Social media is not a new or strange tool for marketing a business online. It has come a long way from being a way to socialize on the web and entertain yourself. Today, you’ll find that every major social media network has matured into a powerful marketing medium to promote products, build audiences and increase sales.
Right from Facebook to Instagram to even Pinterest, you can use your social media accounts to get the word out about your product or service and grow your business.
On the surface, social media networks work towards connecting people with their family, friends, and colleagues. However, as more and more marketers find success with social media, it’s also turning out to be a great way to grow your business.
This is exactly why social media marketing is slowly but steadily becoming one the most powerful forms of Internet marketing. And it’s delivering results too.
If you look at the stats, worldwide social media advertising investments are predicted to grow from 32 billion US. dollars to a whopping 48 billion US. dollars in the coming year. That’s a massive jump in a short period of time.
It’s also worth noting that the United States happens to be the leading market with more than 14.8 billion US. dollars invested in social media advertising.
Year after year, the social media ad spend is increasing, and will continue to grow as more businesses jump on the bandwagon. However, as surprising as it may seem, there are still many online marketers and businesses that are unsure about leveraging social media for maximum results.
- According to Social Media Examiner, only 42% of marketers were able to keep a measure of their social media marketing efforts.
- eMarketer found out in a study that 6 out of 10 small businesses find it difficult to track the return on investment from their social media marketing efforts.
The burning question is, how do you as a business get the most out of social media marketing if you are unaware of what’s working and what’s failing?
Also, what do you do to ensure your social media ROI is precisely measured at all times?
The best and the most effective way to analyze and understand how your social media activities are faring is to conduct a proper social media audit.
What is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is a process of evaluating the overall performance of your social presence. It involves the vital steps required to analyze and review three main factors of your social media marketing:
- What strategy is working and giving you optimum results
- What isn’t working and is repeatedly failing to give good returns
- What can be done to achieve better results on your chosen social media platforms
The popular Pareto principle says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. When applied to social media marketing, these actions could be of your prospects, customers, or your own.
What does this have to do with a social media audit?
Simple: conducting an effective social media audit helps you find out what actions make the crucial 20%. This lets you focus in the right direction and ensures you’re not wasting time on activities that are not worth it.
Your social media audit should efficiently help you find the answers to the right questions so that you’re constantly improving. Questions such as…
- How is your performance and what you can do to improve it?
- Is your content focused in the right direction and can it do better?
- Do your goals match your core marketing strategy?
- Is your team collaborating well?
- Are you and your team effectively utilizing all our social media channels?
- What are people saying about your brand?
- Are your competitors using similar tactics or are they doing something better?
- Are you able to meet your KPIs with each of your channels?
Please keep in mind that it’s not just about finding the right channel here. It’s also about finding the right balance between channels to make your social media strategy successful.
What makes a social media audit work is the fact that when it is done right, it can help you find the smallest of the issues. Which means, you can fix them on time. This obviously makes a huge impact on your overall social media campaign.
These issues can be about…
- Using proper hashtags
- Scheduling posts for the right time
- Creating effective content
- Improving engagement rate
A social media audit is critical for a social media campaign that gives a positive ROI. There are many companies that don’t see it as an important step, and end up losing more than they should with their social media marketing activities.
There are a number of valid reasons to do a social media audit, some of which are:
- Understanding the execution of your campaign and see where it lacks. By knowing the weaknesses and strengths of your execution, you’ll be in a better position to improve it.
- Uncovering opportunities that might have been missed without a social media audit.
- Portraying your brand in a positive light in front of your prospects and customers.
- Analyzing the success and failure of your social media campaign in terms of conversions and finding out what factors are actually affecting the core conversion rate.
- Knowing your position with your competitors so that you can start applying tactics that they are ignoring.
Doing a social media audit gives you a whole new clarity that you wouldn’t have found before. It provides a good starting point for improvement, and removes any immediate hurdles or blockages that may have been hindering your campaign. Just like a huge house-cleaning task, a social media audit makes your campaign cleaner and smarter.
Yes, it does take some effort to carry it out. But in the end, it will allow you to make many minor tweaks that will only enhance your social media marketing campaign on a broader scale. Which will eventually help you generate a positive return on your investment.
In order to conduct an effective social media audit, it’s crucial that you start on the right note. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend a lot of time conducting it. With proper planning, you can do a social media audit in as little as 15 minutes.
