With the importance and prominence of social media and online discussions as part of your company’s marketing effort, the way your brand is portrayed and perceived is no longer solely in your company’s hands. Your customers, competitors and other industry influencers may be discussing your brand on popular social media platforms and online forums. And because these channels are searchable, what is being said can permanently be tied back to your organization.
Thanks to this shift from one-way communications to an open dialogue, your company needs to not just contribute content in these online platforms but also monitor what is being said about your brand. Because social media encompasses so many platforms that are constantly updating and changing, it can be very overwhelming to navigate if you don’t have a plan of action for your search.
The best way to begin is to conduct an audit of your company’s social media presence. Below are three steps to follow for conducting an audit of your company’s social media efforts:
Step 1 — Marketing and Sales Initiatives
Review your company’s short- and long-term marketing and sales initiatives to gain a better understanding of how social networking will be able to support them.
Key areas of engagement to focus on include the following:
- Customer service
- Customer insight
- Customer loyalty
- Brand management
Step 2 — Market Situation
Outline market situation to determine how social networking will support your company’s sales and marketing initiatives.
Analyze the social networking landscape for the industry.
- Who are the industry influencers
- What topics are being discussed
- What is the levels and areas of engagement
Analyze your customers’ social media usage.
- Are they using it
- What is their usage frequency
- What are the most popular platforms
Research competitive social media presence.
- Determine what platforms enlisted
- Analyze social streams to interrupt perceived strategies
- Build profiles around who the competition is engaging with
- Provide insights on potential overall success of efforts based on levels of engagement
Research company-related chatter across social platforms
- Assess your company’s current social media presence and activity
- Determine which platforms are producing the most chatter
- Establish background information on the people participating the most
- Analyze the nature of the chatter and determine the tone
Step 3 — Social Network
Develop a social networking recommendation that includes the following:
- Recap of market situation
- Strategies and messaging to support your company’s areas of engagement
- Listening and engagement process and guidelines
- Content monitoring
- Response system
- Internal and external list of resources
- Monitoring services
- Engagement dashboards
The most success sales and marketing strategies are founded through an alignment of research, listening, messaging, processes and guidelines. What you discover through doing this social media audit will help you determine and develop next steps in your social media initiatives.