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Essentials for Audit Social Media Strategies and Plans

Let’s discuss by talking about the role of Efficiently Audit Social Media Strategies. When formulating a social media strategy, it’s essential that you figure out if and where your organization is already engaged in social media activities.

So as part of the market analysis and audit stage of strategic social media operations, you are going to determine if your organization is already doing things effectively. So an audit provides a snapshot in time of where your organization stands in its current social media capacity and performance. And we’ll be looking at key areas of success and areas that require improvement. I mean, after all, if you’re going to set in motion a new social media plan for an organization, it’s very critical that you know how things are already operating.

Importance of Auditing Social Media Strategies and Plans

Here are the points that need to be considered for developing social media strategies and plans:-

  • Now, the primary approach for determining how well an organization is managing a social media presence is called social listening. Basically, you’re gonna go out in the social media world and listen to what’s being said about your organization or your brand.
  • For a larger brand, this can be very challenging, because there could be a lot of activity.
  • The way you want to be sure that you document what you find in a spreadsheet or a database so that you can easily access the information and create it or analyze it. When you work for a larger operation, there can be a lot of involvement with social listening and so there are tools that exist to make this job a little easier.
  • Google has a tool, called Google alerts, where you can put in a term, or perhaps your organization’s name, and Google will alert you anytime that term or name is mentioned and tell you where it was mentioned. This is much easier for you than going out and having to find mentions.
  • There’s also a tool from Google called Google trends that will tell you if a term is being searched frequently, and how much is being searched. Some other tools are mentioned here, one called social mention, and another called Mention.
  • We are going to show you one called a trends map, which visually charts trending topics globally, or by region. So if you work for an operation that has a lot of social media activity, I encourage you to look at the tools and many more that are available on the market to assist you in social listening.
Audit Social Media Strategies
Google Trend Graph
  • In addition to social listening, one of the steps in auditing an organization’s social media performance and to track how it’s utilizing various social media platforms.
  • We mean something very specific, like Facebook or Twitter, an actual account of an organization. So for instance, if an organization has a Twitter account and a Facebook account, you would want to know exactly how well you’re utilizing those platforms and what kind of response are you getting in order to attract an audience. You can track metrics and actual numbers that fall into two broad categories.

How do Assign Goals, Track & Audit Social Media Strategies for The Organization?

The first is activity based, and the second is result based. Now before I specifically discuss audit social media strategies let’s talk about it, what is the goal?

The First Broad Category of Metrics

The goal of doing an analysis is to get some baseline figures for how the organization is conducting itself on these platforms right now, so that, as we set new plans and carry those out, we have something to measure against.

We have no way of knowing it for more success unless we have baseline numbers to compare against. So we’re stepping back and we’re doing an analysis of how we are functioning currently.

Let’s talk about activity-based metrics considered in Audit Social Media Strategies.

  • On Facebook,
    • How many friends do you have?
    • How many posts have you made on your Facebook page?
  • If it’s Twitter,
    • How many tweets?
    • How many people have commented?
    • How many people have replied?
    • How many people have Tummed up something that you’ve posted?

So on each platform, these metrics are going to vary because each platform is different. But there are numbers that you want to grab and analyze.

The Second Broad Category of Metrics

Then we have a second broad category of metrics called results-based metrics.

These are indicating how those numbers have parlayed into actual website traffic for your brand. Actually leads to new business and actual conversion into sales.

OK, so let’s say that we posted something on Facebook, and from that one Facebook posting. We had 10 phone calls from interesting customers and two out of those 10 phone calls turned into actual sales. So the activity would be 1 post on Facebook. The results would be 10 phone calls and 2 sales.

Your cloud to track all of this just in a spreadsheet, but that can get very cumbersome coming up with your own way to track all of this data. And again, if you’re a large organization and you’ve got a presence on a lot of different social media platforms, we’re talking about a lot of data.

So just as there were tools to help you with social listening, there are what we call grading tools to help you analyze these numbers. There are hundreds of them, but several that I want to mention.

  • One is called a marketing grader from Hubspot.
  • There’s one called Nibler.
  • There’s another one called Blu-Rank.

So you really need to step back and decide what the following metrics are most valuable to you as an organization:-

  • What numbers do you need to be tracking?
  • What do you need to know?
  • What baseline figures do you want?

And then pick the tool that’s right for you. Now, some tools are free, but most of them are costly and they vary in cost based on what they can offer like levels of plans.

Social Media Grading Tools

So if you’re a small organization to audit social media strategies, you may not need the number of metrics that a large organization needs. But things that you wanna look for are:

  • Does this tool have not only the ability to just count things like the number of posts but can it dig a little deeper?
  • Can it actually analyze the quality and the style and the voice that you’re using across social media platforms and tell you if you’re being consistent or not?
  • Can it look for things like tags and the use of keywords?
  • Can it Measure the amount of audience participation that one of your content posts generates?
  • Can it cheque for consistency and how you’re publishing across all channels?
  • Does it have a capacity and feature that measure content and tell you if it’s easy to share or not?

