How to run a social media audit: A beginner's guide

Sprinklr Team

June 19, 202311 min read

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Feeling lost in the vast maze of social media? It's tough trying to be heard amidst the constant buzz, isn't it?  

Imagine this: You've spent hours crafting the perfect social media post with captivating content and eye-catching visuals. You finally hit the "publish" button, eagerly waiting for the likes, comments and shares to pour in. Instead, there's just radio silence. No engagement and no impact. It's like your post vanished into thin air. 

It can be incredibly upsetting, but here's the thing: You are not alone.  

Many businesses struggle with the same challenges. And social media strategies, when ineffective, are like a maze. You keep trying different paths, hoping to succeed, but often feel lost and discouraged. 

That's where social media audits come in.  

Social media auditors map what's working and what's not, helping you make better, more strategic decisions to achieve brighter outcomes. 

In this blog, we'll walk you through the essential steps of conducting a social media audit. We'll also explore the necessary steps and share a social media audit example that will empower you to confidently conquer the social media maze. So, let’s begin with the basics.

Table of Contents

What is a social media audit?

A social media audit is an evaluation of your business's online presence. It involves the analysis of key metrics to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for growth. 

When you think about it, social media channels are like the pulse of your online presence in the digital world. And just like a physician would check a patient's pulse, your channels also need regular check-ups. That's where a social media audit takes the spotlight.  

Social media audits are essential for the following:

  • Keeping track of your performance on social media channels

  • Understanding your audience's needs

  • Making your brand's voice stand out

  • Aligning your social strategy with your business goals

Why are social media audits critical for your business?

Now, don't let the term "audit" rattle you. It's not as daunting as it sounds.

A social media audit doesn't have to be tedious. It can be pretty straightforward and informative. It's all about:

  • Uncovering growth markers on social media

  • Exploring the untapped potential and growth opportunities on different social media platforms

  • Pinpointing areas for enhancement

An audit is like putting your social media activities under a microscope. It's done by:

  • Studying social media metrics

  • Analyzing content quality

  • Checking audience engagement

With this knowledge, you’re much more informed to make the decisions that will optimize your social media presence. 

Let's look at how you can benefit from this powerful practice to transform your online presence.

6 key benefits of social media audits

  1. Refine your social media strategy: A social media audit helps identify what's working and what's not, enabling you to make informed decisions to improve your marketing efforts and align them with your business goals.

  2. Target customers effectively: By understanding the "see-think-do" stages of the buying process, you can create tailored content to engage customers at each stage and increase the chances of conversions.

  3. Set benchmarks for success: Establishing clear goals and metrics will help you measure social media ROI to track progress and ensure your efforts yield the desired results.

  4. Streamline internal processes: An audit identifies your business's best channels, content types and employee roles, enabling efficient content creation and enhancing your online presence.

  5. Uncover growth opportunities: You’ll be able to discover new ways to generate leads and sales by analyzing competitor strategies and finding areas where your business can outperform them.

  6. Adopt consistent best practices: A social media audit provides a comprehensive list of proven tactics to optimize your online presence, ensuring you stay updated with ever-changing trends and create impactful content.

Remember, a social media audit is not just about numbers and charts. It's about understanding your audience, refining your content and delivering value. It's an opportunity to fine-tune your approach and establish a stronger connection with your followers.

A step-by-step guide on how to conduct a social media audit

If you’ve come this far, you must be eager to power up your social media game. And as we’ve said already, starting with a social media audit can kick things into high gear for your brand game.  
 
In this step-by-step guide, we'll break down the audit process into actionable steps so you can easily optimize your social media presence. So, let's get the show on the road!

Step 1: Gather your social media performance data

First, compile all your social media profiles in one place, even the inactive ones. Then, download the performance data for the past three months (or a year, for your first audit).

List each platform's usernames, URLs, follower/subscriber count and other key performance indicators (KPIs).

Let's take the example of a fictional organic skincare brand that we’ll call "NatureGlow."

Here's a simple table to showcase the audit data for the brand across three social media platforms.

Image 1

Step 2: Create your social scorecard

Develop a consistent process and methodology for your social media audit. Third-party tools can assist you in achieving this. A grading scale can also be implemented to track progress and facilitate data-driven decision-making.

To create a social media audit card based on the information provided, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a spreadsheet tool, like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or Airtable, and create a new spreadsheet.

  2. Create tabs for each major social media platform, such as Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. You can also add tabs for any additional platforms your brand uses.

  3. In each tab, create columns for the following data points: 

  • Profile URL 

  • Follower/subscriber count 

  • Total posts 

  • Engagement metrics (e.g., average likes, comments, shares or retweets per post) 

  • Website traffic generated from the platform

4. Add a "Summary" tab to list your brand's social profiles in one place. Create columns for the following data points:

  • Profile URL 

  • Follower/subscriber count 

  • Engagement  

  • Traffic

  • Most visited pages

5. Fill in the data for each social platform based on your brand's performance. This will help you identify your top-performing profiles and prioritize the platforms you want to focus on.

