Social Media Audit

Social Media Audit

The social media audit is an important part of the digital marketing planning process. Social media is an opportunity for consumers to generate their own content, and many of the top-ranking results of an Internet search will result in social media content – in relation to companies, brands, and products and services. User Generated Content (UGC), for example Trip Advisor, is a reliable way of Informing consumers’ decision-making.

social-media-audit

Why do we need a social media audit?

So what a digital marketer needs is a tool to audit social media within the competitive environment, i.e. relative to competitors. The digital marketer will be trying to work out the best way to ‘feed’ the digital marketing funnel, and he or she will also need to monitor/measure any discussions about his or company. This is where a social media audit fits in.

It’s a systematic examination of social data to help marketers discover, categorize, and evaluate all the social talk about a brand. (Quesenberry 2015)

Keith Quesenberry developed a social Media auditing tool based upon the principle of the Five Ws, which is an approach used in journalism: who, where, what, when and why. If you add ‘How’ then your source is Rudyard Kipling’s poem, The Elephant’s Child:

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Let’s adapt the Five Ms to suit social media marketing, as does Quesenberry. This is Marketing Teacher’s adapted version.

1. Who is creating content using the digital medium? Is it you? Is it an influencer? Is it a competitor?
2. Where is the digital content? Which digital media platform is being used for content? Such as You Tube or Facebook.
3. What is the content on the social media platform? Is it textual content, and video, a photo, is it a story, etc? Does it use a ranking system? What is the feedback like?
4. When was the social media posted? How often does it get posted? What was its reach? Was it shared?
5. Why is the content generated? What was its purpose? Is it a campaign, a complaint or simply a user’s opinion?

The next step is to rank and prioritise your observations based upon these five criteria. How important is it to your social media marketing strategy? Here is Marketing Teacher’s adaptation of Quesenberry’s social media audit. For more detailed information, we recommend that you revisit the original article.

Here are some basic instructions for the social media audit:

1. Please print out the social media audit template from Marketing Teacher.
2. Complete there ‘who’ column. ‘You’ will be your business or your assignment organisation.
3. Then go through ‘where, what, when and why’ and insert the tick symbol (cut and paste the image) to select the appropriate element. You can tailor the audit to suit yourself with the ‘+’ symbol.
4. Finally rank or score the importance of each element using numbers 1-10, or Booz balls. That’s it! It’s time to do your own social media audit.

References

Quesenberry, K. A. (2015) Conducting a social media audit, Harvard Business Review, November 18th, 2015.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising

Social media advertising relies upon the relationships generated within social media websites to target and deliver advertising campaigns to users. The advertising itself is more about the mechanics of social media advertising, because you know social media relies upon continuous engagement in communication with users and customers. As with search marketing, the digital world place plenty of information about users and their online habits. So for the purposes of this lesson, let’s have a quick look at how Facebook does social media advertising.

Facebook shows adverts to specific groups of engaged users by their desktop or mobile. The idea is to target your ads with a creative idea, then they get lots of likes, comments and shares. So a successful campaign will target ads at specific groups of people so that they are more likely to see the adverts every time they use their social media platform. As with other forms of marketing communications your Facebook campaign needs a purpose albeit to generate sales, increase brand awareness, target specific groups, or reach specific individuals.

As with Google there are a number of different types of adverts that can be shown in different places; and can be shown in various positions on page or in a newsfeed, or other places depending on who you are targeting or the types of devices using. You have the option to target based upon a series of factors such as location, age, gender, interests such as tennis or cookery, broader categories such as parents, or a variety of other related connections such as those who like or share your page. So based upon these factors you are more likely to target specific consumers.

Facebook offers a very interactive user interface, and you can get started very quickly with your advertising campaign. You might employ a social media advertising agency if you have the resources, but creating your own advert is very straightforward using Facebook’s ad create tool. Other social media platforms such as Twitter, have similar approaches to social media advertising.

Social Networks

Social networks

Social networks are a very important digital marketing channel, so it is important that marketers understand the essentials of social networking. They are particularly important when creating a community, based on communication and dialogue with our customers. This lesson will cover the basics of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and YouTube Channels. The social network might be for your brand, product or service, or it might be for your own personal networking.

Facebook

The starting point would be a Facebook company page. The benefit of creating a hub for your business on Facebook is multifaceted. As Facebook puts it, it makes your business discoverable when people search for you on Facebook they will find you. It connects your business so that you can have one-to-one conversations with your customers, who might like your page, read your post and share them with their friends, and they can check on you every time they visit. Timing is also one of the benefits of Facebook as a social networking tool, since your page can help you reach large groups of people frequently, messages which are specifically directed to their needs and interests. You can also analyze your page using insightful analytics tools, which give you a deeper understanding of your customers and how successful your marketing activities are. Facebook actually gives you a web like address, which you can put on your business cards, website and on your other marketing tools e.g. www.facebook.com/marketingteacher .

