Four questions you need to ask to audit your social media presence

Is the investment of time and money you’re making in social media really paying off? The only way to find out is to conduct a regular audit. Here are four questions you need to ask. 

In a world where first impressions are everything, you must keep an updated and accurate social media presence. This is because your social media profiles, from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and LinkedIn, are often you initial, and sometimes only, contact with potential subscribers, readers, listeners, customers, etc.

As a result, you need to make sure each and every profile is an accurate representation of who you are, either as a brand or as an individual.

Four questions you need to ask to audit your social media presence

A social media audit will help you ensure social media is an asset, not a hindrance. But to make sure this happens, ask the following four questions as you’re going through your different profiles.

1) Is there anything bad out there?

The first thing you probably want to do is make sure there’s nothing out there that can do you harm. And often times the best way to do this is to simply Google your name.

For people with common names, this is especially useful, as there are likely to be others out there with the same name but very different reputations.

Another good thing to do is to scan through the social media platforms you use to make sure you’re not connected to anything you don’t want to be. You never know when your crazy uncle will comment on a Facebook post and completely shut a conversation down.

In the event there is something harmful out there, you have a few options:

  • You can do nothing. Sometimes this is best if what’s out there is obviously not a reflection of who you are. People are usually pretty smart and can spot a lie when they see one.
  • You can ask the person to remove it.
  • You can remove it yourself.

You’ll also want to make sure your privacy settings are accurate, since although these customiseable options make it easier for you to disassociate with stuff, they also change constantly. This can leave you vulnerable. Check in every so often to ensure everything is the way you want it.

You can read more advice on how to repair a damaged online reputation here.

2) Is everything on message?

The next thing you’ll want to look for when you do a social media audit is consistency. Because social media is often one of the first places people find out about someone or something, and because you can never be sure which platform will introduce you to a new follower, subscriber, customer, etc, you need to be sure that every social media communication reflects your overall message.

But this doesn’t mean everything you do needs to be exactly the same. Yet it does need to revolve around some unifying theme, ideal or value set, as this is what will stand out to people, and it’s what they’ll cling onto.

When you first start out, it’s normal for your social media approach to be all over the place. Figuring out your message is and process suited for trial and error. But if there’s stuff out there from when you first started that’s way off message, then you may want to consider taking it down or redoing it; you’d hate for someone to learn about your blog from boring or bad content.

3) Are people engaged?

When we look at social media, we tend to focus on data such as number of followers or number of views. But these metrics only tell us about reach. And while reach is important, it’s equally if not more important to also measure engagement statistics, such as the number of shares, retweets, clicks, conversions, etc for a particular piece of content.

The purpose of this phase of the audit is to determine which type of content succeeded in generating an actual response. Was it a map? A graph? An image? A video? What did it say? What was the headline? The description? And what were people saying about it?

All this information will help you find out more about what will make your target audience respond. You can then use what you learn to create better content that will better serve your goals.

4) Is it worth it?

Last but not least, we must remember that time is our most valuable resource. And while social media can be partly automated with tools such as HootSuite, you still need to make a commitment to creating content, interacting with others in your niche, responding to comments, etc. If this investment isn’t producing a return, then you need to reconsider your approach.

For example, if your goal is to gain more followers, then find where your new followers tend to come from. If you’re only getting people interested from Instagram and Facebook, then why bother with a Twitter account? Or, if you believe Twitter will be useful, then do a study to learn how to adjust and be more successful.

You also need to consider monetary return. If you’re spending for traffic and not producing any income, it’s time to rethink your strategy. But this is why an audit is so important. It helps you take stock of where you are so that you can develop a winning strategy moving forward.

Start your audit

Depending on how long you’ve been at this, a project such as a social media audit can be a bear. But it will be worth it, 100%, especially if you go looking for answers to the right questions.

Read more social media advice

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Kevin Conner is a successful entrepreneur based in Jacksonville, Fla. He runs various businesses focused on connecting consumers to businesses. Kevin’s current focus is Broadband Search, which is a site designed to help people find the best value internet service provider in their area.

Photo by Christin Hume