This article was published on October 8, 2015

How to do a social media audit

How to do a social media audit
Brian Honigman
Story by

Brian Honigman

Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant and an adjunct professor at NYU. Get his free Content Marketing Style Guide. Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant and an adjunct professor at NYU. Get his free Content Marketing Style Guide.

A common challenge for many companies is understanding how their social media efforts are driving results for their business. Often times it’s unclear exactly which social content is most effective at creating new business opportunities, generating revenue or accomplishing other important business goals.

One way that you can overcome these challenges is by developing key reports to analyze how your social media efforts are performing. Collecting data to better understand your campaigns can help you identify what content is resonating with your audience, which social channels are most effective and how you should adjust your content moving forward.

Use and modify the following social media reporting templates to create a more effective system of measure for your social campaigns.

HootSuite’s Social Media Audit and Strategy Template

When you create a social media report for the first time, it is important to first understand which metrics are most important to your business and which you should be keeping a close eye on. One way to accomplish this is by looking at your current social media efforts and identifying whether your content is executed optimally by performing a social media audit.

While there are a variety of ways that you can begin to assess your social efforts, social management platform Hootsuite developed an effective social media audit template to help you get started.

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This template includes six steps designed to guide you through your social audit by helping you organize your social channels, track mission statements and align your overarching company goals.

After completing your social media audit, you should be better equipped to write a more effective social content strategy—a key aspect of successful social media marketing. 60 percent of marketers with a documented content strategy rate themselves highly in terms of effectiveness versus only 32 percent with a verbal commitment.

Hootsuite also created a social media strategy template with questions that you should be asking yourself (and answering) when planning an effective social media strategy.  

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Modify this template to align your specific business objectives and map out a plan of action moving forward. Your documented social strategy can serve as an important reference guide to help you stay organized and focused on your goals when other assignments begin competing for your attention.

Buffer Social Media Report Card

After developing your social audit and strategy, the next area that you should keep track of are the metrics that determine how well you are executing your social strategy. Social media management and reporting software company Buffer recently developed a helpful report card that monitors your engagement metrics, such as clicks, retweets, favorites, mentions and other performance indicators.

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Source: Buffer

Although the template is designed for easily importing Buffer data from their users, the report card can also be customized by inputting your data from each social channel. The report card is available through Google Docs and can be downloaded to Excel format for modifying to your specific needs.

Buffer also built a comprehensive list of other social media templates that can help you better manage your social efforts. These templates include an editorial calendar, publishing strategy, social update templates, visual media guides and copywriting templates.

Hubspot Monthly Marketing Report

While the social report card is useful for monitoring your day-to-day social metrics, it’s also important to see how your social efforts are performing over the long term. Marketing automation platform Hubspot created a reporting template that highlights your metrics from a month over month view—this identifies your marketing performance at a higher level.

Hubspot’s monthly marketing report template is only available as gated content—meaning that you’ll need to provide company and email information to receive their templates through email, but the features are worth the extra effort.

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After downloading the Excel template, modify the fields using your company data—the equations and graphs in the document will automatically update to your data and can be used in the included PowerPoint template. These visual features are particularly useful for creating more engaging presentations to share with your team, project managers and key shareholders in your organization.

This template was designed in 2013, so if you are actively using newer social channels, such as Instagram, Snapchat or Periscope and Meerkat, you will have to add a few more modifications to the template to best fulfill your needs.

While it can sometimes be difficult to understand which social channels really drive your marketing and business goals, by using these templates to assess your social efforts, revisit your social strategy and monitor key performance indicators over time, you can be better equipped to create more effective social media campaigns.

Which social media reporting methods is your organization using and what measurement templates do you find most useful?

Read Next: How much does good SEO cost?

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