How Do I Conduct a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is nowhere near as scary as it sounds. But it is a critical part of developing or updating an effective social media marketing plan.
An audit of your social media accounts helps you understand what’s happening on each network. You’ll be able to spot at a glance:
- what’s working and what’s not
- whether impostor accounts are stealing your fans
- which outdated profiles you need to revive, repurpose, or shut down
- new opportunities to grow and engage your audience.
What is a Social Media Audit?
It simply means compiling key information about each of your social media accounts, all in one place.
A social media audit creates a clear picture of your current social efforts and shows you the best way to improve results. When you’re finished, you’ll have a single strategy document with key details for all your social channels.
10 Steps to Perform a Social Media Audit
1. Track down all your social media accounts
Start by recording all of the accounts that you and your team use regularly. But don’t assume that covers all your bases. For example, there might be old profiles created before your company had a social strategy. Maybe these were abandoned at some point.
Or maybe various departments within your company are using social media, but there’s no unified system or list of accounts. To properly audit social media accounts connected to your company, you’ll need to do a bit of legwork.
How do I find this info?
- Search the web. Start by Googling your company name and the name of your products to see what social accounts come up.
If you find accounts you don’t recognize, do some investigating to determine whether they’re actually connected to your company. If not, are they fan accounts? Impostor accounts run by someone not affiliated with your brand?
- Search social networks. After your Google search, visit each of the main social networks and search directly for your brand and product names to see if you uncover any unexpected accounts.
Record all the relevant accounts you find. Make a note if you find any accounts that require further research. For instance, maybe you can’t tell whether the account was created by someone at your company or by an impostor.
In your audit document, record all unowned accounts and make notes about the steps taken to have these accounts shut down. Start by contacting each account holder directly, since it could be a simple misunderstanding or a case of a passionate fan taking things too far. But be prepared to escalate matters to the social networks for help if you can’t resolve things yourself.
You should also identify networks where you don’t yet have a social presence. Then you can start thinking about whether you should add them to your social strategy.
2. Make sure each account is complete and on-brand
Once you’ve recorded all of your accounts, take the time to look at each one thoroughly to make sure it’s consistent with your current brand image and standards.
You’ll need to look at each social account individually. Check each of the elements against your brand style guide to ensure you’re using up-to-date images, hashtags, keywords, and brand voice.
Here are the components to check for each social account:
- Profile and cover images. Make sure your images reflect your current branding and adhere to the social networks’ image size requirements.
- Profile/bio text. You have limited space to work with when creating a social media bio, so it’s important to make the most of it. Check that all fields are filled in completely and accurately with current brand messaging.
- Handle. Are you using the same handle across all social channels? In general, it’s a good idea to do so if you can. Of course, you might need different handles if your accounts serve different purposes. Take a look at your handles and record in the notes if you want to make changes for consistency across social platforms.
- Links. Make sure you link to your homepage, an appropriate landing page or blog post, or a current campaign. You don’t have to link to the same page from all your social accounts, but it’s important to have a record of what’s linked from where.
- Pinned posts. Evaluate your pinned posts to ensure they’re still appropriate and up-to-date.
- Verification. This is a simple yes-or-no question. Is your account verified with a checkmark badge? If not, should it be?
3. Identify your best posts
For each account, record which three posts had the most engagement. Include links to these top-performing posts in your social media audit template. You can find key metrics for your social posts using the built-in analytics tools for each social network. A simpler option is to use a tool like iLoyal Social Genius to find this information for all of your social accounts in one place.
Then, go through these posts to look for patterns. Do you tend to get the most response when you post photos? Videos? Do people respond to the same kinds of posts on your Facebook Page as they do on your Instagram account?
Use the notes column of your audit document to record your thoughts about patterns you find here. Test your theories and record your results the next time you perform a company social media audit. Over time, you’ll refine your social strategy and learn how best to connect with your audience.
4. Evaluate channel performance
In this step, you’ll record overall channel performance, rather than looking at the performance of individual posts.
It’s impossible to evaluate your performance when you don’t know what kind of performance you’re trying to achieve. For example, you would not use the same criteria to evaluate the performance of a Twitter account used primarily for customer service and an Instagram account aiming to drive follower engagement.
Create a mission statement and a few key goals for each social account. Your mission statement should help you identify the key metrics to evaluate for each social channel.
For most brands, website traffic and conversions are good metrics to track here. After all, engagement on your social channels is nice, but real ROI happens when followers become leads or customers.
5. Track results over time
Since it’s hard to evaluate your social metrics in a vacuum, it’s a good idea to compare your results with the same time period last month, or last year. Over time, this will allow you to spot regular seasonal variations, which will also make it easier to spot any unusual changes in real-time.
You can look up and compile performance data from every social network you’re active on. You can also use a tool, like iLoyal Social Genius, to measure performance across channels from a single dashboard.
6. Calculate your return on investment (ROI)
If you’re running a specific paid or organic campaign on any social network, it’s a good idea to calculate your return on investment for each period as part of your social media audit.
Essentially, this is a measure of how much you spent on social media versus how much value your social efforts contributed to the company. But keep in mind that ROI is not all about dollars. Return on investment can take many forms, so make sure to think about ROI in terms of the specific goals for your social accounts.
7. Understand the audience for each network
As you evaluate how each social account helps support your brand, it’s important to understand who you can reach through each channel.
Audience demographics are a good starting point. For example, Snapchat users tend to be much younger than Facebook users, and LinkedIn users tend to have relatively high incomes.
However, it’s important to analyze the demographics of your specific following on each social network, as your follower group may not be the same as the overall audience.
Learn about the demographics of your followers by using each social network’s built-in analytics tool, like Facebook Audience Insights. You can also use a tool like iLoyal Social Genius to understand audience demographics across all channels.
8. Decide which channels are right for you
Think about your goals for each account. Look at how each channel is currently performing, along with who you can reach through each platform. Think about ways to tie each account back to your social media marketing strategy.
Can you see a clear connection? If not, you may want to consider pulling back on certain channels so you can focus your energy on the ones that provide the best ROI.
These decisions don’t have to be forever. You might decide to focus on Facebook for a while, and then pick up Twitter the next time you do an audit. Maybe it’s time to consider some new social channels to replace or supplement ones that no longer perform as well as they once did.
9. Standardize channel ownership and passwords
Each social account should be “owned” by one person, or maybe a team, within your company. That person is responsible for ensuring the account is on-brand, up-to-date, and performing well.
This person will be in charge of necessary approvals on the account and will guide its strategic direction. They’ll decide who should have access to the account and what level of access each person should have.
It’s important to centralize the passwords in one place. This means you don’t need to change the password every time someone leaves your team or moves to a new role. It also helps protect the security of your social accounts. A social media management platform, like iLoyal Social Genius, is great for ensuring only the right people have the right access.
On your social audit document, indicate the channel owners, and whether you’ve set each account up using a tool to control passwords. Work towards having all accounts set up with centralized password control by the time you do your next social audit.
10. Conduct quarterly social audits
You should conduct regular audits to ensure everything is on track and look for changes in the way your accounts are performing.
A quarterly social audit is a great way to keep your social accounts producing the best ROI. It also ensures you regularly circle back to compare the work you do day-to-day with the goals outlined in your social media strategy.
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