Social media audits are becoming increasingly popular as companies invest more and more resources into social media marketing. Most companies are devoting a degree of someone’s time or their marketing budget to at least ‘being on’ social media; some may be heavily investing in it. We are strong advocates of social media being used as a main driver for business growth, not simply being an exercise in building brand awareness.
With an array of platforms and tactics at your disposal, it’s difficult to track where you’re generating results and how you should spend your time. Let’s see how you can measure your current and potential impact on social media.
The wave of investment in social media management has brought with it a wave of “what the hell am I getting out of my social media spend?”
…and this is precisely why social media audits are becoming so important – saving companies time and money in the long and not-so-long run, depending on the spend and effectiveness of the existing activity.
Social media audits: an investment
Maybe you’ve not yet fully committed to social media marketing. Perhaps you want to know exactly what you stand to gain from investing in Facebook adverts, Twitter content and LinkedIn lead-generation – this is a smart move. This kind of practice is very common in other industries in order to minimise risk and maximise return on investment and it is something we are increasingly seeing in the world of social media.
Here’s the tricky bit:
If you are active on social media, without analysis of the activity and knowing your return from the leads you are generating (if you’re even tracking the leads!) knowing the return on investment of social media is almost impossible.
Spending money on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn adverts? Paying a freelancer or a social media management company? The issue of ROI is all the more apparent when you can quite clearly see how much you’re spending on it.
It is very easy (and incorrect) to brush aside social media as a ‘black box’ science and a tool predominantly for ‘brand awareness purposes’. The fact is there is a broad range of tools available to analyse your current impact, your competitors’ impact and your potential impact over social media and that’s exactly where an audit comes in.
Self-social media audit
The first option to try is the self-audit. Yes, you can do a lot of the work yourself and this will give you a reasonable idea of the effect of your social media activity. There are several analytical tools at your disposal when it comes to appraising your social success and other tactics to help assess your ROI.
Note that the first thing you should do before embarking on any social media activity is develop measurable goals. Without them, it’s too difficult to define and assess the effectiveness of social media.
Google analytics is a great port of call to determine the amount of traffic (and the quality of the traffic) sent to your site from social channels. If your goals are sales, enquiries, web traffic or search engine marketing-related, these are very useful metrics.
Each platform provides some degree of analysis too. Twitter analytics and Facebook insights (use the ‘insights’ tab when on your business page) are both great starting points to assess the effectiveness of your content and the responsiveness of your audience. There are plenty of other tools available and their value to you will be dictated by the nature of your brand and your specific goals (Google them!). You will probably find there is one analysis tool combined with Google Analytics that will give you a basic idea of ROI.
Once you have made a general assessment, what you may need is some way of joining the dots. This means assessing the output of your social media (i.e. the actual tweets and Facebook updates you spend) and how this relates to achieving those KPIs.
Other audit options
The next option is a free social media audit (which you can sign up for using the link – yes, we do it for you!). This audit provides you with a basic appraisal on your social media content and interaction and where you might improve to capitalise on the full scope available.
Another is a more in-depth piece of work to fully assess your business’s current influence and potential growth areas over social media. These audits are absolutely bespoke since no two businesses are of the same size or prominence, have the same audience or have the same level of social activity. These pieces can be incredibly complex and we have carried out a full social media audit for a university which analysed over 60 social media accounts under the university’s control.
These in-depth analyses provide evidence and data to inform you how well your company’s social media presence is being managed and how much influence you really have over your community. We will also estimate what kind of return you are currently getting and what you might expect should you implement our recommendations. Audits can include competitor analysis; what they’re doing well and what they’re not and what your opportunities are. This is important in developing your social media strategy.
The fact is that the quality of in-house social media management varies wildly, as it does from non-specialist digital marketing agencies. Often the responsibilities are offloaded to junior members of the marketing team or traditional marketers who use social media, not as a conversational tool, but simply another platform to distribute self-promotional, unengaging, messages.
But, seriously, do I really need a social media audit? What’s the worst that can be happening?
- Unprofessional/visibly amateur social media profiles and presence
- Wasting a lot of money and resources
- Poor portrayal of your company, its products, services and values
- Sub-optimal community management
- Losing the zero moment of truth battle to your competitors
Simply, not achieving your potential on the most engaging and influential marketing platforms we have ever known!
Remember that a social media audit does not always mean bad news. We’ve carried out audits for companies who were already doing a great job. The good thing about that, of course, is they now know they’re not wasting their time and they’re doing the right things. They may even be in a position to invest more resources in social media activity to generate more return.
JC Social Media have delivered social media audits to a range of companies across virtually every sector. The results of the audit will be incredibly important in ascertaining exactly the current and potential return on investment of social media pursuits and how that can be achieved. Simply contact us using the sidebar to find out how we can help you.
Remember you can receive a free social media audit here.