Why you need a social media audit; and How-to!

So firstly, what is a social media audit?

A social media audit ‘is not’ a purely data driven exercise, that looks deep into your social media channels. We don’t need your login details as we view it from a customer user experience.  It’s actually best delivered by a ‘human’ with the support of technology, rather than the other way around. It’s really a snapshot of what you’re currently doing on social media and what you can do to improve.

It will tell you how well your key messages and your employer value proposition is being communicated, and if your content is fully optimised and on brand.

That you’re getting the right levels of engagement from your target audience. You’re using the right hashtags and that you’re targeting or understand who the key influencers are.  Also, that you’re making the best use of the social media tools available to you.

What a social media audit won’t tell you

The meaning of life…

For that you will need a higher being or some seriously good AI. I’m not sure Alexa, is really ready for that type of question, yet!

It also wont tell you what to do next…

To understand the next steps, you’ll need to read a great social media strategy.

A social media audit will however inform and guide your social media strategy. It is therefore important to do them as closely together as possible. This will ensure that your strategy is based on what’s currently happening. Because as we know social media can move at a rapid pace.

You say you don’t need a social media audit

Why?

We already know we don’t have a recruitment focused social presence

Wrong way to look at it! If you have a lack of a social presence, then the audit should be focused on who’s doing what in your space. Where the opportunity exists and is there a potential gap that can be filled. For example; none of your competitors are currently doing anything, so you can set the benchmark.

We know our social media presence is poor

Your competitors are already very good in this area and you’re being left behind. Therefore the strategy can be focused around what’s working for them, which can be a great potential indicator for the types of things you could and should be doing to expedite your social media growth.

This doesn’t mean a copy cat approach! I’m just saying why wouldn’t you use the wheel that’s already been invented and create a better vehicle, rather than recreate a new wheel? Focus on what will have the potential bigger impact!

So what should an audit look like?

There are plenty of tools available to give you some advice and guidance in this area but here is a simple grid to start:

Social Media Audit

First things first you want to assess google’s search function to identify what you can find out about your companies presence. You then need to look at what handles are currently out there, if any. Following that you should audit each social site and then add any relevant handles to the box titled handles. You should also do this for a selection of your competitors. Don’t be too quick to choose these! It is better to select those companies that are closely aligned to your objectives. Or otherwise match your companies values.

Failing that just take a look at life at google, because they are pretty awesome!

What next?

Once you’ve identified them and selected the relevant handles. You can start to assess each of them individually. The important thing here is that the same person or working group assesses each of these together. Because the overall scoring should be based on social media best practice (find here), however having the same person/s assess them will ensure there is good consistency with the marking I always suggest going back to the first handle you’ve audited once you’ve completed them all, to double check you’ve not marked in the beginning too harshly. Or vice-versa you’ve lowered your standards as you’ve progressed.

It is important to capture all the data, information and evidence as you go. This can be achieved by taking screen shots and making good notes. You want to capture those things that stand out as good practice and great content. As you can see with Innocent here:

Social Media Audit Social Pathfinder

However it’s easy to get carried away with all the positives, you also want to capture the stuff that doesn’t look so good as well. As this is where the improvements can be made and where you can positively impact on the levels of engagement your receiving. As we demonstrate below.

Social Media Audit Social Pathfinder

But it doesn’t stop here

What’s trending? Like AI is slowly info-flooding our brains into submission

Who’s making waves? Like @TheoSmithUK

How do you cut through the noise? Look at buzzsumo

The social audit is a vehicle to help introduce you to what a good social presence could look like and why your brand will benefit from an Employer Value Proposition that is visible across key social media channels.

It’s important to understand that a half hearted approach to social media will gain very limited results. You’re writing the greatest blog of all time, but the chances of it being read are very limited. Especially if you’ve not put the hard work in place to build the relevant audience. Don’t waste your time turning up every few weeks to perform your masterpiece on an empty stage.

So what’s the point of this. Why bother?

Well around 1/3 of people are on social media doing a whole variety stuff almost constantly. Facebook is like the new messiah and seems to influence the political movement these days. YouTube is now competing with google as a search engine as nobody wants to spend time reading news, information and entertainment when they could be visually consuming it via video. Basically people want the right things that they are interested in put in-front of them, and who can blame them. There’s a lot of bad movies made now that nobody wants to waste two hours of their life watching.

People want to drink craft beer, consume original content, eat local produce, watch art house films or at least short punchy original programs.  We’ve had enough of eating Tesco value cheddar. Drinking watered down orange juice and eating popcorn with no sugar but packed full of enough chemical sweeteners to grow us a third eye, a strange cough and the need to throw paracetamol down our throats to get rid of our headaches.

Get to the point!

People want to be a part of something. We’re sociable animals, but we don’t want to follow the lemmings off the cliff!

Build it and they will come

The old ones are the best…

If you want to really create a community of highly engaged and passionate ‘people’. Then it needs to come from the heart or at the very least it has to be instantly relevant to the individuals needs or those needs of the combined group.

This means it cannot be achieved by sending birthday invitations to people you’ve never met, to a place they’ve never been and without any kind of proper introduction or instruction.

If you think you can build a property without foundations and it will stand more than a few weeks, then good luck!

So here’s my final thoughts

  1. Build the foundations (the social media audit) and build them well
  2. Design the fabrication of the building (the social media strategy and plan) and make sure its solid and suitable for its surroundings
  3. Get the right person or people to build and manage it (Community Management) and have realistic short, medium and long term objectives (KPI’S)

It is with this level of focus and detail that you’ll be successful at building communities of highly engaged, responsive people. And if you don’t do it well enough, they will use the little attention and time they have left, to invest in somebody who is doing it better.

The good news is; that many have made a foray into the world of social, however very few do it correctly and with the commitment it deserves!

So you have the ability to change the world… one community at a time.

 

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