Don’t let the word audit scare you. When it comes to social media, an audit is your brand’s best friend.
A quick audit of your brand’s online presence can help you understand how you’re showing up across social media platforms. It will reveal the types of content that are resonating with your audience, identify opportunities for improvement, and show how you’re measuring up to the goals outlined in your social media marketing strategy.
Keep reading to learn how to perform a successful audit for your brand!
What is a social media brand audit?
The main goal of a social media audit is to assess your brand’s online presence and measure your performance across social media networks.
A brand audit involves compiling and analyzing key data from across different platforms to create a complete picture of your social media efforts. If you’re an agency managing accounts on clients’ behalf, you can also use an audit as a sales tool for new social media management opportunities. Strengthen your pitch by showing potential new clients that you have a good understanding of their current social media efforts and convincing them you’re the right person to fill the gaps in their existing strategy.
Many people confuse social media audits with social media strategy. While they aren’t the same, they do work together to help dial in your approach and optimize your social media marketing. Most times, an audit will be done as part of your strategy work. Likewise, the findings from your audit will help you assess how effective your current social media strategy is, and help guide any changes that need to be made.
Why is a social media audit important for brands and companies?
Social media is constantly evolving. Similarly, your social media strategy should be a living document that evolves over time to adapt to platform changes and user preferences. For example, the beautiful aesthetic feed you curated for your Instagram last year might not fly in today’s world of Reels and more authentic, value-add content.
Part of your audit should be taking stock of these changes and identifying opportunities for your brand to adapt. New ideas keep things fresh and prevent your audience from getting bored. They keep your marketing plan relevant and ensure you’re focusing your limited time and energy into the right avenues for growth.
When it comes to auditing your social media channels, keep an open mind. We all have areas where we can improve, and the purpose of an audit is to help you do just that. Don’t overcomplicate it. Stick to the data and let the numbers do the talking.
How to Conduct a Social Media Audit For Your Brand
To prepare yourself for a successful social media audit, follow these steps:
- Establish the goal of your social media audit.
Maybe your brand started up a TikTok account last month and you want to see how things are going. Or perhaps you’re looking to approach a client with an idea for a new influencer campaign to help increase engagement on a stagnant Instagram account, but need a strong case of how the campaign will benefit them.
No matter your goal, make sure you’re clear on the outcome, what areas you want to focus on, and how you’ll measure your results.
- Decide which social media channels to include in the audit.
Write down the handles and include a link to each profile. Here are the most important platforms to check out:
Good news for the social media managers out there: your social media audit doesn’t have to include every single platform. For instance, if you’re experiencing a drop in Instagram engagement but growing steadily on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, you might opt not to do a deep dive of every channel.
Save yourself time and stress by focusing on the specific channels you want to improve. This is especially true for small teams with limited resources. Decide where you can make the biggest impact and start there. You can always come back and audit other social channels at a later point in time.
- Determine how you will present your findings
Before you start your audit, decide who you will present the information to and what format you’ll use. Whether you’re performing an audit for your own internal team’s knowledge or preparing it as part of a new client pitch, make sure your findings are clear and that the data is easy to digest. There’s nothing worse than being bombarded with charts or endless tables of social media metrics.
Focus on the major takeaways and opportunities for improvement. Put those into a tool like Powerpoint, Canva, or Google Slides to help you clearly communicate your points to any team members or stakeholders.
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to dive into how you’ll actually conduct your audit. Here are the elements that you’ll want to include in your social media brand audit:
Evaluate your social media branding
When it comes to branding, you want to be sure you have your basics covered. Double check that each social media profile adheres to your current brand style guidelines. Here are some specific areas you’ll want to look at:
- Username/handle. If you can’t get the same handle for all platforms, they should at least be close enough for people to tie it back to your brand.
- Profile name. Generally, this should be your company name. On some platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, you might want to add a keyword into your profile name to help with SEO. See how vegan eatery Kokomo does it here:
- Profile Picture. In most cases, this will be your brand logo. Make sure that it’s sized correctly for each platform – it doesn’t hurt to have both a round and square version on hand to make sure you can crop it properly.
- Banner/cover images. Banner images are extra digital real estate you can use to tell users about your business. You’ll want to have a branded banner for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that includes your slogan or additional details about who you are as a company.
Check out this example from MOVATI Athletic:
- Highlight covers. Your Instagram highlight covers are a key part of your Instagram branding. Incorporate your brand colors through nicely designed highlight icons and make sure the info in each highlight is up-to-date.
- Bio links. Double check that your bio link directs users to a landing page or your website. Your links should be concise, not full of symbols and numbers. You can create shortened bio links using a tool like bitly, or better yet, use a tool like Sked Link that provides a unique profile link you can use across all social channels. It even lets you personalize the buttons on your landing page to include multiple links of your choice.
