295 million = The number of social network users in the U.S.
56.7 billion = Social media ad spend in the U.S.
91.9% = Social media marketing penetration
51% = Share of U.S. consumers influenced by social media ads
Our social media experts at Big Leap firmly believe performing an annual social media audit is key in gaining the awareness, engagement, and sales your business requires. Here’s what you’ll get in this article:
A social media audit is an annual in-depth look at all a business’ social media accounts and their current value with the purpose of setting a strategy that brings in better social media marketing results.
Another way to describe what a social media audit is: A full view of how (and if) social media is working for a business. An audit reviews certain metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of a business’s social media strategy.
The reviewed metrics may cover:
Interactions (comments, likes, shares, etc.)
A Social Media Audit Is Not…
Performing an audit is not a goal or strategy in and of itself. Rather, a social media audit is a precursor to and crosscheck for a company’s social media strategy. It informs strategy and ensures goals are met.
Why an Annual Social Media Audit Is Optimal
Many companies turn to a social media audit only after they notice poor performance on their platforms. While this is a great time to perform an audit, the best time to actually do one is before you set a social media strategy and waste time and budget waiting to see if it works or not. Pinpointing the perfect place for your focus and investment ensures you get the highest returns without delay.
Social media mini audits can be done monthly or quarterly to guide minor tweaks to the overall strategy. But the real, in-depth audit should only be done annually. Otherwise, you can get shortsighted when looking at too little data or data pulled from too-short a time period.
Avoid that misstep and stick to annual social media audits.
8 Reasons to Do a Social Media Audit
Now it’s time to speak of specifics.
You want to know the real reasons to do an audit. In other words, “What exactly am I going to get out of it?”
As you wish, here are eight reasons to do an audit.
A social media audit zeros in on performance gaps online. What inconsistencies exist? Where are your weak spots? Which missed opportunities are out there?
An audit gives you concrete answers that’ll guide your decisions on the best ways to turn your followers into leads, converts, buyers, and advocates.
2. Assess How Well You’re Performing On Each Platform
Perhaps you assume your B2B business does its best social media work on LinkedIn. That would be a fair assumption to make. But what if it’s not actually where you’re pulling in your leads from? What if it’s from Twitter or, dare we say, Snapchat?
You’ll never know the most effective place to allocate your attention and budget without performing an audit.
3. Identify New Platforms to Expand Into (and Which to Retire)
Slideshare. Are you aware of the potential this social platform holds? Forbes reports this site as having “60 million monthly visitors and 130 million page views.” It’s “amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world” and “the world’s largest professional content sharing community.” You’re likely not tapping into this platform’s potential.
Instagram, on the other hand, is dying. At least it is for 22% of teenagers who say it only ranks 3rd on their list of social media sites. If this is your audience, you might want to move some money away from Instagram and put it toward Snapchat.
4. Learn How You Compare to Your Best Competitors
The first rule in war and in business: Know your enemy. Now, we’re not saying your competitors are your enemies, but the sentiment of knowing them is the same. You can’t compete if you don’t know who—and what strategy—you’re up against.
Assessing your competitors’ social media strengths and weaknesses gives you a real advantage as you strategize to win over the same audience.
5. See Which Types or Topics Perform Best and When
Your business has an established blog, but how do you know which posts draw in the most traffic? Are top-performing topics all about quick tips or ultimate guides? How-tos or FAQs? Interviews or recipes?
Does your audience enjoy fact or satire? A professional tone or casual conversation?
Is your audience checking Twitter first thing in the morning and right before bed, or during slow afternoons at work?
A social media audit will help you zero in on all the topics, tastes, and times that capture the most attention of your targets.
6. Find Ways to Experiment With and Incorporate Best Practices
Maybe you’re wary of placing a significant budget into paid ads on YouTube without knowing the payout, and rightly so. Perhaps you’ve been burned in the past by creating an entire strategy around one product line that ultimately flopped.
A social media audit allows you to incrementally roll out budgets and strategies only after finding evidence they work.
7. Get Guidance on Which Goals to Set
Another way a social media audit keeps you from wasting precious time and money is by guiding your goals before they’re set in stone.
How do you know what your goals should be if you don’t know where the gaps exist or what the potential rewards are? How do you create a strategy that brings desired results? You don’t! Not without an annual social media audit.
