Spring is a time of renewal, which applies to everything from your junk drawer to your small business social media. Use this cleaning season to spruce up your digital marketing efforts, and conduct a social media audit. In no time, your business will have assessed what’s working, where there is room for improvement, and how to streamline your social media efforts.

This six-step guide will walk you through how to perform a valuable social media audit, and leave your small business feeling squeaky clean!

Do a Brand Check

The first point of action for a complete social media audit is to review all social media profiles. Brand consistency is key in establishing trust, awareness, and credibility for your business. Create a list that includes all your social profiles so you don’t overlook any accounts.

Once your list is set, review each profile for language, aesthetic, website links, and brand voice. Use the three questions below as checkpoints during your audit:

  • Is your profile photo or avatar the same on every profile?
  • If applicable, is your header or cover image consistent?
  • Are your bios, descriptions, and URL links identical?

The answer should be “yes” to the above questions. If any account is out of sync or off-brand, update it immediately. It’s all about the details on social media, and one overlooked spelling error or broken link can have an impact on your followers. Use this social media audit to ensure your “I’s” are dotted and your “T’s” are crossed.

Having a cohesive social media presence is a significant part of an effective digital marketing strategy. Align your social profiles to making the right impression on your audiences.

Review Your Monthly Activities and Engagement by Channel

The next step in your social media audit is to assess how frequently you’re posting to each channel. If you use a social media marketing tool, you can quickly look at monthly posting trends, or you can manually view your accounts and tally your activities. To get an accurate gauge of what’s typical per channel, review the past three months. From there, you can settle on an average monthly post number.

Now that you know where you’re posting to most, it’s time to investigate engagement by platform. Engagement is one of the most important metrics for social media, as it shows whether or not your content is resonating with your followers. Many social media channels have complimentary insights and metrics that do the work for you. Simply go to your dashboard or profile for each account, and review the same period you did for posting frequency. When mapped against the amount you’re posting per channel, you can evaluate where you’re getting the greatest ROI (return on investment).

Review Your Goals

With these two data points in hand, you’re equipped to compare your activities and engagement results to your monthly, quarterly, or annual social media goals. It’s important to track your social media marketing as it provides incredible data and helps you plan and adapt your future marketing campaigns for better results.

If you don’t have goals to measure your efforts against, don’t worry! This is your opportunity to set a benchmark for your business and decide on goals moving forward. They don’t need to be incredibly detailed, but assigning an engagement rate goal and increase in users by channel are two metrics that will serve you well. They show growth and connection with your audience, which is what social media is all about!

Rank Your Social Media Accounts

From the previous exercise, it should be clear which is the most useful social media account, and which is the least. The engagement rates, follower growth, and other metrics from your data insights should point to an obvious winner and an underperformer. Assess which platform yields the best results as its relates to your goals. This is also a useful exercise to see where your efforts are not as successful. It may be that your audience just isn’t active on certain platforms, and this is good information to have. There’s little point in engaging where your audience is absent.

Give yourself a break and get rid of a low-performing account; your time is too valuable to put in where you’re not getting returns. Alternatively, make sure to focus and invest time and resources into your top performing social channel. Again, this is all about streamlining efforts and getting the most bang for your buck.

Look at Your Top Three Competitors

If you’re looking for inspiration or want a competitive analysis, research your top three competitors. Check out their social presences, and determine what they’re doing well, and how your efforts stack up against theirs. Seeing where the holes are in your competition’s social strategy gives you a leg up, and instantly actionable social media ideas.

If you are just starting out, investigate reputable brands you admire and that share your similar values. You can always learn from others, and scrolling through their feeds can provide the vision you need to amp your social media marketing.

Create New Goals

After you’ve completed the previous five steps, you should be feeling encouraged and motivated. Take those sentiments and translate them into monthly, quarterly, and annual social media goals. Map out where you want to be a year from now, and work backward to establish bite-size aspirational goals. Having goals and metrics on paper increases accountability and makes you more likely to achieve them.

Bonus Tip: Set Up a Content Calendar

If you don’t already use a content calendar, it’s time to start. A content calendar provides a central place where your social media strategy can live. It should house your campaigns, quarterly themes, daily posts, upcoming holidays, and whatever else might inform your social media marketing.

The most popular view is monthly, but do whatever works for you. It’s a tool meant to streamline your efforts and keep everything in one location. You’ll never lose track of a campaign or cultural holiday again by utilizing a designated content calendar. You can create your own custom calendar or use HubSpot’s free template.

You’re only six steps away from taking your social media marketing to the next level. Keep this resource handy so you can revisit it every quarter or year to keep your social media on track.