6. Use third-party analytical tools to consolidate and manage all your social media accounts and content. This will help you track your progress and make data-driven decisions more quickly.

As an illustration, here’s a generic summary template for conducting a social media audit.

Image 2

Step 3: Establish consistent brand guidelines across platforms

Make sure that your branding is consistent across channels by:

  • Ensuring that profile pictures, cover photos, bios and shared content are consistent across platforms 

  • Ensuring they align with your brand's values and messaging

  • Removing outdated or irrelevant information to present a unified brand image

Step 4: Evaluate your content assets

Assessing your visual content, such as videos and 3D assets, is crucial to staying relevant and effectively engaging your audience. Stay updated with the latest graphic formats, such as live videos, vertical videos, stories, GIFs, augmented reality content, filters and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

For instance, Norwegian Cruise Line’s adoption of NFTs is a great example of how important it is to evaluate and incorporate contemporary visual content to maintain relevance and effectively engage audiences. They partnered with an artist to create six NFT artworks for their new Prima Class ships. In addition, while the starting bid for their debut collection was $2,500, and the earnings were given to Teach For America, the brand's secondary market now features tokens with a minimum price of $10,000

In other words, embracing NFTs can spark increased engagement with a brand and allow audiences to perceive such marketing efforts as potential investment opportunities.

Step 5: Learn the art of hashtag optimization

Ensure you're effectively using hashtags to maximize reach and stay updated on the latest features and trends that social media platforms introduce. You can do this by:

  • Tracking engagement metrics, like reach and interactions, to know if you're using the right hashtags 

  • Researching popular hashtags in your niche category 

  • Analyzing competitor hashtags 

  • Selecting hashtags that are relevant to your content to maximize visibility and attract your target audience

Also read: When Hashtags Aren’t Enough: Adding @Mentions to Your UGC Strategy

Step 6: Crunch the numbers

Use the built-in analytics tools on social media platforms. Record engagement metrics, demographic data, top posts, impressions and reach for each channel. This information will help you grasp the strengths and weaknesses of each platform for your business during the social media audit. 

Learn more: 2 strategies to engage with your customers on social media more authentically

Step 7: Spot the trend

Analyze your best-performing posts on each platform to find common threads. Look for similarities in content type, target audience, posting time and media used. Studying this data will reveal patterns in how your audience engages with your content.

Step 8: Create a unique brand persona

Develop audience personas to target your social media marketing efforts better. Each brand usually has multiple personas to focus on, so ensure you have detailed insights and interests for each one.  
 
Additionally, consider creating avatars or using digital representations to interact with and engage your personas in the emerging era of Web 3.0.

Step 9: Set up accurate tracking mechanics

To set realistic goals for actual ROI and to move beyond vanity metrics, it's crucial to track the effectiveness of your social media efforts. One helpful tool is the Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) code, which helps you monitor where your website traffic is coming from. You can create these codes and add them to your social media links so that you know which platform drives the most visitors. 

In addition to using UTMs, you can gain insights from analytics tools to monitor how people find your content and identify the referral sources that bring the most traffic and engagement.  

Combine this with unique promo codes and custom QR codes for each social media channel, which will help you see which platforms drive the most sales or sign-ups. By understanding the performance of each platform, you can better focus your efforts and improve your strategy. 

While quantitative data is valuable, don't forget about qualitative data. Pay attention to comments, feedback and the overall sentiment of your audience. This will help you understand your audience's needs and preferences, allowing you to improve your social media strategy. 

Did you know: What’s the difference between social monitoring and social listening?

Step 10: Set clear goals

Based on your audit findings, set goals for each social media platform. Consider the areas needing improvement and identify opportunities to build on what works well.  

Focus on more than just growing your following — set goals aligned with increasing brand awareness, engagement and website traffic. 

Let's take the same example of the fictional brand NatureGlow, which has just completed a social media audit. The audit revealed the following insights across three major platforms.

  • Instagram: There’s high engagement on product showcase posts but low engagement on informational posts

  • Facebook: There’s moderate growth in followers but limited interaction on posts

  • X, formerly Twitter: There have been many retweets and mentions, but there’s low website traffic from the platform

Based on these findings, NatureGlow could set specific goals for each platform as follows:

  • Instagram: Increase engagement on informational posts by 25% in the next three months. 

    • Strategy: Incorporate more visually appealing graphics and videos for educational content to better resonate with the audience. Test different formats (e.g., reels, stories) and CTAs to identify the most effective approach. 

  • Facebook: Boost post interaction by 30% and page likes by 15% in the next six months. 

