A social media audit is a method for using business intelligence to augment strategic decisions. It involves performing diagnostics about social data over a period of time. Strategies are centered around the influence of a brand. Once completed, management has a better understanding of its place in the market and how to respond. The approach, tools, metrics, costs and time until completion will all factor into an effective audit.
NetBase: Features of the Best Social Media Audits
Audits are about influencers, content, competitors, and of course, effective tools. Identifying influencers is important because of how quickly they can set trends. Content, while much slower to bring about great change, remains part of the best long-term strategies. Simply consider how much a brand can be impacted by the events that happen to influencers. In this way, content is somewhat of a stable factor whereas influencers are more variable. It also makes sense that influencers be part of responsive strategies.
Another key component of an audit are how competitors are perceived. Brands need to stand out on their own. At the same time, a competitive marketplace means that something is shared. Audits can bring to light significant behavior of a competitor to improve how to expend resources.
The right social media management tools serve to maximize the effectiveness of each of these features. Below is a list of just a few NetBase tools that you can incorporate:
- elaborate social sharing
- influencers collaboration
- mentions tracking
- deeper understanding of advertisements
- content management
- online advocacy
- establishing benchmarks
- effective ROI analysis
Things to Pay Attention To
There are many things to consider before, during, and in response to a social media audit. It is important to maintain the core principles of your brand and company. The actionable nature of an audit can subtly cause longer term strategies to stray from what works best. Pay attention to what you had expected and what seems out of the ordinary. Remember, an audit is just that, a time to ascertain and take stock of current operations. Responses to audits should be aligned with the confidence in their results. This will be different from the confidence in the tools that were used.
Time to Complete an Audit
The time it takes to complete an audit can vary greatly. The desired variables, operating environment, team employed and tools used will all impact the outcome. Some solutions claim to conduct an audit in a half hour or less. Professional brands should consider more involved solutions. Comprehensive social media audits advertise a timeframe of a week or two to complete.
Pricing the Right Tools
Social media tools can range between as little as $10 per month to nearly $700 per month. Social media audits are among the most expensive tools. A company should expect to spend a minimum of a few thousand dollars for an effective solution. It is important to realize that price is not a good determinant of how effective an audit will be. You need to understand what you’re getting and ensure that it is the right fit for your brand. Realize that there are a lot of effective tools and that you will not likely need many of them. But, the ones that do fit your needs could prove to become invaluable to the future of your brand.
Social media audits are only a contributor of success. They should simply become a part of your business moving forward.