quickly gaining steam.
Even if marketers don’t have any immediate plans to add a new social channel to their strategy or target this younger generation, they should keep in mind that these channels may fit into the brand’s social media strategy in the future. New social channels can go mainstream overnight, so it’s best to be prepared and claim names early, rather than deal with inconsistent branding later.
Review competitors’ content
It may be impossible to gather accurate metrics on competitors’ social media strategies, but it’s a marketer's job to analyze the competition and compare their efforts with the brands they manage. Ideally, marketers should identify three or more competitors and analyze:
Which social channels they use
The type of content they post on each channel
How often they post
How much of the content is promotional (or original) vs. curated
The information in their descriptions/bios and the links they use
What type of content is attracting the most engagements
Taking some time to review all of this on a regular basis will shed light on what is working well for other brands and may spark new ideas for marketers’ own strategies.
The bottom line
Any successful social media strategy involves a great deal of testing new ideas and making changes to improve results. And while most marketers analyze their social media metrics on a monthly or even daily basis, it can be easy to overlook or forget about other aspects like those listed above which also play a role in a successful social media campaign. Performing a social media audit on a regular basis not only ensures that audiences can connect with brands easily, but it helps marketing teams discover new opportunities as well.