Social media audits are an easy way to keep track of your social media accounts. Generally, it’s best to review your accounts quarterly, however, you can choose a frequency that best fits your company’s goals. Below, get the seven key steps to complete a social media audit, plus a free template to keep all of the information in one place.
Social media is the place to market your business and reach your customers far and wide. No matter what platforms you are on, it’s important to regularly review your social media accounts. This will help you evaluate what’s working and what opportunities are available to grow your company, on top of the general benefits of checking performance.
In order to assess this, you’ll need to perform a social media audit. While the term “audit” can seem overwhelming, it’s easy to do if you have a social media audit template to help guide you through the process. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about social media auditing, and download a free and easy-to-use template to help you perfect your social media accounts.
A social media audit paints a big picture of your social media strategy and pinpoints where and how you can improve results. Metrics collected from this audit can include demographics, locations, engagements, and other valuable information to drive success.
The term “audit” is typically associated with taxes—but in this case, it simply means compiling and reviewing key information from all of your social media efforts and storing this information in one place.Free social media audit template
While there are no specific timeline or rules on when you should complete social media audits, there are some best practices that you can follow. In general, it’s best to complete an audit quarterly to implement any new changes and track progress.
However, if you’re seeing large success across your channels and rarely need to make implementation changes, you could choose to complete this audit every six months. Likewise, if you’re noticing that there are many negative complaints stemming from customers about your social channels, you could choose to run this audit more frequently. This can ensure that all of your channels are up-to-date and running properly.
Whether this is your first audit or you’re a social media audit pro, follow these seven steps to ensure a smooth process. To get started, download our free social media audit template below and follow along as you gather and fill out all of the information needed.
To start, locate all existing social profiles for your business. Start by listing the ones you use regularly, but remember that this might not be enough. If your company created profiles in the past—especially before you had a social media strategy—and have since abandoned them, you’ll want to include these accounts in the audit.
When documenting these in your template, it’ll be helpful to notate which accounts are active and are high priority and which are inactive or need further attention. Also, it’s important to note any accounts that might be fraudulent (meaning it was created by someone other than your company) and require additional research.
Spend time searching for your business name on Google and social media platforms to see what accounts you find. If you have multiple departments within your company that have different profiles, be sure to notate this as well.
The specific platforms you audit will vary based on your company, but may include:
Once you’ve found your social media profiles, it’s time to take a deeper dive into each one. Try looking at them through the lens of a potential or current customer. Does your profile make sense to someone who is checking out your company information? To help guide you, consider the following tips:
Check your handles: As a good rule of thumb, it’s best to keep all of your social media handles the same so users can quickly find you. Consider using your brand name to make it easy.
Examine the homepage: You’ll want to have a cover photo that is indicative of your brand on the social media account homepage. Make sure the image you choose is properly sized and formatted for that specific social platform.
Become verified: Consider following the necessary steps to get your social media account verified with a checkmark badge to prove your authenticity. Check with each platform on how to attain this important checkmark.
Look over your bios: Ensure that your bios on all platforms are up-to-date and accurately reflect your brand messaging and vision statement.
Update contact information: Use this time to check and correct all addresses, phone numbers, emails, and URLs.
Modernize pinned posts: Take time to evaluate pinned posts to make sure they are relevant and up-to-date with your current marketing strategy and specific campaigns.
It’s important to understand what posts work for your target audiences on each platform. After all, each social media platform is different, and you need to be aware of what works and what doesn't.
During your audit, review the engagement rate of your most recent posts across each platform. Do you get more likes, retweets, and shares on videos or photos? Does one kind of post do really well with audiences on Facebook, whereas the same post doesn’t do so well on Instagram? Things to review include:
Total number of followers
Tweets to your brand
Best performing posts
Add this information to your social media audit template, including any theories and tests you may conduct between now and the next audit. This will help solidify and define your social media strategy going forward, making it easier to make better connections.
Once you’ve identified your profiles and found the patterns on what works and what doesn't, the next step is to create goals for each of your profiles. Not every profile needs to have the same goal—it’s best to designate different objectives that best match the consumers on each site.
Goals can include:
Increasing traffic to your site: Engaged customers on social media can follow through to visit your website and increase your unique visits.
Growing brand awareness: Metrics like post reach, audience growth rate, and social share of voice attribute to brand awareness, which gets customers talking about your brand.
Managing brand reputation: You can track brand mentions and hashtags, both positive and negative, on social media. This is a great way to get ahead of any potential issues.
Expanding community engagement: This includes growing likes, shares, and follows. Increased reach means that there are more potential customers hearing about your brand, therefore growing your brand’s awareness.
Make sure that each goal is SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. SMART goals set a clear objective, making them more achievable than a generic goal.
Once you’ve gathered information about your social media channels, you can take time to make strategic decisions about where to focus your efforts. Consider your goals set for each social media account and ask yourself the following questions:
Are your goals being met?
Could they be better met within a different platform?
Is there a better platform for one type of content to thrive on?
Do your customers exist on a platform that you’re not on yet?
Right now, you might have a lot of social platforms without a lot of engagement. Oftentimes, it's more valuable to put your energy towards a limited number of platforms that are more appropriate for your brand.
"Appropriateness" varies, but basically, it means either your customers use that platform, your customers are more likely to engage with your content on that platform, or something else beneficial towards your topline social media goals. Consider using the data you gathered to help decide where your content has the best chance to thrive.
This is also the perfect opportunity to consider deactivating old accounts that haven’t been updated in quite some time since they most likely are not serving any goal-oriented purpose for your company.
While filling out your template, take the time to dedicate one person (or team) to be the social media account “owners.” This person makes sure that each account is up-to-date, on-brand, and reaching the right audience.
Designating one person to be in charge of all social platforms means you won’t need to worry about granting access every time you add someone new to the team. In addition, this helps protect the security of your accounts by limiting those who do have access.
Once you’ve pulled apart all of this information, the final step in the process is to devise a plan for the future. Running social media audits quarterly gives you plenty of action items to focus on between now and the next audit. For instance:
Consider keeping your social media strategy the same if engagement is high.
Think about updating brand strategies where needed.
Deactivate and delete accounts that are outdated or replaced by newer accounts.
Change up types of posts if you’re getting little to no engagement on them.
Post more of the social media content that is garnering high engagement.
Post more of the types of top-performing posts on a more frequent basis by setting up a social media content calendar.
By devising a specific plan based on the goals that you established above, you can make headway on creating a social media strategy that works best for you and your company. It might take time to notice a difference, so it’s important to keep track of your audits regularly.
Social media audits don’t need to be scary—they are a necessary part of any digital marketing plan. By taking the time to complete a social media audit template, you can track your progress over time, and ensure your efforts are well-spent and making an impact.Free social media audit template