If you’re reading this blog, chances are you work in the PR or marketing field.
Chances are also that you probably helped your client or company get started with social about 2-4 years ago.
And now it’s 2013. You’ve been at it for a while now, right? You’ve been building momentum. Measuring results.
But, have you stopped to track your progress lately?
And, do you know how you measure up against your competitors in your category?
Have your fans expectations or needs/wants changed in social communities since you first started them?
Are you still using the *right* social communities/tools?
All good questions you would ask yourself as part of what I like to call a “mid-term social media audit.”
And, it’s something every company can do with just a little effort and money.
There are many ways to go about conducting a mid-term social media audit, but here would be my recommended course of action:
Poll your Facebook community
I would argue you could do this once a year, but it’s a great tactic for a mid-term audit. Keep your question list fairly tight–maybe 10-15 questions. Use a few of those to mine more demographic information about your fans–the info Facebook Insights doesn’t give you (household income, for example). Focus the rest of strategic questions that would help inform your marketing decisions down the road. Could be around what fans want to hear from you about on Facebook? Could be more aligned with specific marketing programs you’re running. I would suggest using a simple tool like SurveyMonkey to organize the survey. And let it run for 1-2 weeks, max. Share the survey on Facebook–and be sure to “promote” it each time so you ensure as many of your existing fans see it as possible. Finally, I’d recommend giving folks a carrot to take the survey–a product/service giveaway of some sort (preferably, one connected to your brand). And voila–you’ll have a slew of great data from one of your best (for most) social communities on which to make key decisions for future months.
Audit your own social channels
Take a closer look at your own accounts. Have some fallen into disrepair? You may have some accounts that are still “open” that you may have forgotten about. Take a close look at metrics (fan counts, reach, etc.) and compare it with where you were a year ago (and maybe even two years ago). This benchmarking, unless you’re doing it already, will give you a good glimpse of how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished over the last few years (and, it also gives you good fodder to merchandise with your boss and senior execs).
Audit your competitors–and identify their weaknesses
This is one of those things I would think most companies would do–but I’m guessing very few do. Take a look at your primary and secondary competitors (probably a list of 4-8 for most brands). Look at every social account they own. Not fan/follower counts, but also provide thoughtful analysis on what they’re doing well–and what they could be doing better. Then, create a grid you can use with others outside your department to show how your company stacks up against these competitors when it comes to social. This will give these folks a clear, instant picture of what your competitive set looks like in the social realm. And again, this is great information to merchandise with that senior group of leaders, as they’re ALWAYS interested in what your competitors are up to from a marketing/business perspective.
Compare listening reports to when you began your accounts
If you use a paid listening service, create a fairly basic report searching for a short list of keywords important to you, and compare it with what you saw (if you still have it) from 1-2 years ago. Note the differences. Are your customers talking about your differently? Are they using different language? Has your customer demographic changed at all? Are there surprises you’ve found over the last two years in how your customers are talking about you? Note all these items and document them. They’ll come in handy as you think about strategy in the months/years ahead.
OK, so those are my ideas. Got anything you’d add to a mid-term social audit process?
Note: Photo courtesy of aerial_m via FlickR Creative Commons.