Your ultimate guide on conducting a social media audit
It’s a complete waste of time or energy if your marketing team's efforts are not yielding optimal reach and engagement rates. That’s why you need to assess your social media strategy time and again.
A social media audit helps you optimize the performance of your social media channels, helps you improve the results per input of your marketing team, and ensures you implement the best marketing practices for your company when it comes to using social media for your business.
What makes a good social media audit?
An excellent social media audit targets bottlenecks such as unnecessary tasks and work processes in the marketing team's day-to-day (for instance, a back-and-forth approval process on what font to use). The audit will also allow them to focus only on the tasks that generate the best results for the company.
With a good social media audit, you can look for the best-performing processes and methods that will help maximize conversions for your company.
Five steps to conducting a successful social media audit
Conducting a social media audit isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are five easy steps to follow to perform a successful audit.
#1. Identify your goals
Ask yourself—why did you promote your products on social media channels in the first place? Was it to generate more sales? Increase your online presence? Identify your social media goals. Whatever your goals may be, they should be clear to you and your team. They should be SMART or specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Later on, you will build a social media plan around these goals.
From the get-go, set key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine later on whether or not you're achieving these goals in the first place. So, if your goal is to raise brand awareness, your KPIs may be cost-per-reach (lower is better) and mentions on user-generated content (UGC).
If your goal is higher sales, your KPIs would be purchases and revenue.
We’ll talk about metrics again later in this guide.
#2. Analyze each of your platforms
Make sure to evaluate every social media account you use for your business. Some critical information you'll need to gather from each of your platforms are the following:
Look at the key metrics
Determining the optimal social platform to be on will ultimately depend on your social media strategy's overall goals.
If your goal is to generate more brand awareness, you can look at reach and number of mentions. If your goal is higher sales, you can look at purchases and sales revenue.
Taking this a step further, you need to isolate these critical metrics for each social channel you're on. For example, with Facebook, you can focus on follower growth, reach, impressions, video engagement, and click-through rate. Meanwhile, on Instagram, you could pay attention to additional metrics like stories views, comments received, and most engaged hashtags.
However, the channel shouldn't be the only thing you assess. You should also look at what you're posting on these platforms. That’s our next point.
Review your top posts
Your top posts for each social media platform can generate a lot of information for you but you need to know how to interpret that data in the first place. “Top posts” in this case would depend on the goal of each post or your overall social media strategy.
For instance, if you posted a video on Facebook or Twitter with the aim of growing brand awareness, the top post would be one that got the most reach and views. On the other hand, if your goal was to get people to your website, the top-performing post would be one that got the highest click-through rate.
Social media platforms provide in-built analytics tools to measure the performance of your posts over time. Some platforms, such as YouTube Analytics advanced mode, offer highly granular insights into performance. For example, here’s a standard dashboard that gives you a comprehensive picture of your videos’ performance.
But there’s more to it. It would take you forever to draw up a report across tens of platforms manually. Plus, your audit can be inaccurate and show false data with manual data collection. So, why make things harder?
Instead, you can use a social media dashboard to get a holistic view of the performance of each channel. Make your life easier with Improvado’s social media dashboard template. With its help, you can monitor all metrics, from impressions to CTR, track the performance of paid ads across different channels, keep an eye on comments and hashtags, and more. Click on the dashboard to get a free template.
Identify your top traffic source
After running a social media marketing strategy for a while, it should be easier to know which platform generates the most traffic for your website. Google Analytics makes this really easy since it shows the different traffic sources for your site. Plus, you can create a comparison report to see the overall performance of each social platform.
From the report, you’ll see the leading social media platform feeding your site traffic. That makes it easier to know where to focus more of your efforts. It also helps identify the social platforms performing poorly so you can develop a more robust strategy for them.
The click-through rate is a healthy indicator of an engaged audience. So, the higher the click-through rate you get from a particular social media network(s), the higher the likelihood that’s where your target audience hangs out.
You may also want to note other metrics such as bounce rate. You can, for instance, have a specific social media platform like Facebook driving the most traffic to your site but having the highest bounce rate at the same time.
With all insights at hand, you can better understand how to build a customer journey across channels, deliver personalized experiences, and more. Users interact with at least three touch points while researching the product online, so it only means you need to optimize your omnichannel marketing strategy. We’ve explained how to do it in our extensive guide.
#3. Know your audience better
It’s critical for you to understand your audience and make business decisions with them in mind.
So, you need to gather detailed information about your most engaged audience. Here is some of the critical information you need to know about them:
- What's their age range?
- What's their geographic location?
- What are their interests? You may determine this by seeing the kinds of pages they're subscribed to.
You can get this data from the social media platforms themselves. Facebook ads manager, for example, which also collects audience data from Instagram, lets you see what demographic engages the most with you. As shown below, this Facebook page’s audience consists primarily of 45- to 54-year-old users.