8. Evaluate Whether You’ve Achieved Your Goals
Once you’ve set your social media goals and have set your strategy in motion, it’s time to find out if the potion has worked. The easiest, most informational way to do this is through an audit. You’ll get insightful data for every piece of strategy, can analyze exactly what worked and what didn’t, and tweak actions accordingly.
3 Examples of How a Social Media Audit Helps Build Business
All this sounds good, right? But here are three examples of how a social media audit can help build a business into something better. Maybe you can relate to these scenarios.
Social Media Audit Example #1
Sam owns a franchise of car washes. He’s a good businessman and his marketing team sends out promotional emails that bring in a healthy ROI. A few months ago, Sam’s nephew posted two TikTok videos of himself doing some dance moves at the entrance to the car wash. But really, Sam doesn’t see the point of social media. It’s just silly.
The other thing Sam doesn’t see is the potential knocking at his door. His nephew’s videos garnered a ton of views. Sam doesn’t realize how many customers he’s missing out on by underestimating the power of social media and how it complements his other marketing efforts. With a social media audit, he would take notice and allocate some of his marketing budget to TikTok for a huge ROI.
Social Media Audit Example #2
Xavier has been running Logan’s Blade Sharpening Facebook page for over eight years now. He posts frequently is the Admin of related groups and feels really comfortable with the platform.
What Logan doesn’t realize is a social media audit will show which strengths of his Facebook page can be easily applied across other social sites to better support his growing eCommerce site.
Social Media Audit Example #3
Kelly has run Kapoor’s Bridal successfully for 37 years now. Her website is beautiful and she posts the occasional wedding photo on Instagram to show off her styles. But there’s trouble a-brewin’ and Kelly isn’t sure why her sales have dropped significantly as of late.
If Kelly had done a social media audit last year, she would have known that today’s brides and grooms aren’t connecting with her brand anymore (even though their moms are). Customers are more interested in dresses and suits they saw on Triller and went elsewhere to buy them.
Here’s a Taste of One of Big Leap’s Social Media Audits
Click through this carousel to see a small taste of the kinds of things included in a social media audit from Big Leap. The client shown in this example came to us hoping to increase brand awareness, humanize their brand, grow several channels at an advanced rate, and connect with more agents. Check it out!
The failure to examine and analyze what I have learned…the inability to correct my faults—these are the causes of my grief.
Learn from Confucius’ terrible mistake. Don’t fail to take a hard look at what the numbers are telling you. Decipher the conclusions and strive to understand not only what they mean generally, but what they specifically mean for your strategy and your business in its entirety.
4. Set Goals to Accomplish Through Social Media
Now that you know what needs improving, as provided through data analysis, set your goals to reflect your new knowledge. This plays hand-in-hand with the goals you set for your audit.
There’s no need to repeat ourselves just refer back to Step #1.
Captures all you need to accomplish across social platforms.
Prioritizes objectives into actionable steps.
Spells out exactly how to execute your goals.
Armed with the information you’ve gained from your social media audit, you’ll have what you need to:
Produce engaging, shareable content your audience will see, relate to, and interact with on their preferred sites.
Find and win over brand advocates and influencers who can effectively communicate your message to the masses.
E-Commerce Case Study: Proof Social Media Audits Work
It’s easy to be skeptical when a business is trying to sell you a service (ahem—Social Media Marketing à la Big Leap). Luckily for both of us, we have the proof to back up our claims.
One of our food & beverage e-commerce clients was struggling. They had a fair share of followers, but they weren’t getting much engagement out of them.
We’ll skip all the details here because you can read the case study. It’s sufficient to say that by getting a social media audit done and strategizing according to the results, our client now boasts some very impressive wins:
We have one more thing to mention and it just so happens to lead into our pitch.
You may be tempted to download a pre-designed social media audit example template, but don’t be fooled. Do you really think a generic, pre-formatted excel document can give the same information and lift as a customized social media audit completed by a professional with top-level precision for your unique company? If so, that’s just tomfoolery.
Your business is ready for Big Leap. Contact us now for your annual social media audit.
Julie Snow is a marketing content writer at Big Leap. Since she's curious about everything, you'll always find her reading about and observing the wondrous world around her (and the incredible people in it).
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