In order to best position a brand to succeed using social media, we highly recommend that an in-depth social media audit be conducted. Our social media agency prefers to go beyond the usual vanity metrics to more valuable insights that will drive your social strategy. Our audit process will reveal where you stand in relation to the rest of your competitive landscape and identify where the greatest opportunities exist. We will analyze your most influential brand advocates and discover where your brand should be developing key relationships. Based on what is discovered during the audit, we will be able to recommend the best course of action for your brand moving forward. In other words, your brand will become armed with a social media marketing strategy, content marketing strategy, video marketing strategy, social media advertising strategy, social media branding, and brand storytelling strategy.
The Six Stages of our Social Media Audit
The social media audit that we conduct for our clients has six phases, requiring 10-12 weeks in total to complete. A collection of quantitative and qualitative analysis of your brand, competitive landscape and your market will result in an integrated social media marketing strategy across multiple touchpoints. Your company will have a content marketing strategy for the right content on the right B2C social media channels to grow your brand reach and engagement with a relevant and targeted consumer audience. We also provide brand storytelling recommendations to strategically educate and inform your business partners, companies, and key industry players.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at our social media audit process by starting with the first phase, conducting a brand inventory.
Social Media Audit Phase 1: Brand Inventory
The first phase of our social media audit lays down the foundation for all the other phases which follow. In this brand inventory phase, we take the time to fully understand how the journey your brand has taken to arrive at where it presently stands. This will require that your company provide us with as much information as possible. During this phase of the audit, we examine everything from consumer/revenue breakdowns, company operations such as PR teams and marketing/sales department processes, and any existing market research your company has performed or purchased. It is essential that our team gains an understanding of where you’ve been and how you got there in order to best drive a strategy of where and how we’ll get you where you need to go.
Social Media Audit Phase 2: Marcom and SEO Inventory
The second phase of our social media audit examines the relationship between your key external marketing communications and search engine optimization. Some companies never invest in a competitive analysis of their marketing communications, especially when it comes to the evolution of their website. Are your marketing communications sending the brand message you think they’re sending? How do your marketing communications compare to the brand messaging of your direct competitors? We want to identify the points of parity and key points of difference in the way your company communicates compared to your competitors. In our experience, the leadership at some brands find this part of the audit very enlightening. It’s the first time they’ve approached their marcom in this fashion.
We next want to investigate whether there holds any SEO value in the way your marketing communications have been organized. Is your present website architecture search-engine friendly? Which pages and keywords are driving the most traffic? How does your SEO compare to your competition? We will break all of this down for you and help guide your marketing team through an SEO strategy to hopefully improve your present rankings.
As most companies are beginning to figure out, SEO and social media marketing are interconnected. The strength of your brand’s social signals impacts your SEO. Understanding this relationship can be a game-changer for many brands.
Social Media Audit Phase 3: Visual Portfolio Inventory
The third phase of our social media audit is an analysis of the visual storytelling being used throughout your industry. Have your competitors taken full advantage of the benefits of video marketing on social media? Do your competitors have a unique point of view with their social media content?
Our goal is to assess what content has been effective on social media within your landscape and then devise a strategic position for your brand, its personality, style and visual identity on social media. With established brand positioning, we will be able to generate creative concepts that will best provide the differentiation your brand needs to attract its audience and build its social media community.
In general, brands which understand the value of “showing their personality” on social versus spending too much social real estate “telling you about their products” will have stronger, more engaged, and a more loyal base of fans and followers.
Social Media Audit Phase 4: Brand Exploratory
The fourth stage of our social media audit is an exploration into the brand through the eyes of company leadership. We try and speak with as many members of your company leadership starting from the president, CMO and COO to business development, sales and PR. By collecting insights from leadership from each key division, we hope to identify strategic business challenges and opportunities that social media can help address. This time spent interviewing leadership will benefit the overall strategy and help align social with the goals of the entire organization
In most cases, the crux of the ultimate social media marketing strategy will be discovered during this phase of the audit process. That shouldn’t be at all surprising. Who else but leadership would understand the bigger picture of the brand?
Social Media Audit Phase 5: Market Exploratory
The fifth stage of our social media audit explores trends in your industry, especially demographic trends of your target market. Getting into the purchasing mindset of your consumer and understanding their motivations and selection criteria will be important to your brand storytelling strategy and brand mantra expressed on social media.
This market exploratory phase will hopefully help us identify any relevant regional, national or global market trends which may impact our brand messaging and social media targeting strategy. For instance, we may find that there is a stronger pattern of demand for your products in certain cities around the country. Gaining an understanding of these trends will only help your company focus its social media efforts and optimize its social media advertising strategy.
Social Media Audit Phase 6: Social Media Inventory and Social Media Exploratory
The sixth and largest phase of our social media audit is an inventory of your company’s social media presence and an exploration of how this presence compares to the rest of the landscape. This section of the audit is all about the data. We compile dozens of charts and graphs full of eye-opening social media data that will make your leadership wish they had conducted a social media audit years ago.
We’ll provide your company with the following data and more:
- An overview of the social media channels being used by your landscape
- An overall size of the social media audiences within your landscape across channels
- Social media reach achieved by your competitors
- Social media engagement trends across channels in your landscape
- The most successful social media content in your landscape
- Social media posting frequencies and engagement rates
- An analysis of the social media channels relevant to your brand which may include: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+
Much can be gleaned from our analysis of your landscape’s social media activity. Social media data tells a story that your competitors cannot hide from. We will hopefully expose the strategies behind your competitors’ social presence and find the best opportunities for your brand moving forward.
The Results of a Social Media Audit
It never ceases to amaze us how many companies enter social media without first having a social media audit conducted. This process saves company time, resources, and possibly some embarrassment. A social media audit helps a company see the bigger picture for their brand on social media. Some of your leadership may not spend much time on social media themselves. They may even have a personal dislike for social media. That’s certainly fine. Personal social media is a personal choice. Business social media is an essential component of a brand’s marketing mix. A social media audit helps get the social media naysayers and the rest of your leadership to buy into a social media marketing strategy. Without which, another year goes by with your brand continuing to post on social media without a purpose.