When was the last time you conducted a social content audit?

If you work in the world of social media marketing, your days are most likely filled with:

  • Creating content
  • Meetings
  • Managing communities
  • More meetings
  • Developing dashboards
  • Even more meetings
  • And more meetings

Fact it–you’re busy. Head down, hair on fire, 24/7, 365. That’s just the way social media marketers work (in my experience, at least).

sm-audit

You’re so busy you rarely have more than 10 minutes to sit back and evaluate how your content has been performing and what you can do to optimize the results.

In fact, while we’re hear: When was the last time you conducted a social content audit? Have you ever? (and this is a good time of year to consider this)

If you stop to think about it, wouldn’t it make sense to conduct some kind of audit once or twice a year? I mean, we’re not talking about THAT much work.

Why would you complete a social content audit? A few reasons:

  • Chance to reflect on quarterly/bi-annual/annual stats
  • Chance to really dive deep and look at what content worked–and what didn’t
  • Chance to see what your competitors are up to (I’d definitely look at this)
  • And, a chance to see where you have gaps and where you have opportunities (SWOT analysis, anyone?)

Yep, a simple content audit twice a year could really keep you on the right path toward your annual goals.

What’s in a social content audit?

  • Stats/Numbers. I’d include impressions, engagement numbers and web data.
  • Specific examples/anecdotes. Key comments from customers, employees and other stakeholders over the last six months, and what they mean for you. These are often the most important part of the entire audit.
  • Competitive analysis. I take that back, THIS is often the most important part of the audit (even though it has nothing to do with YOUR content). In my experience, this is something companies rarely, if ever, look at. So, when I’ve done this for brands, they always value it.
  • Best practices. Never hurts to reiterate these–even if you’ve heard them before (plus, new best practices pop up all the time with all the new tools/functionalities added)
  • Analysis and suggestions. Meat and potatoes of the audit. Given the stats, the examples, your competitors and best practices, what do you see and what do you recommend to management? The key (obviously) to the whole audit–your ANALYSIS.

Next, consider hiring someone outside your organization to conduct the audit (insert flaming self-promotion giggle here). Yeah, I know this is self-serving coming from me, but if I were a social media manager at a big company, I would hire someone from the outside. Why? Outside perspective and credibility, for one. We all know internal partners (and bosses) can start to tune us out over time. An external vendor can provide the exact same analysis/advice you do–but since he/she is an outside vendor, his/her advice may be “heard” a little more clearly (sad, but true–I’ve seen it many times). Plus, the external vendor may find nuggets you simply wouldn’t find because you’re too close to the work day-in and day-out. Finally, time. You most likely don’t have it. Biggest reason to outsource this work.

So, what are you waiting for?

photo credit: European Parliament #PICsocial conference via photopin (license)

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