When you’re in your social media planning phases, an audit is critical to the success of your social communications program moving forward. The social media audit is usually conducted to identify any of the challenges or problem areas within a brand’s current program, as well as to pinpoint genuine opportunities and what’s been working with respect to participation and engagement in the social media landscape (to move the best of your program forward in your strategic plan).
One key part of the audit is to identify and evaluate all of the existing social media properties, with respect to the following:
- Type and size of community (size may be used as a benchmark for growth).
- Brand guidelines in terms of proper logo usage, colors, accepted imagery, etc., on each social profile.
- Engagement with constituents on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highly engaged in two-way, meaningful interactions.
- Strategy or purpose of the social profile, whether your social site is for awareness, customer service, research and/or to drive people to a brand’s website.
- Frequency of the conversations, which could be hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or sporadic sharing of information.
- Types of content shared including links to news articles, blogs, videos, photos, events, notes, widgets, applications, etc.
- Tracking and measurement, which may include free tools for monitoring and/or paid platforms. with monitoring capabilities and charts/graphs for reporting analytics.
If you’re tasked with an audit of your brand’s social media properties, here’s one approach. You can set up an audit spreadsheet, in order to begin evaluating your program (this is a fictitious company, XYZ):
By analyzing all of the information in the audit, you will quickly learn where there are clear differences in your properties with respect to brand guidelines, coordination of content, measurement that is not tying back to your objectives/goals and whether or not your audience is interacting with your brand, or each property is just another marketing channel with one way communication (which should not be the purpose of social media). At the same time, you might also discover certain social properties that are outpacing others based on sharing habits and the ability to offer information that is a key issue or touches on a community’s passion or interest.
The audit is a good way to evaluate and fix what’s currently wrong with your social media program. It’s also an excellent way to capitalize on the great efforts that may already be in place. Are you auditing your social media program during the planning phases to make a stronger program every year?