Now that everyone’s well on the “Social media bandwagon,” it’s time for the savvy entrepreneur to access their position with their online marketing to see where they stand. Traditionally, you would perform a “Social Media Audit” as you are launching a social media campaign to understand what your competition is doing and get a better handle on how you’ll lend your expertise to the current digital conversation happening on your topic. However, many of us have been doing some form of social media for a while, so now it’s time to review your current social media marketing efforts to figure out what you’re doing right and wrong.
Whichever stage you’re in, there are 3 key questions to ask yourself during your Social Media Audit that will help make your social media marketing efforts more effective:
1) What’s the Current Conversation? Analyze your own social footprint by reviewing each of your online marketing platforms including your website/blog, your social profiles, and any other spaces where people are likely talking about your brand. This includes identifying and observing your competitor’s social media tactics and devising ways that you can learn from their successes and failures. It’s likely you’ll pick up some industry best practices that will help you improve your own social marketing objectives.
2) Am I Achieving My Social Media Marketing Goals? Note: this question implies that you’ve already set your goals as a way to measure your social media marketing activities. Successful social media campaigns have clearly defined objectives and goals. Typically, goals include trying to grow fans or followers, build your brand, demonstrate your expertise, or build an online community. Now is the time to revisit your goals or create some and compare them to your social and web analytics.
3) What Changes Must Be Made? Once you have a firm grasp on where you stand in the social media marketing space and how you compare to your competitors, the final step is deciding what needs to be changed within your revised social marketing strategy to ensure that you’re able to achieve your objectives. What will you do to increase brand awareness and loyalty? How will you deliver more traffic to your website or increase the number of followers on your social profiles? Do you need a new social monitoring tool? Do you need to update the visual look and style of your websites and other online properties, or change them so that they’re optimized for mobile devices? All these questions will likely come up as you work to tweak your social marketing plan to align with the goals you want to achieve through using social media.
After you’ve done a Social Media Audit, you should make periodic plans to revisit your effort either quarterly or every 6 months depending on both your long and short-term objectives. Over time, having this audit information along with your web properties analytics will make calculating the ROI on your social marketing investment a cinch!
Kindra Cotton is a Serial Entrepreneur, Technology & Social Media Specialist, and Jill of 546372 Trades (and a Master of Two). She specializes in social media marketing, market research, and strategic information consultancy. A global netizen with years of expertise with Internet and web-based technologies, she channels her passion for entrepreneurship, information technology, and social media into being an excellent resource for online marketers and people looking to promote their brand on the web as Examiner.com’s National Online Marketing Examiner.
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