The first step to designing a better social media strategy
EVERY year, your business audits its finances to understand how each unit of the business performed — bigger organizations even conduct monthly and quarterly audits.
Similarly, when it comes to understanding how the company’s social media strategy is doing, an audit can be immensely useful.
There’s no doubt that social media forms a big part of any company’s brand management and marketing efforts, be it a B2B organization or a B2C business. In fact, in many ways, social media plays the role of an equalizer, putting small and large companies on equal footing — providing each with a voice and an audience.
A social media audit can help answer many questions about the performance and effectiveness of a company’s social media strategy and spends.
Whether you engage outside help, create a cross-functional team of from within your business, or just get your social media guys to “re-think” the model, an audit can bring tremendous value and provide exciting insights — forming the necessary first step to an improved social media strategy.
How social media audits help businesses
Honestly, social media audits all do just one thing – fill in the gaps. Businesses and business managers can learn about what’s working and doing well versus what’s struggling to get through to your audience, make appropriate changes, and therefore, gain an understanding of how to maximize resources spent on digital marketing.
To simplify things, here are some goals that a social media audit can help you meet:
Maximize your social media spend
When you invest in a social media audit, your business is able to maximize its social spend because it understands what kind of content does well with the audience, when posts should be promoted, and how the target audience should be defined.
So, say you’re a mid-sized umbrella manufacturer with your production facility located in Malaysia. Understanding your audience and catering to their needs means you’ll probably create more B2B posts and use business platforms such as LinkedIn and Google+ more often Facebook and Twitter.
As a result of your focus on business, you’ll probably talk about things that are more serious such as the price of raw materials, import and export figures, trade relations with neighboring countries, and thoughts and benefits of procuring the product from (your facility in) Malaysia.
Uncover new lead-generation opportunities
When you audit your social media profiles, you’ll probably learn about the audience that you expect to cater to. And those insights will help you better tailor your content to them.
However, your audit might also reveal interest from other demographics that you didn’t think would be interested – in your content or your product.
The Malaysian umbrella manufacturer, for example, might think of the Southeast Asian region as his target market, but traffic from Europe or South America might indicate interest in those markets.
Drilling into the specifics of where the traffic was originated, what it looked at, how it came to the content, how that particular audience engaged with your posts, etc could reveal exciting opportunities. Maybe even incentivize additional spending on localized content targeted towards that specific audience group/category.
Benchmark against your competitors
Well, it’s great to “run your own race” and constantly strive to improve – but the reality is, in the digital world, businesses compete for customers who see, know, and have access to “everything”.
In order to get their attention, and motivate them to stay loyal to the business, it’s important to benchmark against your competitors.
Evaluate who your competitors are and understand what they’re doing that’s getting better results if you can, and how you may improve.
An important point here is that businesses must make sure that you benchmark against the biggest players in the market, not their peers – because, on social media, you’re competing on firm footing, for attention and a share of your customer’s wallet.
Consider the social media audit successful if you find ways and means to give the big guys some tough competition.
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