Vendasta guest blogger post from www.keywordcanine.com.
To be competitive, businesses need to be active participants on social media. These sites are the main way in which many people find local businesses in the digital era. If a business is not visible and active on social media, they will quickly lose customers to competitors.
However, just having accounts on various networks and making occasional posts or updates is not enough. Businesses need to be sure that they are using social media as effectively as possible. To determine the effectiveness of a strategy, businesses should conduct regular social media audits.
This process is intended to evaluate a business’s use of social media, and discover any weaknesses or areas that need improvement. By carrying out these steps on a regular basis, you can make sure that your clients are not missing out on any opportunities.
Make a Spreadsheet for The Audit
Businesses need to keep track of what they discover in this process, and creating a spreadsheet is the simplest way to do so. All of the data that is found needs to be organized in one place so businesses can easily assess their progress. At first, just make a basic spreadsheet with four columns.
In the first column, list each social network the business uses. The next three columns should contain the username or handle on each network, the URL of the account and the owner of each account. You can also have a column with the password of each account.
Analyze The Accounts
Take a quick look at this information. How many accounts does the business have? Do they have too many or too few? If they are spreading themselves thin over too many accounts, it may be hard to stay active on all of them. If they do not have enough accounts, they are probably missing out on many potential customers.
Check for inconsistent information across these accounts. Do they have the same handle on each network or does it tend to vary? Is someone in the company responsible for managing each network? Depending upon the size of their staff, it can be a good idea to centralize this responsibility and have just one or two people in charge of social media.
Define a Strategy For Each Network
Why are they using these networks? If the answer is, “Because social media is important” or “I don’t know,” they need to sit down and come up with a specific plan of action. It is not enough to simply have these accounts. Businesses also need to know why they have them and what they hope to achieve by using them.
Come up with a brief statement of purpose for each network and write this down. What is the point of using a specific network? Is it to increase awareness, drive sales or share content? Who do they hope to reach with these accounts? What is the target audience on each?
Drill Down Into The Data
Next, it is time to get into the nitty-gritty and take a look at some data. Without some hard numbers, it will be nearly impossible to know how effective their use of social media is. Fortunately, the major social networks all make a wide range of data available to you.
While it can be overwhelming to deal with at first, you need to take the time to get a handle on this information. The most important step is to track what is happening over time on whatever timescale you prefer. This way, you can see whether the actions the business is taking are actually having an effect. Are they seeing any growth, or are they just spinning their wheels?
Keep Track of Engagement
Engagement is key when it comes to conducting a successful audit. After all, it is not enough just to get people to look at content. Businesses also need to make sure that they are taking some sort of action based on it.
By taking a close look at engagement numbers, businesses can determine which strategies are working and which are not. Figure out which networks have the best engagement rate. Does this vary on a weekly or monthly basis? Which types of content are most effective in eliciting the responses that the business wants?
Once you have the results of the audit in hand, you can then use them to guide the business’s actions in the future. Remember that carrying out a social media audit is not a one-time event. You need to repeat these actions on a regular basis for your local business clients so that they do not end up falling behind the competition.