A social media audit is equiv­a­lent to a mar­ket­ing health and well­ness check-up.

It’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty to proac­tive­ly check the vitals, DNA, cir­cu­la­tion, defi­cien­cies, activ­i­ty lev­els of your social media efforts.

Audit­ing the per­for­mance and out­come of your social media mar­ket­ing gives insights on how your brand com­pares to the size, weight, reach and influ­ence.

Here’s how you can con­duct a suc­cess­ful social media audit in 12 steps.

1. Schedule It

Instead of wait­ing until a poten­tial prob­lem is detect­ed or for fail­ing results to appear, proac­tive­ly sched­ule an audit for your brand at least two times a year.

A social media audit will cre­ate an effi­cient and action­able update to a social media strat­e­gy.

2. Include PR, SEO & PPC to the Audit

Liv­ing behind closed doors in the social media mar­ket­ing room leads to dehy­dra­tion and loss of healthy nutri­ents to a social media mar­ket­ing plan.

Pub­lic rela­tions, search and PPC will add depth, opti­miza­tion, and vital con­tent to a social media plan.

Com­bin­ing mar­ket­ing agen­das gives a sense of syn­chronic­i­ty and sup­ple­ments the social media plan­ning with aligned busi­ness goals and objec­tives.

3. Grading Scale

Hav­ing a process and method­ol­o­gy for a social media audit is essen­tial for long-term suc­cess and effi­cien­cies.

Whether it’s your own process using Excel, a tem­plate from a third par­ty source, or a plat­form such as Sprout Social, using con­sis­tent meth­ods puts a sci­ence behind the his­tor­i­cal com­par­isons.

Con­sid­er­ing 72 per­cent of the con­tent indus­try say they’re chal­lenged with man­ag­ing work­flows and new tech­nol­o­gy, V.P. of Brand Cre­ative at Han­son Dodge Sarah Collins shares her approach to a social media audit.

4. Headlines & Grades

We start with com­peti­tors and look for ‘who’s to beat.’ Then we write the head­line for what each competitor’s strat­e­gy appears to be. From there, we map it on a quad­rant to deter­mine the white space for the brand we rep­re­sent,” Collins said.

Tak­ing the quan­ti­ta­tive and qual­i­ta­tive fac­tors, Collins breaks down a social media audit approach like this:

Quan­ti­ta­tive takes into account com­peti­tors, com­mu­ni­ty size, engage­ment, native chan­nels (includ­ing Face­book insights, ana­lyt­ics), and paid chan­nels (such as Iconosquare, Cube­y­ou, Nuvi, Rival IQ).

Qual­i­ta­tive analy­sis con­tent, paid social via Rival IQ, engage­ment.

5. Website & Blog Assessment

Check the rel­e­vant web­site and blog pages to check for social media fac­tors includ­ing:

  • Share­abil­i­ty.
  • Meta titles and descrip­tions.
  • For­mat­ting.
  • Key­words.
  • Visu­als.
  • Con­tent per­for­mance.

Questions to Ask

  • Are your blog posts easy to share?
  • Do your titles and descrip­tions make sense in a share?
  • How about those visu­als? Are they share­wor­thy or bor­ing?
  • What is the best per­form­ing con­tent? (You might be sur­prised and want to rework the con­tent strat­e­gy.)
  • What is the top per­form­ing social media net­work in Google Ana­lyt­ics?
  • Are you inte­grat­ing chat­bots to your home page?

6. Social Media Channel Review

This is where you want to review each chan­nel, includ­ing this check­list:

  • Page/profile opti­miza­tion.
  • Cov­er and pro­file image use.
  • Visu­al assets.
  • Video opti­miza­tion (i.e. playlists, fea­tured, etc.).
  • Fre­quen­cy and tim­ing.
  • Con­tent types/mix.
  • Com­ment sen­ti­ment and response time.
  • Live video use.
  • Engage­ment.
  • Brand­ing.
  • Opti­miza­tion.
  • Chat­bots and mes­sen­ger use and strat­e­gy.

I like to see how they han­dle the cus­tomer ser­vice on social media feeds,” said Melis­sa Fach, Pub­con Com­mu­ni­ty Man­ag­er and Blog Edi­tor at SEM­rush. “Many brands are using chat­bots and Face­book Mes­sen­ger wrong. They respond to every­one the same way. Chat­bots will be a huge prob­lem in the future if brands don’t start pay­ing atten­tion. Right now it may look like they don’t care.”

Social PR Secret: Con­sid­er adding a chat­bot strat­e­gy to your audit check­list. See what the com­pe­ti­tion is doing and how you can improve social cus­tomer ser­vice, bet­ter serve web­site vis­its and improve mes­sag­ing out­reach using chat­bots.

7. Competitive Social Media Review

Com­pare your brand’s social media chan­nels with at least two com­peti­tors or like-mind­ed brand.

Cre­ate a spread­sheet and make nota­tions of:

  • Pub­lish­ing trends com­pared to com­peti­tors.
  • Cre­ative.
  • Fre­quen­cy.
  • Con­tent types.
  • Influ­encers.
  • Engage­ment.

8. Content Style, Messaging & Optimization Analysis

This is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to see how well your con­tent is feed­ing social media results. Look at the over­all con­tent style and brand voice.

