Quite often we create our social media presence in an organic fashion, which is the natural way to grow relationships right? The problem is; as you explore new tools, meet new people who invite you to join them on other networks, your messaging and your social media presence overall can easily get confused. Thatʼs why itʼs a good idea to conduct a social media audit. This allows you to see yourself as others might see you and judge if you are delivering the message you think youʼre sending.
Check each point which is mentioned in this post, we added tips to make your next social media audit easier too.
List your social media accounts:
Do NOT rely on memory for this, I bet there are some you have completely forgotten. If you havenʼt set up an email account to use for setting up all your social accounts, think about doing that now so you can go to one location to find everything you set up going forward. While youʼre at it create a file with a list of all your usernames and passwords and keep it in a safe place. You may also want to set up a dashboard like Netvibes to bring in the RSS feeds for all your social media accounts and see whatʼs new on them at a glance.
Check your Branding:
Look at all of your profiles. Is the corporate brand represented correctly? Colors, logos, contact information? Identify the ones who need to be cleaned up and keep your brand intact. While youʼre thinking about this, create a Dropbox account with the branding guidelines, logo graphics and any corporate photos, bios and messaging approved for use so you team doesnʼt have to go digging for them. Most of the branding gaffes Iʼve seen in social media were because the social media manager didnʼt have the right information and simply made it up!
Get rid of the dead wood:
Just because you thought you really really HAD to try out Plurk it doesnʼt mean you have to keep the account forever. Delete accounts you will never use again. You donʼt want people to find a bunch of useless profiles and give up before they find the ones you are really using! If you are worried about brand-jacking then at least tell people in your profile and last post that you are using a different network now and share a link to that network so they can find you.
Evaluate the accounts you use the most:
When you identify the accounts you use the most, look to see why they are the ones you prefer. Is it because of the good conversations, the quality of the network? Great, but if itʼs because thatʼs the one you are most comfortable with but you are struggling to gain a following you might consider a change. Look to see who you are talking to. Are they influencers and people you learn from? Or are they casual acquaintances you love to chat with? Keep your eye on the ball here. If youʼre using social media for business then get back to work!
Create a tag cloud:
Sites like Wordle.net and Tweetcloud.com create a word cloud from a blog or your twitter stream. Give it the URL of your twitter updates, your blog, your Google Plus page and see what the most used words are. Now compare this with your messaging and see if it is well represented. If not, re-think your strategy. It may not be your social media messaging thatʼs at fault here. Social media tends to be in a natural conversational tone. If your messaging is all marketing speak it may not translate well to conversation. Maybe itʼs time to rethink your messaging to make it more approachable. If youʼve wandered off-topic or you see that you are bleating the same message over and over again itʼs time for fresh messaging. You may consider creating slightly different messaging based on the network. For example the “voice” of your messaging might be more professional on Linkedin and more casual on Facebook.
Who are you talking to:
Itʼs natural to connect with friends, family and co-workers first when you join a new network, but itʼs deadly if those people make up the majority of your newsfeed. Why? Itʼs BORING! You all already know each othersʼ news. Find people you can learn new things from. Locate people who influence large networks because they are smart, interesting and people like them!
Take a look at your connections on your networks. Are there some who spend all day broadcasting their marketing docs or talking about what theyʼre having for lunch, dinner and a mid-afternoon snack? Ditch them. Theyʼre wasting your time. Just disconnect, it feels good! Remember, when another person comes to decide if they are going to connect with you they will look at your profile to see who you are connected with. If the list is uninteresting and full of broadcasters and spammers they will lump you in with them too.
Integrate your offline world with social media:
Does your print material share some of your social media links? By this I do NOT mean “Find us on Facebook!”. This is a useless strategy. You really expect a consumer to go to Facebook and search for you? How do we know if we find the right page? Give us a URL and we are more likely to find you. What about flyers, business cards and signage? If you donʼt let people know about your social media presence youʼre missing an opportunity. Make sure to update all materials with the correct URL if you make changes. A “page not found” message just makes you look bad.
Cross promote your networks:
Do you mention your Facebook page periodically on Twitter, your website, your blog? Think of how you can share information in multiple places and link your social profiles together. Itʼs good SEO and it is good for your followers too. Make sure your blog and website have an easy way to find your social networks and to share your pages with a variety of networks. You should have Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn at a minimum. Itʼs been our experience that sharing buttons work better than catch-all tools with a drop down list to choose from. People donʼt like to have to choose, they just want to click.
Quick, tell me what social network sends the most traffic to your website! Are you sure? Often we think our favorite network is the best at driving traffic. Just because you love it, doesnʼt mean that is true.
Take a look at your traffic stats. What site is sending the most traffic? Look at the bounce rates on your traffic. If network A sends you 60% of your traffic and the bounce rate is over 70% and site B sends you less 20% of the traffic but the bounce rate is 25% which network is sending you people who actually care about your website?
Now go dig deeper and see what posts are really getting you those coveted conversions. Do more of that. Facebookʼs new insights tool lets you see which posts are the most effective. Pay attention. Do more of that too. Look to analytics reporting tools like Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Rowfeeder and Simply Measured to get data on how effective your posts are.
Use a link shortener like Bit.ly, Visib.ly or Hootsuiteʼs tools so you can see the traffic to a post overtime. You may be surprised to see how often a post you forgot about resurfaces and is re-shared.
Time is money:
How much time are you spending using social media. Think honestly about if all of that time is spent with the goals of the campaign in mind or if some of it, just a little maybe, slips into hanging out and having fun. Now, Iʼm not saying thereʼs anything wrong with having fun, but if that word cloud you did ends up WAY off track, this could be why. How much time do you spend each day? Could that time be more efficiently scheduled? Set up an editorial calendar. Set time limits on Facebook and Twitter.Schedule what you can schedule without making your engagement too programmed. You want to strike a balance to be engaging and delivering information without spending all day doing it. When youʼve identified the person-hours you spend on this put a dollar number on it. Social media is free because your time is not free. Budget for it.
Now take all that youʼve learned and put it into a social media plan. Trying to project too far is not necessarily the best use of your time, youʼll need to revisit and adjust as you see whatʼs working and what isnʼt. Plan to do an audit in 30 days. Then revise and plan another in 60 or 90 days.
Your social media plan should include an editorial calendar. Use the editorial calendar to decide what content will be shared, which networks it will be shared on and when.
Define the responsibilities of the team. Who will create what content? Who is responsible for measurement and monitoring the social networks? When all’s said and done youʼre going to feel much more in control of your social media outreach and the results will be much richer for it.
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