How to conduct a social media audit for a client
If you’re a social media marketing agency owner, it is critical that you know how to do a social media audit for a client. An in-depth social media audit is the first step in reevaluating a client’s social media strategy. By doing an audit, you can find out what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to identify the best way to improve results.
Social media is always evolving, which means that your social media strategy needs to constantly evolve as well. Social media audits are a great way to begin your social media strategy development for a client.
While this is typically a paid service or done as part of strategy-building, there can be value in offering social media audits to potential clients free of charge, especially if you are just starting out. It creates an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and skill that ideally leads to the potential client wanting to work with you.
In this guide, we explain everything you need to know to conduct an effective audit of your client’s social media channels. We even have a free social media audit template and platform-specific checklist to help you on your way!
What is a social media audit?
A social media audit involves compiling and analyzing key data from a client’s social platforms to create a complete picture of their social media efforts. It shows you the best way to improve results and then, when you’re finished, you’ll have a single strategy document to present to the client.
Data analysis and crunching numbers isn’t always the most glamorous part of social media marketing, but it’s an important skill to have when it comes to delivering key insights to your clients. Your findings could be invaluable to their business.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the aspects you’ll be looking when learning how to do a social media audit for a client:
- Channel performance and brand review
- Content performance and analysis
- Target market analysis
- Review of best practices and recommendations
To start, it helps to have an audit spreadsheet and analytics reports from the client’s social channels.
How to do a social media audit for a client
Establish the client’s goals for the social media audit
Before you begin a social media audit for your client, set up a phone or video call to set expectations and find out what your client is hoping to get out of it. Are they seeing a drop off in followers and they are not sure why? Are they putting a lot of time and effort into their content and seeing little engagement in return?
Once you have a clear idea of what their biggest challenge is, you can make sure you’re addressing this area specifically in your audit. For example, if the client’s following is dropping off, you can look at things like how frequently they’re posting, the variety of content they’re putting out, and what kind of accounts are following or unfollowing them. These findings can be used to set goals for the client’s social media later.
It’s also good to make sure that for any metric you look at, you include the percentage change from the previous month or year. If a client’s following is down from the previous month, but throughout the year they had overall upward growth, it can help to put things into perspective.
This is also a good time to set goals for future audits. We recommend conducting an audit monthly or quarterly to ensure that you’re evaluating the effectiveness of the client’s content and giving them time to implement any changes that you suggest.
Determine how you will present your findings to the client
There are various levels of depth for social media audits. You can conduct a lighter informal audit as part of a consulting session where you go through their social platforms and point out general improvements that can be made. In the end, the client is given a list of actionable steps they need to complete. You can include this in your hourly or monthly rate.
If a client wants a clearer picture of the data with a more formal report, you can offer that as a standalone service. You can also consider a virtual or video tour where you share your screen with the client during a video call. This helps by giving them pointers in real-time so that they can see exactly what needs to be changed.
With either direction you choose, make sure you’re properly tracking the hours that it takes your team to perform the social media audit. Build upon this service by following up with an offer to use your findings to develop a full social media strategy for them. The client will appreciate your initiative and will be more likely to agree if you can use your audit to demonstrate areas for improvement.
Identify all the client’s social media accounts
Start your audit by conducting a web search for your client’s brand, company name, or the names of their products. Record any accounts that are connected to the company, as well as those that aren’t. This will help to identify their internet footprint and see where they’re active. You might be surprised as to what you find. Many times, companies have accounts associated with their name that they didn’t even know about.
After completing your web search, search the company’s name on all relevant social media platforms. This includes the ones the client doesn’t think they’ve signed up for. A good starting list includes:
In a blank spreadsheet, record all accounts that you find, their handles, and provide a link to each channel. Record any imposter or extra accounts that need to be shut down so you can address these with the client later.
