In today’s business world, social media is an essential part of any marketing strategy. But the digital world is constantly changing and developing, meaning that it can be difficult to keep on top of the latest trends, shifts and platforms. That’s why carrying out a social media audit every now and then can keep your social presence relevant, up-to-date and effective.
Businesses simply can’t afford to not have a social presence online – especially when it comes to customer service. Customers want the option of sending a tweet or DM about their queries as well as giving you a call or email. In terms of competition too, social media has become a new playing field for businesses to fight for their customers’ favour by establishing authentic connections. To successfully do this, your social media efforts need to be continuously improved and developed alongside ever-changing algorithms and social trends. If you haven’t revisited your social strategy in a while, then it’s time for a social media audit. And we’ve got everything you need to do one, including:
- an introduction to all things auditing
- why it’s important to review your social media strategy
- a social media audit template.
After reading this guide, you’ll have everything you need to review your social media activity and improve your performance. So, let’s get started.
What is a social media audit?
‘Audit’ sounds very professional and formal – but in reality, it’s a really simple process that anyone can carry out.
When we talk about auditing your social media presence, we essentially mean reviewing your performance across the channels you use for your brand. It consists of looking at your insights and gathering data that tells you whether your social media strategy is working and your presence is growing. This information can then be used to improve your social media plan and define new objectives for the future.
Why conduct a social media audit?
Whether you’re a brand with a cult following on social media or a new company starting to build your social presence – a social media audit is always a good call. It’s great for recalibrating and streamlining your marketing efforts, as well as the opportunity to give your profiles an extra boost through identifying new opportunities for growth. And that’s only the half of it. Let’s look at why a social media audit is a vital part of your marketing strategy.
Keeps your social media strategy relevant
Social media is just one cog in a larger marketing machine, which means you most likely have a social media strategy in place as part of your marketing strategy. This will outline the goals you want to achieve with social media, and what tools, channels and content you’ll use.
Planning is great and needed, but it can’t take into account future changes that may affect how suitable your chosen strategy is. And with social media being possibly the most volatile aspect of marketing, any social media plan needs regular reviewing in order to keep up with the constant shifts.
This is where a social media audit comes in. It’ll keep all your social media activities relevant and effective through revisiting those all-important key metrics to see if your strategy is working – giving you the chance to change things and avoid losing momentum with your online community.
Your social presence is important
A social media audit should be a priority because of how important it is to maintain a good social presence online. Social media is essential in a digital world and another opportunity to attract new customers and engage existing ones. So it deserves the same time and attention that you’d give any other aspect of your marketing strategy.
Communicates your brand personality
Things like your website and products or services will of course communicate the essence of your brand, but brand personality isn’t at the forefront of these things – your business offering is. Social media is unique because it’s where brand personality shines and can take centre stage, so this is a great way to really show your customers what you stand for.
Constantly bombarding your audience with promos or CTAs to buy your products or services isn’t going to make them want to follow your brand. But getting to know your brand – seeing behind the scenes content and understanding the human element of your brand – is what will win you loyalty and sales.
Understanding your audience
Social media is where your customers are. It’s where they express themselves, connect with others and talk about their favourite products and services. So it makes sense for companies to be present too. You can learn so much about your customers from social media, for example, questions posted on forums can directly tell you what your customers’ pain points are, which can be used to create relevant content.
The brands we all use and choose are a reflection of who we are, which is why understanding your customers is so crucial. When you know what they’re looking for, you can shape your own content around that, to connect with them and help them discover your brand.
Developing relationships with your audience
We all know that the key to effective marketing is developing relationships with customers. And there’s no better way to do that than with social media. Whether it’s Instagram or Twitter, brands can meet their customers on (pretty much) the same level on social media, and interact personally with them. This plays a vital part in deepening that relationship and increasing your chances of customers coming back to your business.
You can get the most out of your social media
A social media audit allows you to really get the best out of this marketing channel. Posts that are on-trend, relevant and impactful will help to raise awareness of your brand and direct more traffic to your business. And the only way to ensure you’re producing those kinds of posts is to audit your social media activity regularly.
It’s also worth noting that without conducting a social media audit, you won’t be able to identify or capitalise on new opportunities either.
Save time and effort on your social media efforts
Anyone who has worked in social media – whether a social media manager or in charge of a clients’ profile will know how long it takes to create content for social media. From hashtag research to design and discovering the latest trends, it’s a lot! So the last thing you want to do is put all that effort into creating content that doesn’t land.
Social media is constantly shifting, which means that trial and error is common in finding the right social strategy for any brand. Algorithms are being updated continuously, so you’re going to find that what works now might not in a few months’ time. This is where a social media audit is great for saving time and effort on social media strategies that aren’t working.
The audit allows you to identify what’s working and what isn’t, and therefore stop investing time and energy into posts that aren’t getting you results.
How to do a social media audit
Carrying out a social media audit is easier than you think. All it takes is your logins, access to insights and some analysis. We’ll look at the steps involved in detail so that by the end of this post, you’ll know exactly what each step of the social media audit process entails.
Social media audit steps
- Review your current social media performance
- Clean up your profiles
- Seek new opportunities for growth
- Set goals for your social presence
- Make changes to your social media plan
Let’s go into each step in some more detail so you can carry out an in-depth social media audit and revamp your social presence.
Review your current social media performance
The main purpose of a social media audit is to review your current performance in order to see how you can improve and drive more traffic to your brand. And the way to do this is to look at the data that your social presence generates online.
You can record this data in a spreadsheet, but it can be difficult to know exactly how to structure that – where we come in. We’ve made an audit template that covers the main information you need to record in order to understand how you’re performing across social media. You can duplicate the original sheet and adapt it for different channels – just make a copy of it and you can start filling it out!
