Brands are considering social media marketing as another powerful strategy along with their other traditional methods of marketing. When you know that worldwide social media users have reached 2.34 billion and is expected to grow to 2.95 billion by 2020, you will definitely agree that social media marketing is not just another usual marketing method.
This is just the beginning, and social media will become much more important for a brand in the days to come. Hence it is important to understand the important aspects of designing a successful social media strategy.
But how effectively do brands use social media marketing? Do all brands actually know where they are making mistakes, which social media marketing activity is yielding them best results?
This is where the social media marketing audit will come into place. It is important to look at each of the social media platforms and identify the critical metrics that need to be audited.
What is a social media marketing audit?
An audit in general refers to a check conducted on a particular activity to evaluate it's progress. Similarly, a social media audit is a review of the social media activities performed by a company to check if its social media efforts are paying off. It is a process that can be used by brands to review what is working well and what is failing. It is an opportunity to improve areas that are not working well.
Why is social media marketing audit important?
Social media audit is an opportunity for a brand to understand it's strengths and weaknesses. It helps an organization to identify the marketing techniques and campaigns that are working really well and also to know which techniques are not yielding expected results. Social media audit is essential to plan future marketing activities and to design marketing strategies.
Top 6 metrics to check during a social media audit?
Top 1: Audience
You can’t build your audience by accident. When there are hundreds and millions of people out there on social media, finding the right one is the biggest challenge. You need dedicated efforts and a methodical approach to find the right audience who are interested in your products and services.
When you are planning to build high-value content that can generate interest from your audience, knowing your audience is the first and the only thing that you should care about. Ask yourself some key questions such as:
Who is the user of your product?
Which age group is more likely to use your product?
Who are they following on social media?
Who is their hero on social media?
When are they most active on social media?
Tracking audience data will ensure that you have the right kind of audience and thereby can change your content and marketing strategy according to your target audience.
There are some great tools available to track and audit your audience data.
When it comes to picking the right audience, there is only one rule - Choose the audience that you care about.
You may get swayed towards more than one audience that could work for your brand, but stay focused and pick the relevant one at the end.
Top 2: Competition
In today's digital age, it is important to know your competitors and their strategy to beat or out-perform your competitors. Competition drives most of the brands to perform higher on social media.
It is important to conduct an audit by checking your competitor's actions, their campaigns, their social posts, their best performing posts, and so on.
When a brand audits it's competitors to understand their social media strategies, you will have greater advantage as the information that you have gathered will enable you to take important decisions regarding your social media strategy, thereby putting you ahead of competition on social media.
Cloohawk is an intelligent social media tool that offers numerous content generation ideas and suggestions. One of the features, "Your competitor's best posts" allows you to see at a glance the best performing posts of your competitors. You can view your competitor's top posts, the date when it was posted and the engagement on each post. Based on this data, you can create compelling content that has already proved to be good with similar customers.
Top 3: Content
Creating content and publishing the content on social media is very important part of every social media marketing strategy. But how many do really know how a piece of content performs on social media? How many retweets did your post get on Twitter? Which kind of content is performing well and is liked by your social media audience? Tough questions, right?
You can answer these questions only when you have evaluated the content in the first place. The first step towards evaluating the effectiveness of your content is by knowing what to measure. You should narrow down the key factors that can tell you about the way your content is performing.
Social media audit is required to evaluate the performance of your content. Audit will help you to compare your content with other similar posts or your competitors. Social media audit will give a good indication of the content that is attracting your audience and that which resonates well with your social media audience.
The number of shares, likes and comments that your content gets on social media directly reflects the effectiveness of your content. People will share content only when it is entertaining, useful and gives information.
Buffer analytics is a tool that allows you to audit your most liked posts, retweeted posts and clicked posts on social media. With the help of the data relating to most clicked or least clicked posts, you can know which posts are doing well and which ones you can discontinue since they are not getting clicks. It will give you an idea of things that resonate less with your audience and based on that so fine-tune your content.
Your content might be the best and the most creative, yet it will be judged by the amount of impact it made on your business. Hence it becomes more important for you to establish sound social media audit at the start of content marketing program. In this way you can track, analyze, and optimize your content’s efficiency continuously.
Top 4: Engagement
The aim of every business is to increase engagement with audience which will ultimately result in increased traffic to their website and improve sales.
Engagement is the most popular word used in social media marketing. Engagement happens in the form of shares, retweets, likes, follow, link clicks, profile clicks, replies and @mentions. Social media managers should conduct an audit to understand the engagement on social media.
A tool such as Socialert comes as a rescue when the engagement has to be audited. The tool will let you to track hashtags and keywords relating to your brand and industry, thereby allowing you to collect data for the audit.
Top 5: Time
Social media managers can vouch for the importance of sharing informative content at a time when the audience is most active.
Social media managers strive hard to keep high engagement with audience by regular tweets and posts. Your audience is there on social media at different hours of the day and expects you to post useful and informative content round the clock, which makes it important for a marketer to identify the time to post content.
Today, there are many more social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. Your audience is spending much more time on various platforms than ever before. This definitely means that you are also on multiple social media platforms to reach out to your customers and audience.
Each platform has its own uniqueness, and a social media manager need to understand that one-size does not fit all platforms.
Social audit will help you shortlist the best times to post your content. Social media analysis gives you insights into the different times of the day that you are posting, patterns of the posting and engagement for the posts at different times of the day.
Tools such as Cyfe can be used by social media marketers to audit the social media data. The data is used to optimize critical elements posting schedules and reach. With Cyfe, you can track social media audience and accurately plan your content posting time.
Top 6: Social listening
Social listening is all about listening to your social media audience. Social listening can help your marketing campaigns become reactive and interactive by converting communication into conversations. It provides insights into interests and habits of your target audience. It builds emotional connections, discover industry trends, find influencers and ultimately get more sales leads.
Social media audit gives you an opportunity to create a dialogue with your audience instead of just constantly selling to them. With the help of social media audit, you can easily collect information about customer interests, likes and dislikes, brand that they support, influencers that they follow and much more. By listening, you can plan the response to your consumers and address customer concerns.
Traackr is a social listening tool that offers solution for those markets who are interested in reaching out to influencers. Traackr helps to listen to conversations and also validates real influencers. It saves a lot of time of the marketers by identifying the right influencers as per the profiles that a marketer is looking for.
Social media audit aims to streamline your social media efforts. It helps to remove the junk and focus on the important and key areas that contribute to the success of your business. Many smart social media management tools have emerged as a boon for conducting social media audit, which every social media manager should take advantage of. With good planning and analyzing social media data, social audit becomes a smooth process.