by Peter Sherwood-King, Senior Digital Manager
As we approach the tail end of 2023, businesses are undoubtedly looking ahead to the new year and, with that, will come the future-gazing content surrounding “the big trends of 2024” (be sure to keep your eyes peeled for ours).
However, amid these articles, we as marketing practitioners can’t lose sight of a fundamental practice we should be undertaking on an, at least, annual basis: auditing. With projects wrapping up, the end of the year marks a time for reflection and planning. Which makes now the perfect time to carry out an audit across your social channels.
In short, auditing your social channels is an incredibly valuable process for evaluating and optimising your social media presence. It helps ensure that you are on the right track to achieve your broader marketing goals, maintain brand consistency, align with channel best practices, keep up with your competitors and more effectively engage with your target audience.
When carrying out a social media audit, I like to focus on three key areas:
Your company’s own channels
Naturally, your own channels are the beating heart of your social media presence. Often, businesses fall into the practice of treating each channel the same. Granted, it can help with raising awareness for your content, but each channel has strengths and weaknesses based on attributes like functionality, audience, and content types and formats.
For example, back in the pre-Musk era, Twitter was perfect for short, snappy, real-time comment - think along the lines of on-the-ground event updates or reactive content.
(While we’re on the topic of platform-specifics, you can check out my piece on X vs Threads for more on this.)
On the flipside, LinkedIn favours thought leadership which could be seen and digested over a number of days.
By looking at your own channels, you can see whether you’re truly capitalising on the potential of each platform. Are you, for example, aligning your posting cadence and character length with best practices to drive the most engagement, and are you using high quality image and video content for the visually-led Instagram?
Your key spokespeople’s channels
If you’ll allow me to continue with this anatomical metaphor, your spokespeople (and, more broadly, your employees) are the mouthpiece to support your brand’s social media presence.
Much like there are strengths for specific social platforms, a personal profile also has its own strengths. Active spokespeople can be incredibly useful for extending the organic reach of a company’s content and messaging. Key figures will also have their own passions and expertise that can turn them into thought leaders and, by association, create credibility for the company they work for.
By auditing your spokespeople’s channels (the volume of content, the types of content, tone of voice, etc.), you can identify opportunities for optimising their profiles and the way they publicly position themselves, solidify their status as industry experts and thought leaders, and uncover ways you can reach their personal audience with relevant, brand-specific content.
Your competitor’s channels
And to wrap it up, we have the competitor element of the audit – an activity to support the brain by giving useful insights into the wider social landscape (yes, this metaphor lost steam instantly).
Research into your nearest competitors is incredibly useful when it comes to identifying opportunities for channel optimisation. We can see what topics, content types and channels are resonating with their audience. For example, is serial video content driving the most engagement for their Instagram channel? Are they focusing on a YouTube-first strategy for product content considering it’s the second largest search engine? Are they cross-promoting content from other channels and personal profiles?
The insights uncovered through the competitor audit can be great for revealing missed opportunities.
So, when it comes to social optimisation, why wait? Enter the new year with a strong foundation and take your channels to the next level.
If you’re looking for support to carry out your own social audit across your channels, reach out today or book in a call.