A Step-By-Step Guide for Conducting a Social Media Audit

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A social media audit can be one of your best annual content marketing investments because it:

  • Provides direct evidence of which channels are effective for engaging your community
  • Uncovers your competitor’s content strategies so you can differentiate yourself
  • Sets the foundation for your annual social media strategy

But, actually conducting that audit? Well, some things are easier said than done.

Our consultancy has partnered with dozens of brands to help them improve their social media strategies, and we start every one of those engagements with a social media audit. Over time, we’ve found smart ways to streamline the process and ensure we extract every juicy detail we can (without letting the audit take an entire month’s retainer).

Let me show you our social media audit process to help you measure your brand’s success and set a winning strategy for the future.

How to Audit Your Social Media Channels to Improve Your Content Strategy

Perform a social media audit at least once yearly, ideally before your annual content marketing and social media planning. Resources allowing—or once you’re a believer in the benefits of an audit—perform a quarterly mini audit to check in on your competitors and research anyone new who has caught your eye. 

Make a copy of our free social media channel audit spreadsheet, and let’s get started!

Step 1: List your brand channels

First sheet first, link to every brand social media and content marketing channel. You will want to include any inactive profiles or those you’ve lost access to over the years, too.

For now, focus just on columns B-D. 

  • List your account profile name in column B and link to it
  • Record your follower count in column C
  • Provide a general estimate of how frequently you post on the channel in column D

Add rows as needed to reflect every social media platform your brand has a profile on. 

Your spreadsheet should look like this once you’re finished (I’ve used the PlayStation brand as an example):

A screenshot of a partially completed Erika Heald Marketing Consulting social media audit spreadsheet, which uses PlayStation as the example brand. In this screenshot, sheet one from the template is complete, listing all of PlayStation's social media accounts in column B, follower counts in column C, and posting frequency in column D.

Step 2: Record your follower count

Copy and paste your follower count from sheet one, “COMPANY Social Audit,” into sheet three, “Social Performance.” Each time you update the audit, record your follower count.

A screenshot of a partially completed Erika Heald Marketing Consulting social media audit spreadsheet, which uses PlayStation as the example brand. In this screenshot, sheet three from the template is complete, PlayStation's follower counts for May 2024 in column B.

Record your engagement on each channel by month, which you can access through each platform’s built-in metrics or by using a social media management and analytics tool

This sheet provides an at-a-glance look at your follower and engagement growth and trends by month. 

Step 3: List your competitor channels

In the second sheet, start recording your competitors’ social media channels. You can also track company partners, brands you admire, or those you think are doing great on social media. No need to limit yourself to just your direct industry competition!

This step can be time-consuming and a little monotonous, especially if you have a long list of brands to research. I follow these steps to streamline the process:

  • Link to every brand’s website in the sheet.
  • One brand at a time, open the website in a new tab.
  • Search the website for social media buttons (usually in the footer or the “About” page). Open each channel in a new tab.
  • Manually Google search to fill in the gaps. Just because it’s not on the company’s homepage doesn’t mean it’s not an active channel!

By reviewing competitor brands right after your company’s owned profiles, you’ll be primed to note the relevant differences. 

A screenshot of a partially completed Erika Heald Marketing Consulting social media audit spreadsheet, which uses PlayStation as the example brand. In this screenshot, sheet two is filled out with details of Nintendo, Xbox, Steam, and Meta Quest social media channel profile names and follower counts.

Step 4: Skim for competitor learnings

Congratulations! You’ve made some major progress. Your spreadsheet is now the hub for everything you need to monitor your competitors moving forward. And now we’re getting into the fun part. 

Going one channel at a time (i.e. Starting with Threads, then Facebook, then LinkedIn), open all of your competitor profiles in separate tabs. Scroll through each account and look for posts that:

  • Received a significant amount of engagement (reactions and/or comments)
  • Display the brand’s visual identity and content strategy
  • Offer a valuable idea for how you can approach your own brand social strategy
  • Were poorly received or are not the best reflection of what to do on social media

Screenshot posts so you can compile them in an executive presentation and revisit them in the future. I recommend creating a shared folder where you save each screenshot, organized by audit month and channel.

Record observations for each channel at the bottom of the sheet—anything notable regarding their strategy or unique about their presence, write it down!

A screenshot of a partially completed Erika Heald Marketing Consulting social media audit spreadsheet, which uses PlayStation as the example brand. In this screenshot, the bottom section of sheet three, "Observations" is filled out with observations from PlayStation's competitor or industry peer social media accounts, like "Every post has an image or video (Xbox)" and "Minimal engagement on content (Meta)."

Step 5: Find your brand executives’ social channels

Jumping to the fourth sheet, list all your executives, notable brand leaders, and other subject matter experts who are active on social media.

A screenshot of a partially completed Erika Heald Marketing Consulting social media audit spreadsheet, which uses PlayStation as the example brand. In this screenshot, sheet four is complete, listing PlayStation's executives and their social media channels and follower counts.

This sheet will show which followings are the largest and will allow you to access each channel quickly.

Note if any profiles have outdated information, such as not reflecting the individual’s current role or featuring old company messaging. Reach out to the executives or their communications manager or assistant and ask that they update the profiles to align them with the company branding and the individual’s personal thought leadership platform.

Step 6: Set goals for your channels

After all this research, you now better understand what your competitors are doing to stand out on social media and what success might look like for brand in your industry. Using your competitive intelligence, set attainable goals for your organization and record them in sheet one, column E. 

Document your action items in column F.

A screenshot of a partially completed Erika Heald Marketing Consulting social media audit spreadsheet, which uses PlayStation as the example brand. In this screenshot, sheet one from the template now includes recommended goals and action items.

Step 7: Repeat the process at least once a year

Prior to your annual content marketing planning, revisit your audit spreadsheet and update each column. 

  • Did you follow through on the goals you set for your channels? 
  • Are there new competitors or innovative brands you should start tracking?
  • Have your competitors started doing anything new on social media?

Using Social Media to Achieve Your Brand Goals

Your brand is constantly competing for your community’s attention on social media. A consistent social media audit cycle helps you stay ahead of the pack and gradually learn what resonates best with your community on each social media channel.

If you’re looking for hands-on support to audit your social media strategy and experiment with your approach, we’d love to help. Reach out to us today and tell us what you hope to accomplish on social media.   

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