A social media audit is an essential component of a smart social media strategy. It means researching all your different social media accounts and honestly taking a look at how you’re doing. Are you reaching the people you want to reach? Are they engaged with your content? Are you meeting your social media goals? If there was any arena that requires regular and honest re-evaluation, the ever-evolving world of social media is it. If your social media approach is inconsistent or ineffective, at best it’s a waste of time for your brand and at worse it can really make you look bad.

A successfully completed social media audit will give you perspective. It shows you a bird’s eye view of your online social media presence so you can evaluate your strategy and impact. Not sure how to start your social media audit? Here are a few tips to get started.

  1. Know your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? This should influence your social media strategy. For example, are you posting at the right time of day? In other words, is your target audience online when you are posting content?
  2. Define your business objectives as they relate to social media. What are you trying to accomplish by being online? Increase your number of followers? Generate more in-store visits? This gives you something to track, measure, and work towards.
  3. Decide what kind of “voice” you want to have online. What tone is appropriate for your business? Friendly, informative, humorous, professional? What online tone of voice is appropriate for the platforms you are frequenting? They may differ slightly depending on where you are online. For example, YouTube is more casual than LinkedIn.
  4. Be consistent with branding and imagery across social media platforms. Your objectives and tone may vary from site to site, but use similar profile pictures and colors to keep your brand recognizable.
    Consider using a spreadsheet. Some people like to use spreadsheets to keep track of everything during a social media audit. You can make it as simple or complex as you like; the point is to stay organized so you can see the big picture.
  5. Find all your social media accounts. Write them down. Have you over-extended yourself? Consider paring back and re-focusing your efforts where you are already getting the best results. Some businesses still prefer to hang onto inactive accounts just to make sure no one else “steals” the account name. It’s your call. Also, be on the look-out for unofficial accounts related to your company name that have been created by others.
  6. Evaluate your social media impact. Look into using tools like Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, True Social Metrics, Social Crawlytics, and others to measure engagement, what kinds of content are popular across different sites, and in general your social media ROI. You’ll hear terms like “amplification” (shares) and “applause” (Likes or favorites) but they are really just measuring actions people take based on your content.
  7. Look at what your competitors are doing well. Do a search on Google or through social media search engines (like Facebook) to see what your competitors are up to. Imagine yourself as the average customer and see what is appealing (or not) about their social media presence.
  8. Create an action plan. Based on what you find, develop strategies to boost what you do well and fix what you’re having trouble with. Update your social media goals and refine your strategies for achieving them.
John Bradley Jackson
Author, Entrepreneur, Professor

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