  • Is your con­tent robot­ic and infor­mal or is it per­son­al­ized and con­ver­sa­tion­al?
  • Does your con­tent reflect a strate­gic con­tent cal­en­dar or are you wing­ing it?
  • Are you using hash­tags effec­tive­ly to max­i­mize reach?
  • Is your social team tak­ing trends into con­sid­er­a­tion?

Look at each social media net­works as its own search engine.

Social PR Secret: It’s impor­tant for brands to opti­mize for each social media chan­nel just like they would opti­mize using key­words, links, and images for Google. Treat each chan­nel like a search engine and opti­mize your con­tent, images, video, and pro­files.

I like at where social shares lead to,” Fach said. “Is it help­ful con­tent ver­sus some­thing salesy? Offer a solu­tion that will help the per­son – most brands make a promise and lead the audi­ence back to mis­lead­ing con­tent. Avoid the bait and switch type of social con­tent.”

Per­sona Review

When con­duct­ing your per­sona review you just might find your brand does not have any per­sona. Now is the time to add per­sonas to your social media mar­ket­ing reg­i­men.

Every brand usu­al­ly has sev­er­al types of audi­ence per­sonas to tar­get. If you don’t have per­sonas, start with a tem­plate from xten­sio or Hub­spot.

Social PR Secret: Have a per­sona review with your team. Add insights, inter­ests and more details to make each per­sona as real and authen­tic as pos­si­ble.

Remem­ber to have one of the per­sonas rep­re­sent your brand’s tar­get­ed jour­nal­ists, reporters, and media influ­encers

9. Social Media Distribution & Publishing Assessment

Brand to self “I’ve cre­at­ed amaz­ing social media con­tent! The only prob­lem is it’s not get­ting expo­sure, reach or results.”

Check to see the con­tent chan­nels and be sure the chan­nels line up to your audi­ence.

Con­sid­er addi­tion­al dis­tri­b­u­tions such as:

  • Press releas­es.
  • Medi­um.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Guest posts.
  • Events.
  • Con­fer­ences.
  • Tradeshows.

Social PR Secret: Con­tent dis­tri­b­u­tion is a crit­i­cal step in social media suc­cess. Many brands pub­lish once and move on to the next piece of con­tent. Guy Kawasaki’s famous advice when it comes to social media dis­tri­b­u­tion is to pub­lish, rinse, and repeat.

10. Visual Asset Audit Including Video

Today’s social media visu­al trend mix includes all of the fol­low­ing:

  • Live video.
  • Ver­ti­cal video.
  • Square images.
  • Sto­ries.
  • GIFs.
  • Memes.
  • Info­graph­ics.
  • Aug­ment­ed real­i­ty con­tent.
  • Lens­es.
  • Fil­ters.
  • Text over­lay on images.
  • Fil­tered images.

Match up today’s social media trends as to what is work­ing and trend­ing com­pared to your brand’s use of visu­als.

Are you behind the times? Using last years famous trends?

Now is the time for a visu­al facelift to stay up to speed on what your audi­ence is expect­ing and engag­ing in. Sift through the trends and com­pare your visu­als with this check­list:

  • Types
  • Opti­miza­tion (i.e., alt tags, titles, descrip­tions, playlists)
  • Web/blog visu­als
  • Social
  • Sto­ries
  • AR/VR

11. Dig Deep & Set up Accurate Tracking

When it comes to social media audit­ing you’ve got to be real. Social media is full of “fluffy” met­rics, also com­mon­ly known as van­i­ty met­rics such as likes and com­ments. These met­rics types don’t real­ly tell us a whole lot of mean­ing­ful insights.

If you’re look­ing to dig a bit deep­er and cor­re­late actu­al ROI and mon­ey being made because of your social media efforts you need to get nit­ty grit­ty when defin­ing your goals and met­rics on social,” said Ash­ley Ward, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strate­gist.

One of the best ways to track an actu­al pur­chase from a social media post is to do any of the fol­low­ing:

  • Use UTM codes with­in your social media posts with short­ened links to prod­uct pages
  • Track the refer­ral source in Google Ana­lyt­ics or SEM­rush.
  • Cre­ate a unique pro­mo code that you only share on a social media net­work (make sure you use a unique one for each social media net­work so you can track which net­work gives you the most pur­chas­es).

Maybe pur­chas­es aren’t your thing and those 500 likes are real­ly the gold mine for your busi­ness. That’s total­ly fine!

What’s impor­tant is defin­ing a real­is­tic goal, some­thing actu­al­ly mea­sur­ing from social media and give your­self a real­is­tic time­line to do so, said Ward.

12. Third Eye Chakra

Con­sid­er bring­ing in a third par­ty out­side source to review or facil­i­tate a social media audit.

This inde­pen­dent insight can unlock fresh per­spec­tives and ideas while also iden­ti­fy­ing prob­lems and blocks your in-house team might not be able to see.


Get on the scale, see how your brand weighs in.

Keep­ing your social media mar­ket­ing in a healthy state cre­ates the most oppor­tu­ni­ty for audi­ence reten­tion and atten­tion.

Sched­ul­ing social media check-ups twice a year gives brands a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage, no Fit­bit required.