Being a small business owner you probably do everything for your company. You may sweep your shop’s floors, be in charge of Human Resources and manage payroll. Chances are in addition to the actual mechanics you’re probably responsible for telling people about your products. Between print, radio, and digital it can certainly be overwhelming. Many small business owners also manage their own company’s social media. It can feel overwhelming, but it shouldn’t. We’ve put together resources to help you get started in understanding the basics of Facebook. These include making a Facebook page, when and what to post and even how to create beautifully branded professional cover photos for only $1. But what if you’re not just getting started? Remember that page or account you created on a whim that started out strong but isn’t currently thriving? The key to any successful social media strategy is conducting a social media audit. You don’t have to pay a company. You can easily be doing your own social media audit today. Lucky for you, we even put together a social media audit checklist!
Doing your own social media audit may seem difficult, but it’s really just a series of steps.
DIY Social Media Audit
What Is a Social Media Audit?
You may be wondering, what is a social media audit after all? A social media audit is gathering essential data about what is working, where there is room for improvement and a great way to lay the foundation to creating actionable goals that will help you create a successful social media strategy.It’s easiest to approach this while viewing it as a social media audit checklist, whether you make your own or use ours.
Why Use a Social Media Audit Checklist?
I want to impress upon every reader that when you are evaluating the metrics of your social media channels you should never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. There is no part of your social media audit that should discourage you. A social media audit helps you understand where you are so you can better chart where to go. We all have to start with small beginnings.
Whenever you are working towards a goal, it’s important to use any metrics you can glean to determine if you are moving in the right direction. For instance, if your goal is to lose weight – this isn’t a very specific goal. Losing 15 pounds in six months by exercising 3 days a week, consuming ____ calories daily and abstaining from unhealthy foods 5 days out of the week is a better goal. Anyone setting a goals should be utilizing the S.M.A.R.T goal method.
But you can’t identify a goal to proceed to without understanding where you are starting from. A social media audit is taking information from your social media profiles to establish a baseline and identify opportunities for improvement. A checklist just makes it easier to keep everything organized. Once you understand where you are starting from you can note what is successful and is not. Then you can alter what you do in the future so your overall social media strategy is better.
How to Do a Social Media Audit
Identify What You Want
You need to identify what you want to get out of your social media. Be intentional! Do you want to grow your followers to promote brand awareness? Would you like to increase the engagement that you are seeing with your posts? Are you wanting to increase traffic to your blog and ultimately have more lead generation?
Whatever you want to accomplish you need to write it down in your social media audit checklist. Make sure that as we mentioned above that you are writing S.M.A.R.T. goals. Decide on three separate ones to start. This will be enough to manage and allow you to give a committed effort.
If you are a beginner and are having a tough time identifying more specific goals to write in your social media audit checklist, remember that when you are more familiar with social media it may be easier to understand the lingo and know more of what you need. There is a learning curve. Some really basic goals for someone with a brand new Facebook page to promote their business page may be:
- I will post high quality content consistently during peak times when my audience is active ___ times per week for one month to increase reach/etc.
- Any content that is of my own creation will be posted only after being professional branded and will do so __ times per week for one month strategically to grow my brand’s awareness.
- I will grow my page followers by __ % to grow brand awareness by utilizing sponsored ads targeting my ideal audience, one contest and interacting with other pages/accounts.
If you’re wanting to understand more about how to reach your goals (whatever they are) industry experts like Kim Garst and the Social Media Examiner will probably be able to give you specific strategies.
Gather Profile Metrics
To begin gathering data for your social media audit checklist you should start with a few metrics from each of your profiles. This information may be (but is not limited to):
- Url of your Social Media Platform/Handle
- Number of Followers
- Most Recent Activity Date
- What Activity is Common
You should do this for all of your social media profiles including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
Find Any Rogue Profiles
Your accounts or profiles for the brand you are managing may not be the only ones. For most small business owners they most likely will be. Especially if you are the only owner your business has ever had. However, if you don’t own the business, someone else was previously managing the accounts or you have a former disgruntled employee they may exist. Once you note their existence, decide what you would like to do. Is there any possible way to merge the content on the accounts? Can you delete/report one of the profiles if not?
You want every person that comes in contact with your brand to have a positive and authentic experience. That is why this is important.
Having different Facebook pages for instance for various physical locations of businesses makes sense. However, in general you probably only need one per organization.
Get to Know Your Audience
Part of understanding what you need to provide your fans on social media is identifying their needs and how they communicate on your social media audit checklist. You can do this through:
- Primary Research – Conducting surveys for your current fans that fall within your target audience on social media (Survey Monkey is a great free tool).
- Secondary Research – Downloading/noting important data stored within your own social media profiles.
- This is a great way to note the demographics of the fans your page is serving. You will also probably be able to find what posts are performing best through this data, or by just evaluating each post with your own eyes on a weekly basis. For instance, on Facebook you can find this information under the Insights tab.
- Secondary Research – Collecting data from studies to help you connect with your ideal target audience.
- There is so much data available that you can collect online. This will give you more information which will show you how your ideal target audience communicates through social media. You should also be able to discern needs with this data.
Draw Inspiration From Others
In general any niche in small business is probably going to be competitive. But there is nothing wrong with finding others who are successfully using social media to market themselves. They can provide a source of inspiration for potential ways you can connect with your audience. This is something great to describe thoroughly in your FREE Social Media Audit Checklist! In addition to this, they can show you what may be realistic in your niche to strive for initially. When you are writing down your social media statistics from your own pages/profiles, do the same for your competitors.
Note Your Failures & Successes
Social media does take up time, that’s why we made this nifty Social Media Audit Checklist for you. It’s worth investing time in. But some social media channels are going to work better for you than others. Take note of what is being successful in getting you to reach your goals. If Pinterest and Facebook are having a higher return on investment than Instagram then invest more of your time in those channels.
You will also have some posts on social media that flop, or at the very least have lower engagement. Find out what these are and modify your strategy so that you continue to excel towards your goals.
How Often Should I Do A Social Media Audit?
You should do a social media audit often, probably once per month. If you don’t, how are you supposed to know where are you going? Or how fast you are progressing in the right direction? You don’t. You may not need to do a complete audit each month. For instance, you may not need to conduct a survey monthly. This can be cumbersome to your followers. But you should set new goals and evaluate what is working and what is not each month.
We know your time is limited and you’ve got a million other things to do. That’s why we made a FREE Social Media Audit Checklist just for you! Click here have it sent straight to your inbox!
Thanks for reading!