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Regular social media auditing is crucial to brand health, and now’s the time for a six-month check of your progress. But social audits are only useful if you analyze the right criteria. Here’s what to look for.

Details Within the Bigger Picture

In the day-to-day, real-time is a big part of your analytics – but that’s not the focus now. What you want to see is how brand efforts have been received over the past six months. Start with the basics:

Sentiment – How consumers feel comes into play for each item on this list. As you work through each area, look at where social sentiment is most passionately high or low to spot your biggest victories and opportunities.

Audience Segments – Are they on target? Is the messaging directed toward them having the anticipated impact? If so, great! If not, you need to reassess. Maybe parts of your audience have less in common than it first appeared – or maybe you need to identify a segment within a segment.

Channels – Whether you’re assessing new channels your social data lead you to try, or the same ones you’ve been active on all along, you’ve got to know where your audience stands. Has their attention suddenly shifted to a new channel? Is your engagement higher or lower on a particular channel – and is that a surprise?

Content – What you share is as big a deal as where you share it – so what content got the most traction for your brand? What content didn’t do so well? Which campaigns succeeded, and which fell flat? Content is as much a part of the equation as everything else.

Competitors – It’s never just about you. Your social audit should look at your performance against your biggest competitors – including those you might not have realized were a threat. Social data is the best way to assess how consumers see the rest of your category, so don’t waste your advantage.

The Type of Data You Include Matters

In addition to the list above are some analytics tools basics that must be covered, starting with images.

Images matter in the context of content, of course. Does your audience like memes, or GIFs, or personal behind-the-scenes type photos? You want to know so you share things that get your audience engaged – but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

No, in this case images refers to image analytics – and if you’re not including it in your arsenal, you may be missing more than you’re seeing. Image analytics parses images the same way text is parsed by social analytics tools – giving you greater insight into the minds of social consumers.

The ability to identify facial expressions, scenes, objects, locations, and brand logos – even when there’s no accompanying text – gives your social analytics an edge over those not using image analytics. And just like analysis of text, image analytics is contextualized with sentiment.

If you aren’t using it, your social media audit is simply incomplete.

Your audit also isn’t complete if you stop with social data. Sure, social data tells you a lot, but it doesn’t tell you everything. Instead, you want to bring in all business data from the past six months to identify patterns and trends and understand what’s working and what’s not against the overall picture of your business.

This is where customer experience analytics comes in, combining social listening with voice of the customer (VoC) data. This shows you how your brand has done over the long-term by aligning social insights with longer-tail efforts like surveys, star ratings, and net promoter scores.

It’s the only way to have a true and accurate portrait of the entire customer journey.

State of the Brand

As you comb through the various insights the past six months have brought, the big question is: Does this data reflect your goals? If it does, keep up the great work! If you haven’t reached the milestones you reached for, use what you learn to adjust and set new goals for the next audit period, whatever it may be.

If you keep up with your social analytics in real-time, there shouldn’t be too many surprises. Still, it’s important to step back and see that overview so you know you haven’t missed anything. And if you need to course correct, now is the time to get things straightened out.

Back-to-School and the holidays will be here before you know it!

Want to learn more about our image analytics and VoC tools? We’d love to show you how they work!

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