ImageAs a marketing professional, it’s easy to be too close to what you are doing, to lose sight of the forest for the trees.

Social media is no different – especially for an agency.

Whether you handle a clients’ social media or not, it is your responsibility to occasionally audit your clients’ social presence to ensure they are following best practices.

If the client is NOT a retainer client, it is a fantastic opportunity to provide value, remind clients that you offer services OTHER than what they currently use, and even upsell a new service or project. If you already maintain their social media presence, then an audit just makes you look that much more ON TOP OF YOUR GAME. It helps you view the client with fresh eyes, re-evaluate your social and content strategy, and rejuvenate activity.

A social media audit can be done one of two ways:

  • ”Behind closed doors” with an outsourced professional, if you don’t have the expertise within the agency. Have the professional conduct and present the audit, or simply white-label their finished audit with your agency logo, make it look fabulous and present the results.  Either way, your client gets an end deliverable that makes YOUR agency looks like a rock star for bringing fresh new ideas to the table.
  • As an internal agency process, often including the client, using a formalized process. The agency should be sure to bring in fresh talent (outsourced or in-house from another team that doesn’t handle the account being audited) to give it some outside perspective. NEVER use the same team that works on the account every day. Bring in fresh blood.

As far as timing goes, it can be attached to major company milestones, such as before a product or advertising campaign launch, after an acquisition, or when someone new joins the marketing team – to see if tactics need to change – or it can be done on a calendar basis. Please don’t make it an annual process, though; do it more often.

What is a social media audit?

An audit reviews all social media assets, compares them to company goals and metrics, then determines if changes need to be made.  On a simpler level, it can simply be a review to ensure the client is following best practices.  If you Google the term, you’ll find all kinds of great resources.

A few things to consider include:

  • Who do you want to reach? Why?
  • Are you using the right social platform to reach them?
  • What motivates them?
  • Are you publishing content that speaks to those motivators?
  • What is your end goal – sales? reach? leads?
  • Are you accomplishing that goal?
  • Who or why not?
  • What can you change or enhance to be more successful?

Sometimes a frog is just a frog – and
. Think of a social media audit as a kiss… either a kiss of death bringing issues to light, so you can transform it into something princely… or a kiss of affirmation that you are doing everything right.  Either way, it only helps.

Top blunders your clients are probably making

Most companies (and even agencies) are consistently making blunders in these specific areas. So if you aren’t sure where to start with your audit, start here.

  1. TOO PROMOTIONAL. Remember it’s about them – not you.
  2. LACK OF CONVERSATION. Are you posting too much? Are you being social?
  3. LACK OF MONITORING. Are you watching what is being said about your brand? Responding quickly enough? Don’t let dialog about your company or product happen without you.
  4. THINKING EVERYONE CARES. Do you understand your audience, and are you giving them what they want? Or are you feeding them what you want them to see… Nobody cares about your company, brand or product unless you give them A REASON to care.
  5. NO INCENTIVE TO LIKE. On Facebook, for example, most people only like a handful of Pages. Are you giving them a reason to follow you, or are you just regurgitating boring content that can be found all over the internet. How are you different? Fresh? Engaging? How is your company page different than most company pages?
  6. LACK OF CREATIVITY. Just because it is a business page, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. People crave content that is fun, that sparks controversy or opens the door to conversation. They don’t want a news feed, an advertisement, or being told what to think. Ask what they think! No engagement is a red flag that screams, “BORING!”

Success with social media comes down to understanding your strategy, understanding your audience, and creating something that fits both while accomplishing your end goal. Regular audits should measure against all of these things, and help you drive change.

Don’t be afraid to make major changes, if what you are doing doesn’t work for you. CHANGE IS GOOD.