May 23, 2016 – The social economy is becoming more and more demanding on businesses to maintain the real-time consumer conversation. Consider these statistics:
- In 2015, Social Media Today found that 71% of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on social media referrals. (Source)
- Mintel reported in 2015 that 69% of consumers seek out opinions via web reviews before making purchases, while 57% use social media for recommendations. (Source)
- According to Brafton, 94% of B2B buyers conduct online/social research before buying. (Source)
These measurements and behaviors are indicative of an increasing demand for transparency from consumer brands (and of a market that subsequently penalizes the brands that neglect or refuse to adapt and comply with this demand). Thus, your business needs a vibrant and well-branded social media & web presence to not only compete for new customers but also retain existing ones and cultivate brand loyalty.
Here are the steps I recommend for conducting a thorough social media audit:
- Determine your current social media presence. The easiest way to do this is to make a spreadsheet that summarizes all of your current social media networks and URL’s, all log-in information, sharing frequency (how often you share through an account, last time an account shared something), and the names of account managers. Conduct a Google search to find all your accounts. You may even find fake accounts that will need to be shut down.
- Determine your target audience. It’s important to understand who you are trying to reach within your social networks. This information is often acquired through conducting marketingsurveys that probe information like consumer identity (age/gender/ethnicity), geographic location, occupation/income, interests, lifestyles and habits.
- Determine your social media goals. What do you want to accomplish with each social network you are using? What kinds of conversations are you trying to drive? What kinds of markets are you trying to penetrate and cultivate? Be honest with yourself and the rest of your business team about what you want social media to do for you and your business.
- Determine what social media networks you do (and don’t) need. Once you’ve identified those goals, you should determine what networks will help you best achieve them (and which are extraneous). Your company doesn’t need to be on every social network. Update the accounts that can bring you value and delete the rest.
- Develop a streamlined social media strategy and execution protocol. It’s important that your social media profiles be on brand and that your strategy be executed in a way that reinforces it. Be sure that all of your accounts and networks have consistent photos, descriptions, and graphic design schemes. Furthermore, be sure that account manager roles and sharing schedules are clearly defined among your team members. There should be a clear understanding of the roles, timings, and collective purpose of your social media managers and branded content.
- Integrate your social presence with your website. The purpose of social media (aside from carrying on the consumer conversation) is to funnel those visitors to your website and the point of conversion. Be sure that each social account has an active link to your website. In turn, be sure that your website provides clear and user-friendly icons & links to each social account. This will boost your followership by making it easy for page visitors to find and follow you on social.
- Create a process for creating and updating new/existing social media accounts. As your business expands with new initiatives, it’s important to integrate your social strategy in a way that complements this growth. Be sure to reconcile your roles and strategy with each new initiative and corresponding social media account.
A social media audit isn’t a one-time initiative that is reserved exclusively for when launching new pages or accounts. The questions you ask in an audit are ultimately the same questions you ask during a routine review of your social presence. It’s an ongoing process that requires the same kind of care you give each individual customer.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]