Blog Post by Sarah Malcolm, Chief Digital Strategist at The News Funnel
Research shows companies that actively manage their content marketing plan are more successful and satisfied with their results. Part of being an active content manager is conducting regular social media audits. Yet, a large number of content marketers don't. Are they afraid of what they will learn? Or, is the hesitation because of the process? Whenever someone hears the word “audit,” they automatically think of time-consuming hours of drudgery spent over charts, graphs, and numbers. This is one of the numerous myths surrounding social media audits. Let's separate the fiction from reality.
Myth: It's too complicated.
Reality: It's true that conducting a social media audit requires looking at charts and numbers. That may not be as fun as designing Instagram ads and slightly more complex than writing a blog, but it's not that hard. Besides, numerous content experts offer free templates and instructions on how to do a social media audit and the majority of social networks have aggregated the data for you. If you have goals, then you know what you're looking for in your data. Much of the audit will require running specific reports, cutting and pasting into the preferred template, and analyzing the results.
Myth: My strategy is exceptional and I don't need an audit.
Reality: Wow! You must be an incredible content marketer. You have nothing left to learn from an ever-changing industry. Let's be serious. Everyone needs an audit, no matter how exceptional their content strategy. There is always something to learn in the dataset, even if your content program is strong. What if one platform suddenly starts performing better than expected? A savvy content marketer wants to know why in order to repeat those results. How well did your last campaign perform? Content marketers need to track if there a change in how the audience is engaging with content, what pieces are performing well or not, and what content or platforms to cut loose. The answers lie in pulling the numbers and taking a hard look at the social strategy.
Myth: I haven't launched my content marketing plan, so I don't need an audit.
Reality: While you may not have a follower count or examples of top performing content just yet, a social media audit still a smart thing to do when designing your content marketing plan. Part of a good audit process requires an audience analysis and competitor study. As you gear up for content marketing, you need to know who you are designing for and what networks you expected to use. Studying the content your competitors are publishing and what the audience prefers is a smart business practice. On the flip side, maybe your business has social networks but until now lacked a formal plan. As you prepare to improve your efforts with a new content marketing plan, conduct the social media audit to identify the practices working for you and what’s not to better measure the improvements in the future.
Myth: I won't learn anything new from an audit.
Reality: If you do a social media audit, correctly this should not be true. Even if all the audit reveals is your social media strategy is working, your audience is engaging with the content you expected, and you are reaching your goals, that’s still something learned. Knowing content is performing well is just as critical as knowing what's not performing. In this case, a social media audit justifies the strategies and content marketing plan. Isn't success good news to know and to show your team?
We haven't convinced you to do a social media audit, check out why we like audits and you should, too. The audit process is intended to empower, not serve as a “gotcha” moment. Put these myths to rest and start your audit today.