We see a common issue these days when it comes to helping out businesses with their social media strategy: They don’t really have a strategy. Many companies know that they should be on social media, so they whip up a social media account and make a few posts here and there – without actually understanding why they should be on social media, or what they should be doing on social platforms. As you would expect, this can lead to a lot of disappointment and businesses eventually ignoring their own social media accounts.
The good news is that social media really can have many positive benefits for a company, as long as there’s a real strategy in place and they know what to do. That usually begins with a good social media audit – which is what we’re talking about today! So let’s take a look at how we conduct a social media audit, the most important parts, and what improving social media looks like.
You, Us, and Your Social Media Goals
The key for a social media plan is to know your goals. That’s why we like to begin any social media audit (and social media work in general) by talking about your goals, and what you want done. Are you interested in expanding your brand presence, getting more people to your website, making more direct sales, getting a better customer list, or some combination of these things? Then we need to talk about it!
Some companies don’t really know where to begin with their social media goals, and that’s okay too. Here we like to begin with the four stages of a successful social cycle, which are:
- Listening: Listening is about monitoring and responding to people on social media. This is important for reputation management. Finding the right listening practices for your budget and time is very important!
- Influencing: Influencing refers to making the right kind of social media posts for your audience – posts that are designed to help you meet your goals instead of just posting something for the sake of posting. Studying how you want to influence your audience is a great way to form social goals.
- Networking: Networking is all about finding and connecting with the right individuals, businesses, partners and influencers that can help you out. Where are these authorities and connections in your industry? How should you be discovering them on social media?
- Selling: Social media is a great place to create leads – and, yes, make or facilitate direct sales. But you need a plan in place to properly allow this to happen. What are your online sales goals, and how can they benefit from social media action?
SWOT and Your Social Media
When we have a good idea about your goals, we can start a proper social media audit for your company! One of the places we begin is with a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of your social media platforms, along with studying the consistency of your messaging.
A SWOT analysis for each social platform is very important no matter where you are in your social media strategy. If you aren’t sure which social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) is right for you, a SWOT analysis will show which platforms are right for your current situation and industry, and which platforms you don’t really need a presence on. If you’ve been doing social media for a while, SWOT analysis will help your business take a look at new platforms that you haven’t considered yet. We can also help you examine your current social media accounts and see if maybe some of them are unnecessary.
Along with this, we audit your messaging and social media consistency. This means seeing how your brand “talks” across social media platforms – the tone, phrasing, references and explanations that your social posts have. This should always be consistent, so that your brand has an identifiable voice that stays the same across all social media. That can be tricky if there are no formal guidelines in place, especially if more than one person handles social media accounts.
Your Social Media Practices
In addition to auditing platforms and messaging, our team will also discuss your business’s social media practices. That includes when you post and how often you post – both of which can make a very big different in your social success! We’ll also take a look at how you come up with ideas for social media, how you use hashtags, and how you present business information on social media.
There are a lot of tricks that can help you be more successful on particular social media sites with the right changes in your practices. Sometimes this is as simple as finding the right photo app or image editor to use. Sometimes it’s about creating a plan for different types of content – on Facebook, for example, most companies should follow the Rule of 3rds, which posits that a third of your content should be ideas and stories, a third of content should be about personal interactions, and a third can be more direct business promotion. Such strategies exist for all social platforms.
Get a Free Checklist of Social Media Goals!
Keep in mind, to help out with your social marketing strategy, we are offering an effective checklist you can download for free to help you understand your social media “GOALS” and create the best strategy that’s right for you. We suggest using this checklist to help create your own “cheat sheet” for managing social media messaging that’s freely available to your whole team (or whoever is in charge of your social media accounts) so that everyone knows where to turn when they’re making online content. You can also use our checklist to make absolutely sure that your brand belongs on a social network…or when it may be time to pull back and focus on other social platforms that will have better results for your company. Download here or click image below!
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