Keep in mind, that social media is as powerful as it is because it’s a relationship platform. People see something that they like. They want to share it with their friends and their network. And so your content may not be easily shareable. So people may like it, but they can’t share it easily.

What is Sentiment and How Do You Measure it?

So these tools are going to assess those kinds of metrics and let you know what your baseline standard is today so that you can make plans for tomorrow.

What is Sentiment?

One of the final steps in auditing an organization’s social media presence is determining how their audience feels about them, we call this sentiment.

There are a few terms you need to understand when you’re getting ready to measure sentiment.

Firstly Measure is the Influence

By influence, we simply mean the following statements:-

  • The physical size of your audience.
  • In terms of social media, this could be how many followers you have, or how many retweets you receive.
  • It could be how many people link to your blog.
  • The popularity of your sites and so on.

Read for Better Understanding:- If you tell me something and I only have two friends, how big is my influence? I might tell two people your secret. But if I have 100 friends, my sphere of influence is much greater. Therefore, the impact on you is much greater. So that’s what we’re referring to with influence. By sentiment, we’re referring to the polarity of comments that are distributed across social media about your organization or your brand. And these are usually measured as positive, neutral, or negative.

So again, let’s say that you post something, and you have a large audience. And 90% of that audience feels very positive about what you posted. That’s what we refer to as their sentiment. So the influence is the number of people. The sentiment is how they actually feel about something you’ve posted.

About the Term Volume in Social Media

Actually, this is also referred to as buzz or your share of a conversation. If people are buzzing about a topic, that means it’s very popular. So, the volume of comments is going to be much larger. I’ve already shown you some tools that you can use to look at trending topics.

Firstly we have to know:-

  • How big is our audience?
  • How do they feel about what we’re putting on social media and are they talking about it?
  • What kind of buzz are we generating? Is it positive, neutral, or negative? How much of it is there?

We can use a measuring tool called sentiment analysis to measure these things. What it’s measuring are general attitudes towards your brand or your product or your service & it’s using those three polarities i.e. positive, negative, or neutral.

Now you have an understanding of what we mean by sentiment and what sentiment analysis is, you need to decide how you want to conduct those analyses inside of your own organization.

Your First Option is to Just do it Manually

You could analyze all of the data available across social media platforms and begin keeping that data inside of a spreadsheet or a database. But what this means is that somebody is going to have to manually read posts, locate information, determine whether it’s positive neutral, or negative, and start tracking those statistics one by one.

Just as there were tools for grading and also for doing your social listening. There are tools for analyzing sentiment and some of them are free, such as social mention. But, some of them cost and these services include things like sentiment and tracker, viral hit, and even sales force, which can be used as a general sales contact management system.

These tools are very valuable because they offer interfaces that make the analysis of the data very simple. They create a dashboard that you can review very quickly, search for terms, combine metrics, and are very sophisticated in their algorithms.

So, unlike what you might think, where someone has to read an article and determine whether positive, neutral, or negative, these tools actually have complex algorithms that go in and index the information and articles and comments and determine the polarity automatically, without manual intervention.

What is the Manual Intervention?

let’s just talk about document level versus entity level sentiment. Historically, can, again, social media is very young. So when we talk about historically, we mean in the past five to 10 years, social media sentiment analysis tools weren’t the greatest. They had the capacity to go at what we call a document level or an article level, to search for the sentiment.

In other words, they would look at an entire article. And then, based on that entire article, determine whether the article was negative, positive, or neutral about your brand or your product. But if you think about it, oftentimes, inside one article, there can be polarities within the article. The first paragraph or two might be about how wonderful your company is in terms of environmental concerns. And then all of a sudden they feel very negative about how you price your product.

So, you’ve got a shift in polarity right within the same article. Well, these tools didn’t use to be able to measure at that level. But now they can call that entity-level sentiment and they can dive deep into these articles. Using their advanced algorithms so again, no human intervention is necessary. They can deconstruct an article and analyze the different parts and software would be able to look at the article about the article and determine the following points:

  • If there’s a mixed emotion here.
  • They’re positive about your company and its environmental concerns, but they’re negative about your pricing.
  • And so, their metrics would provide you with that information.
  • The final area that you want to focus on when you’re auditing your brand and its current impact on social media is unsolicited feedback.
    • Unsolicited feedback is the feedback that you didn’t ask for many times customers have opinions that they want to share, and they’ll share them anywhere. So it may even be outside of the social media platforms that you formally utilize already.
      • It could be embedded in a comment inside of an industry discussion forum.
      • It could be a review on Amazon.
      • It could be anywhere and this is what we refer to as unsolicited feedback.
    • It’s still part of the conversation that’s happening about your brand or product or organization. So it needs to be audited, and it needs to be part of that baseline that you set for what’s happening out there and what you want to impact in your future social media plans.

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