Social Media Not Meeting Expectations? Perform A Social Media Audit.

Companies have been active in social media for years. Today 97% of Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn, 84% are on Facebook and 86% are on Twitter. But those efforts were likely created in a piecemeal fashion. Different brand accounts were added for different reasons at different times. Objectives or options may have changed. Or you may be so focused on current social accounts you are missing out on opportunities elsewhere. How do you know you are posting the right content in the right places to drive the right consumer actions? Perform a social media audit.

Free social media strategy audit templateWhat Is A Social Media Audit?

A social media audit is simply a systematic examination of social media data. It is a snapshot of all social media activity in and around a brand evaluated for strategic insights. Why? Different organizational objectives and target markets may require different social media messages and platforms. Existing brand accounts may be wrong for current business objectives and new social media platforms may be ideal, but were never considered. Perhaps brand social media was started by marketing or public relations, but now customer service requests are overwhelming the system and increased integration is needed.

First Start By Listening.

Use social media tools to gather data about brand social media channels and content. Discover what consumers are saying about the brand, product, service, and key personnel in any social platform. Listen to what is being said by and about brand competitors. You may be monitoring social media daily, but simply responding to what comes your way.

Analyze the bigger picture. Qualify and quantify social media action looking for patterns and opportunity. Listen with an outside perspective to the social talk about your brand, employees, customers and competitors. Look on both official corporate social media accounts and unofficial or personal accounts.

If you don’t have a social media monitoring software or if you are a startup or student just getting started simply go to each social media platform and search the brand name to find the conversations. Look on official brand accounts to see what the brand is doing and look at the conversation happening on those official brand accounts.

Start with the social channels you know the brand has brand pages (they are probably listed on the brand website). Then search other popular social media channels the brand does not have official accounts to find additional consumer brand content. Do the same for one main competitor to find their social channels, brand content and consumer brand conversations. This Social Media Channel Template provides a list of top social platforms by category for ideas on where to look for official brand accounts and consumer brand conversations.

An audit need not capture every mention, but should gather a complete picture. Find conversation on all social platforms. Be sure to consider social networks, blogs and forums, microblogs, media sharing platforms, geosocial, ratings and reviews, social bookmarking, social knowledge, plus podcasts. This Social Media Channel Category Guide provides a quick guide to the top social media platforms in each category by kind and key characteristics.

Next Organize Social Talk Data.

When collecting social talk data it should be organized for meaningful analysis. This can be done by following a social media audit template such as the one I created from the concept of the Five Ws that journalists use to write news stories. Gather social talk into three categories of company, consumer, and competitor (down first row) then record observations by where, what, when, and why (across columns).

Collect and Analyze Social Media Audit Data by:

  • Who—company, consumers, competitors
  • Where—social media channel (YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) and environment (describe the look and feel)
  • What—type of content (articles, photos, videos, links, questions, etc.) and sentiment (positive, negative, neutral)
  • When—frequency of activity (number of posts, comments, views, shares, etc. per day, week, or month)
  • Why—purpose (brand awareness, promotion, drive traffic, customer complaint, praise, etc.)

The number of rows under “Who” will vary based on the number of brand and competitor social accounts and the number of social media platforms where consumer brand talk is found. Larger organizations may need to divide the “Company” category further into departments, offices, or employees. Capture what each location or executive is communicating.

Then Determine What The Data Is Saying.

Does the data point to opportunities? Are there trouble spots? Do brand social media platforms present a consistent look, voice and unified message? Are customers complaining about similar product or service issues? Is the brand consistently posting quality content and consistently responding to customers? Are there social platforms where customers are talking about the brand, yet there isn’t an official brand presence? Answer these questions and use a five-point scale to mark each channel as a problem (1) or an opportunity (5) for a defensive or offensive social media strategy.

Determining the “Why” for each social action is important. If you can’t think of a strategic purpose then reevaluate the effort. Is maintaining a brand account on specific social media platforms worth the organization’s time? Once a purpose is determined, identify the social media metrics to measure performance. Ask questions such as, “Why does the organization have a Pinterest page and how is success being measured?” “Because everyone is there” and “to increase followers” is not enough. If you know the business purpose and metrics ask, “How has the platform performed? With roughly 10% of marketing budgets spent on social media it is more important than ever to connect social action to higher-level business objectives and justify expense.

Finally Evaluate Brand Engagement.

