Positioning your brand for maximum impact with consumers online is essential, which means auditing your activity. A social media audit helps eliminate wasted time and increases ROI by building upon what works and discarding what does not. So let’s see how it looks!
Here, we’ll explore the how and why of conducting a social media audit by following these four overarching steps:
- First, define what a social media audit is.
- Audience understanding essentials that are ‘must have’ audit items.
- Analyzing your social media channels –specifically Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit- for various metrics that matter, with tips for each.
- Measuring your social media audit results over time and making changes as needed.
1. What is a Social Media Audit? Plus, a Free Social Media Audit Template!
A social media audit is your brand’s roadmap to social media marketing success on every platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit. It places all your social media metrics in one place, allowing you to track changes easily over time.
A social media audit should include the following:
- Number of followers for each account
- Engagement metrics
- Demographic data beyond the basics, such as professions, interests, bio terms, etc.
- Locations and URL/Username for each platform
- Trending content such
- Campaign performance and measuring your best-performing posts
These metrics above, along with a consistently updated social media audit, will immediately show you what is working, what is not – and what could use improvement. Additionally, a monthly social media audit spreadsheet to pull audience data from your brand’s social media profiles and monthly accounts will track performance on each over time. It offers a snapshot of your presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, and any other site you capture in the audit. And it’s invaluable.
And whether you are a seasoned veteran or this is your first social media audit, 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. So check it out and follow along!
Of course, you’ll need a plan of attack or checklist for how to do a social media audit, such as:
- Gather a list of your social accounts – a no brainer
- Use the right social media audit tool, which allows you to monitor various aspects of your business and your audience.
- Manage your metrics! Gather intel on target audience demographics and engagement, and post information for each social channel you use.
- Visualize your objective and what needs improvement.
- Apply findings to improve your future. Everything can improve; take what you’ve learned and apply it to your strategy.
- Compare your brand to other successful brands that are killing it––more on this later.
The overarching goal of your social media audit is better audience understanding to improve brand awareness, and engagement and to move consumers through your purchase funnel. Below, we’ll cover understanding your audience, analyzing social media profiles and channels (including checklists for each), and tracking and measuring performance over time.
Let’s start at the purchase funnel and how understanding your audience can help your brand push consumers into that crucial purchase phase. After that, we’ll also share some specific advice for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.
How to Do a Social Media Audit
Brands must understand their many social media audiences to push consumers through the purchase funnel. So first, let’s look at some essential metrics to help you better understand and target your audience. And then, we’ll also share some specific advice for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit to apply to your social media marketing strategy.
1. 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 Reddit. The same is true for Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter – you can succeed on one, and then there’s silence on the other. We’ll soon share audit specifics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit. 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 social media audit data helps you develop a true sense of your global audience.
Comparing web traffic on all your social accounts reveals where the most engagement is. Key metrics like volume, reach, engagement rates and even your top-performing posts can differ from channel to channel. And by auditing, you can understand your social presence while discovering which channels may need more attention.
Additionally, you can get a comprehensive overview of demographics and psychographic intel, including interests, professions, bio descriptions, and other data that consumers freely offer.
Psychographic intel informs you on how to personalize your consumers’ experience. Consumers are more than their gender, age, or location. Running your audit through a social media listening tool can surface personal details that help create messaging that resonates.
A deep-parsing social media analytics tool pulls back the curtain on audience interests and reveals book lovers, pet fanatics, outdoors people, anime fans, food critics, and much more. Suddenly, Jane isn’t just Jane who loves your tacos. Instead, she’s Jane, a 43-year-old teacher who loves her 3-d printer, camping, hot sauce, and her pet turtle.
And it’s not just messaging that social media auditing can inform, but product development. Discovering audiences reveals the types of consumers you have and can provide an opportunity for new products aimed at these newly discovered audiences. For example, you may find consumer conversations linking your leggings to their daily yoga practice if you’re a clothing brand. Finding this allows you to pivot and specifically design and target your product towards these health-focused consumers.
These details form a solid audit foundation upon which to build your efforts. But, more importantly, as all 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 and valuable insights to cut through the noise on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit!
