The audit you’ll actually want to do…
Quick! Think of your favorite brand.
Quicker! Think about how you interact with that brand on social media platforms.
Do you follow them on every media platform possible? Do you love their posts? Do they post consistently to your liking? Do you share/retweet/favorite them on a regular basis?
Now, consider your answers to those questions. I’ll wait while you do.
Cue Jeopardy theme…
Do you have your answers? Great! You, my friend, just performed your own small-scale social media audit.
“Dana, what on Earth is a social media audit?” I am so glad you asked!
Now I know the word “audit” may trigger some panic because, y’know, taxes. But I promise this kind of audit is one you want to utilize (especially if you’re an aspiring PR practitioner like me).
A social media audit is essentially an examination of how a brand manages their brand online and whether or not they’re utilizing social media to its fullest potential.
Step one of a social media audit is to research. Identify the brand’s “why.” Why are they doing what they’re doing? Identify the brand’s target audience and how the “why” fits in with their demographic and psychographic.
Then, take an inventory of the brand’s digital and social channels. Their website of course, but what social media platforms are they on? Do they have an app? A blog?
Then you should check out their search engine optimization. Basically, when you Google/Yahoo/Bing search the brand, are they the first result?
After that, go to all of their social media platforms and determine how large their follower/audience count is for each one. It also helps if their accounts are verified. While you’re there, evaluate what kind of listening and engagement strategy they’re implementing. Do they reply to tweets from their followers? Do they respond to complaints in a way that is visible to all of their followers?
Finally, it’s time to evaluate their content strategy. This encompasses their frequency of posting, their consistency of content across platforms, tone, calls to action, types of content.
Types of Content
Types of content is my favorite to tell people about because once I tell you about them, you’ll see them everywhere.
- This is when a company or organization seeks relevant content that already exists and posts it on its own social media accounts.
- An example of this is when an organization will tweet out a link to an article that was written about it.
- Here’s an example. A blog on content curation, posting information about content creation, educating by utilizing content creation.
User Generated Content (UGC)
- UGC is pretty much just what it sounds like.
- You’ll probably recognize it as when a brand will tweet/post something like, “Send us pictures of you _____!” And then they’ll share their favorites.
- Essentially, this is when brands utilize audience engagement to get their audience members to contribute to their content creation efforts.
- This is similar to UGC, but not all the same.
- The best example of this is Wikipedia. Meaning it is when a brand looks to its audience members for contributions and inspiration.
- Like UGC in that the audience does the work, but different in that this is more for ideas of content instead of content itself. (i.e. “What do you want to see on our blog this week?”)
- Here’s a great article on why crowdsourced content can be useful.
Ah, dear old friend…
- This is exactly what it sounds like.
- A brand plans, creates and posts content made entirely from scratch. Photos, blogs and copy all from the mind of the brand’s digital planner.
There you have it, the four types of content. Good to know if you’re planning to perform a social media audit anytime soon.
And, if you’re like me, you’ll start recognizing them everywhere you look!
(Did the “Full House” theme just get stuck in anyone else’s head?)