Are your consumer’s engaging with your brand? How are views, likes, comments and shares? Have they gone up or down over time? Advertising Hall of Famer Howard Gossage said, “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them.” In social media reach is gained when consumers find content interesting enough to share. Quality content is important. Whether educational or entertaining it must be considered valuable. Only social media that is viewed and shared reaches an audience that can then take action to meet business objectives.

Today you can also interrupt people’s social feeds with paid social media or native advertising. Paid social media can buy reach to a targeted audience, but that does not replace the need to create interesting content. Social media advertising merely buys exposure. Content must convey value to drive consumer action, further distribution, and ultimate ROI.

Is It Time For A Social Media Audit?

If you haven’t evaluated your brand’s social media presence in a while it may be time for a social media audit. Use this template to see how consumers are experiencing your brand in social media. You may uncover some problem areas, promising opportunities, social channels you should be in and ones you should leave behind.

A social media audit can help you:

  • Realize the need for increased integration with other departments.
  • Find gaps in brand promise and product/service performance.
  • Uncover inconsistencies across brand social accounts.
  • Reveal blind spots in current social action with content, schedule and response.
  • Discover consumer ideas for product/service improvements.
  • Optimize brand content to drive engagement.
  • Find unexpected consumer generated content on other platforms.
  • Discover valuable brand or industry influencers.
  • Optimize time devoted to most effective social media platforms.
  • Learn from successful competitor social strategies.
  • Uncover a need for metrics to connect social action to business objectives.

Whether launching a new social media effort or evaluating current social activity, a social media audit can deliver valuable insights to create or optimize any social media strategy. For the bigger picture in social media strategy, more tools, templates and guides, plus a framework for creating and executing a complete social media plan consider the 2nd Edition of Social Media Strategy: Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations in the Consumer Revolution. bit.ly/QSocialBook

282 Top Social Media Strategy Tools and Resources by Category.

Social Media Strategy can be overwhelming. Here is a list of top 282 social media tools & resources in 10 categories to help make it easier. Search below for options in (1) Social Media Monitoring & Metrics, (2) Online Data Collection & Analytics, (3) Social Media Content Creation & Data Visualization, (4) Social Content Scheduling & Automation, (5) Social Media & Digital Media Research, (6) Trade Associations, Awards & Conferences, (7) Social Media News & Insights, (8) Social Media Podcasts, (9) Social Media Training & Certification, and (10) Social Media Channels.

Social Media Monitoring & Metrics

  1. Agora Pulse: www.agorapulse.com
  2. Agora Pulse Free (Facebook Barometer, Twitter Report Card): agorapulse.com/free-social-media-marketing-tools
  3. Addict-o-matic: addictomatic.com
  4. Audiense: audiense.com/twitter-analytics
  5. Brandwatch: brandwatch.com
  6. Brand24: brand24.com
  7. Buzzsumo: buzzsumo.com
  8. Cision: www.cision.com/us/social-software
  9. Clarabridge: www.clarabridge.com
  10. Crimson Hexagon: crimsonhexagon.com
  11. Critical Mention: www.criticalmention.com
  12. Ditto: http://ditto.us.com
  13. Geofeedia: geofeedia.com
  14. Hootsuite: hootsuite.com
  15. How Socialble: howsociable.com
  16. Iconosquare: iconosquare.com
  17. Klear: klear.com
  18. Likealyzer: likealyzer.com
  19. Lithium: lithium.com
  20. Meltwater Ice Rocket: www.icerocket.com
  21. Netbase: netbase.com
  22. Nielson Social: www.nielsensocial.com
  23. NUVI: www.nuvi.com
  24. Oracle Social Cloud: www.oracle.com/us/solutions/social
  25. Radian6 (Salesforce): exacttarget.com/products/social-media-marketing/radian6
  26. RankSpeed: rankspeed.com
  27. ReviewTrackers: reviewtrackers.com
  28. Rival IQ: rivaliq.com
  29. Simply Measured: simplymeasured.com
  30. Social Mention: socialmention.com
  31. Social Bakers: socialbakers.com
  32. Socially Devoted Meter: socialbakers.com/resources/socially-devoted
  33. Social Blade: socialblade.com
  34. Spredfast: spredfast.com
  35. Sprinklr: www.sprinklr.com
  36. SumoRank: sumorank.com
  37. Sysomos: www.sysomos.com
  38. Trackur: www.trackur.com
  39. TrueSocialMetrics: truesocialmetrics.com
  40. Twitonomy: twitonomy.com
  41. Viralwoot: viralwoot.com
  42. Visible Measures: visiblemeasures.com
  43. Unruly: unruly.co
  44. Yext Free Location Scan: yext.com/blog/2016/05/grow-business-free-location-scan-app
  45. Zoho Social: zoho.com/social

