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How to Audit Your 2017 Social Strategy

How to Audit Your 2017 Social Strategy

We wanted to create a space where social marketers can dig deeper into trending topics and learn a little more each week, so we decided to host a weekly Twitter chat. Last week at #SimplyChat, we discussed what a social marketing audit is, what an audit can teach you, and which metrics you should track for an effective audit.

Q1. What is a social marketing audit?

Takeaway: Auditing your social strategy is the process of comparing the results of what you did in 2017 to your goals for the year. It’s similar to how we improve ourselves as people–we need to know where we were and where we want to go.

When social marketers perform a social strategy audit, we take a look at where we were at the beginning of the year, compare it to where we are at the end of the year, and use this information to decide on next steps.

Q2. What can you learn from auditing your 2017 social strategy?

Takeaway: It’s likely you already do mini-audits on a weekly or monthly basis, but conducting a full audit at the end of the year gives you a better sense of who your audience is, what they respond well to, and how they respond. For example, using our solution, this is what I learned from our 2017 social strategy:

    • Listening helps me understand what people are saying about our brand, whether or not they tag us. This gives me a more well-rounded view of where we stand with our audience, against competitors, and in the industry.
    • Social analytics helps me understand which content was most compelling to my audience. I can learn what kinds of social posts work well with our audience, and why. For example, I’ve learned that I need to post pictures of tables or charts to get high click-through rates and more retweets on our gated content.
    • Content share tracking helps me understand which content is being shared across all channels and which topics people are sharing in dark social. This gives me a more well-rounded view of the topics that resonate well with our audience. With this information, I can let our content marketing manager know which topics are resonating well with our audience.
    • Conversion tracking lets me see which content is getting our social audience to take action on our site. For example, if I notice that conversion rates for people who come from Instagram is high, I know to put more time, resources, and effort behind this channel.

 

Q3. What do you need to do to prepare for a social strategy audit?

Takeaway: Before you can perform a social strategy audit, you need to know:

  • Your business goals
  • How your strategy can support those business goals
  • All of the content you’ve pushed out

You will be using your business goals as your foundation, then connecting your strategy to them. Knowing how your strategy can support these business goals will help you connect the dots between what you did in 2017 and the goals that matter to your boss.

Write out a list of every piece of content you pushed out. For example, my list will mainly consist of blog post titles, because the content I post about on social leads back to a blog post. Your list could look like short summaries of photos/videos you pushed out, a list of links you linked to, or a combination.

Putting together a list of the content you published helps you figure out which topics your audience engaged most with, and it also gives you a chance to decide whether or not a piece of content is evergreen. Evergreen content is information that is relevant to your audience. For example, back in August, we published a blog post called “10 Questions to Answer Before Building Your Social Media Strategy.” These 10 questions are important to look back on anytime someone needs to create a social strategy. As a result, I’ll keep in on my list of content to push out in 2018.

Q4: Which metrics do you look at during your social audit?

Takeaway: This is dependent upon the goals you established for 2017. If you’re just getting started, take a look at this table. It will help you decide on the metrics that matter for each of your business goals.

For example, let’s say you’re a new company and your boss wants one of your focuses for 2018 to be increasing brand awareness. This is your business goal. To draw the line between the business goal you are given and the actions you need to take to achieve this goal, read through the “reasonings statements” section. After reading the “reasoning statements” in this table, you’ll see that tracking new audience, reach, and unique page views will help you draw a line between this business goal and your actions. As a result, when your end-of-the-year audit comes up again and you need to show your progress on increasing brand awareness, you can pull up these metrics.

Q5. Will you only be looking at your own social strategy? Or will you be taking a look at how/what competitors did?

Takeaway: It’s just as important to look at what your competitors did in 2017 as it is to audit your own strategy.

With comparative analytics, I can see how our entire social presence stacks up against our competitors’. I can also see which topics are they are recycling, and what media types their audiences are engaging with.

Here are some questions to ask when looking at competitors:

  • What topics are they consistently talking about?
  • How is their audience responding to these topics?
  • Is this something my audience would find helpful?
  • How and why would it be helpful for my audience?
  • Is it the right thing for my brand to pursue this topic?
  • Will it be relevant in 2018?

If you like what you read here and want to be a part of the conversation, join us this Thursday, November 30th at 11 AM PST for a chat on video in social marketing strategies! Here’s a sneak peek of the questions we’ll be talking about:

Q1: Is video right for any and all brands to incorporate into their marketing strategies? Explain your answer.

Q2: How do you know if video is right for your brand?

Q3: What are some tactics to push out high-quality video with minimal lift and time?

Q4: Will you be including video in your 2018 social marketing plan? Why?

 

Laurie Anne Nilo

I'm the Social Media Manager here at Simply Measured. I love all things wellness, coffee, watercolor, and travel.

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