Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Conducting a social media audit: Is it really necessary?

By: Noelle Cutler, Account Assistant, Leonard & Finco Public Relations
Let’s say you just started running your company’s social media pages. You already have some great posts up your sleeve, so it’s time to dive in, right? Wrong. The very first thing you should do is conduct a social media audit. Neglecting a social media audit is like trying to come up with a plan to fix a problem before you know what the problem is. And even though there might be some big problems on those pages, you may brush right past them if you focus too much and too soon on posting the first thing that comes to mind. 

So what is a social media audit and why should you do it? A social media audit may sound intimidating, but it really isn’t so bad. It’s just an assessment of the current social media pages to see what’s working and what isn’t working. Starting a social media audit is as simple as finding the social media pages. Do they link from the website? Can you find them in a Google search? What about a search directly within Facebook, Twitter, etc.?

From there, you need to determine if the appropriate channels are being used. Is your company investing too much time in LinkedIn while ignoring Instagram? Take some time to determine what sort of content was being posted on the various platforms (e.g. promotional videos, text questions, employee spotlights, etc.). On each individual page, check simple stats like likes or followers, but also check engagement rates. It’s important to note if stats are improving, staying the same, or maybe even decreasing. 

Collect all your data in a document or spreadsheet. Now you can isolate the problems that need to be addressed. Start with the big stuff, like whether or not an account needs to be deleted altogether. Work your way up to the cosmetic changes, like changing the profile picture. By analyzing both the timing and content of the best and worst posts, it will become clear what kinds of posts you should replicate or stay away from in the future. That research will probably even help you come up with your social media content calendar, which is another vital piece of a great social media strategy.

The social media audit really needs to be the first step in your social media strategy. Even forming social media goals is important, but it will be difficult to determine where you can go with your pages if you have no idea where they are right now. And don’t forget to conduct a social media audit periodically as well!

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