    • Strategy: Create more shareable content, like contests, polls and giveaways, to encourage user interaction. Additionally, post more relevant content that evokes emotional responses, like success stories or testimonials, to foster a sense of community. 

  • X, formerly Twitter: Increase website traffic from Twitter by 20% in the next three months. 

    • Strategy: Optimize Tweet copy with relevant hashtags, keywords and CTAs that drive users to click through to the website. Experiment with various content types, like blog post links, promotional offers and new product announcements, to capture users' interests.

These specific goals can help NatureGlow focus on the areas that need improvement and build on existing strengths. The brand can create a targeted social media strategy that delivers results by aligning goals with brand awareness, engagement and website traffic.

Step 11: Plan and execute

Create a plan based on your audit findings and goals. Then, outline actionable steps to enhance your social media presence. Finally, implement changes, experiment with new ideas and continuously optimize your strategy based on the data and insights you gather. 

Here's an example of how a final social media plan might look based on your audit findings and goals.

Platform

Goal

Strategy

Action Steps

KPIs to Measure

Instagram

Increase engagement on informational posts by 25% in the next 3 months

Create visually appealing educational content

1. Develop 10 infographic-style posts covering skincare tips

Engagement rate

-

-

-

2. Create 5 short tutorial videos on product usage

Average likes per post

-

-

-

3. Experiment with Reels and Stories for educational content

Average comments per post

Facebook

Boost post interaction by 30% and page likes by 15% in the next 6 months

Encourage user interaction through shareable content and emotional stories

1. Organize a monthly giveaway contest for engaged users

Growth of page likes

-

-

-

2. Share customer success stories and testimonials

Average shares per post

-

-

-

3. Create polls and quizzes to engage users and gain insights into their preferences

Average comments per post

Twitter

Increase website traffic from Twitter by 20% in the next 3 months

Optimize tweet copy to drive website traffic

1. Share blog post links with relevant hashtags and CTAs

Website clicks from X, formerly Twitter

-

-

-

2. Promote special offers and new product launches with attention-grabbing copy

Retweets

-

-

-

3. Engage with influencers and participate in X, formerly Twitter chats to increase visibility

Average impressions per tweet

This table provides a snapshot of the social media plan — outlining specific goals, strategies, action steps and KPIs to measure for each platform. As you implement these changes and experiment with new ideas, continue to track your KPIs and optimize your strategy based on the data and insights you gather. 

Based on Keith A. Quesenberry's template from his book Social Media Strategy: Marketing and Advertising in the Consumer Revolution, here's an example of a social media audit template using the five Ws (who, where, what, when and why).

Image 4

Step 12: Conduct regular audits for sustained success

It's crucial to consistently assess and adjust your social media strategy to stay ahead of the curve. Schedule a social media audit every 3-6 months and set reminders to ensure you don't miss it.

Also, check out our latest social media management guide to boost your social media auditing strategy.

Social media audit example: How to conduct an Instagram audit

Now that we’ve covered how to conduct a social media audit, let’s look at a relevant example.  

When measuring metrics and gaining audience insights, Facebook and X, formerly Twitter make it quite convenient with their accessible analytics data. But Instagram, well, it presents us with some unique challenges.  

That said, Instagram has become an absolute powerhouse in marketing, making it an important inclusion among your go-to social media channels. 

So, find out how to conduct a thorough Instagram audit that'll help you fine-tune your strategy and achieve better results.

Comments are golden

Make sure your content is engaging enough. Keep track of the words you get. Lots of meaningful comments? That means you're building a loyal following! Not so many comments? Time to make your content more intriguing and relevant.

Hashtag power

Hashtags are your friends on Instagram. They help people discover and share your content. So, keep an eye on the engagement your hashtags bring. This way, you'll know which ones work and which don't. Be strategic with hashtags to reach more people and gain followers. 

Follower love

Keep track of how your content performs as you grow. Measure “engagements per follower” to see the real impact of your posts. High engagement per follower? Your content is consistently engaging, and people will come back for more. Use this insight to guide future improvements.

On the whole

Mastering social media audits is the key to unlocking your online potential.  

Exploring your channels and understanding their performance opens the door to strategic growth and continuous improvement. As the digital world evolves, staying agile and adapting your approach to keep up with new trends and technologies is crucial. 

Embrace the insights gained through social media audits as a catalyst for change, driving your brand towards a more cohesive and effective online presence. Remember, the journey doesn't end with a single audit. Regular assessments are essential to maintain momentum and capitalize on new opportunities. 

If you're looking for a partner to help you navigate the complex world of digital transformation, look no further than Sprinklr. Unlock the potential of your social media management with Sprinklr Social. Streamline operations, drive revenue and safeguard your brand's reputation with our Unified Customer Experience Management (Unified-CXM) platform.  

Talk to us to learn more!

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