Ensure your client’s social media accounts are set up for success
After you’ve identified all of the client’s accounts, you need to make sure that their social profiles a) accurately represent the brand and b) are optimized for success. A good starting point is to double-check that they have the following:
- Branded profile and cover images on all platforms
- Consistent handles or usernames
- Bios that are clear, complete, and concise
- Links to their website, landing page, or another value offer
- Content is formatted correctly for each platform
- Recent account activity
- Including hashtags and using them correctly
In your template, take note of any profiles or content pieces that don’t fit with the client’s brand. If any of their profiles seem inactive or inconsistent, this is a great opportunity for you to come in and provide strategies or recommendations.
Identify relevant social media metrics and data
When suggesting changes, it helps to have clear evidence and data to back up your points so that the client can see the value in what you are proposing. This way, they are more likely to accept the finalized social media strategy that you present later.
If available, try to find data and metrics on the following for each platform:
- Engagement rates
- Audience size/growth
- Audience insights/demographics
- Content performance (which types of posts are doing the best and which types are missing from your client’s social media)
The above metrics will also help identify whether the client’s content is truly resonating with their audience. If the audience isn’t finding it interesting or useful, it may be time to re-evaluate their content calendar to better fit their industry or niche.
Consider if your client is reaching their target audience for each platform
Looking at audience insights and demographics in particular helps to determine what their social audience looks like. Check whether their audience is primarily male or female, age range, location, and any other interests you can determine from their bios or profiles. You can also look at what times they’re most active, which will help inform the client’s posting schedule.
This information can also tell you if your client is successfully reaching their target audience. If the client’s social media demographic is completely different from their target customer, it may be time to adjust their strategy and look at new ways to reach their ideal target.
Ask if the client is putting the right amount of effort into the right channels
Is your client on channels that are appropriate for reaching their audience? For example, if they’re trying to reach millennials, Instagram or Twitter may be the go-to. If their audience is primarily a younger Gen Z audience, TikTok or Snapchat may be better for reaching them.
Some companies feel that they need to be on every social media platform to succeed. Ask if they’re putting too much effort into channels that aren’t worth their time. If a platform is costing them more in terms of time and money spent than they’re gaining, it may not be the best use of their efforts. For example, a clothing brand probably wouldn’t have much luck reaching Gen Z using LinkedIn.
Consider if there are any channels your client should be on that they aren’t on currently and how they can develop content for that channel.
Assess if the client is using their content effectively
Is the client producing evergreen content that can be repurposed for future social media campaigns? Are they coming up with original content, or just consistently resharing content from others? Sharing others’ content can be a great strategy to boost engagement and create goodwill, but it doesn’t position your client as an industry leader or influencer. This is where native (platform-specific) content plays a key role.
One of our favourite tricks is to see if the client has any other assets that could be turned into content. For example, maybe they’ve recorded a podcast or frequently host webinars via Zoom. Longer form content pieces can be sliced up and made into original, branded content for their social media pages, such as audio clips or quotes. There are all sorts of ways to get creative without your client having to spend extra time and money producing content for each channel.
Use your social media audit to set goals for your client’s social media
Now that you’ve completed your audit, it’s time to set goals for the client. Your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). A good example of a SMART goal is “we will grow our Instagram by 100 followers over the next month.”
If the client isn’t meeting their current goals, start by identifying 2-4 tactics per platform that they could use to improve. These goals will be based on findings from your social media audit, as well as things you may have noticed were missing or inaccurate.
If the client sees the value in the improvements that you suggest, offer to create a full social media strategy for them. After all, who knows their social presence better than you? Use the findings from your audit to create a strategy that’s actionable and easy for the client to implement.
Having meaningful data is key to performing a thorough social media audit. Save time on your next audit by choosing a social media scheduling tool that has analytics built into their platform.
Now that you’ve learned how to do a social media audit for a client, you may want to recommend that they use a social media scheduling tool. Why not let them know about Sked’s 7 day free trial?
Sked Social offers in-depth analytics and unlike other tools on the market, their Instagram and Facebook analytics go back up to two years. They also show you the best time to post, your Instagram Story performance, compare your activity against competitors and more.