Are you frustrated with social media? Confused as to whether or not all the work you pour into content creation is creating any results? Struggling to come up with ideas for new content? These are a few of the many issues that business owners struggle with when they are trying to have a presence on social media. And there is one thing a business owner can do to help with all of these things. A social media audit.
What is a social media audit?
A social media audit is an in-depth analysis of your social media posts and profiles over a set period of time, usually a month. It tracks metrics such as follower count and growth, as well as the applause rate and engagement rate. While you will utilize data from the analytics provided by social media platforms, a social media audit provides a different set of data. The main difference is that analytics provide a snapshot of your social media performance, while ongoing audits will allow you to see the performance of your accounts over time.
Why should your business do a social media audit?
A social media audit is a very valuable tool because it allows you to see what posts perform the best month after month. It also allows you to see how your profiles are performing and whether or not you are meeting your goals each month. You can pick and choose the metrics that are most important to you depending on your goals for each profile.
For example, you may read an article that convinces you to invest in video content, because video posts outperform other types of content. After a few months of video content, you find that the video content is getting a lot more views than blogs and graphics. You’re excited and getting ready to invest more money into video content. But then you review your social media audit and you realize that your engagement rate has steadily decreased since adding video content to your channels.
Does this mean that video content isn’t good for your brand and audience? Not necessarily. But it is a sign that something isn’t right. If you didn’t do an audit and you relied on the metrics provided by the platforms alone, you could potentially waste a lot of money on a strategy that doesn’t resonate.
A social media audit will also save you time in the end. Knowing what sorts of content really resonate with your audience while also meeting your goals for each platform will allow you to quickly and easily create content. This is especially true if you combine your social media audit with a competitor analysis, a clearly defined strategy for each platform, and a buyer persona guiding which platforms you are on.
How to do a social media audit
Many companies offer free templates for a social media audit. However many of those audits are targeted towards larger businesses with a dedicated social media or marketing person. If you are a business owner doing everything by yourself, then these templates might be more than you need. In working with small businesses, we have found that there are five metrics that we recommend businesses track month over month.
- Audience Growth Rate (new followers/total audience *100)
- Estimated Avg. Post Reach (avg. post views or impressions/total followers * 100)
- Applause Rate (avg. likes/followers * 100)
- Virality Rate (shares/impressions * 100)
- Click-through rate (clicks/impressions *100)
Depending on your goals for each platform, you may decide to eliminate one or more of these, however. For example, if you are on LinkedIn because you want people to click through to your website, but you don’t really care if your posts are getting shared or if people are following you, you could just track your click-through rate. Tracking the five metrics above will allow you to get a birds-eye view of your social media performance over time.
In order to track those five metrics, you will need to gather a few vital pieces of data from each social media account. Those items are.
- Number of posts in the past month
- Number of page likes/followers
- Avg. Post Likes
- Avg. Post Comments
- Avg. Shares
- Avg. Link Clicks
- Avg. Views/Impressions
When collecting this data, it is helpful to put the information for each post into a spreadsheet or graph. You may have one graph for all the posts on every platform, or a separate graph for each platform, depending on your strategy. If you have a different strategy for each platform and you are posting different content, then you will want to evaluate each platform individually. The graph should have the following columns.
- Link Clicks
- Type of post
As you go through your individual posts from the past month, you can quickly fill out the graph. Once you are finished you can get your averages. You can see what type of posts performed the best, as well as what types of posts performed the worst. Use this data to create content for the upcoming month that will really resonate with your audience. Then you can sit back and relax as you watch your metrics increase month after month.
Don’t want to make your own spreadsheet? Check out our free template here! Just download it from a computer and enter the information from your posts for each month. The Audit tab automatically calculates everything for you.
Don’t let this overwhelm you!
If you’re a busy business owner, doing this every month may seem like more work than you have time for. Truthfully, the first few times you do this, it will take some time. Stick with it! After six months you will get into the swing of it and it will become easy.
You will also see the benefit around this time as well. Doing a monthly social media audit will help you see your metrics grow or shrink over time and allow you to see what you are doing on social media to affect that. It will allow you to really understand what sort of posts work well for your particular audience. It will help you see what sort of posts help you meet your goals on social media. In the end, your overall content creation process will move more quickly because you won’t agonize over what to post, you will know.
At The Social Expansion Project, we provide monthly audits and bimonthly competitor analyses for all of our clients, regardless of what size social media package they sign up for. We also assist with strategy, content calendars, and coaching. We strive to provide high-quality social media marketing services to businesses that can’t afford a full-time marketing professional but want to look like they can. Want to learn more? Schedule a consultation today!