Social media strategy will be many marketer's top priority in 2016. Not only is it one of the most influential types of marketing available today. It is also one type of marketing in which brands are no longer in total control of their own narrative. Thus, social media requires more attention than other types of media.
Consumers are now generating 25% of the marketing content that shows up when they look for brands online. The good thing is that consumers are more likely to trust that information. The bad thing is that you did not write it.
There is no way that you will ever completely take back your marketing narrative online nor do you want to. When you customers can do some of the heavy lifting for you, you can focus on developing greater content. You can even find inspiration from these customers.
However, you do need to remain knowledgeable about what is happening in the social sphere. The best way to do this is to go through a process known as a social media audit.
What Is a Social Media Audit?
A social media audit is a process that helps you sort through all your social information. It is a good way to take stock of what people are saying about you.
A social media audit covers the following areas:
· Who is talking about you
· Where they are talking about you
· What they are saying about you
· When and how often they are talking about you
· Why they are talking about you
Benefits of a Social Media Audit
A social media audit offers several important benefits.
The first benefit of a social media audit is the information you receive. When you know what is happening out there, it allows you to better manage your strategy.
You can also use a social media audit to help you learn more about your customers and about your competitors. It then allows you to close the gap between your social media as it current is and your goals.
Ultimately, the greatest benefits of a social media audit are the ability to better measure the ROI of your efforts and to improve your long-term strategy.
5 Steps to A Social Media Audit
Performing a social media audit is easy. In fact, you can learn a lot of about your social media presence in only five steps.
1) Create a Spreadsheet
You need a dedicated place to keep all the data that you are looking for. It is important to create a spreadsheet for all this information because you will be gathering a lot of it.
2) Google Yourself
Googling yourself is one of the scariest things you can do but it needs to be done. Punch in your brand's name on Google to see which profiles show up first.
This serves two purposes. The first is that it tracks all your profiles, including those that may be run by imposters or satirists to. You need to know about these for your own security so that you can make a note to shut them down.
It also tells you how easy your legitimate pages are to find. Your goal is to keep your pages at the top of the Google search. If they are not there, you need to revaluate your social SEO strategies later.
3) Look At Your Profiles
You should have a mission statement for each social media profile that you have. Each of your pages need to serve a purpose for both your brand and your customers to be successful.
During your audit, you should compare your profiles with your mission statement.
You should find that the content that best fits the needs of your brand and your customers will be the content that more people engage with.
4) Look At Your Competitors
Do a search for the social media profiles of your competitors.
Be sure to note what they are saying about you, whether directly or indirectly. These messages can impact your customers' perceptions of you.
You can use this information by tailoring your own messaging to combat these messages.
5) Look for Your Customers
Your customers have a lot to say about you online. Be sure to do a search for posts about you on all your social networks.
This customer data can tell you about what customers are saying about you when you aren't looking. It is this data that is some of the most valuable data for you online because it provides an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses.
You will never regain control of your narrative online. However, a social media audit can help you remain in control of your own social media strategy. Remember that the information you get from this audit is only as powerful as the way you use it. When its all said and done, be sure to use the power of the information to help you achieve your goals.