10 Social Media Strategy Audit Questions to Help Your Business in 2013

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Welcome to 2013! Now that you’ve read all of the “best of 2012″ and “predictions for 2013″ posts, it’s time to take a fresh look at your social media operations and optimize for the new year.  A social media audit is part of any social media strategy consulting that I do, but to give you some simple advice as to what you should do to further improve on your social media presence, ask yourself the following 10 questions:

Social Media Platforms

1) Are your activities on the various social media websites aligned with where your target customers are spending their time? Perhaps you should consider enlarging your presence to newer social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and/or Google Plus.

2) Are you seeing positive ROI from the time spent on the platforms in which you are invested? If not, you need to consider either optimizing your current presence (i.e. doing something different) or resetting your expectations for said platform and perhaps spending less time there and more elsewhere.

Social Media Content

1) Does your content continue to resonate with your social media following? If not, look at shaking up your social media writing.

2) Is your content aligned with your business goals? If not, you need to re-consider your entire content marketing strategy, especially if you are not seeing increased website traffic from social media despite your increased following there.

Social Media Strategy 

1) Does your organization have clear objectives as to what you are trying to achieve through your social media efforts? If so, it’s a good time to look at how you did in 2012 and make sure you have a plan for 2013 that is aligned with your current corporate strategy. If not, it’s time for some soul-searching – and aligning your social media objectives with your corporate goals.

2) Does your organization have a written social media strategy? What happens if the person in charge of social media for your company decides to leave? How will you educate internal employees company-wide on your social presence, as we evolve into the era of the Connected Company and social business?

Social Media Organization

1) If you have hired someone who is in charge of your social media, or are outsourcing to an outside resource, can they provide you with a concise report as to what is the value they are providing your operation, and hopefully illustrating a clear ROI for their activities? If not, you need to either better manage them, train them, or consider alternatives.

2) Assuming your company has a social media strategy, has your internal organization been educated on it? Do you have an internal communications go-to person that is in charge of your social insourcing efforts? Have you been taking advantage of your biggest potential social media brand advocates: your internal employees?

Social Media Branding

1) If your company has branding guidelines, have you extended social media to them? Most branding guidelines were written before the advent of social media, but including information as to how your company will implement those guidelines in social is as critical as ever.

2) What is your social media “voice?” Is it literally the “voice” of your Community Manager? Or do your tweets, posts, and blogs truly represent the “voice” of your brand?

Once you answer these questions, spend a little time to revise your social media strategy for 2013. Don’t forget: Since social media is always changing and evolving, a social media strategy needs to become a living document, not something set in stone.

Were these questions helpful? What other types of questions would you add to a social media strategy audit?

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

@nealschaffer

Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker | 日米ソーシャルメディア専門家|G+: https://t.co/BqaJvubiP8
How to Drive Traffic From Social Media Contests http://t.co/UivsukAu2H via @lilachbullock #socialmediacontests - 11 mins ago
Neal Schaffer
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Comments

  1. says

    Thank you Neal. In most organisations there is still a disconnect between sales, marketing, PR and brand, with each doing their own thing. In some cases there is an external PR company being used who does not even participate on their client’s social platforms. I have yet to find an organisation with a golden thread across all these different areas. This is great news because it means there are still many potential clients for the likes of yourself to serve :)

  2. says

    Nicely done Neal (with an A)

    This is one the Best Social Media Audit articles I’ve read all year :-)

    Up until finding your piece, I was planning to follow the Marketo + Kapost model entitled:

    “How to Build and Operate a Content Marketing Machine” that I sourced from Toby’s guest post on Moz

    The Simply Business guys from the UK have a nice 13 step-by-step SMM guide • but its a little dated and like you said, SMM is fluid and needs to be a living thing vs. set in stone.

  3. says

    Such a great social media marketing assessment. I know we are very pressured considering that it is the start of the year and we need to make an extra effort to exceed what we have done in the past years. Thus, this could be a great help to our fellow marketers in identifying what and which social media channel to focus on.

  4. says

    Good stuff Neal. So useful in fact, I’ve added your Social Audit routine with Marketo / Kapost and the Simply Business social media planning processes on my PearlTree Content Marketing Strategy 2013

  5. claireaxelrad says

    Once again, some very practical advice from Neal. This stuff is so basic that it’s almost common sense. Yet it’s amazing how so many of us leave our common sense at the door of the office. Of course we should be checking to assure that the channels we’re using are the channels our target constituents are frequenting! Yet it’s easier to become complacent and just stick with what we’ve already got. Even though it may be doing us no good. Nice reminder!

    Similarly, it’s easy to get derailed from our primary business goals. Social media can be fun, and time consuming as all get out, and one can get stuck in it as if in quicksand. So we’ve got to remember to ask: Where were we going with this? Why are we in this swamp? How can we get out? Again, nice reminder!

    And there are many other good suggestions too. The new year is, indeed, a good time to pause and take stock. Thanks Neal

  6. says

    I think social media plays an important role in traffic generation but it takes time… a lot of time really. People have to see you in that space as a value creator… Then they’ll follow your links!!

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