5 easy ways to audit your charity's organic social media
Here are 5 things we look out for in every social media audit at Torchbox. You don't even need any fancy social listening tools, just access to Google Analytics and the built in insights on the social media platform.
A social media audit can be an intimidating task to take on. You might feel you need to be up to date with all the latest trends, have lots of technical knowledge, or years of experience in order to tell what's working and what's not. But there are some simple steps that any social media manager can take to identify areas for improvement.
1. Check your discoverability
Google your organisation and check which social accounts show up in the results and knowledge panel. Does this match the channels you care about?
It's also worth looking at which channels are highlighted on your website in the footer or on the contact page. Again you're making sure that these are up to date and match the accounts you feel are important.
2. Make a good first impression
Try to navigate your way to your social media page as a member of the public would without any saved links or knowing the name of the account. It's a good idea to review the pages on a phone as most people will be viewing the accounts on mobile devices.
Make a note of what you notice about the page, some things to look out for are:
- Does the cover photo accurately represent your organisation?
- Check the link in the bio is up to date and working.
- Is there a pinned post? Is it up to date?
- Check the bio text, don't expand it if it's cut off. Does it send the message you want for the audience of that channel?
It's unlikely that there will be a one size fits all bio that works for every platform. LinkedIn business pages often have an audience of prospective employees, so the bio should mention what it's like to work there. Instagram bios are normally more informal and often use emojis as bullet points.
Most organisations will want to use their homepage as the bio link, but you might want to consider a tool like Linktree on Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok as it allows you to showcase multiple pages.
3. Review your top performing posts
Look at the posts from recent months and use the platform's insights to identify posts with unusually high reach or engagement (likes, comments, shares). Try to work out what made the post successful. Some common factors are:
- Subject matter
- Source of the content
Different types of content tend to provoke different reactions. Controversial topics and asking questions may generate comments. Good news or popular opinions may encourage likes. Particularly useful or unusual content is more likely to get shared or reposted.
Try to identify trends in the top performing posts. This should help identify what the account's audience likes, and give an idea of what the organisation should try to do more. If you don't see any clear trends that also tells you something - maybe the organisation is posting too frequently and the posts aren't getting the chance to show up, or maybe the account has multiple audiences who are following for different reasons.
4. Track yourself down
Take a random post that includes a link to your website and try to track its performance in Google Analytics. Can you answer these questions?
- How many page views did you get as a result of this post?
- How does the traffic quality (bounce rate, session duration, number of pages per session) compare to traffic to the same page from other sources?
- Did any of the visitors from this post go on to take an action on the website (eg. video views, downloads, donations)?
This should be easy to do if you're using UTM tagging, but is probably an absolute nightmare if you're not.
An option that doesn't require UTM tagging is to look at how the traffic from social media compares to other sources. Ask yourself the same questions above to assess how effective your posts are compared to other forms of digital marketing.
5. Check out the competition
We all love being nosy about how other people are doing their jobs, and checking out your competitors' social media can be a great source of inspiration or ideas for what not to do. You can identify who your competitors are by:
- Using your own and your colleagues' knowledge of your sector.
- Looking at the suggested followers on Instagram and Twitter.
- Reviewing the competitor insights on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Clicking on the popular hashtags used in your sector and seeing who is using them.
Once you have identified a few competitors you can complete steps 1-3 without needing special access to any insights. It will probably take more time to scroll through their posts to identify top performers so you might want to look at a shorter time frame than you did for your own channels.
You're looking for similarities and differences in the following:
- Which platforms they're using.
- How often they post.
- The kinds of content they post regularly.
- The kinds of content that generates good levels of engagement.
- Style of images (stock photos, amateur, professional, graphics).
- How much they're using static images vs video.
Where do we go now?
A full social media audit takes time, patience, and an objective eye. It can be emotionally draining to review your own or your colleagues' work and try to find problems so it's important to get buy-in from everyone who works on the channels.
Once you've taken a step back and looked at the wider trends in performance, you're likely to have a lot of ideas for new things to test and best practices to adopt. Remember to go easy on yourself and try to only test one thing at a time.
If you would like any support with a social media audit, or training for your team on best practices, please get in touch with our friendly team.