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Is your brand overdue for a social media audit? Modern social media strategies should be based on data and goals. Accountability matters and the impact of social shouldn't be a question mark.
The problem? So many companies freestyle their social presence without a plan. We get it. Maybe you're taking over for someone that was winging it. Or you just haven't had time to put your presence under the microscope. Either way, conducting a social media audit is a smart next step.
The good news? analyzing your presence doesn't have to be a time-sink. Not if you're using our totally free social media audit template, anyway! Below we explain how to conduct a social media audit efficiently. For an in-depth breakdown check out the video below.
2. Define specific goals for each network
No surprises here. Zero in on your social media goals for each platform you're active on, including:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating more leads and sales
- Increasing community engagement
- Growing your audience (think: followers)
- Increasing traffic to your site
For reference, here's an Instagram engagement analysis in our social media audit template.
Goal-setting will guide your presence, sure. Goals will also inform you of which metrics to track for each platform. For example, you might be growing your Instagram followers faster than Facebook. But the latter is resulting in more paying customers. When it comes to your metrics, the context of your goals matters.
Keep in mind that you don't have to fill in every single blank for your first social media audit. Again, focus on the social media metrics that reflect your goals.
3. Make sure your branding, language and identity are consistent
Consistent branding on social media is important. But some details are easy to overlook. As you audit your social presence, make a point to double-check that your profiles "match." Keep these elements of your brand identity in mind for consistency:
- Bio and "About" language (when in doubt, refer to your style guide)
- Profile and banner images
- Destination URLs and landing pages
Don't run a ton of social-specific campaigns and are trying to funnel traffic to your site? Chances are not too much will change from audit to audit. That said, brands running seasonal campaigns will need to regularly assess these details. For example, you should confirm aren't still using holiday campaign creatives in mid-March.
7. Dig into your demographic data
What you post and the language you use largely depends on your audience demographics. For example, messaging for Gen Z and millennials versus Gen X and baby boomers is apples and oranges.
As such, age and gender should be included as part of your social media audience. Some networks such as Twitter and Facebook highlight this information. Sprout’s Audience Demographics provides a high-level breakdown for all of your profiles. Either way, the data is out there.
Ideally, your audience data should be similar across all your platforms. If not, reconsider your messaging and content strategy for outlying networks.
9. Come up with new objectives and action items
At this point, your spreadsheet should be mostly filled out. Now what? The purpose of a social media audit is to give you a better understanding of where you are currently and to make plans for the future.
That might mean growing your followers on a certain channel. Or maybe earning more engagement or aligning your lead gen efforts. You have everything you need to make more informed decisions based on KPIs.
In order to help make your social media assessment more actionable, we included a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis section for each network in the template. You can use this area to add some high-level analysis based on all the data you collect from your audit. Or to go a step further and conduct a full-blown SWOT analysis after your social media audit. This will highlight your business' most pressing opportunities.
Example of an effective social media audit
There is no one-size-fits-all way to conduct your audit. For brands using multiple channels or agencies managing a variety of clients, a dedicated social media management tool is a game-changer. Spreadsheets such as our social media audit template can likewise organize much of the chaos.
Below is an example of in-depth audit tracking engagements, growth and publishing frequencies across multiple accounts on Instagram. This sort of audit makes the most sense for brands that are publishing high volumes of content. You can determine fairly quickly what’s moving the needle and whether your accounts are actually growing.
There’s also the option of a faster, cursory audit that involves more “yes” or “no” questions. Below is an example of a simlpified social media audit checklist:
- Are our brand logos and creatives consistent across channels? (see below)
- Have we posted new content on each network within the past week?
- Have we achieved “inbox zero” for our social customer questions and concerns?
- Are our bio links pointing to our most recent (or relevant) promotions?
- Which channel is currently our most engaged or fastest growing?
These types of audits can be done quickly because they involve big-picture details and fewer data points. While not super result-driven, cursory audits definitely beat letting your social channels gather cobwebs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you conduct a social media audit?
Quarterly or monthly depending on your bandwidth.
How much do social media audits cost and should I conduct my own?
DIY social media audits are free! Barring the use of any paid, third-party tools. Conducting your own audit makes sense if you have a limited number of accounts. For brands juggling multiple accounts across platforms, third-party tools are crucial for the sake of accuracy and saving time.
What are the most important parts of a social media audit?
Accurate data, consistency and a clear understanding of your goals prior to the audit itself.
What is the 80-20 rule in social media?
80% of your business outcomes are based on 20% of your social marketing efforts.
What is a social media audit?
A social media audit involves reviewing your business’ social presence point-by-point. This includes performance metrics and future opportunities to grow and optimize your accounts.
Additional resources for Social Media Audit
How to conduct a Twitter audit to improve your brand’s presence
10 steps to performing a successful Instagram audit
How to conduct a LinkedIn audit that brings your brand to life