Online Data Collection & Analytics

  1. Alexa: alexa.com
  2. Bottlenose: bottlenose.com
  3. Google Tools: www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools/
  4. Compete (Millard Brown Digital): compete.com
  5. Comscore: comscore.com
  6. Conversion Fly: conversionfly.com
  7. Cyfe: www.cyfe.com
  8. Delmondo: delmondo.co/snapchat-analytics-software/
  9. Display Benchmarks: richmediagallery.com/tools/benchmarks
  10. Facebook Insights: facebook.com/help/search/?q=insights
  11. Facbook Page Cost Calculator: shiftcomm.com/facebook-page-cost-calculator
  12. Foursquare Analytics: business.foursquare.com/claim
  13. Google Analytics: www.google.com/analytics
  14. Google Analytics UTM Tracking URL Builder: chrome.google.com/webstore/
  15. Google Tools: www.thinkwithgoogle.com/tools/
  16. Google Trends: www.google.com/trends
  17. IBM Watson Analytics: ibm.com/analytics/watson-analytics
  18. Instagram Insights: blog.business.instagram.com/post/145212269021/new-business-tools
  19. iSpionage: ispionage.com
  20. Keyhole: keyhole.co
  21. Keyword Tool: keywordtool.io
  22. Kiss Metrics: www.kissmetrics.com
  23. Klout: klout.com
  24. Knowem: knowem.com
  25. Kred: kred.com
  26. LinkedIn Analytics: linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/26032
  27. ManageFlitter: manageflitter.com
  28. Mention: en.mention.com
  29. Moz Open Site Explorer: moz.com/researchtools/ose
  30. New Share Counts (Twitter): newsharecounts.com/
  31. Nexalogy: nexalogy.com
  32. Omgili: omgili.com
  33. Pinterest Analytics: analytics.pinterest.com
  34. Quantcast: quantcast.com
  35. RiteTag: ritetag.com/hashtag-search
  36. Ruzzit: ruzzit.com
  37. SEMrush: www.semrush.com
  38. SharedCount: www.sharedcount.com
  39. Shopping Insights: shopping.thinkwithgoogle.com
  40. SimilarWeb: similarweb.com
  41. Snaplytics: snaplytics.io/
  42. Social Searcher: social-searcher.com
  43. Soovle: soovle.com
  44. Talkwalker Alerts: www.talkwalker.com
  45. Trendspottr: trendspottr.com
  46. Tweetreach: tweetreach.com
  47. Twitter Advanced Search: twitter.com/search-advanced
  48. Twitter Analytics: analytics.twitter.com
  49. UVRX: uvrx.com/social.html
  50. WordStream: wordstream.com/keywords
  51. YouGovProfiles: yougov.co.uk/profiler#
  52. YouTube Analytics: www.youtube.com/analytics
  53. YouTube Trending: www.youtube.com/feed/trending
  54. Visio Spark Social Media Counts Checker: visiospark.com/shared-counter

