When we read or hear the word “audit” it can be cringe-inducing.
It brings up scary images of numbers and potentially needing to bring out the checkbook.
But an audit can be a good word in many respects when it comes to business. When I think of the word audit I’m usually thinking of taking a look at a business or an aspect of a business and figuring out how to make it better (if it needs to be better).
Life is all about continually learning. There are always new things to learn and improve upon. It’s a good mindset to have and it’s very important for businesses.
It’s not change for the sake of change, but looking at something and figuring out what the best course of action is going forward. And it might even be getting back to a strategy that has worked in the past that you’ve gotten away from.
In this post we’re going to discuss social media audits and specifically the steps you can take now or at any time to assess your social media strategy. In fact, I recommend doing this audit every year.
Let’s get into the steps.
Step 1. Re-examine Social Media Goals // Vision
It seems common for social media to kind of flounder in flux without a real vision. As with any business strategy, it’s good to have a clear vision for the entire business (this is where we’re going…). The team from there can then make decisions based on achieving the vision.
Since social media is still pretty new, some have simply gotten into social media after feeling the pressure of the competition. That’s a tricky place to be, but the good news is that you can quickly get out of that floundering spot if you’re there.
And even if you’ve been doing pretty well with social media it’s still good to make sure that your social strategy is working towards achieving your business’s vision.
Let’s say your goal is to get to $1 million dollars in revenue in three years. Or $10 million in five years. Or to gain a certain percentage of market share. Or to become the most sought after resource in your industry for information.
Whatever it is, make sure your social efforts work toward achieving that goal in the long-term.
Step 2. Assess Results
Next up is assessing the results you’ve had up to this point. Most companies have by now at least put some effort into social media. And if you haven’t that’s okay. You can still assess the competition and see what has been working for them. You can look at the basic information like comments, re-shares and other engagement.
Those things don’t relate entirely to every vision you could have for your company, but they’re good indications of how you’re doing on social media.
So take a look at what you’ve been doing and see what channel or channels have been working and what content has and hasn’t been working. It’s good to do this on a regular basis anyway. You’re always looking to continue doing what works while still experimenting to see if there is something better.
Step 3. Choose Best Channel(s)
Once you’ve assessed your results up to this point you’ll want to choose the best channel. In most instances, companies are spreading themselves too thin on too many social media channels. This goes back to the push to get on social media and do something. It’s not horrible to test things out and experiment, but it’s really a challenge to provide good effort on multiple channels.
A better strategy is to pick the one channel (maybe two) and put all your resources there. If you’ve seen the best results on Facebook, for example, leave your other channels alone and put your regular effort into taking Facebook to the next level.
Step 4. Assess Resources
Even if you’re going back to just one social media channel you’re still going to need to assess your resources. It can be nearly a full-time job to make social media a success. It’s more than just posting something once a day. Social media is a lot about listening, reading and getting completely immersed in your industry and providing information that your target audience finds interesting. It’s about really seeing what that audience wants, usually answers to their questions, and providing it as best you can.
Then there is the interact, responding, asking questions, doing polls and all kinds of other things.
Make sure you have someone on your team that can handle the responsibility so you can achieve your social media goals. If you don’t have the resources it’s probably better to just leave social alone until it’s a higher priority.
Step 5. Set Responsibility
It’s important to have the person in charge of social media be the owner of it. Entrepreneurial businesses seem to work best when individuals feel ownership over what they’re working on. Let them be the drive. You can provide the vision and help with goals, but allow the person to figure out how to get there. You can be there to provide guidance, but let them determine specific goals and a roadmap for how to get there and then support them as they work to achieve.
Step 6. Create Schedules
A good way to ensure that content is shared on social media is to create a regular schedule that includes content to share. And have the ideating for the content done separately for sharing.
There is a tendency in social media to come up with an idea and share it immediately. It’s good to have a little patience. You could create a month’s worth of content at a time and share it over the following month.
Social Media Block occurs when you put pressure on yourself to publishing something every day at a certain time and you wait until an hour before the deadline to figure out what to share. You can maybe get away with that for a while, but it will catch up with you.
Separate the ideating from the sharing and you’ll be in much better shape in the long-term.
And you can still share random and unscheduled content from time to time to supplement what you’re regularly sharing.
Step 7. Set Content Outline
Finally, you’ve already looked at your social effort up to this point. I just want to reiterate the importance of building on what has been working and leaving room for a little experiment. I don’t think there’s an exact formula for what you should continue and what you should experiment with.
Perhaps it’s good to plan on continuing with what’s been working 75% of the time while leaving 25% for experimenting with new things. New things might be posting GIFs and seeing how followers respond.
Set an outline and that will also help with ideating new content. You’ll have a structure for what you should be sharing while also leaving room to try new things that you think of or want to try.
An audit can be a very good thing. And that’s true for your social media strategy. In fact, many companies would be much better off in social media if they did this simple audit. It doesn’t take a lot of work. It’s just a little bit of thought and assessment and in a short time the social efforts can be inline with what the business is trying to achieve.
There’s no better time to do it than right now. Get a social media audit on your schedule for this week.