YouTube also returns audience insights such as these, helping you narrow down your most engaged audience. As shown below, the 45- to 54-year-old age group is the highest-converting age group of this specific YouTube ad:
This data should play a crucial role in your social media strategy. Conduct a focus group with what these platforms determine are your most engaged audience. Ask them about their interests, favorite influencers, and what social platforms they use the most, among other things.
This focus group data will help you craft a more targeted buyer persona. That will help you create ads and posts specifically tailored to them.
#4. Explore new platforms
Exploring new platforms doesn't mean seeking out every channel and consistently engaging with people on those. It's about staying on the few channels that yield the best results.
Suppose you've learned from the focus group that your ideal audience is engaging on a platform you're not on. In that case, it's time you explore that platform.
Let's say you're on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, but you've learned from your market research that your audience primarily uses Facebook and YouTube. Consequently, you'd want to shift your focus on Facebook and YouTube. The new platform you'd be exploring is YouTube.
Here are some ways you can fully explore the new social media platform:
- Understand the culture of the social media platform
- Assess the type of content being uploaded to the new platform.
- See how your competitors are performing on the new platform.
- Assess the business side of the platform. That means exploring its ads/business interface.
A good marketing strategy should be flexible, allowing you to quickly act on new trends. Once you have your team accustomed to the new social media platform, see that they're consistently performing at the top of their game on the new medium. You may want to look at creating a community for every social media platform to ensure engagement.
As an additional tip, make sure you explore other platforms that can also complement social media. Social media, for instance, yields excellent results when used in conjunction with email. You can send emails to grow your social media following, for example, or grow your email list through social media posts that offer lead magnets.
You can also use CRM to track emails and determine the demographics of your most engaged leads in your email list to help you create targeted email marketing content.
#5. Create a strategy
Once you’ve performed all the steps above, it's time to create a new social media strategy from the ground up.
Start by looking at the capacity of your marketing team. How many social accounts can they consistently and simultaneously stay on top of? Make sure these are the same platforms that can help you best reach your social media goals based on your data gathering. Also, they should be the channels that give you the most traffic to your website.
After identifying the channels you'll be on, look at the ads you're currently running. Are they similar to your top-performing posts? Do they cater to your target demographic? If they aren't and don’t, conceptualize, create, and run ads similar to your top posts that cater to your buyer persona.
You can evaluate your existing content calendar, too. Make sure the content you planned for publication–whether posts or ads—is in line with what you found are your top-performing post(s).
Work smart. With this strategy, the time, effort, and resources that your marketing team puts into social media campaigns should generate marketing ROI for your company.
Assess your current marketing team's workflow in relation to the results you're getting. If your marketing team takes an entire work day to create three or four social media posts that only employees engage with, look into conceptualizing content that's quicker to create. Once you’ve set up your strategy, make sure you monitor your social media performance using your previously set KPIs as your benchmark.
Research tools that can help you with social media audit
Google Analytics, Google Ads, Meta Business Suite, among others, all provide valuable data which can help you audit your social media performance. However, with so many social media metrics you should be looking at, it would be inefficient to have all this data scattered across those different platforms.
Some social media audit tools can help you here.
The first tool you need is a social media management tool. It simplifies managing multiple social media profiles and reaching out to your audience more efficiently.
You may also need a tool that monitors brand mentions. Social listening tools such as Sprout Social can help determine your social media presence and reputation.
Finally, a trustworthy marketing data platform can gather your social media data in one place and build a holistic picture of your social media efforts. For example, Improvado, one of the leading marketing data platforms, aggregates data from 300+ data sources, including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, and many more.
The platform streamlines disparate marketing data into a single dashboard to help you understand what channels drive revenue growth. Furthermore, it helps to clean and deduplicate redundant data saving your time on SQL queries or spreadsheet formulas. The company also provides dedicated analysts to help you set up marketing attribution, recreate customer journeys, and set up sophisticated dashboards.
Bonus: social media audit report/template
A social media audit template allows you to present your overall social media performance to upper management and other stakeholders. It helps them visualize the changes to the brand’s social media performance following the audit. It also helps you save time when conducting your regular audits.
This template may be in the form of an Excel sheet, a PowerPoint presentation, or any other format that can allow for a good presentation of data.
Here are some things you'd want to include in the social media audit template.
- Ad Spend
- Paid Reach
- Publishing Frequency
- Organic Reach
- Top-performing posts (in terms of company goals)
- Audience Insights (age, gender, geographic distribution, interests)
Note, though, that the variables you include in the template may vary depending on your business goals.
A social media audit ensures your social media strategy remains on point. A social media audit helps you determine whether you’re meeting your social media goals and whether you’re maximizing the use of social media for your business.
For a proper social audit, identify your goals. Assess your existing content strategy in line with those goals and analyze each platform you're on. The idea is for you to determine the platforms that best meet your goals.
Look at your audience insights for a more detailed buyer persona. Make sure your content caters to this persona. Also, explore new platforms. You want to keep an eye out for emerging channels. Finally, create a social media strategy considering the data you gathered.
A successful social media audit will give you the best social media results for your business. Done properly, you’ll leverage social media to the fullest, allowing your brand to reap the benefits in many ways.