Twitter

As with other social networks, twitter takes its business pages seriously. Twitter can help you connect your business to what people are talking about at the moment. Twitter offers a social media for people to talk about what they care about as well as what’s happening around them at the moment and this is a dialogue in which your business needs to be a main player. So twitter offers you a powerful medium to connect your message to what your customers are talking about in real-time.

  • You can listen and learn from what your competitors are tweeting or you can look for list of industry keywords to help you gather intelligence. This gives you an insight into how you may adapt your social media strategy.
  • As a medium social networks and twitter are tools that will help you grow your business; you can run innovative promotions, develop your brand and have an engaging an ongoing dialogue with your customers (and you can use twitter ad as part of your campaign)

You have 140 characters to get your point of view across; and your campaign can be innovative and maybe even viral (see the other lessons :-). For example American Express lets people use their card numbers to claim gifts such as travel tickets; companies such as Burberry are very innovative when it comes to social media, where one example would be their #Tweetwalk fashion show.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn company pages allow you to showcase your business and to target your audience; you may even have personal pages for yourself or your marketing team. Initially you would create a company page by entering your name and company e-mail address – it’s that simple. Then you simply verify that you are eligible to create a page on your company’s behalf. You create a company profile by offering a company description and overview; this needs to be quite short and salient and it needs to show what your company does, why it is different and what it specialises in.

You would then add a banner and your logo to tailor the LinkedIn company page with your own branding; the logo will appear when other LinkedIn members search for your company and it will appear on your employees’ profiles. You might add your employees as followers in the first instance and encouraged them to add your company to their own profiles, which starts to give it a viral focus. You can add your company profile to other marketing channels such as websites, e-mails and newsletters.

Followers are your influencers and your customers, and LinkedIn will encourage you to invest time and resources to establish a robust follower base. Then as with other social networking tools you need to devise rich content to share with your followers; this means that you are beginning your dialogue. For example by posting company updates you start your conversation and word of mouth marketing begins to develop engagement; you can check company news, articles and even hot topics.

Google +

Google + is Google’s main social media offering. It is a very powerful tool for social networking, but it has more to it than Facebook and Twitter, since it links together all of Google’s services for a unique experience. Hence the next section on YouTube is closely aligned to this discussion since Google owns YouTube.

So there are pages specifically designed for businesses on Google +. There are simple series of steps to get going;

  • firstly you choose an accessible Gmail account for your business
    then you create your own page using your Gmail account, and you’re able to select your business location, discuss your
  • products or brands, explained about your company as an organisation, and there are other things that you can leave information about
  • you need to customise your public profile. You can include your tagline and an image or logo. Then as with other types of social media you can promote your page by creating a series of networked circles.
  • Finally you launch your page and measure and adapt your social media strategy.

YouTube Channels

You Tube channels give your business the opportunity to record and publicise videos. It might be advisable at this stage to use the same Gmail account as you did for Google +; it’s likely the Google will automatically integrate the accounts, so trying to keep them separate is probably pointless. The medium gives you the opportunity to network with more than 1 billion people worldwide who visit YouTube monthly. So you need to ask yourself what you want to get from YouTube and integrate it into your marketing communications plan.

  • Set yourself goals in relation to what you want the channel to achieve
  • decide on how best to adapt the you Tube channel to suit your corporate identity; for example you can customise channel background and add logos and details about your organisation
  • you may need commercial products such as Camtasia or Sony Vegas (or one of many other options) to record your videos
  • you may wish to employee company to film and edit your videos, or you might want to give it a personal touch and do it yourself
  • once the videos uploaded think carefully about how you describe the video and the tags you use; they need to appeal to your target audience
  • you can organise your video content as individual videos or playlists based on particular topics or themes; again think about how your users will want to access the videos
  • you will probably want to allow comments on your YouTube videos, and if so you will need to make sure that your business is checking comments regularly and that it feeds back on all comments as quickly as possible; it’s all part of the global dialogue with users. If comments cannot be managed and switch them off, although viral marketing needs comments to fuel the fire.
  • as with other forms of social media you can promote them on your website or through any other channels which you use regularly, or you could use Google AdWords or similar PPC solutions.
  • YouTube has very detailed Analytics, so you can measure reactions to any changes you might make to your social media campaign.

Finally you may wish to coordinate the usage of your social media approaches, and for this you need a social media management tool such as;