• A social media audit is essential for businesses to review and optimize their social presence. It unearths performance metrics, audience engagement and new growth opportunities.
  • A core benefit of conducting a social media audit is being empowered with strategic insights to inform your brand’s social media strategy. It helps you make confident decisions about platform choices, showcase social's business impact and to save time by prioritizing high impact strategies.
  • Tools like Sprout Social can streamline the audit process by organizing metrics, highlighting top-performing posts and correlating social traffic with website visits.

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.

What is a social media audit, anyway?

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. Audits are a crucial aspect of social media for business for the sake of:

  • Understanding how your social presence impacts your company's objectives
  • Consistently engaging your audience and providing quality customer care
  • Uncovering new business opportunities and ways to raise awareness

What are the benefits of a social media audit?

Chances are you’re already swamped, right? Is an audit really worth the legwork? The short answer: yes! Especially if you’re using a template that streamlines it all for you.  Before getting into the nitty-gritty of the auditing process, let’s look at the upsides:

Social media audits help you make decisions with confidence

“Do we really need to be on TikTok?” “Why are we spending so much time on LinkedIn when our posts get no traction?” “Should we only post Reels on Instagram from now on?” With a thoughtful audit, you have concrete answers to all of the above (and then some).  Given how quickly social media evolves, brands need to be able to pivot.

That doesn’t mean making impulsive decisions. Suddenly leaving a platform or overhauling your content shouldn’t be done “just because.”  Backed by performance data, social audits can keep you from second-guessing yourself.

Social media audits make it easier to highlight social’s business impact

Many marketing departments are under scrutiny and social ROI can feel elusive. Hey, we hear you. That’s why social media audits should be conducted on a regular basis.

Audits can uncover wins that might have flown under the radar for key stakeholders. This might be a notable interaction, follower spike or viral piece of content. Having your numbers front-and-center makes it easier to communicate social’s impact. In-depth reporting can help, too.

Social media audits save you serious time in the long-run

This benefit piggybacks on the two benefits above. Your first audit might seem like a slog (spoilers: it’s not). The upfront work is worth it long term. How so? For starters, audits identify low-priority tasks you can eliminate from your schedule. Maybe your most time-consuming network or content format gets zero engagement.

Conversely, there might be low-hanging opportunities to grow elsewhere that weren't obvious before. Knowing what’s working and what’s not can save you serious time as you adjust your priorities.

Social media audit template to enhance your strategy

Again, don't let the word "audit" scare you. Our template does the heavy lifting: just plug in your numbers. If you're already using an analytics tool like Sprout, honing in on your key audit metrics is super simple.

Download Our Free Social Media Audit Template

We understand that priorities vary from brand to brand. Feel free to customize your own social media audit template based on your needs. Be sure to include the following:

  • Profile information (name and URL)
  • Engagement metrics
  • Publishing metrics
  • Audience demographics
  • Referral traffic
  • Channel specific metrics

For each metric, include the % change from the previous month or year. Tracking year-over-year metrics makes sense because this accounts for seasonal changes. Think about how retailers often see a surge in social media activity during the holidays. As a result, November and December's numbers can skew month-over-month metrics for January.

When in doubt, conduct your social media audits monthly or quarterly. This offers a balance between tracking big-picture trends and making time-sensitive changes.

How to conduct a social media audit in 10 simple steps

If you’re scrambling to figure out how to do a social media audit, don’t sweat! We’ll bite: there’s a lot of ground to cover. That said, the legwork you put in now will be eye-opening and save you serious time in the long run. Below we've broken down the step-by-step process for your first audit. As a bonus, you can simply repeat these same steps next time you analyze your presence.

1. Wrangle all of your existing social media profiles

First thing's first: take inventory of your social profiles. No-brainer, right? But also consider your social profiles beyond "big" networks like Instagram or Facebook. That brand YouTube account with two subscribers? That Pinterest profile you haven't touched in three years?

Yep, those count. You don't need to agonize over networks you're not active on. Double-check you've claimed those accounts and they're under your company's control.

Our social media audit template has tabs for all the major networks. You can freely add new tabs for any other platforms you use, too. We also included a section in the summary tab to list your brand’s social profiles in one place. With your profiles accounted for, it's time to define your priority platforms. These are where you’ll focus on building your social presence. You might be surprised which networks you have the most traction on.

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

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.

4. Open up your social media analytics

With your profiles handy, it's time to dig into your data. Now you'll be able to identify whether you're hitting your targets. Likewise, you can see where there's room for improvement. Note that a social media analytics tool like Sprout can speed up the process of pulling your metrics. Not to mention keep them all up-to-date in one place.

sprout social media analytics dashboard

In our template, we outline recommended metrics to identify your profiles' performance. This includes engagement, link clicks, shares, referral traffic, impressions and more.

