Social media marketing can be an extremely useful weapon in your digital marketing arsenal. If utilized well enough, it can encourage significant growth in your business.
You may have already implemented what seems to be a thoroughly thought-out social media marketing campaign, but how do you know it’s effective? Maybe you’ve identified your buyers, determined which channels are most likely to produce the best results, and even started posting. But you’re still unsure if your strategy is working.
The following guide will explore how you can ascertain the efficacy of your social media campaign by running an audit in five easy steps.
What Is a Social Media Audit?
More than half of the world’s population uses social media. If you want to take advantage of this user base, you must have an effective social media campaign strategy. Social media metrics provide you with measurable empirical data to help determine whether your campaigns work and establish benchmarks for the future.
A social media audit will help you gather and analyze data from your social accounts. Additionally, it will allow you to eavesdrop on the conversations about your brand and see how it is evaluated next to your competitors.
Conducting a social media audit will allow you to:
- Identify trends that will help you develop or re-establish your social media strategy.
- Determine customers’ attitudes towards your brand.
- Identify which approaches are effective or ineffective. In turn, it allows you to justify social media spending to executives.
- Identify new benchmarks and develop key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Determine new tactics to improve customer engagement.
How To Build an Optimal Social Media Audit
You should conduct a social media audit at least once a year. As with most technology, social media is ever-evolving, so you need to constantly monitor your metrics. But where should you start?
Step 1: Decide How You Will Record and Display Your Data
A large portion of your social media audit will be dedicated to analyzing large volumes of data. There are different ways to record this information. Traditionally, simple tabbed spreadsheets have worked best for data collection and modeling.
However, social analytics tools such as SocialPilot, Sysomos, and Netbase are far more efficient. They allow you to automatically aggregate your data without manually pulling and compiling it from each metric channel.
Some social media platforms offer built-in tools to acquire these metrics. For instance, Facebook offers Audience Insights. It is an interactive social media analytical tool that allows you to gather information on how audiences engage with your page(s).
However, it isn’t the only platform with this feature. Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest all offer built-in analytics tools to help you scrape and explore data. The metrics for each platform may differ slightly, but there are some equivalences and comparable fields.
Once you’ve decided which tool to use, you can begin compiling a list of auditable data.
Step 2: Identify Which Social Media Channels You Own
If your company is large enough, you’ll have multiple profiles and social media accounts. You must track which social media accounts you own and who runs them. It is crucial to find out who has the passwords, who has been granted access to the channels, and their access levels.
This will help you ascertain if you require additional governance for your channels. Employees come and go, so you need to ensure that there aren’t any people who still have access to your social media credentials despite no longer being a part of your company.
Additionally, you should consider tracking your non-owned channels. Are there channels illegally using your brand assets and potentially taking a portion of your followers? Are there fan channels that may be misappropriating your brand’s image? Identifying these non-official accounts can help determine if you should file takedown notices against these channels. Alternatively, you can develop better approaches to interacting with those accounts.
If there are indeed channels that are co-opting your brand’s visuals (logo, avatars, cover images, etc.), you can report them to the individual platforms for removal.
Step 3: Identify and Keep Track of Your Followers
One of the best ways to identify how well your social media campaigns are doing is by tracking the complete number of followers you have for each official social channel. It will show you which social channels need more attention or resources dedicated to them.
Again, you should also track the followers of your non-owned channels.
Step 4: Ensure Your Profile Consistency
Your social media profiles should share a uniform look and feel despite being on different platforms. Consequently, your social media visuals, such as icons, cover images, and avatars, must adhere to your company’s brand guidelines. Furthermore, your brand’s tone and voice should be consistent across your channels.
Step 5: Measuring Your Content Performance
This is the most important step. Your company must analyze each channel’s content performance individually. You can use this data to determine if that content may resonate differently or better in other channels. Some of the metrics you should track include:
- Which posts and content are performing the best (and the worst)
- How frequently is content posted on each channel
- Which posts have the most engagement
- When the best-performing content was posted (date and time)
- Number of views for video content
- Click-through to content
- Post reach and impressions
- Number of mentions (Twitter)
- Effective keywords
- Response rate
You can typically judge post engagement by the number of comments and likes they have. Some tools allow you to measure positive and negative sentiment.
If you’re doing large-scale social media advertising, conducting a separate in-depth audit is recommended. You can perform this audit using the above-mentioned analytics and ad tools provided by the respective social media platforms.
Other Metrics Worth Auditing
In addition to the above metrics, you should always keep track of your budget, A/B testing results, return on investment (ROI), and any potential areas of opportunity.
A thorough audit is also necessary for any referral program integrated into your ad campaigns. Important metrics to analyze here are campaign impressions to measure exposure, the share rate to evaluate whether the reward is motivating enough, and top referrers to identify which users could be turned into brand ambassadors.
You should also keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. You can track their activities by visiting each competitor’s social media channels and analyzing how they use their networks. A thorough examination of the competition will allow you to contextualize your social media presence and identify any gaps you must fill.
An immediate audit may be unnecessary if you have just initiated your social media campaign. However, understanding how to develop an effective audit can help you set up a framework to help you track the efficacy of your social media campaign.
You can identify weaknesses in your approach, ascertain if you need more resources, determine what is working well, and halt ineffective programs. Conducting an audit may be time-consuming, but it can be a game changer for your business. As you do this, you must remember to be mindful of your buyer persona and business goals.