Practically every article about digital marketing has some amazing statistic about how many people use social media and the incredible potential it has as a marketing strategy. According to a 2018 CMO survey, 42.3% of marketers believe that social media has a great impact on their businesses, while at the same time only 23.3% of marketers are able to prove the impact of social media marketing quantitatively. This discrepancy reprensents a big problem for small businesses like mine, where both time and money is tight and everything we do needs to be leveraged to ensure the maximum impact.
In her article about Social Media Audits, Christana Newberry highlights how conducting an audit for our small business should be a key part of developing, or updating a social media marketing plan. This will let us see what we have done, highlight things that are working or not, and hopefully identify new opportunities for marketing our business using social media.
Step 1: Create a spreadsheet to keep track of all our information.
My spreadsheet included the following information:
- A list of each social media platform our business uses
- The URL
- The User Name or Handle (with the password, and admins)
- Date Created
- When was the last post (and a link to it)
- The number of followers on each platform as of today
Already this simple step highlighted that we have a link to G+ on our main webpage, which is no longer supported! I also noticed that our username on Twitter isn’t the same as our business name, which is something to look into. We will also have to consider if creating a Pinterest account is useful as a marketing tool.
Step 2. Make sure each account is complete and on brand.
On a new page in my spreadsheet I put the “About/Bio” information for each account. Once I had them side by side I could see that the wording on each of these is different, and somewhat awkward. A goal will be to rewrite these, and ensure that they have the same messages across all three platforms. I will have to learn more about how to optimize the words I use for key word searches. Otherwise the branding is good, with a similar feel for each platform and links back to the Webpage on each. We will have to look into why the handle for Twitter is not the business name and if anything can be done about it.
Step 3. Analyse posts and engagement.
Five years ago we hired a marketing firm to help us create some marketing materials including our Webpage, Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel. There was a flurry of activity in the six or so months we worked with them, and then pretty much nothing has happened on any of the accounts since then. As part of their work the marketing company did create eight high quality blog posts and seven videos which we have posted on our website, and on our own YouTube channel. Nevertheless, a closer look at each of the accounts does reveal some important data about each platform:
- Webpage: We need to set up the proper tools to better monitor what is happening on our webpage. Right now we can hardly get any data at all.
- Facebook: We have less than 100 followers, and even when we were posting we hardly had any engagement in terms of likes, comments or reposting.
- Twitter: Again, we have less than 100 followers, and even when we were actively posting, we rarely had any engagement in terms of likes, comments, retweets or mentions.
- YouTube: Of the seven videos we made, two have over 2K views, one has 1.5K views and the rest are lower than 100 views. A more careful analysis of the differences between the videos reveal that the top three videos appear in the top two choices for a Google Search “all” or “videos”. We will have to dig more deeply into why this is happening, but a casual glance shows that two of our videos are so poorly named that they couldn’t ever come up from a Google search.
It’s clear that we will need to think more closely about our content mix for each of these channels. Some preliminary recommendations:
- Maximize our created content by linking to it on each of our accounts.
- New created content needs to have a link back to our website.
- Stratigize what kind of content we need to create moving forward.
- Curate content on each of our platforms.
- Emphasize engagement by setting goals for responding to viewer engagement.
- Identify call to action.
Step 4. Establish social media goals.
Once I started working on this step I realized that we don’t have a clearly articulated mission statement or objectives for our business, and this is affecting our goal setting for our social media marketing plan. Once we have taken the time to articulate our business Vision, Mission and Goals we will be better positioned to identify goals for our marketing plan, with a focus on social media marketing. This Buffer article provides a nice list of possible goals for our social media marketing plans, as well as suggestions for how to ensure we get the right metrics to monitor our success. https://buffer.com/library/social-media-goals
Step 5. Use customer persona and social media demographics to identify the platforms we want to use.
We are marketing to US and Canadian teachers. The next step will be to bring together the demographics for each social media platform with our customer persona in order to decide which channels are right for our business. Each nature of each platform should have a clear link to our social media strategy (Newberry, 2019).
My audit didn’t include all the possible steps in performing a social media audit, in part because we don’t have a very well developed social media presence at this point. But we did have the chance to make some observations about what has happened so far, and to begin to think about what we want to happen next.
The CMO Survey: 2018. Retrieved https://cmosurvey.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2018/02/The_CMO_Survey-Highights_and_Insights_Report-Feb-2018.pdf
Jackson, D. (2019, August 19). How to Perform a Social Media Audit (Free Template Included). Retrieved from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-audit/.
Lua, A. (2019, January 15). 9 Social Media Goals You Can Set for Your Business (and How to Track Them) -. Retrieved from https://buffer.com/library/social-media-goals.