- Feed aesthetic. This refers to the look and feel of your feed, mainly on visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. You don’t want your pictures to seem random, so select specific fonts, colors and filters to achieve a desired look. Ensure that the theme is consistent and represents your brand.
Branding isn’t just visual. Your brand’s tone of voice and personality are just as important as the logo or colors you use. You don’t have to show up with the same voice on every platform (e.g. your LinkedIn voice might be a bit more formal than your TikTok voice), but the formality of the language, emoji use, and word choice should be consistent within a single platform.
Identify top-performing social media content
One of the best reasons to conduct a social media audit is to assess if you’re using your content effectively.
Look at your social media metrics, or KPIs. Ideally, you want to collect evidence to show what types of posts are worthwhile and help make a case to decision-makers when it comes to re-evaluating your social media strategy. For example, is one of the goals in your marketing strategy to improve brand awareness? If so, you’ll want to pull key metrics like reach and impressions on your content. Or maybe you want to see if your Tweets are resonating with your Twitter followers. In that case, engagement metrics such as likes, comments and retweets will be your best markers of success.
Platforms like Instagram, let you filter by metric directly within your Instagram account analytics. Unfortunately, not every platform offers quite as detailed analytics. This is where a social media tool might come in handy.
In addition to evaluating existing content, check if there are any content types your brand isn’t utilizing. For example, many brands have embraced static images and carousel posts on Instagram, but still shy away from video. Pay attention to data trends. If the performance of your static posts has been declining over time, you’ll have a stronger case for incorporating Instagram Video and Reels into your social media strategy.
Do a quick pulse check on your brand’s audience
Is your brand’s content attracting people that fall into your target audience? While new followers are nice to see, the number of followers doesn’t serve much purpose if they don’t convert to customers for your brand. Conversions aren’t always the main goal of social media, but it makes sense to look at which platforms are driving the most traffic, especially if your brand is e-commerce focused.
Audience demographics are an excellent starting point. A tool like Sked Social’s audience intelligence can help you understand your followers better. Without getting too creepy, you can find out where they live, what timezone they work in, and how old they are. You can also see how many new followers you have and track how overall reach, impressions and engagement has changed in your audience over time. You can even see your hashtag analytics!
If you find that your social media audience doesn’t look anything like your ideal customer, don’t panic – we have a fix. Perform an “account reset” by going through and removing inactive followers. While you might see a temporary drop in your follower count, it will be worth it to create a more aligned following and bump up that engagement rate.
Consider if your brand needs to add or remove any social platforms
We all know of a brand with a Facebook page that hasn’t been posted on in half a decade. But did you know that inactive social media accounts can actually hurt your digital marketing efforts?
A lack of social media activity can indicate a dying brand or business. It also hurts your SEO. Old accounts have the potential to outrank more active accounts in Google search results, which means potential customers might stumble upon old or out of date information. Or worse – they stumble across an old marketing campaign with an offer that’s no longer active. Suddenly, your inbox is filled with inquiries about an offer from three years ago.
Quick tip: look for any unofficial accounts as well, such as those set up by well-intended team members or ones created by trollers or spammers. What you find may surprise you…
Once you’ve taken stock of all existing accounts, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I still using these accounts?
- What am I using each account for?
- What are the goals for each platform?
- Is our ideal customer using the platform?
If you find that you no longer have a compelling reason to use a certain network, don’t be afraid to cut ties and focus your efforts elsewhere.
Similarly, there might be new social platforms where you haven’t established a presence yet (such as BeReal, who recently hit 10 million daily active users). Take a look at your competitors and see if there are any platforms they’re using that you aren’t. If you want to stay competitive, it’s probably a good idea to create an account on those platforms.
Examine successful accounts in your brand’s niche
If you’re looking for fresh content inspo, take a look at what other influencers or competitors in your niche are doing.
Generally, you’ll want to answer the following questions:
- What types of content are they posting?
- How often do they post?
- What are their top-performing posts on each platform?
Checking out your competitor’s best-performing content is one of our favorite social media hacks. Since you likely have a similar audience, you can see what types of content potential fans prefer, then use that intel to inform your social media strategy.
Looking for the right tool for your next social media audit?
Meaningful data is key to performing a successful social media brand audit. Numbers tell a story, and the more data you have, the better your brand’s story will be.
While you can create a good foundation using your website analytics and Google analytics, we’d recommend using an all-in-one social media tool. Not only does this save you time from hopping back and forth between dashboards, it also streamlines your workflow by allowing you to grab everything from one place.
Save time on your next audit by choosing a social media scheduling tool with built-in analytics, such as Sked Social!
Sked Social offers in-depth analytics and unlike other social media analytics tools, our Instagram and Facebook data goes back two years. Delve into top-performing content, compare the brand’s activity against competitors, and more to show clients that you mean business when it comes to their social media growth.