A few years ago, you could open several social media accounts and update them on the fly. Today, however, this is not possible. We’re living in an exciting era of artificial intelligence and virtual reality that are constantly setting the bar higher. With these trends, your customers’ expectations have changed and now they want you to share fresh, personalized content, give real-time feedback, and show the human side of your brand.
But, to adapt your strategy to their needs, you first need to know what works for them. This is where a social media audit shines. Simply put, this process lets you collect invaluable data on your performance, allowing you to make informed decisions and maximize the effectiveness of your social media marketing techniques.
Create a Social Media Audit Spreadsheet
Before you start measuring your metrics, you need to have some general idea of what you want to achieve. And, no matter how sharp your memory is, you cannot keep all this information in your head. You need to have a thorough social media audit spreadsheet to keep you on track. The benefits it brings to you are multiple – it’s free and it can be shared with and managed by your team members. Most importantly, all your vital data will be easily accessible, tracked, and compared down the road.
When creating your social media spreadsheet, you need to include the following:
- Your profile information, such as the username and URL for each social network
- The number of followers
- Engagement metrics
- Your most popular content
- Demographic data
- Referral traffic
- Channel-specific KPIs
Review Each Social Media Profile You Use
Apart from your spotless Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn account, do you use other platforms to promote your business? Maybe you created a Snapchat profile a few years ago and totally forgot about it? Explore all your business accounts and add them to your social media audit template.
Next, you need to choose what platforms you will focus on, depending on your branding goals, target audience’s preferences, etc. Your goal is to dive deep into your data to figure out how each platform is doing. Some of the most essential metrics you should track for each social network are your likes, shares, comments, clicks, the number of followers, mentions, and post reach.
Analyse your Target Audience
When you opened your accounts for the first time, you probably conducted a detailed target audience segmentation and had some initial ideas of who you want to reach out to. However, this sometimes doesn’t go as planned and you may find that a completely different people are following and interacting with your content.
This is why you need to analyse your followers. Find out who they are and whether they are really interested in what you have to offer. You can use reliable media monitoring tools to keep track of your brand mentions in real-time and find out what your audience really thinks of you. Above all, make sure whether your target audience is consistent on all social networks you use. If not, you need to check your content and messaging on these channels and see how consistent your brand image is.
Find your Best-Performing Content
The main purpose of your social media content is to engage with your target audience. Creating content that isn’t relevant and interesting enough to spark the conversation among your followers would set you up for disaster. Precisely because of this, you need to see what types of your blog posts are shared and liked the most on social networks, as well as what forms of content resonate best with your target audience. This way, you will be able to tailor your content marketing strategy to their needs and focus on the most effective forms of content.
Check how Consistent your Brand Image Is
For any business, boosting brand awareness and customer loyalty is critical. And, to do so, you need to build a solid, authoritative, and recognizable brand image across all of your social networks. Simply put, you need to ask yourself whether your tone, voice, messaging, and content on these platforms is consistent and recognizable.
When there is a huge disconnect between your profiles, it is difficult for your target audience to determine whether your profiles are genuine, recognize your content, and link it to your brand. If such discrepancies do exist in your social media marketing plan, you should consider creating branding style guidelines and adjust all your social profiles to them.
Explore New Networks
The number of new social networks is constantly rising. Sure, you don’t have to use them all, but you need to keep pace with the trends and see where your target audience is. Of course, if there is a huge opportunity for you to become an early adopter and gain a competitive advantage, you should grab it. But, this is something you shouldn’t force. Just make sure you stay on top of the hottest social media trends so you can leverage them when the need arises.
Calculate your ROI
When assessing the effectiveness of your social media campaign, you also need to calculate its return on investment. However, this may sound simpler than it really is. Statistics say that, for 60% of brands, measuring social media ROI is one of the greatest challenges. Consequently, they waste both their time and money tracking KPIs that don’t bring any value.
Theoretically, there is a simple formula used to calculate social media ROI and that’s (earnings-costs) x 100/costs. Make sure you take all potential costs into consideration, including your third-party analytics tools, social media listening tools, social media management and curation tools, contest software, ad spend, the costs of hiring a digital agency or an in-house social media manager.
Also, keep in mind that calculating the earnings and costs varies based on numerous factors such as your social media goals and your niche. So, make sure you include all tangible and intangible aspects of your branding efforts and adapt your formula according to them.
Over to You
Now that you have all this information in front of you, you need to put it to use. After all, the aim of conducting a social media audit is to understand better where you are at the moment and to make smarter, data-backed decisions in the future. Knowing what your top-performing platforms, tools, and content are and understanding your target audience’s preferences, you will be able to create an impeccable social media marketing strategy that caters to your brand’s needs.
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