As a marketing professional, it’s easy to become too close to the details of what you’re working on and lose sight of the forest in favor of the trees.
Social media is no different – especially for an agency.
Whether you handle a clients’ day-to-day social media or not, it is your responsibility to occasionally audit your clients’ social presence to ensure they are following best practices.
If the client is NOT a retainer client, social media audits provide a fantastic opportunity to provide value, remind clients that you offer services other than what they currently use, and even upsell a new service or project. If you already maintain their social media presence, then an audit just makes you look that much more on top of your game. It helps you view the client with fresh eyes, re-evaluate your social and content strategy, and rejuvenate activity.
A social media audit can be done one of two ways:
- ”Behind closed doors” with an outsourced professional: If you don’t have the expertise within your agency, hire an outside freelancer or agency to conduct and present the audit, or white-label their finished audit with your agency logo. Make sure it looks fabulous and present the results. Either way, your client gets an end deliverable that makes your agency looks like a rock star for bringing fresh new ideas to the table.
- Using an internal agency process, often including the client, with a formalized process: The agency should be sure to bring in fresh talent (outsourced or in-house from another team that doesn’t handle the account being audited) to provide some outside perspective. Never use the same team that works on the account every day.
As far as timing goes, the social media audit can occur in line with major company milestones, such as before a product or advertising campaign launch, after an acquisition, or when someone new joins the marketing team. Please don’t make it an annual process, though; perform audits more often than yearly.
Social Media Audits for Ongoing Success
An audit reviews all social media assets, compares them to company goals and metrics, and then determines if changes need to be made. On a simpler level, an audit can simply be a review of activity to ensure the client is following best practices.
A few things to consider when performing a social media audit include:
- Who do you want to reach? Why?
- Are you using the right social platform to reach them?
- What motivates your audience?
- Are you publishing content that speaks to those motivators?
- What is your end goal? Sales? Reach? Leads?
- Are you accomplishing that goal?
- Why or why not?
- What can you change or enhance to be more successful?
Think of a social media audit as a kiss – either a kiss of death bringing issues to light so you can transform it into something princely, or a kiss of affirmation that you are doing everything right. Sometimes a frog is just a frog – and sometimes your social media strategy needs a big smack on the lips to transform it into something truly social.
6 Common Red Flags to Watch Out For
Most companies (and even agencies) are consistently making mistakes in these specific areas. So if you aren’t sure where to start with your audit, start here.
- Using Overly Promotional Content: Remember it’s about your audience – not you.
- Lacking Conversation: Are you ignoring your fans? Are you proactively reaching out to them?
- Forgetting to Monitor: Are you listening to what is being said about your brand? Responding quickly enough? Don’t let dialog about your company or product happen without you.
- Assuming Everyone Cares: Do you understand your audience, and are you giving them what they want or are you feeding them what you want them to see? Nobody cares about your company, brand or product unless you give them a reason to care.
- Missing the Incentive to Like: Are you giving people a reason to “like” or follow you, or are you just regurgitating boring content that can be found all over the internet? How are you different? Fresh? Engaging? How does your company page stand out among the rest?
- Lacking Creativity: Just because you’re working with a business page, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. People crave content that is fun, sparks controversy, or opens the door to conversation. They don’t want a news feed, an advertisement, or a preaching tone. Consider looking in new places for ideas when you’re posting content. A page that has fans but no engagement is a red flag that screams, “BORING!”
Success with social media comes down to understanding your strategy, understanding your audience, and creating something that fits both while accomplishing your end goal. Regular audits should measure against all of these things, and help you drive success.
Don’t be afraid to make major changes if what you are doing doesn’t work for you. Change is good, and can spark a new level of attention from fans and followers.
What common blunders have you noticed brands making with their social media?
A version of this post originally appeared on Carrie Morgan’s Rock the Status Quo.