Kick Start Your Social Strategy with a Social Media Audit
An audit doesn’t have to be a painful experience. I'd go so far as to say they can be downright fun, at least when it comes to social media audits, providing a deeper level of insight into your current social media landscape to help you prepare for your future.
Here at Outlier, we’ve always been fans of audits, whether it’s social media, website usability, or even an SEO audit. Does that make us weird? Don’t answer that.
I think a lot of companies don’t put the time into an SEO audit because they’re just not quite sure where to get started. Social media is this crazy beast that gets people excited while simultaneously making them feel frustrated and overwhelmed. They end up torn, sometimes to the point where they end up making no move at all. Making no move, by the way, is also a surefire way to ensure your business gets no results.
I really do get it. Social media is constantly evolving, and it can be tough to manage your internal resources to become experts in yet another thing. Insert frustrated, tired, world-weary sigh here.
The thing to remember is that social media is an important component of your business’s complete marketing strategy. As such, it needs to meet the very same standards your other marketing strategy does. That means, it needs to align with your organizational objectives, your goals for the future, and provide ROI. Get all that, and everyone’s a winner.
A Simple Way to Get Started with an SEO Audit
An SEO audit begins with your goals. What do you hope to gain by becoming “involved” with social media?
Some common goals may include:
- Building brand awareness
- Engaging with customers
- Increasing sales leads
A big part of this contemplation period is going to include identifying your target audiences, because understanding how to speak to them is going to be key to a successful social media strategy.
Once you’ve got these basic pillars in place, you can get started with an audit of your social media. Dig into your current social media accounts and gather relevant data around:
- User statistics
- Engagement metrics - these include how often people are engaging with your content. That might include retweets, favorites, or shares.
It's also important to listen to what other conversations are happening already. This involves social listening to measure the current conversation and find out what people are already sharing about your business. Do they know you? Do you need to improve a tarnished image? Social listening will provide you with really important information about where you're starting.
*Side note about measurement tools: There are a growing number of tools you can use to help you in this phase of your audit. Tools like Followerwonk, Klout, Littlebird, and a host of other solutions (seriously, just Google social media tools and see how many you can come up with) that can help you as you compile your data. Make use of them to help you turn that data into insights that lead to strategic decisions.
Now that you’ve got your stats in place, it’s time to do the same review, but this time for your competition. Find out who their user base is and what types of content are working (or not working) for them.
Once you’ve got all this data, you’ll be able to get some very helpful information that will help you as you begin to shape your social media strategy.
A few examples:
- What kind of content resonates with your audience? With your targeted audiences?
- How often should you post?
- What channels should you focus on? It’s important to note that not all channels are equal for all businesses. Each have their own unique set of rules and opportunities for engagement, so use wisely and don’t spread yourself too thin!
*2nd yet no less important side note: I am as close to guaranteeing this as I am about almost anything. Your biggest challenge will be producing enough of the kind of content you want to share with your audiences. Make sure as you get started with an audit and BEFORE you make any key decisions, that you’ll have the resources you need to create the content you’ll use.
Examples of social media content include:
- Sharing blog posts
- Videos and images
- Industry news and articles
- The list goes on
The social media audit can save you a LOT of trouble further down the line, and will help you get a strong start by clearly identifying your goals and providing guidance as you begin planning your strategy to meet them. It gives you strong metrics to measure the success of your social media against and helps you work with both your strengths and address your weaknesses to create powerful social strategy that gets the results you want.