The idea is to focus on the basics first and then move forward to dig deeper — depending on how far you want to improve your social media marketing.
Here’s a social media audit checklist that can help you get started:
1. Start by analyzing your social media pages/profiles…
- Make a list of every social media profile or page operated by your brand or by yourself as an individual.
- See if these profiles/pages have been filled out with the right details and convey your main message.
- Check your profile images and other pictures associated with your page to see if it is consistent with your brand.
- Keep a tab on your progress by following up on each of your goals and comparing them to your overall performance over a period of 1-3 years
2. Next, analyze competitors and influencers…
- Look at your competitors who are getting good results to see what type of content they post and how often.
- Round up a few influencers in your industry and study what they do to effectively manage their social media image/brand.
- Observe how competitors and influencers use imagery on their profiles and how it is helping them with their branding efforts.
- See the number of followers they have (and are consistently gaining) along with the level of engagement generated on their page or profile.
Now that you have the basic analysis out of the way, you can create a comprehensive action plan for the overall improvements that you will be making to each of your profiles or pages. You should also analyze and reassess your goals using this same plan.
If you’ve done any Facebook marketing you should know that finding success with this huge social media platform is all about knowing your numbers. You simply cannot afford to shoot in the dark and hit your aims. Or else you may end up wasting both time and money.
Now, if you think doing a Facebook social media audit will be a difficult task, think again. If and when you do your homework efficiently and focus in the right direction, you can do a proper social media audit for your Facebook pages in a few minutes.
To start off, you need to begin by focusing on the most crucial elements of your Facebook page. These elements make the biggest difference because they matter the most to your followers and as well as Facebook.
How to Conduct a Facebook Audit
Step 1: Complete Your Profile
Your social media marketing is incomplete without a complete business profile. Because your target audience and followers will simply see you as a brand that is not serious about its social media presence. Do you want to give out that image? Of course not.
Even though filling out your business profile is a step that you cannot ignore, you’ll find the social media landscape littered with profiles that are incomplete. Not just of small businesses, but also of many known brands. Which means you’ll be ahead of your competition of you take care if your profile.
Remember, when your profile is complete, it shows you are professional enough to take care of the smallest details. It helps your followers understand what your business is about and also lets you connect with your brand story.
In short, having a business profile with a personality, it’s worth it.
The first time you created your Facebook page, you may not have thought of the importance of adding even the most basic details. However, now that you’re doing your Facebook social media audit, you should pay your profile the attention it deserves.
Any copy/content that you add to your Facebook profile needs to be assessed. Put in the time to analyze it line by line to ensure you’re not skipping any important details.
- Have claimed your Facebook page URL name that reflects your brand (example: Facebook.com/brandname)
- Have placed a strong call to action on the page, depending on what you want to achieve with your social media marketing.
- Have double-checked the links that go out to your company website and other social profiles
- Have provided the necessary business information such as hours and location (this applies only to brick and mortar businesses).
Besides making your page look professional, these details also help your social media profile rank high in the search engines.
Please note that if you are running a local business and have a real, physical location, you have to complete your profile at all costs. There are no exceptions because people have started to use Facebook for searching products and services.
Even though Facebook may not be Google, it is still where many users are searching for relevant businesses. So when someone visits your profile, they ought to know about your company and what you offer to help them make a decision. Or else you lose a potential customer.
Once again, remember, a complete profile with optimized information lets people discover you through the big G.
Today, for many internet users, Facebook is where it all starts. They learn about brands, follow them and research them on Facebook before doing any business with them.
So the more updated your Facebook business page is, the more authentic you look to your professional customers.
Step 2: Focus on Aesthetics
You may argue that the look and feel of your Facebook page isn’t that important. In a way, you are right. However, using the wrong imagery can and will affect your page’s ability to attract relevant followers. Which is why analyzing the aesthetics of your Facebook page is a critical part of your social media audit.
Work on the following elements to ensure you have an attractive and engaging Facebook page:
- An optimized profile and cover picture that is of the right size
- Imagery that is not only Facebook-friendly but is also professional
- Verification check mark to show your business is authentic and real
A high-resolution image of your logo paired with a simple cover photo can sometimes be enough to draw the attention of your target audience.
For solopreneurs or entrepreneurs with a personal business page, all you need to do is use a high-res picture of your face, that’s all. For the cover photo, you can get creative with a tagline or something that can impress your audience.
