90% of social media users have already connected with a brand or business through their chosen platform, so running and maintaining a strong social media presence is an integral part of a digital marketing strategy. You will need a unique, detailed plan in place for your social media, and regularly auditing these accounts will ensure you are making progress.
What is a social media audit?
Social media audits are performed to review a business’ whole social media presence. It’s an opportunity to stand back and take stock of your digital marketing efforts and identify any issues. Auditing your accounts can benefit your business by highlighting your successes, and areas for growth and improvement. Identifying any issues on your social media and tracking your engagement metrics can help you to maximise your return on investment and generate leads.
How to perform a social media audit
To conduct a successful social media audit, you should know what metrics you are going to analyse, and why gathering this data will impact your business. Have a think about what you are hoping to gain from an audit; are you seeing a dip in your engagement? Do you want to gain followers at a steady pace? A social media audit can pinpoint where you need to refocus your efforts to reach a bigger audience and uncover lead generation opportunities.
When performing an audit, you should analyse your profiles, content, publishing times, engagement, and more. Consider why you’re doing an audit and make a list of metrics you want to track. Creating a checklist is a great way to keep your audit focused.
What should a social media audit checklist include?
Making a checklist will give your social media audit structure. You’ll want to begin your audit by analysing your accounts and profiles, as knowing how your profiles look and what they communicate to your audience is vital.
To begin a social media audit, take stock of your current accounts and profiles:
- Find your accounts
Locate all the social media accounts that are linked to your company across all social media platforms, including platforms that you may not have used for a long time. Double check that there are no duplicate or spam accounts and remove any profiles that are out of use. Make a note of the platforms you are currently using; this is an opportunity to identify social networks where you don’t currently have a presence and decide whether it’s worthwhile to expand your social media strategy. You don’t need to be active on every network; focus on you’re the platforms where your target audience is most active.
2. Check your social handles
Once you’ve found your business accounts, check your social media handles. It’s best practice to keep them consistent so it’s easier for your target audience to find you. Make sure that your handles are up to date and unified.
3. Check the URL strings
Have a look at the URL strings attached to your profiles. For platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn where you can edit your URL, make sure to claim a vanity URL that matches your other social media accounts. Having the same URL for each of your profiles makes your social media presence cohesive, and makes your webpages appear safer to click on.
4. Profile text
A key part of a social media audit is ensuring that all the text featured on your profile is accurate and up to date. Have a look at the titles on your profile, your profile names, and the text in your biographies. Consider:
- Is the text appropriate for your brand?
- Are there any spelling or grammatical errors?
- Is the text up to date? Ensure that there are no references to past events, and that any seasonal related or old campaign-focused branding is removed.
- Have you used any hashtags? Are these relevant to your business? Are these hashtags still appropriate to use?
- Are there any URLs in the text? Check that there aren’t any broken or outdated links.
Fix any issues that you come across and make sure that your profile text is similar on all your profiles.
Make sure that your profile picture is the same across all your accounts. This will make your business recognisable on any platform. If you are using any header or background images, make sure that these images are high quality.
Once you’ve checked the text and images on your profile, consider the overall look of your profile:
- Is your profile consistent with your company’s image/branding?
- Do the colours adhere to your branding guidelines?
- Does your profile look generally neat and organised?
- For visual-based platforms such as Instagram, look at your feed. A distinct Instagram feed can boost brand awareness and will communicate your company’s tone and personality. You want your followers to instantly recognise your content when it shows on their homepage.
Content is what your followers are looking for when they click on your profile, and this will affect how they interact with your business. Making sure that your content is useful, relevant, and high-quality is one of the most important aspects of your social media strategy. To audit your social media content, look at:
- How many pieces of content you are posting per week. Is there a consistent flow of content?
- The captions on your posts if you are posting rich media content; are they grammatically correct and appropriate?
- Make sure that your content is written in the appropriate voice for the platform, e.g., a LinkedIn post may need a more formal tone.
- Have you attached relevant, popular hashtags to your post?
- Are the images or videos that you are posting in keeping with brand guidelines?
- Are your images or videos optimised for mobile users?
- Is your content evergreen? Can you repurpose any older content to keep it relevant and interesting for your audience?
Check if any of your social media accounts are verified. Make a note of which ones are, and research further into getting your other accounts verified. Being verified will make your accounts more trustworthy.
Double check who has access to your social media accounts. Make sure to remove any permissions from users you no longer work with, or who no longer need access to the account. Only members of your team that you trust should have access to your social media accounts.
Once you have been through your social media profiles, you should focus on performing an audit of your social media analytics on each platform.
