A Question – What’s the aim of a social media audit?
The Answer: Regaining control of your social media output!
In our ‘Auditing your Digital Presence’ series, this blog looks at how to conduct a social media audit and how to develop a coherent strategy for the future. You will need a little time to get to grips with your output in order to make it effective and deliver Return on Investment (ROI)…
Are you really in control of your social media?
We previously wrote a blog about problems caused for businesses that lose control of their social media, or never had control of it in the first place. You’d be surprised (or maybe you won’t!) by the number of businesses we come across that aren’t really sure what their social media presence comprises of.
Understanding your social media:
A key factor underpinning any social media audit is understanding what social media comprises, what platforms you are on, and what they can deliver for your business.
So what IS social media?
Social media is the collective of online applications that enable users to create and share content and participate in social networks. Among the channels you are currently using, familiar names will be: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, but don’t forget about platforms like WhatsApp, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr, Snapchat, Myspace and Reddit – amongst others!
And how do we lose control?
The ways businesses lose control 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.
The Social Media Audit:
Auditing your social media presence is a vital part of your overall digital audit, so don’t neglect it however painful you anticipate the exercise will be.
Establish what ‘good’ looks 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 and accessed using active email addresses that have account recovery options.
- Consistent profile and page names, images and branding, About/Biography sections – 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.
With an idea of what ‘good’ looks like, you should be ready to tackle your own social presence.
Social Media Platforms
- 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 establishing 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.
Social Media Activity
- 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 Crowdfireand li.
- If you are using automated posts as part of your strategy, are you over automating?
Establish your social media strategy
Once you have carried out your social media audit, 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, requiring 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.
- Schedule: try using a tool like Hootsuite or Askedgar to schedule your social posts regularly throughout the day, week and 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.
- Benchmark: how you will measure the success of your strategy.
- ‘Social media champion’: consider appointing someone who is responsible for keeping all social media activity under review, ensuring that the posting schedule is followed, and 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!