We all know the importance of social media to keep up with retail trends, build brand reputation, and for marketing purposes.
But when was the last time your company thought of conducting a social media audit?
This is the process of reviewing which platforms are working, which are failing and what can be improved upon across the various channels.
An audit sounds pretty intense, and yes it can involve spreadsheets and detailed data. But with social media analytics available to help, it should be pretty simple.
Weighing up the work involved, compared to the work it will save your organisation on pointless tasks, why wouldn’t you want to invest in this valuable exercise?
Not only will it measure social media influence, an audit will reveal which platforms are not being used right – or which are a waste of time altogether.
It’s all about managing social media for business. And once a brand grows accustomed to auditing social media, it becomes an easy task to carry out monthly, or even quarterly.
You wouldn’t run a shop without doing a regular stocktake, would you?
Think of this as taking stock of your social media channels.
Any organisation looking to reap the benefits of social media marketing, or increase web traffic to make online sales, should carry out a regular audit.
And here’s a guide to how to get started.
Make a template
A spreadsheet will help organise and compare data. There are a number of templates which you can use online. But every spreadsheet should include profile information (the name and URL), posting frequency, follower count, referral traffic, and channel specific metrics.
Any metric recorded should include the percentage change from the previous month and the same month of the previous year. Create a tab for each individual social media.
Best vs Worst
Compare referral traffic and engagement for each platform, and it should be pretty obvious which are outperforming others. Bear in mind your posting frequency and how active you are on each channel. Take a look at which platforms are growing and have potential, if you give them more time and effort.
Identify top performers
Use the audit to review content and identify which posts had the biggest impact. There is software on the market to measure social engagement on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For others, such as Snapchat, you can track engagement manually with a spreadsheet. Include the metrics of each post such as retweets, repins or likes. Once you have a clear picture of the type of content which is working, then more of the same can be fitted into a future social calendar.
What’s most shared?
Look at the content on your website, and which posts are getting the most social shares. Again, there are tools like Buzzsumo which can gather this sort of data. Copy the URLs of the top 10-20 posts for each platform into your spreadsheet. Google Analytics can also reveal which social networks drive the most traffic to your website.
Watch your branding
Make sure your brand is immediately recognisable across all social media profiles. Followers must recognise your official social streams, and consistency is crucial. As well as logos and graphics, every bio should have consistent messaging.
Define the audience
Get an audience demographic to discover who is following and engaging with your brand. It might not be who you wanted to target. Facebook and Twitter will give you audience information. Add a description of your audience for each social network on your spreadsheet.
Explore new platforms
Be aware of what’s out there and what’s new. Don’t jump on them all, but watch for opportunities to become an early adopter and get a head start on the competition, if a channel is striking a chord with your market.
Develop your goals
Use all of the information gathered to plan for the future. That could be growing followers on one platform, or getting more shares and engagement. Give yourself short-term goals, after which time you can carry out another social audit and continue to build on successes – and either improve the poor performing channels or shut them down altogether.
We are specialists in retail social marketing. For help with your brand’s social strategy, contact us on 0800 612 9890.