Usually just the word ‘audit’ is enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone in business. It conjures up images of tax inspectors, boxes of receipts, missing paper, fines, liens, and eventually handing over your wallet to the IRS.
A social media marketing audit is different, and far less painful.
When you audit your social media marketing you shouldn’t be afraid of what you might find, you should be excited at the opportunity to improve your performance and reach more people, more effectively than ever.
And the best thing?
The results of your audit lead directly to actions that can see your reach, engagement, and conversions go through the roof.
Here are the five things that you can learn from your social media marketing audit – and how they’ll help you grow your business.
1. You’ll Find Out What Social Channels You Use
It might sound silly but there are so many social media channels that you may be signed up with an official account on a network you have never heard of. Maybe an intern signed you on, or maybe your communications firm opened up an account but never populated it with content. Maybe you read about a new channel in Wired or Inc. and created an account with the best of intentions but then forgot about the channel as life and business got in the way.
A social media marketing audit usually begins by gathering the data on the social media channels that your business has. You’ll likely have a Facebook account and a Twitter account, and depending on your business you might also have Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, reddit and Quora accounts, too. A deep Google search for your company’s name on all of the two dozen major networks should identify al of your accounts. Create a master list with the channel, your username and password for that channel, your followers or fans, and how active you are.
If you’re like most businesses you’ll find that some channels consistently outperform others, and you’ll likely find one or two that are doing little – even nothing – to help your business. By assessing this right at the start you’ll be in a good position to decide what channels to keep, which ones to focus attention on, and which ones to close down entirely.
2. You’ll Identify Social Branding Issues
When you update your company branding its easy to leave some things behind. Sure, the letterhead, the business cards, the website, and your bricks and mortar location all get the new colors, the new logo, and the new font treatment. When you own a property and pay for it, whether physically or online, its easy to remember that you need to update the branding. But when you essentially ‘rent’ a space from Facebook or Twitter, and when your interactions with that space are via a third party application or software solution, it’s easy to forget that you originally branded those spaces with your company logo, colors, and identity.
It’s not unusual to find that some social media profiles are well out of date when it comes to branding. The logo is your old logo, the photo of your smiling team includes a bunch of people who don’t work with you anymore, and the colors you’ve chosen to highlight your brands are so last season.
A social media marketing audit lets you catch all of these branding errors, correct them, and roll out future branding changes across all of your channels the next time you rebrand your business, change up your logo, or have a super sale that no one should miss.
3. You’ll Gather the Key Metrics to Measure Success
We’ve looked at the essential social media KPIs that every business should track before at The DOZ Blog. But it’s impossible to know whether those metrics are reason for celebration or something to fear unless you check, record, compare, and analyze them. And that means auditing your social media metrics.
The most important metrics fall into one of four areas. The first is reach, a general term that represents the audience that you have. When considering your audience, you’ll want to count the size of the audience (fans and followers) and also gather information about the demographics of that audience, with attention to location, age, gender, disposable income, and other factors specific to your customer profile.
The second key area is engagement. You’ll want to record likes, favorites, mentions, look for comments and citations, and you’ll want to assess the sentiment of the engagement, too. After all, you can get a lot of engagement with bad marketing, but you want the positive sentiment that flows from quality content and interaction.
The third key area is amplification, or the ways in which your audience helps promote your message for free. Count the shares you get, count the retweets you get, and make note of which tweets and what sorts of content are shared most often by your audience.
The fourth and final area is economics, by which you need to track conversions and sales from your social media efforts. In the end all of this social media marketing needs to make economic sense, and that means making sure that the work you do on social channels is effectively adding to your bottom line.
4. You’ll Find Out Who Your Key Competitors Are
When the IRS comes knocking to audit your files they aren’t all that interested in the business next door. A social media marketing audit is different in that not only assesses your social media channels but those of key competitors, too.
For the most part you’ll already know who these competitors are, but you might only be getting the most superficial look at their social efforts. Are you aware of all of their social media accounts? Have they found a way to exploit a niche social network in a way that would benefit you even more? And how do you stack up to their metrics in terms of fans, followers, and engagement?
It’s one thing to know where you stand, but its another altogether to understand where you stand relative to the people who are competing with you for those consumer dollars. A social media marketing audit always includes a comparative analysis of your major competitive so that you’re equipped and ready to make the best marketing decisions.
5. You’ll Learn What Makes for a Realistic Goal
Everyone wants to success and everyone understands the importance of setting goals to achieve that success. But setting a goal, and setting a realistic goal are not necessarily the same thing. Only after a social media marketing audit will you be equipped with the data points and knowledge to set the sorts of goals that will be achievable with effort, and will pay back your business for the time and resources invested.
Some of these goals will be quantitative. You’ll want to set goals for the fans, followers, and audience that you attract on each channel. You’ll want to set goals for the number of times you post, tweet, or share on each channel, and you’ll want to set goals for engagement and sentiment, too.
But some of the goals might be a little less quantitative, and instead be facilitative or even procedural. You might set the goal of writing a social media strategy document and an accompanying policy document by a certain date. You might give yourself a deadline for establishing a branding strategy, or integrating the social media networks into your exiting, but outdated, branding strategy.
You will want to set goals for training your staff, you’ll want to set standards and goals for interactions online, and most importantly you’ll want to set a realistic goal for the sales, conversions, and economic benefit that will flow from your social media marketing efforts.
Anyone can set these sorts of goals, but only armed with the knowledge and data gained from a comprehensive social media marketing audit will you be able to set appropriate and realistic goals for your business.
Ready to audit your social media marketing? Contact DOZ to set things in motion today – and if you are a new customer we’ll get you started with 50 credit bonus to spend on a social media marketing audit from a select team of DOZ marketing experts.