Or you can simply use a minimalist-looking logo along with a high-quality, animated cover picture to draw in the attention of your target audience.
You don’t have to make this complicated. In order to achieve the right imagery on Facebook, just be creative and keep in mind what Facebook wants in terms of image sizing. Also, make sure the images you use are high quality for best results.
Step 3: Study Your Insights
The data offered by Facebook Insights is a goldmine which makes it an analytics tool that no social media marketer can afford to ignore. When you begin to study Facebook Insights, you’ll not only know how effective your marketing campaign is, but also how you can improve your Facebook Page and get those details right.
The reason why Facebook Insights should be a part of your social media audit is the fact that it has multiple data points for you to measure. Right from the engagement rate to number of Likes received to the audience demographics — by understanding Facebook Insights, you will know:
- Who your audience is and what are their preferences are when it comes to content.
- How your page has grown in the past and how it is currently growing.
- What your Facebook marketing strategy is achieving you and if you need to tweak it anyway.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your Facebook Page is. What matters is you are not ignoring the details. Which can only be seen and understood with the help of the right metrics.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will offer you the needed access to analytics data so that you can improve your social media marketing campaign. But when it comes to Instagram, it’s a whole different ball game. Even though measuring the metrics on Instagram is crucial, audience insights are not as straightforward as other social media networks.
However, given the fact that Instagram is becoming one of the most important marketing platforms for social media marketers that you need to add to your social media audit.
You can analyze the following to make sure you’re doing a proper social media audit for your Instagram account:
1. Comments Generated
When you create content for your Instagram account, you want to ensure that it is working. And the best way to know that is to understand if it is engaging enough.
Now, measuring social media engagement is not just about your top performing posts or the amount of “likes” your imagery has generated on your Instagram account. It goes beyond that. You also need to take a look at the comments your visual content is receiving. Anybody can hit a like to a photo, but it takes someone who is really engaged to actually leave a meaningful comment.
If you’re getting more comments for your posts, it clearly shows that people are liking your content and you are in the process of building a loyal followership. But if you’re not seeing many comments (even though you should be getting them), then there’s a problem. It could either mean that your content is not interesting enough or isn’t that relevant.
2. Hashtag Engagement
If you are an Instagram user, you should know how common hashtag usage is. Hashtags are used by everyone, right from individual users to big brands. The number one reason hashtags are so popular on Instagram is because they help people find new content and also share it with others.
When you post a picture or video on Instagram with a hashtag, you have a higher chance of generating engagement.
Also, your content is more likely to be found by people who are not following you but are interested. Which in turn can help you increase your follower count. So by measuring the engagement, your hashtags are generating, you’ll know which ones to use and which ones to avoid.
3. Follower Engagement
If you’re starting out on Instagram, you may not be worried about engagement. However, as you move forward, you need to see how your content is performing. And one of the most effective ways to do that is to measure engagements per follower.
Using this metric you’ll get an understanding of the number of comments/likes a post gets “per individual follower”. This is different from the overall engagement your content generates.
By keeping an eye on this one metric, you can improve the quality of your content over time. How? If you find an increase in this metric, it means that you are doing it right. Your content is working and you should continue doing it more.
The more people are engaging with your posts, the higher is your engagement per follower. It shows that people are consistently finding your content interesting and your page worth revisiting.
By having a social media audit, you will be able to find out which of these social media platforms works for your brand, and the ones that don’t. You can then decide if you want to keep all of them or be less active in some. Keep in mind that as a business, it is not necessary for you to be on every social media platform out there. You just need to be where your target market is at.
With that said, here are some helpful demographic statistics in the US according to Pew Research:
- 73% of US adults use YouTube
- 69% are on Facebook
- 37% are active on Instagram
- 28% uses Pinterest
- 27% of US professionals are on LinkedIn
- 24% are active on Snapchat
- 22% of US users have Twitter
- 20% uses WhatsApp
If you have never conducted a social media audit before, you may find it a little difficult or even intimidating to get started on it. However, the process is simple and straightforward. You already have access to every tool you need to conduct an effective social media audit, so why not take the step?
Initially, your social media audit will take some time. But you’ll have a high return on your time investment if you focus on the right elements. It’ll help you discover what exactly you’re doing wrong and how you can improve it so that your audience is able to connect to your content. The end result will be a stronger social media presence fueled by great content.