We've also included notes that tell you exactly where in Sprout to find each metric. This is to make your social media audit a bit easier. Once you enter the data, it should be obvious which channels are your priorities. This is especially true if you’ve been measuring your efforts already.

5. Identify your top-performing social media posts

Drilling down individual posts can uncover the content you should be creating. For example, does your audience adore short-form video? Question-based posts? Carousels? Your native analytics can clue you in. For each platform, look at what any given piece of content is receiving in terms of:

  • Impressions (or views)
  • Engagements (comments, "Likes," shares, etc)
  • Reach

If you find sorting your posts by engagement is too tedious, remember that Sprout Social can help. The platform highlights top-performing posts in a matter of seconds.

sprout social smart inbox

Additionally, Sprout can quickly measure hashtag performance across your social profiles. This showcases which campaigns are resonating the most with followers. All of the above can help you brainstorm new ideas and promotions with confidence.

social media hashtag audit example

Our template has sections to measure the performance of your publishing overall. Your individual top posts, too. If you want to go more granular, you can also categorize your top posts based on criteria including:

  • Videos
  • Promotional
  • Educational/information
  • Entertainment
  • Rich media (images and .gifs)

This will give you a clear picture of exactly which type of content is working on each channel. From there, it’s a matter of fitting more of that content into next month’s social media calendar.

6. Figure out how you're funneling your social media traffic

It's important to identify the connection between your social presence and your website. This will highlight which posts result in legitimate interest from your audience. Also, which channels are the most effective for generating leads. Bonus points if you already have Google Analytics set up to track your marketing across channels. You can find traffic numbers in Google Analytics under "Acquisition. Then, filter by "Social").

Alternatively, you can use Sprout to identify the correlation between followers and traffic.

social media audit with sprout social and google analytics

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.

demographic data breakdown in sprout social

Ideally, your audience data should be similar across all your platforms. If not, reconsider your messaging and content strategy for outlying networks.

8. Assess opportunities from new social media platforms

New social media platforms do pop up rather regularly. Of course, not all of them stick around. But being an early adopted of a social network can be enticing.

Think about how TikTok exploded after being dismissed as a secondary network. Likewise, look at all of the buzz around Threads. It pays to keep an open mind. In your social media audit spreadsheet, highlight new platforms you want to explore.

If you’re using our template, there’s a section for this in the “Summary” tab. Keep in mind that this isn’t a necessity. If you’re already focused on a few networks or don’t find any new platforms that interest you at the moment, no worries.

That said, it’s always a good idea to stay on top of new and emerging social media trends.

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.

10. Share your audit with your team

Social media shouldn’t be treated like an island. Between the rise of social commerce and social search, the stakes of your presence are arguably greater than ever. That’s why it’s so important to share the results of your audit with your team to:

  • Get additional buy-in or resources from managers and key stakeholders
  • Develop new marketing content that matches your top-performing post and channels
  • Uncover opportunities to align your social presence across departments (think: sales)

No matter what your goals are, having your numbers handy can be a huge help to move forward. This again drives home the value of social media reporting as an ongoing process.

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.

social media audit template sample

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?

example of a fast social media audit

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.

What social media audit tools should I be using?

The depth and frequency of your audits depend largely on your marketing stack.  While templates can help, gathering data points in the first place means having tracking tools in place beforehand. To wrap things up, here’s a snapshot of a few social media audit tools to use.

Sprout Social

With a tool like Sprout, your social presence is constantly being audited. Engagement data, trending posts and platforms and so much more are just a few taps away. Coupled with in-depth reporting, Sprout makes it a cinch to uncover action items and share them with your team.

sprout social audience growth report

Google Analytics

Chances are you already have Google Analytics (specifically GA4) set up. If so, integrating your Google data into your audit is a no-brainer. From traffic sources to where most of your social traffic lands, search data can align your social marketing with your search presence.

social media auditing using Google Analytics

Salesforce (or CRM)

Anything you can do to illustrate the value of social media to stakeholders is a plus. With a CRM like Salesforce integrated with your social data, you can monitor touchpoints and events that result in tangible outcomes for your business.

salesforce dashboard

Ready to conduct your first social media audit?

If you want to improve your performance via social media, you need to get knee-deep in data. And conducting a social audit is the perfect way to do exactly that. After reading our breakdown, hopefully you're inspired to dive into your numbers. Download our free social media audit template to get started! To get access to your social metrics all in one place and make every social media audit easier, test out Sprout’s capabilities with a free trial.

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.