How to Conduct a Social Media Audit
Carol Feigenbaum |
 08/16/22 |
9 min read

How to Conduct a Social Media Audit

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 the how and why of conducting a social media audit, by following these four overarching steps:

  1. Defining what a social media audit actually is.
  2. Audience understanding essentials that are ‘must have’ audit items.
  3. Analyzing your social media channels – specifically Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit for a variety of metrics that matter, with tips for each.
  4. Measuring your social media audit results over time and making changes as needed.

1.   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, Snapchat and Reddit  It places all of your social media metrics in one place allowing you to easily track changes over time.

A social media audit should include:

  • Number of followers for each account
  • Engagement metrics
  • Demographic intel beyond the basics, such as, professions, interests, bio terms, etc.
  • Locations and URL/Username for each platform
  • Trending content
  • Campaign performance

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, 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, Reddit and any other site you’re capturing in the audit. And it’s invaluable.

social-media-audit-template

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!

Of course, you’ll need a plan of attack, or checklist for your 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 audience demographics, engagement, and post information for each social channel you use.
  • Visualize your objective and what needs improved.
  • Apply findings to improve your future. Everything can get better, 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 audit is better audience understanding to improve brand awareness, engagement, and to move consumers through your purchase funnel. Below, we’ll cover understanding your audience, analyzing social 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.  We’ll also share some specific advice for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit after that.

2.   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 have success on one and silence on the other. We’ll share audit specifics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Reddit 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.

social-channels-to-capture-insight-for-social-media-audit

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 build 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, Snapchat and Reddit!

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 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 of these audit results are searchable, it’s a wealth of brand-specific insight that can be used to better understand your consumer.

3.   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 customers’ shifting attitudes, perceptions and engagement over time. The main sites where you’ll likely perform your analyses, specifically 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. 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 audience distinctions between channels: 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, Reddit, and Snapchat. 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 users of the social network 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, ‘in the news’ shares with the top trending post of 2021 being about Betty White. Facebook is a way for people to share their lives with friends and strangers. Shopping is also important 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 be discontinuing their insights and analytics tool. That being said, it’s not gone completely, just rebranded.

It’s still possible to track basic metrics across Facebook and Instagram. These analytics include paid and organic reach, audience demographics and engagements, including current and potential audiences:

audience-interests-for-SEO

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 interesting feature called Insights to Go. This feature allows you to search anything filtered by topic, geographical location, and segment. This is helpful in locating emerging trends on social media:

Insights-to-go

Audit tips: A lesser-known and under-utilized feature offers the ability to watch  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.

Audit tips: A lesser-known and under-utilized feature offers the ability to watch  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.

suggested-facebook-pages-to-monitor

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 have the ability to compare not just Facebook and Instagram, but Twitter and TikTok too.

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.

Twitter-audit-1

Twitter-audit-2

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 followers. 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 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 in nature, and quickly scrollable. And an 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:

instagram-audit

Audit tips: Video content is increasingly important on some social channels. There has been an 80% increase in video watching on Instagram since 2017.  Be sure your audit 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 aged 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 a total of 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 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 its 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.

snapchat-1

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!

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 years, 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 medias. It’s a place to gather information on just about anything. If you want to know how to connect your Nintendo Switch to your computer, Reddit will help you. Or if you’re looking to discuss a product you recently tried and hated, Reddit will help you. And it’s this sense of community help that draws users to this platform. And it’s exactly why your brand needs to audit it, especially if your brand is being discussed.

Reddit recently announced that it has 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.

stats-over-time

Audit tips: Checking your insights could be somewhat frustrating here and there doesn’t seem to be a way to look at how your brand is performing as a whole. You’ll instead have to click through each individual 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.

4.   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!

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