Social media is always changing; and your social strategy should too. Performing a social media audit will validate any marketing plan and social media strategy. There are many different audit formats out there, but whatever process you choose should be simple, replicable, and consistently produce insights.
Wondering why your social media efforts aren’t producing the results you wanted? Maybe it’s time to take a fresh look at your social media strategy by compiling data and shifting focus to improve outcomes.
As a TINT intern, the social audit was one of my first major projects with the company. I worked with the marketing team to create a social audit focussed on improving our overall presence and performance. Throughout this process, I learned what goes into a meaningful social media strategy. In this guide, I’ll take you through the steps and lessons I learned from my hands-on experience.
Conducting a social media audit is critical for performing well across platforms. In five steps, you can take your social media strategy to the next level.
Step one: Frame the audit with important questions.
The social audit process creates a comprehensive review of any business’s presence on social media. A robust social audit should help answer the following:
- What content is driving engagement?
- What platforms do the target audiences use?
- What are the areas of opportunity?
My process examines current methods and use of social media by analyzing each social platform’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and brand competitors. The audit gave me a clear understanding of TINT’s reach, efficacy, and engagement. By the end of the audit, you will redesign marketing goals that improve the brand’s presence and performance on social media. As many marketers know, evaluating a Return on Investment can be challenging for social media; however, the audit process provides actual data and insights that can benefit the brand.
Step two: Review all social media accounts
Perhaps your company has integrated the big four social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, into the daily content mix. Those platforms rule the social media marketing world but there are still many more social sites out there. Good marketers will claim their social handles on new sites but sometimes those sites never gain traction. Often, these previous accounts are still discoverable on the internet.
To begin the social media audit, I locate all existing profiles by searching the web and social networks. I documented and recorded any abandoned accounts. With this research, I discovered several defunct accounts. They required further examination due to limited access or missing password information. For example, an outdated TINT YouTube profile is an account I attempted to revive. If the social account is no longer relevant, I simply documented the steps to shut down the profile.
You don’t want a customer reaching out or connecting with an unstaffed or otherwise unmanaged social account. This cleanup is an important second step in your social media audit.
Step three: Conduct a SWOT analysis
Next, analyze each social media profile in-depth. At TINT, we used the SWOT matrix to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
I created a spreadsheet for each profile. Here I kept track of both qualitative and quantitative data. Understanding each social media platform serves a different purpose, I catered the analysis to align with the marketing team’s goals for each. LinkedIn and Instagram operate differently, and my audit focused on relevant features to both. All factors from branding to audience size are valuable information during SWOT analysis.
First, I gathered quantitative data from the native platform and with the help of tools available in HubSpot. I considered the following metrics: followers, impressions, and direct mentions. Then I was able to analyze engagement by evaluating likes, shares, and indirect mentions. This data immediately showed what content resonated with viewers.
Second, I evaluated qualitative data.
- Analyze content messaging by assessing the tone and voice.
- Brainstorm and research alternative ways to use the platforms (ex: stories, video content, etc.).
- Review profile biographies and visual appeal (ex: banners, icons, etc.) for accuracy and consistency.
Example: During the TINT social media audit process, the Instagram biography lacked clarity and organization. To enhance the user experience, we revised the bio for brand consistency and created story icons for professionalism.
The SWOT analysis is crucial because it shows marketers how the target audience interacts with the content and uncovers new opportunities. This step allowed me to assess whether or not our social strategy was leveraging each platform’s strengths.
Step four: Conduct a competitive analysis
Competitors can inform brands of new industry changes and provide insights about the buyer persona. I researched TINT competitors on social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin during the next step. I was able to uncover some of the strategies in their social media. Additionally, I discovered alternative platforms like Twitch and TikTok that competitors have been leveraging. A content performance review of competitors can provide insight into new creative engagement ways and ultimately drive website traffic.
To perform a competitive analysis, answer the following:
- Who are the top three competitors?
- What are the competitive keywords?
Gather intel by performing a mini SWOT analysis on the three competitors. The competitive analysis will not only reinforce the brand’s strengths and weaknesses but also inspire new opportunities.
Step five: Re-evaluate social media objectives and goals
Once I gained insight into both our marketing strategy and the TINT product itself, I started outlining my plan to improve our social. After gathering data on where the brand is excelling and areas it can improve in, it’s time to redefine your social goals.
We created SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. I referred to what I learned about our social media efforts and decided what was salient to our company’s needs. The marketing goals should align with overall company objectives.
A few goals TINT decided:
- Establishing brand authority and voice
- Expand reach to more senior-level marketers
- Drive website traffic from social media
Now we were ready to revamp our social strategy.
Evolving on social media is fundamental.
The social audit reveals that not all social media platforms need to have a strong strategy. My biggest takeaway is to find channels that cater to your audience and marketing abilities. Pick the social media platforms that create the most engagement and are realistic for your marketing team to maintain.
Listen. Listening to your audiences can lead marketers to an array of opportunities and needs. Understanding who your audience is will determine which social media channels are your company should be well established.
Perhaps, TikTok is a platform on the rise, but it may not serve your marketing plan if your team is small and resources are limited.
The audit process should be reviewed every quarter and conducted in-depth every 5 to 6 months. The world of social media is ever-changing, and the audit allows brands to evolve with their audiences.
Follow the steps of locating all accounts, conducting both a SWOT and competitive analysis and redefining goals to establish your brand in the social media world.
This blog was written by Maya Sowells, TINT intern through the Students and Startups program. Learn more about her experiences with S+S and her time at TINT.