- Amount of followers
Check the number of followers that you have accumulated on each of your social media accounts and compare these numbers across platforms. Consider why you may be performing better on some rather than others. Use each platform’s in-house analytics tools to determine the rate you are gaining or losing followers.
Examine your follower demographics for each social media platform. Find out more about your followers; who are they and what are their interests? You may discover that your target audience is different from what you imagined. Use this information to inform your future social media content. Make sure that what you’re posting is relevant and useful to them.
Use each social media platforms’ built-in analytics tools to gather data about your posts and reach. Look at the number of likes, comments, and messages that your accounts are receiving. Calculating an average will provide you with a benchmark of your account performance. This way you can identify which social media platforms you need to direct more attention to.
Review when your posts seem to perform well, when is your audience most active? Analysing the link between your popular posts and publishing times means that you can post when your followers are most active for maximum reach.
3. Post performance
Your best performing posts can provide you with a framework for future content. By knowing what your followers are interacting with, you can predict what kind of content they might like to see, and how you can produce it. For example, if you have posted a few videos to your Facebook page that received a lot of engagement, you may consider trying out the Reels feature on your Instagram page. Creating content that your followers want to see will prevent you from wasting your digital marketing resources on posts that may not get any worthwhile engagement.
When you view your content analytics, try to identify any trends. Maybe your audience is more responsive to images, or maybe a post received more traction on Instagram than the same post on another platform. Keep track of any trends you may have discovered and develop your social media content accordingly. Paying attention to how your audience engages with your page will help you to effectively communicate with your followers and develop your social media strategy over time.
How to perform a competitor analysis
Once you have completed an audit of your social media accounts and have gathered your data, you should conduct a competitor analysis. Use search engines to locate your competitors. Search for terms or keywords that you think your potential customers might search for to find your company and look at what other businesses rank for these terms.
This can help you to figure out who you are competing against. Note what they do well and what you could learn from their social media marketing. Pay attention to how they market themselves on platforms that you might be struggling to excel on.
When you’ve identified a handful of competitors, you can begin to gather data from their profile. Like your profile analysis, using a checklist will keep your competitor analysis on track.
Social Media Competitor Analysis Checklist
- What kind of content are they producing?
What content pieces are your competitors sharing? Do they share original content, or do they use a blend of reposted and unique content? Look at what they are doing well; browse their posts and pay attention to pieces that have received a lot of interactions. Consider why these pieces may be performing well, and whether you are posting this kind of content on your own social media pages.
How frequently are your competitors sharing content? If they are posting every day and consistently receiving high levels of engagement, have a look at what they’re posting, and analyse how they are keeping their audience engaged. If they post less frequently, consider the length and quality of these posts; are they posting long-form video content once a week instead of multiple snippets throughout the week? Does this seem to work well for them? Consider your own strategy, and what your audience may want from your future social media calendar.
2. What is their branding like?
Your competitor may have a very cohesive social media presence with a distinct voice and look. Try to make a note if there is something particularly attractive about their social media pages; is there something missing from your own social media presence that you could implement?
Search your competitor’s name on different social media platforms to see if they have any branded hashtags, and what comes up when they are searched. This can reveal more about their popularity and how their followers are engaging with them.
3. Which platforms are they excelling on?
If your competitors are rapidly gaining followers from a viral TikTok, it means that there are users on the app that might be interested in what your company has to offer. If one of your competitors frequently receives lots of comments on their LinkedIn posts, look at their connections, and see if they may be interested in connecting with you. If your competitors can successfully market themselves on a social media platform, so can you.
4. Who are they connecting with?
Have your competitors been collaborating with other businesses or influencers? If they have, how have their audiences responded to it?
If one of your competitors has recently had a successful social media collaboration, it could be a sign that there is scope for your business to succeed with a similar campaign. Consider reaching out to other businesses or influencers to begin forming these relationships.
Using your own social media audit results, decide what else you may want to understand about your competitors and their social media marketing strategy.
Analysing your social media audit results
Now that you’ve completed your social media audit, you should have access to a wealth of information you can use to improve and refocus your social media strategy.
From your audit results, create a clear, comprehensive report that highlights particularly important areas of focus, so that you can share your findings with your team and begin to revamp your social media strategy. Before making any changes, set SMART goals to work towards and use these as a benchmark for your further achievements.
Your audience and their behaviours may change over time, so you’ll need to stay up to date to make sure you’re connecting with them in the best way possible. Regular and on-going monitoring of important metrics such as follower demographic data and engagement rates will continually improve the link between your social media presence and your business goals. Perform a large annual review but try to conduct an audit every quarter to ensure you stay on top of your social media accounts and capitalise on any opportunities. This can strengthen your relationship with your followers, expand your reach, and generate fresh leads.