Image Credit:  ActionCOACH

Developing and implementing a winning social media strategy is key for, not just branding purposes, but overall business success. We live in a digital age, and a social media presence is a must for every business, no matter the industry.

This will be the first in a series of blogs designed to give you, the business owner/executive, the tools to create a stellar strategy from the ground up. So where do you start? With a social media audit.

Social Media Auditing

Begin by tracking your current accounts.  

Seriously, open an excel spreadsheet, and list all of your accounts.

Include old profiles created before your company had a social strategy. Maybe these were abandoned at some point or created by a former employee. It’s time to bring them back into the fold. Or maybe various departments within your company are using social media, but there’s no unified system or list of accounts.

This is also a good time to identify networks where you don’t yet have a social presence, so you can start thinking about whether you should add them to your social strategy, or at least create profiles to reserve your handle for the future. Also, be sure to do a quick search on the Web.

Google your company name and the name of your products to see what social accounts come up. If you find accounts you don’t recognize, do some investigating to determine whether they’re actually connected to your company, or if they’re impostor accounts run by someone not affiliated with your brand.

Next, it’s important to ensure each account is in-line with your brand standards

Once you’ve logged all of your accounts, take the time to look at each one thoroughly to make sure it’s consistent with your current brand image and standards. Check for the following:

·         Cohesive profile and cover images

·         Updated profiles/bio text

·         Cohesive handles across channels

·         Links-Make sure you’re linking to your homepage.

Then, search through your posting history and work to identify your best posts.

For each social account, look for the three posts that had the most engagement. Record links to these top-performing posts in your spreadsheet.

Once you’ve recorded all of these posts, go through all of them and look for patterns. Do you tend to get the most response when you post photos? Videos? Do people respond to the same kinds of posts on your Facebook Page as they do on your Instagram account?

Use the notes column of your spreadsheet to record your thoughts about any patterns you find.

Now, here’s the fun part.  Evaluate the performance of each post.

Use analytics to gather key insights about each social account.  Each platform has an internal analytics function.

As part of your evaluation, you might find that some of your social accounts are much more effective than others. For the accounts that don’t perform as well, you need to decide whether to adjust your strategy, invest more time and resources, or discontinue the account

Finally, decide which channels you want to focus on.

You’ve gathered enough information now to make some strategic decisions about where to focus your social media marketing efforts.

Looking at how each channel is currently performing, along with who you can each through each platform, look for ways to tie each social account back to your social media marketing strategy. If you can’t see a clear connection, or if it looks like the results do not justify your investment of time and resources, you may want to consider pulling back on certain channels so you can focus your energy on the ones that provide the best return on investment.

Peg, Pete, Michelle