The Benefits of a Social Media Audit

If you manage a social media account or an online community, chances are that you have come across ads for or heard mention of social media audits. Before I was in social media and community management, I always thought of audits as those scary things that happen when someone makes a mistake on their taxes. It felt like something that should be avoided at all costs. However, a social media audit is something different altogether. When it comes to social media and online communities, an audit is your blueprint for success! It not only shows you where you are today, but it gives you insights that will allow you to optimize your strategy for the future. An expert audit can help you gain a deeper understanding of not just what is happening in your community, but why. Let’s explore a few of the key ways that your community can benefit from an audit.

Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your Pain Points

When it comes to admin tasks or group dynamics, you can probably pretty quickly name your top pain points. However, understanding what is causing the current issues that you face and knowing how to fix them are two completely different beasts. 

Let’s take one single common issue: a lack of engagement. Because there are so many different factors that can lead to a lack of engagement, without a good understanding of the insights and KPIs that you are looking at, you have a problem without a solution. Many managers will use trial and error to attempt to find a solution to fix the problem. It may provide a temporary solution, but this time-consuming method still leaves you without an understanding of what went wrong. 

Instead, a knowledgeable community consultant can help find the root cause of your engagement issue and help you strategize to find a solution. For this specific example, I would look at reach to determine if enough people are seeing your post to attain the engagement that you are looking for. I would also explore your current audience to ensure that your efforts are targeted to the correct group at the appropriate moment. I would also analyze your most engaging and least engaging posts to determine which factors they have in common. All of this information can help determine why your current strategy is not achieving optimal results and how to change things up to meet your goals. 

Get To Know Your Audience

It is Marketing 101 that in order to speak to an audience, you have to understand who they are. An audit gathers key information about your community including demographics, when they are most likely to be online, and how they are engaging with your content. Aside from the hard data, the social listening component of an audit can provide information beyond what the available Insights will tell you. It will also let you know what your audience is saying about your brand, what buzzwords they are using, and how to capture user-generated content. Together all of this data will become an integral part of developing content and engaging with your audience in ways that are relevant, timely, and make a favorable impression.  

Learn How to Best Position Yourself in the Market

Knowing your audience is only part of the equation when it comes to creating an excellent online strategy. You also have to understand the market, companies like yours, and your competitors. Understanding how they are interacting with their audience, what is working for them, and how their audience compares to yours can inform your social strategy. While this is a little bit more difficult for private groups that won’t have as much information readily available, an experienced consultant knows how and where to look to find as much data as possible.  

Hashtag research is another valuable component of an audit. Understanding algorithms and hashtag trends, and using this information to inform how you choose and use hashtags can greatly increase the reach of your posts and make sure they get seen by the right audience. If you are primarily focused on organic reach, using the best hashtags for your audience and purpose is going to make or break your social strategy.

Ensure That Tools and Settings Are Optimized

The sheer amount of settings and tools that most social media platforms have can be overwhelming. Learning how these tools work, their purpose, and how to use them can be a daunting task for most. Plus, it always seems like right when you figure out how everything works, it changes! Having an expert in your corner that is up to date with all the latest tools and how they work will allow you to optimize your user’s experience and make your life as an admin much easier. Learn what processes you can automate, how to set up alerts and notifications, and how to optimize the tools and features you use through an audit. 

Optimize How Your Team Works Together

Whether you already have a team or you are flying solo, an audit can identify how admins are currently participating, how to optimize their time, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. It can identify the need to add to the team or ensure that the existing team is working together to present a unified, cohesive front that represents your brand identity well. While an audit cannot take the place of a good community playbook, the information gathered can inform the creation of a new playbook or edits to your existing plan. (Stay tuned for a future blog about creating outstanding and effective community playbooks!)

Whatever your social media goals are, a social media audit should be the go-to tool in your toolbox. A good audit does more than just inform your social media strategy, it helps you optimize your time and efforts to create sustainable growth while staying on brand and keeping your community engaged. Interested in an audit for your social media profile, page, or group? Reach out today!

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