Not active on social media? You are losing ground to competitors. But you already know that.
While your business may be posting to social media and doing all the right things, you must regularly assess where you stand on your most important social channels. Or, you will struggle to consistently improve your social strategy. Too many brands and businesses try to “do more on social” before assessing where they are and where they want to go. That’s why you need a social media audit before you put together that next social marketing campaign.
Here are nine steps to audit your social media channels and identify areas to improve.
Step 1: Start the audit
Note each social channel where you have a profile. Be sure to cut-and-paste your hyperlink for easy reference. Maybe you went all-out with social profiles a few years ago, and you don’t remember if and where you created your social media profiles.
In that case, here’s a checklist to get started:
- Facebook (page and personal)
Tip: You can also Google yourself to locate your forgotten profiles.
Step 2: Do a branding check
This is where many businesses fall short, because it is easy to jump on a new social channel and fill out the profiles without using the same visuals.
You need to answer these three questions:
- Am I using the same avatar on EVERY social channel? (You should be.)
- Do all my backgrounds and other images follow my theme/branding?
- Are all the descriptions, bios and URLs uniform?
Tip: Make a note of any channels where you need to update branding.
Step 3: Identify your most valuable social media accounts
You may have heard advice from experts that you need to be everywhere. That approach may work for enterprise-level companies with the resources and manpower, but your business needs to be strategic.
Choose your most valuable two or three accounts and state why you think those accounts “work” for your business.
- Facebook Company Page – because I have a good number of likes on each Page post.
- LinkedIn Personal Profile – because I get a lot of requests to connect from potential business partners.
- Instagram Company Page – because our videos hit it out of the park with our fans.
Tip: You can easily identify these accounts by the number of followers and engagement you receive through these social media accounts. The higher, the better.
Step 5: Give yourself a score
Decide how well you think you are doing on your most valuable social media accounts. Give a score for each social media account on a scale of 1-5.
5 – Dominate social channel. Absolute rockstar!
4 – Understand social channel. Realize areas to improve.
3 – Post sporadically. Unsure how to optimize.
2 – Have a profile. Just need to start posting.
1 – Just beginning. Would benefit from a 101 class.
Tip: Be honest. Don’t be discouraged if your score is on the lower end to start.
Step 6: Analyze your most valuable social media accounts
Pick your most valuable social accounts for this exercise. Put your thinking caps on because this is where the heavy lifting comes into the process. Answer the following nine questions for EACH social channel.
- Why am I using this social account?
- Why do I want to use this social account?
- What are my goals for using this social account?
- Are my target markets using this social channel?
- Am I using and optimizing all images, text, and options?
- How’s this social account performing?
- Have I noticed any correlation to posting frequency and how my audience grows?
- How many conversations (direct messages, retweets, likes, comments, or shares) do I have weekly?
- How do these numbers compare to a year or two ago?
Did you make it through that list of questions? Were you surprised by any of your answers?
Step 7: Score three competitors
Here’s where it gets fun! Google a few of your competitors to give them a quick social audit. Look them up on the same social channels you listed as your most valuable social accounts.
How do you compare?
- Write down two or three things that you think work for your competitors across their social channels.
Tip: Be inspired by your competitors’ successes. Realize that if they can do it, so can you.
Step 8: Compare and contrast
It’s time to compare and contrast your social media presence with your competitors. Now that you’ve observed what your competitors are doing on social media, realize there’s a lot to like about your current social presence. Sure, you may have room to improve, but take a moment to relish your achievements.
Okay, now snap out of it, and do some comparisons!
Write down three things you do better than your competitors on social.
- I post more frequently.
- My content is higher quality.
- I am much better looking. *smirking face*
Write down three areas where you could improve based on what you learned from your competitors.
- I could learn how to craft more engaging tweets.
- I could start posting status updates on LinkedIn.
- I could create a consistent image across my social channels.
Tip: Be specific in areas you can improve. Be tactical.
Step 9: Choose ONLY three simple immediate next steps
Pat yourself on the back. You survived the DIY social media audit process. Now, you are going to choose only three immediate next steps, and save the other ideas.
- Update your LinkedIn header to match your Twitter header.
- Start looking at your social media metrics once a week (or month).
- Rewrite your Facebook Page info.
Tip: Don’t try to change everything at once, unless you have a dedicated marketer in your corner or a lot of spare time on the weekends. Try implementing three changes to start. Then, add one new change each month till you feel like a rockstar on each of your most valuable social media accounts!