10 Easy Steps For a Social Media Audit

Person holding eyeglasses up to a brightly lit street. Header image for 10 steps for a social media audit.
Person holding eyeglasses up to a brightly lit street. Header image for 10 steps for a social media audit.

Spring cleaning time! It's time to dust off your social media program's maybe neglected password sheet or admin settings with a social media audit.

OK, let’s be real: “social media audit” doesn’t exactly sound like an enjoyable prospect in the field of social media management. In fact, it sounds a bit scary. Like someone is knocking on your door with a menacing badge and they’re here to audit your accounts and tell you a million little things you need to do to fix them. (Yikes! I have chills just thinking about it).

So let’s call it something a wee bit more fun like social media spring cleaning!

That sounds better, doesn’t it? Hey, we're trying to make your next social media audit as painless as possible. 🥰

Spring is nearly here, and with this being the time of renewal and rejuvenation it’s a great opportunity to revisit the nuts and bolts of the social media machine that you’ve built for your brand.

Our Social Media Audit Checklist outlines the 10 steps required to conduct a thorough audit. Download the template to check each step off as you make your way down the list.

Content

What is a Social Media Audit?

A social media audit is a check-in opportunity for you to understand what’s happening on each of your social media channels. This is the time you set aside to:

  • Learn what’s working and what’s not about your current strategy
  • Use a social listening tool to check what your competitors are posting on social media
  • Refresh your profiles with new cover photos, descriptions, etc.
  • Analyze metrics and view the performance from the past few weeks or months
  • And, finally, update permissions and your governance structure

One of the main goals of an audit is to determine what’s working and what’s not. (Note: your conclusions here should be based on any previous social media KPIs you had in place. If they don’t fit anymore, use this audit to make updates). 

During the process, you’ll learn how you’re measuring up on social through analyzing engagement metrics like impressions, comments, and shares of your content. You may also want to take this time to set up a Google Analytics report to look at how much traffic or goal completions are being generated by visitors directed to your website from social.  

You can also use a social media audit to check who you’re following and do some spring cleaning there as well. Don’t balk at us. Everyone does it - the general rule is you want to be following fewer accounts than are following you. Maybe you’re still following a partner that you’re no longer in business with. Or your boss's wife’s cousin's Instagram that is devoted to her cat. 😳 Look, we know Snuggles is adorable, but does he fit with your brand? (If so, lucky you!).

A social audit is also good for refreshing your profile's look & feel, checking on your competitors, auditing permissions, setting up analytics reports, and more. Read on to find out! We know you’re on the edge of your seat...

How to Do a Social Media Audit

The best place to start a social media audit is with the numbers. Create a simple spreadsheet and record analytics like follower count, engagement metrics, and how many posts you send per week per social media account. Then, you’ll know which social channels to focus on first for updating and optimizing. 

Going forward, you should plan to use this spreadsheet on a regular basis to track your progress. A weekly metrics report of your engagement numbers is recommended but monthly would be fine too. The main point is to build learnings over time and get some statistical significance around what your followers like and don’t like.

Once you have the numbers in front of you as a baseline, be clear about your goals. Don’t do a social audit just to do it. Make sure you have some ideas about what you want to learn, so you can proceed confidently with any changes.

Get ready to take your social marketing strategy to the next level this year with these simple but fruitful social auditing steps. 

1. Audit Permissions On All Your Social Media Sites

When was the last time you took a look at who had permission to manage your Facebook Page, Twitter feed, or third-party app that posts across multiple sites?

The reality is that a lot of us use multiple sites, tools, and logins – and this makes the permissions piece an organic one, as employees change roles or leave companies. 

Only those people that need permissions should have permissions on your social media channels. Login to everything and make sure that your permissions are up to date and in-line with your current employees and their job descriptions. Update passwords if necessary.

2. Revisit Your Branding, Language, and Positioning

Has it been more than a year since you changed out your Twitter header image or Facebook banner? If so, it’s time for a refresh: no audit is complete without a design update.

When you look at your social media profiles, think about what they are telling the world about your company. What’s the brand story? It’s possible that your corporate positioning has changed since last year, so an audit is where you can update this.

Make sure your new choices still reflect and evoke your brand’s personality and values (unless of course, you’ve undergone a complete rebrand in the past year). 

