It’s no secret that social media is an essential aspect of ecommerce. In fact, according to a 2023 study, global sales through social media platforms are estimated to reach nearly $3 trillion by 2026. But how can you ensure that your social media marketing campaigns are successful? For this, you must conduct a proper social media audit.
Learn more about why social media audits are so important for your digital marketing strategy, as well as some of the tools you can use to perform your own social media audit.
What is a social media audit?
A social media audit is the process of evaluating your company’s social media presence and optimizing the performance of your social media profiles. Businesses conduct social media audits to keep track of their social media accounts and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each account. Social media audits include assessing metrics about audience demographics, impressions, engagement data, brand mentions, and conversion rates.
Why are social media audits important?
Social media audits are important because they give businesses valuable information about their social media channels that informs future social media marketing campaigns. An effective social media audit can give you insights into your social media audience, the best social media platforms for your goals, and the types of posts generating engagement.
By evaluating social media analytics during an audit, you can improve your posts’ performance and focus on the most beneficial social channels for your business, helping you align your social media marketing strategies with overall company goals.
How to conduct a social media audit
- Establish goals
- Compile your social media profiles
- Assess your audience
- Evaluate top-performing posts and platforms
- Maintain consistent brand messaging
- Adjust your social media strategy
Conducting a social media audit involves establishing goals, identifying patterns, evaluating metrics, and developing new strategies based on the data. Here’s a breakdown of some general steps to consider when beginning your own social media audit:
1. Establish goals
Before collecting and analyzing your social accounts, first establish clear goals for how you want your social media content to support your overall business goals. For example, your marketing goals may be to grow brand awareness, increase sales for a new product line, or expand your reach to a new target demographic.
When you have a clear understanding of your overall marketing objectives, you can define your social media goals and use them as guidelines for your audit. Clear goals (such as increasing followers, engagement, or conversions) can give you a framework for evaluating all your social accounts while keeping your social strategy focused and cohesive.
2. Compile your social media profiles
Once your goals are set, begin compiling a list of your company’s social accounts into a social media audit spreadsheet. Include information like usernames or handles and the number of followers or subscribers for different platforms. Keep an eye out for any new social media platforms emerging that may expand your reach. Here are some of the most popular social media platforms to consider exploring:
- X (formerly Twitter)
3. Assess your audience
Find demographic data for your social media accounts within each platform’s built-in analytics system or by using a social media auditing tool. Some ecommerce platforms like Shopify offer integrations with your social media profiles and provide real-time audience insights about your platforms.
Evaluate how your various social media accounts line up with your company’s target audience. Keep in mind that the primary audience demographics of each platform will vary. For example, according to a 2023 survey, more than half of YouTube users identified as male, whereas over three-quarters of Pinterest users identified as female.
4. Evaluate top-performing posts and platforms
Identify the best-performing posts across your company’s social media platforms as well as the best-performing platforms overall. You can access these performance metrics through a social media platform’s built-in analytics, an integrated ecommerce platform, or a social media audit tool. As you collect metrics from each platform, fill out your social media audit spreadsheet with the information.
There are a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) that businesses use to evaluate the success of their social media content. Here are some of the key metrics you should keep in mind when performing your own social media audit:
- Follower count. One of the most obvious metrics is how many followers or subscribers you have on a certain social media platform. Look out for fake or bot accounts following your profiles and block them to maintain the integrity of your list. A smaller number of engaged followers is more valuable than a large number of fake followers.
- Impressions. This metric refers to the number of times your content is displayed on a particular platform. Companies use this metric to evaluate how much their content was viewed both in users’ feeds and search results. On many platforms, using a relevant hashtag can place your posts in front of more people, increasing your impression rate.
- Reach. Social media reach refers to how many unique users see a post. Whereas impressions indicate the number of times a post shows up, reach relates specifically to the number of people who viewed it. Reach tends to be lower than impressions—the same piece of content can show up five times on a single viewer’s feed, which would count as five impressions but with a reach of one.
- Engagement rate. Engagement rate is the ratio of audience interactions with a post or platform. Engagement metrics involve users interacting with your content in a variety of ways, including likes, shares, saves, and comments.
- Audience growth rate. This metric measures how quickly your follower base is growing over time. By tracking how many new followers or subscribers your social media accounts gain over a certain timeframe, you can learn which platforms and posts are helping to grow your audiences.
- Referral traffic. Referral traffic refers to the number of users who click through to your company’s website from social media platforms. This metric can help businesses better understand which types of posts inspire click-throughs to company web pages like blog post pages or product sales pages.
5. Maintain consistent brand messaging
Create brand guidelines that you can share with your social media team to clarify your brand voice, visual style, and communication tone. Ensure that your profile pictures, bios, descriptions, and banner images are consistent across all your social media platforms so customers have a cohesive experience across your many channels.
When you create new accounts, choose usernames and handles that include your company’s name (or ideally, use the same handle across platforms), and be sure to get your profiles verified. The verification process varies depending on the platform. To get verified on Instagram, for example, you need to request verification and provide business documents that prove you are the owner. Getting your accounts verified and regularly scanning platforms for fake accounts using your company’s name can help maintain your brand reputation.
6. Adjust your social media strategy
Once you’ve filled in your social media audit spreadsheet with relevant information and metrics, take the time to analyze trends and identify patterns. Which platforms are helping you find an audience? What types of posts are driving engagement? Are there any new platforms you should consider creating an account on?
By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your various posts and platforms, you can gain better insights into how to improve your social media marketing strategy. For example, a company that notices an increase in referral traffic from video posts on Instagram could consider focusing on creating similar video content designed for future campaigns on Snapchat or YouTube.
Social media audit tools
Social media audit tools make it easy for businesses to analyze metrics and make informed decisions about their social media strategy. Here are a handful of social media audit tools to explore:
Hootsuite is a comprehensive social media management tool that includes real-time monitoring of social analytics with customizable reports and competitor analysis. Companies can also use Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance, monitor activity across accounts, and publish content from one centralized dashboard.
Sprout Social offers competitor analysis, audience data reports, and automated link tracking. Its centralized dashboard is designed to help optimize your social media efforts so you can both access metrics and organize tasks such as scheduling posts and assigning tasks from one place.
You can use Google Analytics to monitor traffic from social media platforms and gain a better understanding of audience demographic data. Although Google Analytics is a free program that doesn’t offer as many features as more comprehensive tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social, it’s a useful way to stay up to date on metrics like engagement and conversion rates.
Agorapulse is a social media audit tool that offers companies customizable reports that cover a wide variety of social media platforms. Agorapulse can increase your social media performance through features like publishing time recommendations, a mobile app, and a return on investment (ROI) dashboard that offers clear metrics about click-throughs and sales conversions.
Social media audit FAQ
How often should you conduct a social media audit?
Although the frequency of conducting a social media audit varies based on the needs of each specific business, performing a social media audit at least every quarter is a good rule of thumb for staying up to date with your campaigns.
What is the purpose of a social media audit?
The purpose of a social media audit is to help businesses understand and evaluate their social media presence by providing useful and actionable data about which posts and platforms are working well and which require improvement.
What should a social media audit include?
A social media audit should include clear goals and an analysis of useful metrics about audience demographics, top-performing posts, engagement rates, conversion rates, and impressions. You can use social media management tools to monitor your social data, publish posts at the ideal time, and gather competitor analytics.