It’s almost the beginning of the 4th quarter for 2012.
The beginning of a quarter is the best time to look back at what you’ve achieved in the past 3 months. This will give you the data, insights and confidence to execute on your future plans in a much more effective way.
Audits are boring, I know. So why should you bother?
- Performance review – audits are the best way to look at all your social media activities and KPIs in order to understand where the pain points are. Looking at the number of fans on Facebook daily does not provide any insights. It’s the trends that are important, and trends need time.
- Strategy feedback – you can only see if your strategy is working if you take a 30,000 feet look at the metrics. Data from the past quarter is also key when creating your strategy going forward.
- Team assessment & training – a quarterly audit shows you who the superstars are on your team, and where you have gaps or weeknesses you need to deal with. The audit report is also a very valuable document you should share with new social media team hires, so they understand exactly what’s being done, what they KPIs are and what results they should expect from their activities.
Now that you’re on board with performing a social media audit, what should that audit look like? We suggest considering 3 main categories: Buzz, Properties and Campaigns.
Buzz & Word of Mouth
Let’s start with the basics: monitoring. Take a look at how much people are talking about the following:
- you brand
- your products
- your competitors
- overall market terms (If you’re Toyota, you should look at things like “car”)
What’s important here is not the actual number of mentions. You’re performing the audit to understand the trends: are you generating more conversations than in the past? Is buzz growing faster than for your competitors? If a competitor has grown massively, try to understand what they’ve done – maybe it’s a campaign they ran, maybe they created way more content than you.
This part of the audit will also show you what terms are popular with your audience, and what channels you should be focusing on to reach them. Maybe they’re the same as last quarter, but maybe there’s a clear new trend you can capitalize on (see Pinterest or Tumblr, for example).
These are your “own” social media accounts such as your Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, blogs, etc. Here you’ll want to look at the following:
- number of fans – is the number going up or down, and why
- engagement (likes, comments, posts, shares, RTs, etc.) – are people responding to what you’re posting or not?
- engagement rate – average engagement a post gets
- top content – what were the most engaging pieces of content, and what type of content was it? Links? Photos?
- audience demographics – Who are your fans?
- clicks – are you driving traffic to your websites or campaigns?
Again the point of the audit is not the actual numbers, but the trends and new opportunities you can spot. Maybe 8 of your top 10 pieces of content are pictures, so you should start posting more of those. Maybe 10% of your fans account for 90% of the engagement – try to reward them somehow and to understand who they are so you can get more of them.
The last part of the social media audit report is around campaigns. Take a look at all the campaigns you ran during the last quarter. Obviously, different campaigns had different goals, so it does not make sense to compare them directly. What you should look at are the goals for each campaign, the results that campaign actually achieved, a top learnings from running it.
Once you’ve created the social media audit report, share it with your team before you plan your strategy and tactics for the next quarters. It will give you a great information baseline and fresh data to inform your decisions. The report can also be an incredible focus tool. If you’re running your social media team on a tight budget, it’s going to become clear what you should focus your resources on.
P.S. Creating a social media audit report can be a pain. So let us do it for you, free of charge. Give us your brand name, 3 products and 3 competitors, and we’ll provide you with an audit report for the past 1-2 weeks. Click here to get your complimentary, commitment-free social media audit report!
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