If you’re constantly looking at social insights – and you should be – is it really important to perform a social media audit? Yup! Here’s why – and how any brand can go about it.
Big Picture Check-in
The social analytics you look at in the day to day are likely real-time insights. They tell you what’s happening right now, and what to do next. A social media audit is all about stepping back from that data and measuring impact to your business over the long term.
Have you met business goals? Are there new opportunities worth exploring? What patterns have emerged to inspire new strategies? These are the questions a social audit answers.
Using social sentiment as a lens, here are some areas to assess in your quarterly, semi-annual, or annual social media audit.
From back-to-school, Black Friday, and more, understanding your audience’s passions and needs lets you prepare for the next big push. Look at conversations leading up to major holidays, or even engagement levels surrounding whimsical holidays, to find new ways to deliver what your customers want. Cuisinart identified an entirely new season for sharing recipe content – imagine what you could discover!
When you’re in the midst of a marketing campaign, your focus is on that moment in time – and the results as they come in. Whether you made on-the-fly adjustments or not, now is the time to see how your campaigns fared across the board. Which of them brought your brand the desired results? Which could have used a bit more guidance from social insights? Learn from your success or failure as you move forward by looking at the content, channels, influencers and more that factored in.
Speaking of influencers… No brand does it alone – at least, not on social. Influencers have become a critical asset for brands hoping to increase awareness, engagement, and consumer trust. So how did yours measure up? Look at peaks and valleys of sentiment and engagement to understand when and why influencers were most effective. Is your audience still enamored of these voices? Or are new influencers emerging to carry the torch? Be sure you have consumer passion on your – and your influencers’ – side.
Creating and pushing out content can feel like a relentless battle – especially if you’re working in real-time, as agencies like Moxie do, responding to trends in the moment. But did your real-time efforts pay off over the long haul? Identify which types of content brought which desired result – be it engagement, awareness, or sales. Did any of your content go viral? Why or why not? Sleuth out the journey of your brand over the duration.
Similarly, you’ve got to measure which channels were worthwhile over time. Maybe the first quarter of the year saw great results on Facebook, but by Q4 your audience was all about Instagram. Did you have a sudden surge in news outlets covering your brand? Why? Drill down into the specifics to know what has people talking on any particular channel, and map out your brand’s current channel goals accordingly.
It’s never just about you, of course, so be sure to review where you stand in your category, which competitors are nipping at your heels, and what your audience feels about you/them in context. Were new products released that were better, or worse, than yours? Did one of your competitors have a brand crisis that brought you new business as a result? What’s the story consumers are latching onto, and how does it fit in the landscape of your industry overall? You have to know before you can craft any new brand strategy.
As more consumers turn to social for resolution, brands must track sentiment of customer care issues to ensure they’re not losing ground. Have all issues been resolved to your customers’ satisfaction? Are you having repeated issues in a specific location, with a specific product or distributor, etc? Is a particular means of outreach – direct messaging, chatbots – working better than others? Any patterns you can spot will help you do better.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
A social media audit can be used to look more closely at any aspect of your business – or all of them together – from your audience segments, to revenue, and more. This is especially true if you combine social insights with other brand data. It might sound like a big endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be.
Social analytics tools with sentiment analysis let you look back over time to see how your real-time actions and insights have added up. Or use social media reporting to grab insights on the go and create PDF snapshots of a campaign or whatever you want to evaluate. Pull those reports together at the end of a quarter or the year and see how everything came together for your brand.
Using this accumulated data to inform the next wave of brand goals makes sense – and puts you ahead of all the brands not accounting for the fickle nature of social, consumers, and the world at large.
It definitely beats the alternative.
Want to see a social media audit up close? Get in touch and we’ll show you how we pull insights together for smart brands like you!