Positioning your brand for maximum impact with consumers online is a must, and that means auditing your activity is essential. A social media audit helps eliminate wasted time, and it also increases ROI by building upon what works and discarding what does not. Let’s see how it looks!
Here, we’ll explore how and why of conducting a social media audit, with a focus on:
- What a social media audit is
- Audience understanding essentials that are ‘must have’ audit items.
- Analyzing your social media channels – specifically Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, for a variety of metrics that matter, with tips for each.
- Measuring your social media audit results over time and making changes as needed.
What is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is your brand’s roadmap to social media marketing success on every platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. It places all of your social media metrics in one place allowing you to easily track changes over time.
A consistently updated social media audit will immediately show you what is working, what is not – and what could use improvement. Using an audit spreadsheet to pull in data from all of your brand’s social media accounts on a monthly basis will track performance on each over time. It offers a snapshot of your presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and any other site you’re capturing in the audit. And it’s invaluable.
And whether you are a seasoned veteran or just getting started with audits, we’ve compiled a list of social media audit tools to get you going. And we even have a free NetBase Quid Social Media Audit Template you can download. Check it out and follow along!
The overarching goal of your audit is better audience understanding to improve brand awareness, engagement, and to move consumers through your purchase funnel, so let’s start there. And we’ll share some specific advice for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat after that.
Audience Understanding – Audit ‘Must Haves’
Demographics can vary widely across various social media platforms. A solid understanding of your audience via an audit will help you decipher why one post performs well on Facebook, while you hear crickets chirping on Snapchat. The same is true for Instagram and Twitter – you can have success on one and silence on the other.
We’ll share audit specifics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat soon. But first, we need to see what sort of conversation is happening on your social channels as a whole. Plugging your social media accounts into NetBase Quid makes this part of your audit a breeze.
From here, your audit data helps you to develop a true sense of your global audience. You can track demographics and psychographic intel that includes interests, professions, bio descriptions and other data that consumers freely offer. It all forms a solid audit foundation upon which to built your efforts.
But more importantly, as the data starts to populate to inform your audit, you can go beyond who your audience is and what they need, to what they want, love and hate. These are the contextual bits that make an audit actionable vs just going through the motions, as too many businesses do. And you need actionable insight to cut through the noise on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat!
A great way to discover those consumer emotions is by running your audit through a brand analysis in NetBase Quid with the lens of a personal narratives theme. This theme quickly boils down the conversation and adds context to your audit by capturing social media mentions ih your audit that include:
- “I hate …”
- “I love …”
- “My favorite …”
- “I need/want …”
And since all of these audit results are searchable, it’s a wealth of brand-specific insight that can be used to better understand your consumer.
Analyze and Audit Your Social Channels
The meat of your social media audit involves a deep dive into your channel analytics. The story that unfolds there is where you audit reveals costumers’ shifting attitudes, perceptions and engagement over time. The main sites where you’ll likely perform your analyses, specifically follow – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
Your audit results will be unique depending on the platform, as you can’t expect the same users to interact with your brand on Facebook and Reddit, for example. This post on why Reddit matters to marketers should help you understand that site better, if you’re new to it or just aren’t creating the impact you’d expect.
But back to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat: The vibe on each platform and the kind of interaction that occurs on each is incredibly different, as are the users you’ll find on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. We’ll share a brief demographic snapshot as we explore each below!
Facebook Audit Checklist
Audience: According to Statista, “As of December 2021, 26.4 percent of Facebook users in the United States were in the 25 to 34 year age group. Overall, 18.2 percent of Facebook users were in the 35 to 44 year age group and just 3.2 percent of 13 to 17 year old’s used the social media platform.”
Popular posts there revolve around memes, ‘in the news’ shares and people sharing their lives with friends and strangers. Shopping is important there, with many users discovering new brands on the platform thanks to its robust targeting capabilities.
Where to find audit data: Facebook has its own “insights” section and even offer a new and improved Insights Tool. The audit data found here tracks paid and organic reach, offers insight around your current and potential audience and shows how well your content is performing – both here and on Instagram as well.
Watching your most recent posts offers audit stats around engagement and the ability to promote any content with an ad:
Audit tips: A lesser-known and under utlized feature offers is the ability to watch up to five competing pages and audit their results. Facebook doesn’t create this audit for you, but it does offer insight around their engagement, and you can dig in for yourself to see how they’re doing – and what is working – when you see something work well for them. It’s an audit trick that can direct your competitive analysis and help you win market share away from them.
Twitter Audit Checklist
Audience: Statista again tells us “as of April 2021, Twitter global audience was composed of 38.5 percent of users aged between 25 and 34 years old. The second-largest age group demographic on the platform was represented by users aged between 35 and 49 years old, with a share of almost 21 percent. Users aged less than 24 years old were almost the 24 percent worldwide, while users aged 50 or above accounted for roughly 17 percent.”
Popular posts here are breaking news and immediate reactions to events. This is not a place to wade into blindly, as reactions to mistakes are fierce.
Where to find audit data: Twitter offers its own analytics tab, but the focus is fairly general. It shares which tweets are doing well and if you have new followers. And it also shows engagement levels.
The true insight is unlocked in its advertising offerings.
Audit tips: Short of advertising on Twitter, understanding your audience there is limited to your top follower. Connecting these analytics with a tool capable of teasing out tons of audience intel is recommended here.
Instagram Audit Checklist
Audience: Referring to Statista, we see that “As of October 2021, roughly 32 percent of global Instagram audiences were aged between 25 and 34 years. Over two thirds of total Instagram audiences were aged 34 years and younger and this makes the platform particularly attractive for marketers.”
Posts here are all visual in nature, and quickly scrollable. And audit shows that “Reels” have become increasingly important here, and can be shared on Facebook as well. The creator studio monetizes this sharing and is giving TikTok a run for its money.
Where to find audit data:
Audit tips: Video content is increasingly important on some social channels. Be sure your audit accounts for that as you create your content strategy.
Snapchat Audit Checklist
Audience: When we check Statista, we see that “As of October 2021, Snapchat’s global audience was composed of more female than male users, with women aged between 13 and 17 years old accounting for 12 percent of the total audience on the platform. Male users belonging to the same age group accounted for 9 percent of the total, while men aged between 25 and 34 years old made up 10.3 percent of Snapchat’s audience.”
Posts here disappear and that’s the main draw. Teens feel secretive and not really “on social media” when they participate here. And this is why it’s a great place for brands to be if they’re targeting this demographic!
Where to find audit data: Snapchat has it own analytics section, just like the other platforms. And it’s really built out to make things easy for businesses to connect with its young audience.
Audit tips: Success on this platform is closely tied to audience understanding. Be sure your audit includes AI-powered analytics that do not have implicit bias when evaluating options. A typical human analyst may overlook a teen trend, but a detached AI would catch it as something to explore!
Measure Social Media Audit Results Over Time
Having quick access to an audit where you can immediately review the growth of your social media channels is important. But, it’s not enough to simply find the metrics that speak to your brand, measure them and then forget about it. Consistently updating your intel, documenting both successes and failures, is what separates leaders from the rest in this social media audit game.
Top brands are employing artificial intelligence to dig through the data and putting hard numbers to their social media audits. They know what works for them because of it – and they can meaningfully quantify it. And you can to.
When it comes down to it, time is money and your social analytics ROI should be positive. If not, a social media audit is how you get there. Are you ready to upgrade your social media game? Be sure to reach out for a demo and we’ll help you level up!