A great way to discover those consumer emotions is by running your social media audit through a brand analysis in NetBase Quid® with the lens of the theme of a personal narrative. This theme distills the conversation and adds context to your audit by capturing social media mentions in your audit that include:
- “I hate …”
- “I love …”
- “My favorite …”
- “I need/want …”
- “I wish…”
And since all these social media audit results are searchable, it’s a wealth of brand-specific insight that brands can use to understand their consumers better.
And one tool consumers are using a lot these days are hashtags. They unite social users through common topics. Consumers use them to talk about brands, express their thoughts, describe their posts, and much more. A hashtag analysis is vital to staying on top of consumer lingo.
And if you know how to use them, hashtags can help give your campaigns a boost and gain more website traffic. Additionally, by auditing your hashtag performance, you stay current on how well your social media strategy is performing.
2. Analyze and Audit Your Social Channels
The meat of your social media audit involves deep diving into your channel analytics and social presence. The story that unfolds there is where your audit reveals customers’ shifting attitudes, perceptions, and engagement rates over time. The main sites where you’ll likely perform your analyses precisely follow – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, 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.
But back to audience distinctions between social media channels: The vibe on each platform and the kind of interaction on each are incredibly different, as are the users you’ll find on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Snapchat. So we’ll share a brief demographic snapshot as we explore each below!
Facebook Audit Checklist
Audience: According to Statista, “As of June 2022, 23.5 percent of Facebook users in the United States were in the 25 to 34-year age group. Overall, 18 percent of social network users belonged to the 35 to 44-year age group, and just 3.8 percent of Facebook’s audience in the U.S. were aged 13 to 17 years old.”
Popular posts there revolve around memes and ‘in the news’ shares, with the top trending post of 2021 being about Betty White. In addition, Facebook allows people to share their lives with friends and strangers. Shopping is also essential there, with many users discovering new brands on the platform thanks to its robust targeting capabilities.
Where to find audit data: In early 2021, Facebook announced they would discontinue their social media management tool. That being said, it’s not gone completely; it just rebranded.
It’s still possible to track essential metrics across Facebook and Instagram. These analytics include paid and organic reach, audience demographics, and engagements, including current and potential audiences:
Additionally, watching your most recent posts offers audit stats around engagement and the ability to promote any content with an ad.
Facebook also has an exciting feature called Insights to Go. This feature allows you to search anything filtered by topic, geographical location, and segment. This tool helps locate emerging trends on social media:
Audit tips: A lesser-known and under-utilized feature offer the ability to watch competing pages and audit their results. Facebook doesn’t create this audit for you, but it does offer insight into 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.
Here you can also compare your Instagram account. However, if you have more than just the two social channels, it’s worth your time to use a competitive tool such as Rival IQ, as they can compare multiple social networks-not, just Facebook and Instagram, but Twitter and TikTok too.
Twitter Audit Checklist
Audience: Statista again tells us, “as of April 2021, the 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 social media posts here are breaking news and immediate reactions to events. However, Twitter is not a place to wade into blindly, as responses to mistakes are fierce.
Where to find audit data: Twitter offers its own analytics tab, but the focus is relatively general. It provides just a couple of insights. It shares follower count, 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 target audience insights is limited to your top followers. Therefore, connecting these analytics with a social media management tool capable of teasing out tons of audience intel is recommended.
Instagram Audit Checklist
Audience: Referring to Statista, “As of April 2022, roughly 31 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 and quickly scrollable. And an audit shows that “Reels” have become increasingly important here and can be shared on Facebook. 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 vital on some social platforms. There has been an 80% increase in video watching on Instagram since 2017. Be sure your audit all your accounts for video as you create your content strategy.
Snapchat Audit Checklist
Audience: When we check Statista, we see that “As of January 2021, Snapchat’s global audience was composed of more female than male users, with women between 13 and 17 years old accounting for 11.8 percent of the total audience on the platform. Overall, users between the ages of 18 and 24 made up the majority of users of Snapchat, with 39 percent of users belonging to this age group.”
