January is often a month when businesses take the time to evaluate activities from the previous year – what was good, not so good and what can be improved. As part of this, it is important to assess the value of social media for your brand to ensure that you are communicating with your target audience via the right channels.
A social media audit can give you a good indication of your online presence and how well your brand is being perceived by the market, your followers and competitors alike. They also help you discover any profiles set up in haste that maybe don’t suit your business.
So what does a social media audit actually look like? Here are five action points to help you measure your activity via an audit.
ACTION 1: Go back to the basics …
Think about your overall business strategy – how do the social media channels you’re on help you achieve the objectives you have set? Do they provide you with an effective outlet to communicate with your target audience? If not then it may be time to re-evaluate whether all of the platforms should be used by your business.
Google Analytics is a great tool to use to analyse the behaviour of visitors to your website and their interaction with you via social media. You can very easily find out if they have been to your website first or clicked onto your website via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google +.
ACTION 2: Search online to assess your social presence
Once you’ve double checked your objectives, search for your company name online and analyse the results it brings back. Where does your social media platforms rank? For example, my Twitter account is at the top of the Google results when you search for KD Communications. That’s perfect for my business as Twitter is a huge part of my marketing and business development strategy.
Searching for your company will also help you find out if anyone is trading under your name. It could be a business operating in a completely different sector but shares your name. If this happens then you will need to take measures to ensure that your website and social media profiles differentiate you to reflect the work you do.
ACTION 3: Evaluate your social media profiles
Are they on brand? Look at each channel individually and compare them to see if your imagery, tone of voice and personality are reflected across all of your online platforms. This will ensure consistency in representation of your brand, something that is very important to your target audience as it could potentially make them unfollow you if not carried out properly.
Creating a short mission statement for each of your social media profiles is also important. Doing this will not only link all of your profiles together for search engines, it will also make sure that your social media marketing is aligned to your overall marketing objectives.
ACTION: Also use this as an opportunity to assess your competitors. What platforms do they use? How it is working for them in comparison to you? Create a matrix on Excel to keep note and check in every now and again to see if they have changed their positioning at all.
ACTION 4: Use keywords
For PR campaigns and developing online content, keywords are an essential tool to help you get recognised and grow your online circles. Have a look at what you have written recently – how are you performing? What’s working, what’s not and how can you change that?
Think about the content that is resonating well on certain channels. Is there is a particular reason for this and how can you re-create this on other channels? Use this information to attract the attention of and build relationships with ‘influencers’ who can mention you, share your work and build your profile because they like what you do and it’s good for their business.
ACTION 5: Take forward the positives and let go of the negatives
Social media marketing constantly evolves and as such is a huge learning for all businesses. Because of this, it’s important to be honest with yourself when undertaking the audit. If something isn’t working then let it go ….it doesn’t mean you have failed it just might not be right for your audience at this point in time. Try not to get bogged down with increasing your number of followers and likes … if people share the content you write, favourite your tweets and comment on your work then you’re doing it right. As the old saying goes …. ‘It’s about quality not quantity”
By Kathryn Dishman, Managing Director, KD Communications.
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