Social Media Content Creation & Data Visualization

  1. Accelerated Mobile Pages Project: www.ampproject.org
  2. Adobe Kuler: color.adobe.com/create.color–wheel
  3. Brandr: getbrandr.com
  4. Canva: www.canva.com
  5. Chartbuilder: quartz.github.io/Chartbuilder
  6. Compressor (Pitchengine): c.tiny.pr
  7. ContenIdeator: contentforest.com/ideator
  8. Curalate: curalate.com
  9. Datawrapper: datawrapper.de
  10. DesignFeed: designfeed.io
  11. Design Seeds: design–seeds.com
  12. DrumUo: https://drumup.io
  13. Easelly: www.easel.ly
  14. Emotional Marketing Analyzer (Advanced Marketing Institute): aminstitute.com/headline
  15. Enhance (Hootsuite): hootsuite.com/products/mobile-apps
  16. Flipboard: flipboard.com/
  17. Good Data: gooddata.com
  18. Google Data Studio: datastudio.google.com
  19. Google Fonts: www.google.com/fonts
  20. Google Image: images.google.com
  21. Google Tag Manager: www.google.com/analytics/tag-manager
  22. Grammarly: grammarly.com
  23. Headline Analyzer (CoSchedule): coschedule.com/headline-analyzer
  24. Hemingway Editor: hemingwayapp.com
  25. Huzza: huzza.io
  26. Infogr.am: infogr.am
  27. KnowEm: knowem.com
  28. LibreStock (Search Free Stock Sites): librestock.com
  29. Namechk: namechk.com
  30. NodeXL: nodexl.codeplex.com
  31. Nuzzle: nuzzel.com
  32. Opal: workwithopal.com
  33. Over: madewithover.com
  34. Phonto: phon.to/
  35. PicPlayPost: www.mixcord.co/partners/picplaypost.html
  36. Pictaculous: pictaculous.com
  37. PicMonkey: picmonkey.com
  38. Piktochart: piktochart.com
  39. Pixlr: pixlr.com
  40. Portant Content Idea Generator: portent.com/tools/title-maker
  41. Power BI: powerbi.microsoft.com
  42. Recite: recite.com
  43. Relay: relaythat.com
  44. Ripl: ripl.com
  45. Screncast-O-Matic: screencast-o-matic.com
  46. Smartmockups: smartmockups.com
  47. Spark: spark.adobe.com
  48. Storify: storify.com
  49. Studio: madewithstudio.com
  50. Tint: tintup.com
  51. Tiny PNG: tinypng.com
  52. TwistedWave: twistedwave.com
  53. Tweetroot: rubbledev.com/app/tweetroot-for-twitter
  54. Typorama: apperto.com/typorama
  55. 20 Free Stock Photo Sites for your Social Media Images:  blog.Hootsuite.com
  56. Ubersuggest: ubersuggest.io
  57. Unsplash: unsplash.com
  58. Videolicious: videolicious.com
  59. Word Swag: wordswag.co
  60. Yost: yoast.com

Social Content Scheduling & Automation

  1. Adobe Experience Manager: adobe.com/marketing-cloud/enterprise-content-management.html
  2. AdStage: www.adstage.io
  3. Alltop: alltop.com
  4. Buddy Media: www.exacttarget.com/products/social-media-marketing/buddy-media
  5. Buffer: bufferapp.com
  6. Chartbeat: chartbeat.com
  7. Chhirp: cordproject.co/chhirp
  8. Contentgems: contentgems.com
  9. CoSchedule: coschedule.com
  10. Crowdbooster: crowdbooster.com
  11. dlvr.it: dlvr.it
  12. Edgar: meetedgar.com
  13. Google Programmatic: thinkwithgoogle.com/programmatic-guide/
  14. Google Photos: google.com/photos/
  15. HubSpot: hubspot.com
  16. IFTTT: ifttt.com
  17. Leadpages: eadpages.net
  18. Later: later.com
  19. Later Bro: laterbro.com
  20. List-O-Matic: accessify.com/tools-and-wizards/developer-tools/list-o-matic
  21. Livefyre (Adobe): web.livefyre.com
  22. MissingLett_r: missinglettr.com
  23. Oktopost: oktopost.com
  24. OptinMonster: optinmonster.com
  25. Outbrain: outbrain.com
  26. Post Planner: www.postplanner.com
  27. Scoop It Content Director: scoop.it
  28. Short Stack: www.shortstack.com
  29. Slack: slack.com
  30. SocialOomph: www.socialoomph.com
  31. Sprout Social: sproutsocial.com
  32. Social Warefare: warfareplugins.com
  33. Suggestions (Hootsuite): hootsuite.com/products/mobile-apps
  34. Tailwind: tailwindapp.com
  35. Thunderclap: thunderclap.it
  36. TweetBot: tapbots.com/tweetbot
  37. TweetDeck: about.twitter.com/products/tweetdeck
  38. Uberflip: uberflip.com
  39. Woodbox: woobox.com
  40. Zapier: zapier.com
  41. Zendesk: www.zendesk.com

Social Media & Digital Media Research

  1. Adobe Digital Index: cmo.com/adobe-digital-index.html
  2. Affinio: www.affin.io/
  3. Forrester: www.forrester.com/Social-Media
  4. Gallap: www.gallap.com
  5. Global Web Index: www.globalwebindex.net
  6. Grama Hashtag Generator for Instagram: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grama-hashtag-generator-for
  7. GRYTICS: grytics.com
  8. IBM Watson Analyitics for Social Media: ibm.com/marketplace/cloud/social-media-data-analysis/us/en-us
  9. Interbrand Best Brands: interbrand.com
  10. Kantar Media SRDS: srds.com
  11. Millard Brown BrandZ Reports: millwardbrown.com/brandz
  12. Nielsen Social Media Reports: www.nielsensocial.com
  13. Pew Research Center: www.pewinternet.org
  14. Roper Center: www.ropercenter.uconn.edu
  15. Simmons: simmonsssurvey.com
  16. Social Explorer: www.socialexplorer.com
  17. Social Media Collective: socialmediacollective.org
  18. Statista: www.statista.com
  19. YouGov BrandIndex: brandindex.com

