Conducting a social media audit is a key part of a social media marketing plan.
A social media audit is a regular examination of social channels that represent your brand — including both your business’ owned profiles and imposter accounts — Hubspot
An audit assesses how well your current social media use works for you. We can waste time and resources trying to improve things that don’t need improving, while neglecting the things that we really need to work on. A social media audit is a great way to take stock of where you’re at and identify what you can improve on going forward.
Learn how to perform a social media audit to ensure you are using social media with focus and purpose with my step-by-step guide.
Step #1 List All Your Social Accounts
Create a simple excel spreadsheet and list all your social accounts, including those you set up but haven’t used in a while. Check that you only have one business profile on each platform.
Make sure you know all the passwords for your accounts and have access to the accounts and associated emails. Keep your passwords secure and set up a system for changing them regularly. List all account administrators. Do you need to change access or permissions for someone who no longer manages your accounts?
Step #2 Update Your Information
Have you pinned outdated information to the top of your timelines? Have you fully completed your About sections? Do they contain all the information a prospective customer or client would need to find out about your services?
Do your social profiles include a URL that leads back to your website? Are your bio details accurate? Do you need to add or change any of the existing information.
Step #3 Review Your Images
Do your cover photos needed updating? Are you still showing that Christmas picture now that it’s Spring time? Is your image resolution good? Are you using the correct image dimensions for each social platform? Find the most up-to-date image sizes here.
How about your bio picture? Are you happy it conveys a professional image? Is it clearly visible on all devices? Most profile images are now mainly viewed through mobile devices. This means that the image itself has to be recognisable in smaller dimensions. For these smaller images to be visible, think of framing your picture around your head and shoulders.
Step #4 Check For Consistency Across All Platforms
Are you consistent in how you use your brand images across all platforms? Do background colours, logos, and other images follow your branding? Are all descriptions and URLs uniform?
If you were your ideal customer, would you be able to identify with your brand on social media in terms of image, tone, and voice?
Step #5 Claim Your Vanity URLS
Have you claimed your vanity URLS on Facebook and LinkedIn? A vanity URL is the user name that you assign to your social media accounts which uniquely identifies you. Before you create your vanity URL, your social media profile is given a default URL that includes a string of random numbers.
Step #6 Dig Into Your Audience Demographics
How well do you know your audience? Finding data on your existing audience will help you identify who you’re currently reaching and if they are within your target market.
Use Google Analytics and built-in audience analytics features such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics to dig into detailed demographic data, including countries, occupations and interests, and the gender split of your audience.
Step #7 Audit Your Posting Activity
Social media is all about engaging with the right audience on the right platform at the right time. Audit how often you are posting on each platform; which times you are posting and the results you are getting. Are you sharing the kind of information your audience finds useful? Are you sharing at the right time of the day?
Co Schedule analyzed data from 20 different studies to determine optimum posting times. While this kind of data provides a good starting point, it’s best to test optimum times using your own audience data (via Audience Insights on Facebook, Twitter Analytics or Company Page Analytics on LinkedIn).
Step #8 Evaluate Engagement Rates
How engaged is your audience with you on each of your social networks? Do your interactions seem to be coming from your target market? Are most of your conversions coming from one network only?
Determine where you are getting the most engagement and make a decision about whether to continue efforts on all platforms, or to reduce your efforts to concentrate on just one or two platforms. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your efforts.
Step #9 Study Your High Performing Content
Review your high performing content across all social networks. Which content worked best for you? Create more of this content in the future.
Consider how you might re-purpose this content and use it again. Can you turn it into a video series or an infographic? For more ideas, read my 10 Creative Ways To Repurpose Your Digital Content. If you have a budget for Facebook advertising, consider boosting your top-performing posts.
Step #10 Audit Your Competitors
Compare your competitors’ digital footprint against your own. While it’s tempting to go straight to vanity metrics such as follower numbers, it will be of more benefit if you skip the quantitative analysis for qualitative. Look at the type of content your competitors are creating. How often are they sharing it? How have they chosen to use brand images? Which influencers are they interacting with? Are they active on networks you aren’t? Take note of what they are doing well, and where they are lacking.
Six Tools To Help You Perform A Competitor Audit
Facebook’s Pages to Watch feature enables you to compare the performance of your Facebook Page and posts with similar Pages at a glance. You can also easily check out each Page’s top posts by clicking on their Page name. To access Pages to Watch, go to your Facebook Page Insights and scroll down to the bottom of the Overview tab.
Open Site Explorer lets you export the backlinks for your competitor’s site. By evaluating these backlinks, you can see which high-authority sites are linking to your competitor.
Rival IQ allows you to look across multiple competitors at one time and view their top engaging content across their social networks.
SEM Rush (along with Rival IQ) shows how your competition is ranking organically for certain keywords.
Screaming Frog is a website crawler which can give you a snapshot at what your competitors’ pages looks like and how well they have been optimized.
BuzzSumo gives a snapshot of your competitor’s main content pages and how well they’re performing socially.
How often should you do a social media audit?
I recommend you do a comprehensive audit on your accounts twice yearly to consider any major adjustments to your strategy. In the intervening time, keep an eye on your analytics and metrics on a monthly basis. Use a reporting system to keep track of monthly changes and review these when it comes time to do your twice-yearly audit.