I wrote a post a couple of months ago about how to conduct a social media audit. While the information in there is great and all (I may have a biased opinion), it doesn’t mean anything if the findings and recommendations in the audit don’t get implemented moving forward.
Audits are helpful, but that’s just the beginning of putting together a social media strategy. Once your audit is complete, where do you go from there?
The Components of a Social Media Audit
Now before I dive into next steps, let’s do a brief recap of what I’d recommend including in a social media audit so that we’re all on the same page.
While many businesses think they know who they are trying to target, often they haven’t done the research to back up their hypothesis.
Not only do you need to know who your audience is, you need to know who your business is as well.
Knowing what your competitors are up to on social media is a critical component of your audit.
Assess and document your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Recommendation and New Tactics
Be sure to outline these items and place the initiatives in an editorial calendar to ensure you have a definitive plan in place for getting your social media efforts on track. (This section of your audit will be beneficial as you pursue next steps.)
Go into your current social media platforms and ensure they are optimized based on industry best practices.
That was simply the Reader’s Digest version of a brand audit. For a more in-depth look, be sure to check out the full article here.
Now that we got all of that out of the way, let’s dive into the real point of this article: what to do once your social media audit is complete.
Create New Objectives and Goals
With all of this new information at your disposal, you may be wondering how to put it to use. I’d start with redefining your goals and objectives. You may still have some goals that are the same as those you had prior to the audit, but more often than not you’ll now have new goals to measure up against.
These goals should align with your company’s overall goals as well and should be SMART, meaning:
These attributes will keep you from getting distracted.
Create a Social Strategy
Once your goals are defined, you need to develop tactics to achieve them, so it’s essential that you put a plan in place to do just that. The specific tactics you use will differ depending on your goals, personas, market, and other variables that pertain to your business.
Now, based on how your social media audit went, you may have numerous amounts of to-dos to get done in order to achieve your goals, and not every team has the time or resources to implement everything all at once. This is when you need to prioritize.
Review your tactics, see what you can get done quickly, see what you can delegate, and analyze which tactics could have the largest impact on your business. List out your priorities in order somewhere that’s easily accessible, and start plugging away. Weigh out value and difficulty and remember: you can spread out your initiatives over time.
Implement Your Strategy
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen businesses that pat themselves on the back simply for putting a plan in place—but don’t stick to it. Or they start off in the right direction but get distracted. You didn’t go through all of this research and planning to slack off now. This is where the real work begins.
There is one caveat to sticking to your plan. If you plan out your messaging for each month, be sure to leave some room for newsworthy posts or announcements that you may not have originally put in your plan. Often timely events pop up that need to be discussed that you can’t plan for, so roll with the punches if this happens.
Measure, Analyze, Optimize…Rinse and Repeat!
Implementing your plan doesn’t mean you can now just sit back, relax, and rely on your social automation platform to take over for you.
In order to be successful with your social media efforts, you must measure and analyze your results. Discover what’s working for you and what isn’t and optimize the areas that are working best, and change or drop the efforts that aren’t contributing to your goals.
Be sure to track ongoing trends with your reporting, in addition to one-off events. If there is a huge spike or dip one day in the month, it’s important to understand why, but the trends you see throughout the month will help to tell a more comprehensive story and will give you the best information to use for your plan moving forward.
You should always be learning and revising your social media campaigns in an effort to make it better. The more you assess and analyze, the better off you’ll be.
Lastly, conducting a full social media audit annually will ensure you continue to follow best practices and are hanging in there with (or hopefully out-performing) the competition.
Social media is constantly changing. As soon as you feel like you understand one platform, another comes up that you feel like you need to master. The best way to stay on top of the evolution is to continue to educate yourself on the state of social media. Consider subscribing to blogs, listening to podcasts, or reading an ebook. By taking a little bit of time daily to consume social media-related news, you’ll more easily be able to manage your social media campaigns.
Now that you have the knowledge of how to conduct a social media audit and what to do once the audit is complete, what are you waiting for? Get to it!