Posts here disappear, and that’s the main draw. Teens feel secretive and not really “on social media” when participating 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 its own analytics section, just like the other platforms. And it’s built to make things easy for businesses to connect with their young audience.
Audit tips: Audience understanding is key to success on this platform. Be sure your audit includes AI-powered analytics that does not have an implicit bias when evaluating options. For example, a typical human analyst may overlook a teen trend, but a detached AI would catch it as something to explore!
Reddit Audit Checklist
Once more, checking Statista, we find that “As of March 2021, users in their twenties and thirties accounted for almost two-thirds of Reddit active user accounts in the United States. According to recent data, users aged 20 to 29 accounted for 28.1 percent of the social news app’s user base on the Android platform.”
Like Snapchat. This social platform feels unlike other social media. It’s a place to gather information on just about anything. So if you want to know how to connect your Nintendo Switch to your computer, Reddit will help you. Or, if you want to discuss a recently tried and hated the product, Reddit will help you. And it’s this sense of community help that draws users to this platform. And it’s precisely why your brand needs to audit it, especially if your brand is being discussed.
Reddit recently announced that it created its own set of analytics. They are pretty basic, but they do analyze posts, including:
- total post views
- upvote rate
- community karma earned
- total shares
Where to find audit data: Going into your profile allows you to look at the posts you’ve made and click on an attached Insights button to view their individual stats.
Audit tips: Checking your insights can be frustrating here, and there needs to be a way to look at how your brand is performing. You’ll instead have to click through each post. You’d do better with a tool that can gather all your intel and benchmark overall performance over time to get a more complete and accurate view.
3. 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 essential. But more is needed to find the metrics that speak to your brand, measure them and then forget about it. Consistently updating your intel, and documenting successes and failures, separates leaders from the rest in this social media audit game.
Quick Recap and Checklist of Social Media Auditing
Here’s a brief social media audit checklist and a recap of how to do a social media audit with brief descriptions below:
1. Create a List of Social Media Accounts
Make a list of all your social media accounts, including inactive ones. Then, search all significant social media networks for brand and product names.
2. Manage Metrics
A social listening tool helps you stay up to date on metrics like reach, engagements, and volume. It reveals brand mentions, how far that conversation has traveled, and how many people have interacted.
3. Understand your audience
A deeper-diving social media audit tool can provide actionable insights from social media profiles that inform brands on audience psychographics, sentiments, commonly used hashtags, and more. This intel can inform brands of better-targeted messaging and even product development.4Visualize your objective
Determine what needs improvement and how you’ll pivot to meet those new goals
4. Apply your findings
Everything can improve. Use your findings to inform your social strategy and begin implementing it.
5. Measure social media over time
Things can change in an instant. Measuring social media over time with social media tools will keep you up-to-date on changes in volume, reach, engagement, sentiments, and more. Staying informed will enable you to pivot when it’s needed quickly.
Social Media Audit FAQs
What is a social media audit?
A social media audit measures your efforts across social media channels. It reveals your strengths and weaknesses and highlights areas you could improve.
Why is a social media audit important?
A social media audit helps you grow as a brand by evaluating your social media and online presence across all your platforms. A social media audit will pinpoint which content and platforms are performing well. It also does a deep dive into your audience, discovering what’s important to them. With this intel, you’ll better know where to focus your efforts.
How long does a social media audit take?
It depends on the social media tools in your social media audit toolbelt. Not all tools are the same. Some will take up to a day, while others, like NetBase Quid, can gather data in a minimal amount of time. In addition, every tool has varying capabilities, which can play into the time it takes for you to do an audit. That’s why it’s essential to do your research before investing-you want the best social metrics with the least waiting time.
What does a social media audit NOT include?
A social media audit is a magical tool, but you must bring your KPIs, goals, and objectives for the coming year.
Top brands employ artificial intelligence to dig through the collected data and put complex numbers into their social media audits. As a result, they know what works for them because of it – and they can meaningfully quantify it. And you can have a successful audit too.
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. If this is your first social media audit, use our free social media audit template to help get you started. And if you’re ready to upgrade your social media game, be sure to reach out for a demo, and we’ll help you level up!