In our series on auditing your digital presence, this blog looks at how to get to grips with your social media, to help you conduct and audit of your social media presence, and put together a coherent social strategy for the future. You won’t need a scrubbing brush – but some patience and a little time to really get to grips with what’s going on with your social media – and how it needs to change to be effective and deliver return on investment..
Are you really in control of your social media?
We wrote a whole blog post about businesses that lose control of their social media (or never had control of it in the first place), and the problems it can cause. You’d be surprised (or may be you won’t be) by the number of businesses we come across that aren’t really sure what their social media presence comprises. The ways businesses lose track of their social media include
- Having someone dabbling with social media ‘to help out’;
- Multiple accounts set up by different people using different emails and different log ins
- Inconsistency across platforms causing confusion
- Failing to ‘lock down’ your brand across social channels.
Auditing your social presence is a vital part of your overall digital audit, so don’t neglect it, however painful you anticipate the exercise will be.
What does ‘good’ look like?
In an ideal world, your brand’s social media presence will be
- Locked down across all social platforms (even if you’re not intending to use them all to communicate with customers)
- Secured with passwords that are changed regularly, accessed using an email address (or email addresses) that are active, and set up with account recovery options
- Consistent profile and page names, images and branding, similar About/biography sections and all consistent with your website to support a coherent user experience
- Linked to your website, so visitors to your website can connect with you socially and vice versa
Auditing your social media
With an idea of what ‘good’ looks like, you should be ready to tackle your own social presence.
- Establish all the platforms on which you have a business profile. Check that you only have one business profile on each platform – if you find you have more than one account for whatever reason, take steps to secure all of them, and then decide which account you will use going forward.
- Determine where you are getting the most engagement and take a positive decision about whether to continue efforts on all platforms, or to reduce your efforts to concentrate on just one or 2 platforms.
- Make sure you know all the passwords for your accounts and have access to the accounts and associated emails.
- For those platforms which require a personal profile before there can be a business page, check who is ‘hosting’ the business page. If necessary, take steps to secure your business profiles by changing passwords and updating email addresses and contact information.
- Keep your passwords under control and set up a system for changing them regularly.
- Review how often you are posting on each platform; which times you are posting and the results you are getting
- Check who is posting and where the stories are coming from
- Understand how your social activity has benefited (or otherwise) your business in the past. What has worked and what has been less successful?
- Consider using automated posts – apps such as Crowdfire and Paper.li.
- If you are using automated posts as part of your strategy, are you over automating?
Establish your Social Media strategy
Once you have audited your social media presence, you will be in a position to establish your social media strategy. You’ll need an overall strategy, and then individual plans for the different platforms, as each behaves slightly differently, requires content to be in different formats.
- Define why you are using social media for your business? What do you hope to achieve? How does it sit within your overall marketing strategy and your business objectives?
- Determine how often you should be posting (or can commit to posting) and set up a schedule.
- Read how others have done it. This is a great article by Tim Felmingham – dates back to 2015 but a lot remains relevant – looking at developing your Twitter strategy.
- Analyse when are the best times to post on the different social networks you are using.
- If you aren’t already using a tool like Hootsuite or Askedgar to schedule your social posts regularly throughout the day, and throughout the week/month. Insights from these tools can also help with the ‘when to post’ conundrum
- Plan your content – what you will be posting and who will create that content
- Set out benchmarks by which you will measure the success of your strategy
- Consider appointing a ‘social media champion’ in the business – someone who is responsible for keeping all social media activity under review, for ensuring that the posting schedule is followed, and for encouraging others to buy in to the social media strategy you’ve adopted
We’ve been supporting businesses as they get to grips with online marketing since before Facebook was a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye – if you need some help getting to grips with your social media presence – or any other aspect of your digital marketing, get in touch!