Trade Associations, Awards & Conferences

  1. Brand Innovators: brand-innovators.com/events
  2. Content Marketing World: www.contentmarketingworld.com
  3. INBOUND: www.inbound.com
  4. INTEGRATE: imc.wvu.edu/integrate
  5. Online Media Marketing Awards: www.mediapost.com/ommaawards
  6. Social Media Marketing World: www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld
  7. Social Media Strategies Summit: socialmediastrategiessummit.com
  8. Social Media Week: socialmediaweek.org
  9. Summit: summit.adobe.com/na
  10. SXSW: sxsw.com
  11. SXSWedu: http://www.sxswedu.com
  12. The Webby Awards: www.webbyawards.com
  13. The Shorty Awards: shortyawards.com
  14. The Mashies: mashable.com/mashies
  15. Word of Mouth Marketing Association: womma.org

Social Media News & Insights

  1. Amy Porterfield: amyporterfield.com
  2. Chris Brogan: http://chrisbrogan.com/blog
  3. Christopher S. Penn christopherspenn.com
  4. Jeff Bullas: jeffbullas.com
  5. Content Marketing Institute: contentmarketinginstitute.com/blog
  6. Convince & Convert : www.convinceandconvert.com
  7. FTC Disclosures: www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking
  8. Gartner Digital Marketing: blogs.gartner.com/digital-marketing
  9. Grow: www.businessesgrow.com
  10. Hubspot’s Inbound Hub: blog.hubspot.com
  11. Marketing Profs: www.marketingprofs.com
  12. Mashable Social Media: mashable.com/social-media
  13. RazerSocial: www.razorsocial.com/blog
  14. Scott Monty: scottmonty.com
  15. Social Media Examiner: www.socialmediaexaminer.com
  16. Social Media Explorer: www.socialmediaexplorer.com
  17. Social Media Marketing Magazine: www.smmmagazine.com
  18. Social Media Today: socialmediatoday.com
  19. Social Mouths: socialmouths.com/blog
  20. Social Media Law Bulletin: www.socialmedialawbulletin.com
  21. The Digital Garage: digitalgarage.withgoogle.com
  22. YouTube Video Creators: www.youtube.com/videocreators
  23. WOMMA Code of Ethics: womma.org/ethics
  24. WOMMA Free Resources: womma.org/free-womm-resources

Social Media Podcasts

  1. Amy Porterfield: amyporterfield.com/category/podcast
  2. Content Inc.: contentmarketinginstitute.com/content-inc-podcast
  3. Content Pros: convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/shows/content-pros-podcast
  4. Influence Pros: convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/shows/influence-pros-podcast/
  5. Social Media Examiner: www.socialmediaexaminer.com/tag/podcast
  6. Social Pros Podcast: convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/shows/social-pros-podcast/
  7. The Art of Paid Traffic Podcast: rickmulready.com/category/aoptpodcast/
  8. The Business of Story: convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/shows/business-of-story-podcast
  9. The Marketing Companion: marketingpodcasts.com/the-marketing-companion
  10. This Old Marketing: contentmarketinginstitute.com/pnr-with-this-old-marketing-podcast

Social Media & Digital Marketing Training & Certification

  1. Bing/Yahoo! Ads (Certification): advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/training
  2. Code Academy: codecademy.com
  3. Constant Contact Social Media 101: blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter
  4. Facebook Blueprint (Certification): facebook.com/blueprint
  5. Google Partners (Adwords Certification): support.google.com/partners
  6. Google Analytics Academy (Certification): analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com
  7. Hootsuite Academy (Certification): hootsuite.com/education
  8. Hubspot Academy (Certification): academy.hubspot.com
  9. Microsoft Dynamics 365 (Certification): microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365
  10. Professional Certified Marketer – Digital Marketing (Certification) ama.org/events-training/Certification/Pages/digital-marketing-certification.aspx
  11. The Trade Desk Trading Academy (Certification): thetradedesk.com/products/thetradingacademy

Social Media Channels

  1. Wikipedia List of Social Networking Sites: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites
  2. Overdrive Interactive’s 2016 Social Media Map: ovrdrv.com/social-media-map
  3. My Social Media Channels by Category:

Free guide to social media strategy platform channels by category