3. Update Your Bio

Your social media bio should give visitors to your profile a quick snapshot of who you are and what you do. It’s the ideal place to include a branded hashtag or campaign hashtag, and link to other brand accounts (a good idea for global brands).

Stitch Fix is a great example of both:

Instagram bio example with branded hashtag and links to other brand accounts.

When writing your bio for social media, remember to keep it short and sweet for Twitter and Instagram. These are great channels for using emojis, have a bit of fun, or put some edginess into describing your product or service.

Patagonia, for example, uses far less than the character count allowed on Instagram for a simple but powerful message:

Social media bio example using very few characters.

Facebook and LinkedIn are where you have a little more room to go into detail, and business pages tend to be more professional in tone.

Lastly, double-check the website URL you’re linking to from your bio. This is especially important on Instagram due to the fact that you can’t link from posts, so “link in bio” lingo is commonplace for promoting specific campaigns, products, or landing pages. But it can be easy to forget to change it back to your homepage.

4. Clean House

Guess what? No matter how tempting it may be you don’t actually have to be on every single social media platform. Your social media strategy will suffer if you spread yourself too thin. 

Is there a channel you were once active on but is barely maintained due to either team bandwidth, lack of knowledge on how to use it effectively, or a disengaged following? Now might be the time to cut the cord. 

Claim your handle

While this may seem to contradict what we just said, hear us out. 

Think ahead for your marketing strategy. If there is a channel you’d like to use but don’t have the manpower to invest in right now, you should still claim your handle as a business account on that platform. This is particularly important if your business name is a common word or combination of words. 

5. Audit Your Social Response Templates

The importance of engagement on social media cannot be overstated. Especially if people are already talking to you! Encourage positive word of mouth by interacting with your followers. 

A policy review of your response templates and guidelines is a good step for your social media audit. This review should cover things like: 

  • Who is responsible for responding on social media on behalf of your brand?
  • Do you use Gifs, photos, emojis? What kind?
  • Who should step in when an event needs to be escalated? 

If you come up against a crisis, make sure you have a real-time alerting system in place. 

6. Get Organized With Lists

Ooh, lists!  Who doesn’t love a good list? This is perhaps the most underutilized tool in a social media manager's arsenal.

Facebook has interest lists for social ads, Twitter enables influencer lists, YouTube has playlists...if you’re not using these, now’s a great time to start. If you are, use your social audit to revisit them and make sure that they’re cleaned up and full of the people and content you want. 

7. Pinpoint Top-Performing Posts

...And do more of that! “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” is a delicate rule to follow when it comes to social media. On the one hand, you want to continue experimenting and trying new things - especially when platforms introduce new tools like Fleets on Twitter and LinkedIn Stories.

But on the other hand, you can’t ignore which types of posts perform the best for you - per platform. Measure your performance regularly with a social media management tool so you can track how you’re doing.

You may discover for example that on Instagram your audience responds highly to monochromatic photos, and on Twitter, polls don’t perform as well for you as for your competitors - so you either need to stop doing them or look at a complete overhaul of the questions you're asking. Or move polls to Instagram Stories and see if they perform better on that channel. Options await you with a social audit of your top-performing content!

8. Analyze Your Audience

Checking audience data may reveal certain opportunities for your social media marketing strategy. In particular, you may discover micro-communities based on shared values or interests. These niche groups are perfect places to get to know how your audience interacts and what pain points they have that your brand can solve. 

Another great thing that analyzing your audience can reveal is commonalities in influencers or celebrities that they follow. You can then approach them for an influencer partnership.

9. Set Up Competitor Reporting

Identify 3-5 competitors to monitor on social media by using competitive analysis software. Keep up with the type of content they share, the frequency, and how much engagement they get from their followers. 

It’s also a good idea to analyze the accounts their followers follow. This will most likely look similar to your audience, but any anomalies or things that stand out will be worth looking into.

10. Set Up Monthly Reporting

Finish up your social media audit with a plan to report on your channel performance on a monthly basis with your full marketing team. 

Ideal metrics to track include:

  • Net new followers 
  • Frequency of posts
  • Engagements (Impressions, Comments, Likes, Shares, Clicks)

And that’s a wrap! Are you feeling ready to spring clean with an audit on social media? Doesn’t sound so scary now, right? 

Remember, you can easily refer to all the steps above by downloading our Social Media Audit Checklist.

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