In our line of work ‒ helping clients deliver value through their social media communication ‒ we’re often invited to work on strategic projects that enable us to roll up our sleeves and make a difference, like social media audits. One of the first questions we’re often asked is: “What’s included in a social media audit?” Regardless of the state of social media at the organization, the answer to this question lies in our five-step process below. For organizations with many accounts, key questions include: “Do we really need all these social media accounts?”, “What are we getting for all this effort – what’s the ROI of our social media activities?” and “What’s the best way to rationalize the number of accounts?”. Some organizations have a department of just one or two and they must manage it all – communication plans, email blasts, annual reports and reports to the Board. Their key question is typically “What’s the best way to manage the demands of social media while completing my ‘regular’ work?”. (Hint: social should not be treated as an afterthought!).
In either case, whether the organization has many accounts or only a handful, here is a brief overview of our social media audit process:
1. Discovery Meeting
Advantis begins a social media audit with a discovery meeting to understand the organization’s business goals and objectives and social media objectives. We explore what is and what is not working from different stakeholders’ perspectives. We probe with dozens of questions that touch the organization from the macro to the micro.
2. Audience Research
The next step is to understand target audiences. Some organizations have this fundamental aspect of communication down pat with personas backed-up by research, but typically our experience shows that most organizations could invest more time developing details about their target audiences.
3. Stakeholder Interviews
To get the golden nuggets – the real deal on process bottlenecks or success factors – the Advantis team interviews key stakeholders in the organization. Interviewees participate in a hands-on meeting featuring a series of questions and a survey designed to build a story of how ‘social gets done’. These interviews help to uncover blind spots, gaps, best practices, and potential areas for improvements.
4. Analysis of Accounts
Qualitative data is just part of the story. Social media accounts are then subjected to quantitative, objective analysis (Are accounts optimized? Verified? Relative engagement metrics? Posting frequency? and more). We help the organization understand whether content best practices are being used. Advantis also includes examples from reference organizations (competitor or complementary organizations in and outside of the organization’s ecosystem). We address topics such as content development, community building, evaluation and governance.
5. Final Report
The last step in the social media assessment is the Final Report. All the learnings, recommendations and the roadmap for implementation are packaged in one report, providing the organization with a comprehensive guide for the next step in their social media journey.
What Else is Included in a Social Media Audit?
As you can imagine, every situation is different. Depending on business needs, we can address and provide recommendations on the following: current trends and best practices, competitor social media analysis, industry landscape review, effective resourcing, governance and risk, and more.
Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of rolling out social media assessments via the Advantis Social Media Health Check program in a variety of sectors. Case studies include:
• Associations that need to demonstrate and deliver value to members
• Municipalities and government agencies that need to increase transparency and internal capacity
• Corporations that need assurance that their social media investments are moving the needle.
If you are curious as to how a social media audit could help your organization, call us at 416-848-1885.