Even though I had a basic idea as to what a social media audit entails, my knowledge profited from the expanded descriptions provided in the lectures and readings because the extent of my professional social media experience was only doing short assessments, nothing detailed. When evaluating the purpose of an audit, as Schaffer (2013) points out, “An audit based on your brand’s current presence is essential to creating baseline metrics for your own strategy and to determine how you (or client) compare with your competitors.”
Social media audit key components
It appears that an audit’s primary purpose focuses on gaining knowledge in an effort to learn how to improve. A key component would be retrieving data that’s rich in statistical information in the ultimate quest to find out as much as possible to position and enable you to build a strategy for improvement. Another main component is to remember that even though the initial audit is intended to be a collective analysis, it’s actuality a starting point that needs to be constantly assessed and monitored to implement evolving changes or your social media can quickly fall into disrepair. I’ve heard many excuses that there isn’t enough time, but our instructor mentioned that it usually doesn’t require him more than 10 minutes to check out the competition every morning. I liken a social media audit to an athletic training regime. Putting in the required daily efforts will keep the program in peak condition while sporadic, decreased practices will soon diminish performance.
Some of the other components include:
- Measuring, analyzing and benchmarking all data growth in comparison to past goals and metrics including:
- engagement/responses, initiating proactive conversations
- posting frequency
- ensuring all profiles are complete
- Search for unofficial accounts or profiles
- imagery and messaging continuity
- presence, purpose and performance on each social media channel
- check customize settings and review for optimization
- backgrounds and other images follow theme/branding, descriptions/URLs uniform
- tone of the profile right for the network
- matching goals to performance milestones
Utilizing a video is a much more engaging way to present findings and much easier than having to put it on paper. Who wouldn’t be more apt to really listen to a video than reading a run-of-the-mill report?
Competitive analysis process
What I’ve found to be most helpful is really identifying several sources as to who’s doing it right and building on your strategy from there. Naturally this includes all social media account activity. In the future I will use Traacker to find sites with similar audience/messages. I can even learn from some corporations or perhaps other countries that have a robust social media presence. Again, my main fixation is what another group may be doing right and learning specific success lessons from their program to invigorate my own. As far as how much digging you should do, most of us truly have workloads that are insane. Getting the general gist of popularity, engagement and overall content offerings that are appealing to their audiences should be acceptable for most of our needs.