Where do you have a social presence?
First things first, where are you in the social media world? Take a look across platforms to see where you’re currently operating – this will form the basis of your audit. If you’re a social media manager, you’ll probably know what platforms your brand uses, but if you’ve inherited the social media reins from another person, have a quick search on various platforms.
It’s worth checking the following:
Once you know where you are, you know what you need to audit. Note down how many followers you have for each platform in your social media audit template.
Who follows you?
The analytics functions on your social media apps will show you a breakdown of your audience. You’ll be able to see different demographics such as:
- geographical location.
Knowing this information can help shape your content to better target your audience and attract new followers too. So take note of this info – you can use it later on in the audit.
Now it’s time to go through each platform and analyse your performance. You can do this by looking at your insights and overall performance. In terms of finding those insights, these vary across apps, but most likely are accessible through the mobile apps themselves – or on desktop sites. For Facebook and Instagram, Facebook’s Creator Studio allows you to look at detailed insights data from your desktop.
You can gain quite a lot of data from the insights tabs on your social media apps, so make sure you add them into your spreadsheet. The key metrics to consider are:
- follower count changes.
Naturally, if the data such as reach and engagement are high or growing, you know you’re doing well. Carrying out a social media audit regularly will help you identify any patterns in this data, so if this is your first time auditing your performance on social media, don’t be alarmed if you can’t take away any obvious growth figures right now.
Look at your most popular content
Another way to understand how well you’re performing online is to take a look through your feed and see what posts are the most popular. Pay attention to what has worked historically, because these will be the ideas that you can carry over into your social plan, post-audit. Whether it’s the post format, topic, or content type, be sure to make note of what your audience connects with.
You can tell what the most popular posts are from the amount of likes or shares they get – as well as the reach of your posts.
One of the best marketing tools out there, so you’re probably familiar with this. You can see how much traffic social media is generating from the acquisition section, which will be super useful to record, in terms of deciding which social media channels to prioritise. For example, below we can see that Reddit and Twitter are the key drivers of traffic to this brand’s site.
What isn’t working?
By looking at the data, you can clearly see what’s working, but don’t ignore those less impressive numbers. Channels that aren’t performing well or are stagnating need to be looked at too. You have two choices here: either cut your losses and stop using certain channels, or devote more time into revamping your strategy on a poorly performing channel. The latter would be an idea if it’s a channel that’s really popular right now, like TikTok.
Record your data
Hopefully you’ve recorded your data as we’ve gone along – if not, now’s the time to add it all into your spreadsheet so that you can start to compare future audits to this first one.
Clean up your profiles
Once you’ve looked at the numbers and successfully reviewed your performance on social media, there’s the chance to make any necessary tweaks to your profiles. This includes ensuring that all of your usernames, profiles and bios are consistent across channels. This might not be possible with every aspect of your profiles – especially if your first choice username is taken already, but try to keep it as consistent as possible.
If you have a style guide for your brand, it’s worth checking each of your channels against this too, and ensuring that moving forward your branding and style are visible and consistent across all.
Seek new opportunities for growth
Your social media audit analyses what platforms you’re performing well on – it’s these areas that really provide opportunities for growth. If a certain type of content, for example: carousel-style posts on Instagram are generating more engagement and reach than other posts, you should consider creating more posts like that. There may also be different platforms that are performing better than expected – which could grow significantly if focused on more.
The data you collected earlier also allows you to measure performance against current goals, so you can get an idea of how well each channel is doing.
Set goals for your social presence
Now you know what opportunities there are for growth on your chosen social media channels, you can look at how you want that growth to manifest itself through setting new goals for social media.
These goals can vary across platforms and will be influenced by what the purpose of each channel is in your overall marketing strategy. Here are some examples of common goals for social media channels:
|To grow your audience||Follower count|
|To increase traffic to your site||Click through rate (Google Analytics)|
|To increase brand awareness||Follower count/reach|
|To build an engaged community||Engagement|
Whatever it is that you want to achieve through your social presence, make sure it’s included in your goals so that you can focus future efforts on achieving them. Having these goals in place will ensure that any changes you make to your plan or content make sense and still contribute to achieving success.
For example, if you posted a meme on Twitter and it went viral, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should pivot to posting lots of memes. You would have to first measure up this kind of content against your social media strategy and ensure it’s in line with your brand identity before posting more or leaning into humour more online.
Make changes to your social media plan
These goals, combined with the opportunities you identified earlier, can turn into actions in your social media plan. In some cases, it’ll simply mean more of what you’re doing – but if you’ve identified new opportunities or decided to change your social strategy, then this is your chance to implement any new strategies and tactics.
Once you’ve made your changes, you can continue with your social media activities until it’s time to carry out your next social media audit. When you’re familiar with all the steps, it’s something that you can get done in as little as 30 minutes.
Social media audit checklist
So, we’ve covered everything you need to know about doing your own social media audit. That was a lot of info, so let’s have a little recap.
Things you need at hand:
- social media handles/logins
- logins for insights tools
- spreadsheet to record data.
And here’s a list to remind you of the social media audit steps:
- review your current social media performance
- clean up your profiles
- seek new opportunities for growth
- set goals for your social presence
- make changes to your social media plan
Don’t forget, you can download our free social media audit template to record your data too.
Carrying out regular social media audits will allow you to successfully monitor your social presence, and make any changes or improvements to your strategy so that you can continue to grow and drive traffic to your brand.
If this has made you realise that social media is a bigger job than you thought and you’d like some support with your social presence, then team writefully is at your service. Captions, content and hashtags are our thing (if we say so ourselves).