Whether you manage your brand’s social media accounts daily or check in only occasionally, it’s a good idea to step back and take stock with a quick social media audit at least once a year.
A systematic, checklist-style audit encourages you to look at your most frequented accounts with a fresh perspective. And the least frequented accounts? If you have several profiles for your brand, it’s easy to forget the lesser-used ones – which can lead to inconsistencies and awkwardly silent pages. An audit process allows you to quickly assess and perhaps cut some accounts that no longer fit into your social marketing strategy.
The more often you audit your social presence, the easier and quicker the process will become. If you’re able to work through a quick audit quarterly, that’s great. But if once a year is all you can manage, pick a time and stick with it – like spring cleaning season!
Why should you do a social media audit?
- Keep track of your brand’s social presence – in one centralized document
- Maintain accuracy and brand consistency across channels
- Prioritize social media channels and eliminate what’s not working
- Establish a reference for creating new social media profiles
A social media audit in 5 steps
Psst. Save time by starting with my social media audit template.
Step 1: Build your list of profiles
Start by listing the accounts you know off the top of your head. Search your brand name on Google and major social networks to find imposters and social profiles you may have forgotten (or never knew) existed. Remember that Tumblr you set up a few years ago? Now you do.
Record network names, profile URLs and owners. Look for inconsistencies in all of these areas, especially ownership. Remove users that should no longer have access.
Step 2: Record following and activity
A big picture of following and activity for all networks will help you evaluate your efforts over time. Having some benchmarks in place will also come in handy the next time you do an audit. Record the following:
- Number of fans or followers
- Date of last activity
- Post frequency
Step 3: Record “about” section information
The name for this section may vary by network (description, about, etc.), but every channel has one. This should be in line with your brand’s positioning statement and be consistent across channels, while fitting network parameters.
Step 4: Check that other customizable elements are present, on brand and consistent.
Is your profile as complete and up to date as it can be? Does everything align with your brand? Are you taking advantage of all visual elements? Personality and tone should be on brand while also aligning with the community you are engaging with. The following is a starter list:
- Profile photo
- Cover photo
- Custom URLs
- Geographic info
Step 5: Ask “who,” “what” and “why?”
Use the following questions to evaluate each network and its social media goals in relation to your marketing strategy.
- Who is the target audience and are they using this channel?
- What type of content is posted to this profile – does it align with what your audience wants to see?
- Why are you on this network?
More of what’s working, less of what’s not
As you move through this process, identify networks that aren’t necessarily performing the way you’d like – or aligning with your strategy anymore. Think about ways to improve them – and eliminate what’s really not working. Spend your time and energy where it counts.
Remember, it gets easier
Once you do this the first time, the next time around should be even easier. Many pieces, specifically your social network goals, may only change slightly or simply stay the same. Going through the exercise reminds you to evaluate your networks with fresh eyes. This process will also help you keep up with profile changes made by the social networks themselves.
Bonus Round: Use a similar process to monitor industry leaders and brainstorm new ideas
You can use the same kind of process and a similarly formatted document to do a quick review of top industry influencers and competitors. Start with a list of four to eight and take notes on the following areas:
- Types of posts