There is one thing I know for sure – you can’t go into a social media plan without first conducting an audit. There are many paths to conducting an audit, but in doing research over the past few years I found I gravitate toward a couple of examples.
What I love is how easy it is to understand. The document uses a color coded scale ranking of “good,” “OK,” and “bad” to assess the effectiveness of customer engagement, SEO, brand exposure, and web traffic. Their most recent version only focused on facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Apparently, they focused on these six specific sites based on digital marketers’ adoption.
While the 2013 version is fine, I prefer their 2012 version. It is much more comprehensive and for us public relations and social media practitioners much more useful when conducting a social media audit.
Just be sure to follow these five simple rules when starting:
1. Make a list of where your company is. That’s right sit down and walk through which channels your company is utilizing. Include all of them!
2. Evaluate which sites are the most active and have the most active community members. This will give you a good idea as to where your customers are. Drop the sites where your customers aren’t. Yup, you heard me – if facebook isn’t where your customers are then get rid of it! Only communicate on the channels where you find your audience.
3. Build your PLN – personal learning network.
4. Promote across all mediums. Janet Fouts gives this advice: “Make sure your blog and website have an easy way to find your social networks and to share your pages with a variety of networks. You should have Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Linkedin at a minimum.” (Janet also has a great free social media audit tool you can download at her website.)
5. Re-evaluate every quarter. Don’t wait until January 1st to look at your social media plan. Your community is always on, therefore you need to be engaging at all times with them.
So, now that you have the basics let’s see how your audit comes out!