Managing your social media effectively can sometimes feel overwhelming. For many of us, it becomes something that's done just when time allows: in five minutes between meetings, during your lunch break, while you're "relaxing" in the evening. Unfortunately this intermittent approach to social media marketing can cause problems in the long run; affecting your brand consistency and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. The good news is there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your social media is in check.
A social media audit is a great way to get a big-picture view of your social media efforts and to identify areas that require attention. Ripple Design & PR offers professional audits that take an in-depth look at your social media channels and provide you with a detailed report including a range of recommendations. This is a great idea if you're not sure how to approach social media, or if you're wanting to really up your game, but if you're feeling in the mood for a bit of DIY, we've created a simple, five-step social media audit that you can do yourself.
1. Locate all of your social media profiles
Start by making a list of the different social media channels that you use. This is likely to include Facebook and Instagram and maybe Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest or Youtube. Don't forget to also include business profiles on other platforms such as Google, Spotify, and any blogging websites that you may use (including your own website's blog, if you have one).
For each social media profile, write down the username and URL (specific web address used to access your profile on that social channel) and check these for consistency. Is it possible to change some of these so that they are all the same?
2. Check all details are complete
A half-completed social profile both looks unprofessional and might mean that customers aren't able to find the information they're looking for. Check that you've completed each your social profiles by providing all the information that you can. Obviously contact details such as your website, phone and physical address are very important, but you should also check that other details like opening hours and establishment dates are correct.
Most social channels will also give you the ability to include information in a "bio", "about" or "story" section. It can feel tricky writing about yourself and your business, but don't shy away from providing this information. You don't have to write a lot here, but it's important to provide some information about who you are and what you offer. A few sentences is great!
3. Check the visual elements
All social media channels are highly visual places where lots of brands are competing for customers' attention. It's important to ensure that your branding is consistent and looking its best.
Check your profile and cover photos. Are they up to date? Ensure that they are not blurry (especially if they include text). Blurry images do a lot to undermine your professional image and can turn customers away. Do the images use the correct colours and are they sized correctly (so that important parts of the image or text are not cropped/missing)?
If there are any problems with images, put a plan in place to get this fixed as soon as possible.
4. Check the regularity of posting
When it comes to how regularly you should post we make different recommendations to our clients depending on which channels they are using and their individual marketing goals. Generally, posting once a day to each social profile is recommended. That said, there are some clients whose social media we manage and post to once a week, and some for whom we publish content three times each day. It's about finding something that is both manageable and returning good results, whilst also being sustainable in the long term.
Take a look at how regularly you're posting to each of your channels. Is this returning the results that you would like? Looking at the statistics or insights that each channel provides you with can help you to understand audience engagement with your page and to make a plan for the best times and days to post.
It is also worth identifying some "influencers" to follow. These should be other people or businesses in your industry who are managing their social media successfully. Taking note of their content and how often they post it can be helpful in making your own plan.
5. Set some next steps
By this point, it's likely that you will have identified some areas for improvement in your social media strategy. Perhaps you need to complete some profile details or maybe creating some sharp, new images will help your brand to shine. Could it be that your posting schedule requires attention?
Identify three specific actions you could undertake to improve your social media. For example, one action could be "replace the cover image on my Facebook page with an image that is sharp and uses my brand colours". Once you've decided on these three actions, prioritise them from most important to least and tackle them in that order.
If one of your actions is focused on increasing your posting regularity, ensure that you set yourself a manageable goal. Consistency is the most important thing here and posting once a week could be more beneficial than posting every day for a month then giving up because it's getting to hard. If daily posting isn't sustainable for you, choose something that is.
If you struggle with knowing what to post, consider setting a schedule that dictates a specific type of post each day of the week. For example, every Monday you could post a behind-the-scenes photo or video, and on Thursdays you could give your followers a tip. There are lots of options for the type of content you choose to publish and what works for you will depend on your business and the resources you have available.
Ripple Design & PR offers professional and customised social media services including audits, content and campaign management and creation. If you'd like to get your social media on track, and keep it there, get in touch.