This week’s blog article was written by Carolyn Dyrdahl, Founder & Marketing Consultant at Marketing Connection. She consults for some of the most social media savvy businesses on Grand Avenue here in St. Paul, MN.
The technical term is social media audits, but don’t let that scare you!
An audit can be conducted when starting a business, when a new objective is on the horizon, and at regular intervals to measure results. Think of it as an examination of your online presence. It allows you to take a look at your brand, content, activity, industry and more to make the most of your social media efforts.
From mini-audits to full audits, the details uncovered ranges in complexity and can be very useful when moving forward. Full audits ultimately deliver content strategy roadmaps that eliminate much future guesswork.
When audits are performed, several themes tend to regularly occur. Here are some practical takeaways to consider that often arise during mini-audits.
Name, bios and descriptions
Use the same username on all social platforms and online directory listings. Read your bio with fresh eyes, and ask someone else to do the same. Does your bio immediately tell what you do, who you serve and where to find you? Include something that speaks to a problem you solve. Write as though you are having an in-person conversation and then instruct on an action the reader can take to experience your brand further.
Brand asset consistency
From your website to your social posts, the fonts, colors, logos, and imagery you use should have the same look and feel. If you keep brand asset consistency in mind, your brand will start to become instantly recognizable. Design tools like Canva, Easil and Adobe Spark will store your brand kits for you so they are at-the-ready when creating designs.
Use of tracking pixels
If you haven’t yet, install the Facebook pixel on your website. Regardless of your plans to advertise, it allows you to start collecting valuable data to learn more about your website visitors. Also, see the Pinterest tag and the LinkedIn Insight tag. Collecting and understanding this data is highly recommended and fruitful because the more we know about our audience, the better we can serve them! Ads can run specifically to an audience composed of those who visited your website, or took a desired action while there. These visitors are your best prospects because they have already shown an interest in your business.
Before the scroll
This is equivalent to the newspaper term, “above the fold.” Fill the space at the top of your website with a concise message and a reason to engage further or learn more. Use a “call to action” button to capture some contact information or offer an invitation. The visitor should know what you do without having to take further action, such as scroll.
When it comes to social posts, one thing we can always use more of are images of people. You’ll see an increase in your engagement rates when photos and videos include the owners, the team, customers and vendors. Injecting some personality will have long-lasting effects as they contribute to likability, earning trust, and social proof. In this age of authenticity and transparency, don’t worry about adding photos to your mix that haven’t been professionally shot and edited. An actionable way to try this method is by utilizing Instagram Stories, which currently attain high reach numbers. Show your customers what’s happening at your place of business, publish it in Instagram Stories, (which last for 24 hours), then archive them to your highlights. The highlights reel will be there for prospective customers when they land on your account to try to get to know you.
Platform-appropriate delivery of content
Think about why someone visits the particular platforms you’re using. For example, people go to Facebook to connect, share and be entertained. On Pinterest, people often conduct research prior to a purchase or use it as a visual search engine. While it’s generally OK to post the same content to each platform, sometimes it doesn’t make sense or serve one of your objectives. Take a minute to consider if a post will really resonate on a particular platform. Sometimes a simple edit such as a photo swap or change of caption, will transform the post to make it fit better. Another benefit of presenting unique content on each platform is that it gives your audience a reason to follow you in more than one place.
Paid social media
When organic reach is low, make your efforts count. The use of engaging organic posts plus paid advertising is the winning combination. Cost-efficient extension of reach is possible through pinpointed targeting. At a minimum, put some ad dollars behind your best performing posts to help reach more people in your existing fan base. Then, they will be more likely to see your next post.
The practice of social media marketing is about applying some art and some science to promotion while peppering in the personal. It’s about beautifully blending unpolished and branded content. It’s about careful planning, timing and executing. It’s delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. It’s thinking about desired outcomes ahead of time and utilizing the content distribution methods that work.
With full audits, a thorough dive looks at many more details in order to present research findings and deliver a complete, individualized strategy focusing on creating content, housing it and distributing it in ways that lead to interactions with your business. Reach out to learn exactly how to connect your dot.coms!