Admit it: when it comes to social media, your business has been slacking a bit. Maybe you created a Facebook page or Twitter account and posted a handful of updates. But somewhere along the way things got so busy with your day-to-day business that social media marketing was relegated to the back burner. Until now, that is. You’re ready to get a new strategy in place to build your brand, amplify your message, and establish your business as an industry thought leader. But before you start putting a new marketing plan together, you need to do a B2B social media audit.
What is a B2B social media audit?
A key part of creating a social media plan is first conducting an audit. An audit assesses how well your current social media plan is working for you– or not, as the case may be. An lists all your current accounts (along with any imposter accounts from third parties) and your current profiles. Bonus: Hootsuite offers a great auditing template to help you get started, although you’ll want to add the additional information we discuss below.
Next, it evaluates the extent of your current postings. How frequent are these posts? What type of content do you typically post (e.g., primarily promotional messages or thought leadership)? Is this content multi-media rich (e.g., images, videos, infographics, etc.) or simply links to other articles? Are your social media posts in alignment with a current content marketing/thought leadership plan, or do you simply post when you remember to do so?
Finally, your audit will assess the competition. Who are the major thought leaders in your industry? How frequently do they post? What are their best performing posts? What are their least effective posts? Gathering this recognizance is essential when determining the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that exist for your social media campaign moving forward.
Why is a social media audit important?
You can’t write a marketing plan without first evaluating the current state of affairs for your business, the competition and the industry at large. This rule of thumb applies to all marketing tactics and channels, including social media.
Harvard Business Review uses the principle of the Five Ws from journalism to help understand why a social media audit is so important:
- Who is your brand talking to? These people could be your existing clients, prospective clients, other businesses within your industry, or even your own employees. Generally, it’s some combination of this list.
- What are you saying/sharing? (e.g., photos, videos, article links, infographics, podcasts, how-to tips, industry news, etc.)
- When are you publishing posts? This includes frequency (day/week), time of day/week, and daily/weekly post numbers.
- Where are you publishing content? This includes all the channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and the environment (positive reception, no reception, negative reception.)
- Why are you sharing content? Is it to raise brand/issue awareness, improve customer engagement, generate more leads, or to establish your reputation as an industry thought leader? Social media can be used for all these different goals (and more), but it’s important to clearly define them, along with the KPIs for evaluating their success, in advance.
From GE on Instagram to Gartner on Facebook, B2B brands are crushing social media marketing. Your small business can too– even if you’ve only tweeted a handful of times. A social media audit will assess where your business currently stands compared to the competition. Most importantly, it will identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats you need to know about so you can build your strategy for success.