A quick Google search returns 2 billion results for “social media audit.”
But no matter how many headlines promise to help you do it effectively, there’s really no such thing as an effective social media strategy if you don’t tie it to your audience.
In this article, we’ll show you three steps you can take to audit your social media strategy and create one that better reflects your customers’ needs.
Define the status quo.
This first step is to go back to the early days of your business and revisit your core objectives. The point of this is to see how your current social media strategy stacks up to your original goals. Basically, it’ll show you if you’re in the status quo or in a gradual dynamic.
Here is how to do it:
- Write down your primary goals and ask yourself how your current strategy is helping you achieve those goals. By dint of following trends and benchmarks, companies often forget to align their social media efforts with their core objectives.
For example, a company’s goal may be to engage with its audience on Twitter. But because the latest studies credit Pinterest and the importance of being present there, that company might decide to start being active on that platform. Without even wondering, “Does my audience use Pinterest?” “Do I have the resources to do both Pinterest and Twitter?”
- Make a list of your competitors and ask yourself if your current social media strategy is similar to theirs. Every industry has it’s quirks, and every audience has its standards. Chances are, your competitors have a strategy that aligns with these standards, and this is your chance to see how your strategy measures up.
The idea is not to copy your competitors but to have a strategy that aligns with theirs. For example, if you are in the fast-food industry, you should have a social media strategy similar to that of Burger King or McDonalds, not Boeing.
- Compare your strategy from 3 years ago to your current one. Have you noticed any progress? What worked and what didn’t? What can you improve and what part of the strategy should you abandon?
- Ask yourself “where does my brand fit in the market/industry?” If you’re a startup or have a new product, your strategy should be focused on how to generate awareness. On the other hand, if your brand/product is older, the ideal strategy might be a brand activation campaign.
For example, when Starbucks’ reputation was suffering, Howard Schultz returned to restore consumer trust in the brand by launching “My Starbucks Idea” to gather feedback and re-engage customers.
At the end of this first step, you may have enough information to:
- Understand what is wrong with your positioning.
- Locate the misalignment between your strategy and overall brand objectives
- Have a clear understanding of the part of your strategy you need to get rid of.
The next step is to talk to your customers and prospects to see how you can best serve them.
Listen to your target audience.
According to an IBM study, 4 out of 5 consumers say that brands do not know them as individuals. That means most brands fail to give their audience what they want because they’re not listening to them.
Here’s how listening to your customers can help you build a solid social media strategy.
- It tells you who your customers really are.
- It gives you an overview of what your audience thinks of your brand.
- It gives you insights into what your audience’s pain points are.
- It tells you where your audience hangs out online
The first step in your social listening is to determine what your audience thinks about your brand. Go to the social media platform of your choice and use the search bar to identify where your brand has been mentioned and what has been said about it. Here’s an example from Twitter.
You can repeat this for all other existing social media platforms. It allows you to know what your audience thinks of your brands, and based on this information, you can develop a more tailored strategy for your customers.
For example, Starbucks may decide to launch a campaign in which it rewards customers who share their positive feelings about the brand on social media. Starbucks can then comment on each of these posts and congratulate users for earning [insert rewards].
Campaigns like this can change people’s perception of a brand and attract new customers. The next step is to talk to existing customers and ask them questions about their pain points in using your service or product. This provides insight into how to be most helpful to your audience on social media.
For example, Adobe realized that most of their users have trouble using their products. So they created a Twitter account to help users solve their problems.
Another way to listen to your audience is to conduct a survey to find out their age. You can do this in a creative way.
Instead of asking them “how old are you?”, run a survey on Twitter and ask them:
“Who are you?
a: Murphy McFly (Back to the Future)
b: Neo (Matrix)”
By looking at the survey results, you can determine which generation most of your audience members are from. Based on that, you could tailor your social media strategy to reflect their generation.
This insight can also help you determine which social media platforms you need to double down on, so you can tailor your social media strategy to reflect the generation of your audience.
For example, Millennials seem to use Facebook a lot while Generation Z is on TikTok and Snapchat.
Revise your social media KPIs.
This is the last part of your social media audit. It is where you use the insights gathered above to set goals and key performance indicators to measure your progress.
Remember, social media is not just about marketing. Social media can also have an impact on broader business objectives.
Identify social integration opportunities beyond marketing such as social media interactions that impact the sales force, customer service functions, R&D and HR department recruitment, and employee policies and engagement. Social media strategy may be led by the marketing team, but the company’s social media efforts are too important to be left to marketing alone.
— Keith A. Quesenberry, author of the book “Social Media Strategy: Marketing and Advertising in the Consumer Revolution.”
So, depending on the department affected by your social media strategy, you may need to define the KPIs accordingly. For example, if it’s the marketing department, the ideal KPIs might be to increase brand mentions by 7% or increase audience engagement by 17%.
It’s time to audit your social media strategy!
There you have it, the essentials to conduct your social media audit. Here are some steps to follow.
- Talk to your customers and figure out what their pain points are.
- Find out what people are saying about you on social media.
- Don’t use a platform just because the trends say you should use it. Instead, find out where your target customers are and double down on that platform.
- Watch your competitors and emulate the things they do well.