According to Customer Think’s research, 56% of B2B businesses are increasing their marketing spending on social media this year. This means that the chances your competitors are growing mature, lead generation social programs is very high. You owe it to the growth of your company to consider how social fits into your marketing plan, and how you can leverage it.
One of the best ways to do this is with a social media audit. During an audit, you’ll be getting a “lay of the land” in your industry to determine what works best in social media. Then you’ll look at your own efforts and create action steps that will help you improve your results.
Here’s how to start:
1. Understand your competition.
Select a group of three to five direct competitors with your company. Take a look at their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts. If there are other social media platforms that are important to your industry, review those as well.
During your review, you’ll want to pay close attention to what your competitors are doing right and where they may be dropping the ball. Develop an actionable list that you need to reproduce on your own social profiles.
2. Review your profiles.
Often times, social media audits go hand in hand with rebranding or web design improvements. With a new tagline, positioning and/or color scheme, you’ll need to be sure that your social media profiles are speaking the same language.
If you need to update your images, here’s a quick cheat sheet:
- Facebook – Your cover photo should be 851 x 315 px, and profile picture must be 180 x 180 px.
- Twitter – The visible background area can be up to 284 px, but most users will see less of the background. Your profile picture must be 81 x 81 px, and the surrounding header image needs to be 520 x 260 px.
- Google+ - Your cover photo fills from 1018 px wide, and the profile picture needs to be uploaded at 84 x 84 px.
- LinkedIn – Your horizontal logo needs to be 100 x 60 px, and your photo needs to be 646 x 220 px.
What is your competition doing in terms of frequency? How often are they blogging each week? How many times are they updating their social media profiles?
While you don’t have to match them exactly you should be able to see, based on their activity, if there are any unwritten “industry standards” for activity on social media. For example, if you’re blogging twice per month and your direct competitors are publishing on a weekly or a biweekly basis, it may be time to increase your posting frequency. In conjunction, you’ll be able to increase your sharing frequency on your social media profiles.
4. Consider your content areas.
Social media content works best when it’s not focused on your company exclusively. Your audit is a great time to readjust your content focus and find some new areas for sharing. In addition to sharing your own blog post, identify five or more key areas that your target market would be interested in. This will help build your brand as a good resource for information and increase the likelihood that your content will be re-shared by your audience. Look to your previous engagement metrics to identify areas you should explore. Topics that resonated with your audiences are good areas to explore in future social media updates.
5. Evaluate regularly.
A social media audit may be a good starting point for your social media marketing areas, but you need to continue to evaluate your performance regularly to make improvements. Take benchmarks for your engagement levels, follower numbers and other important metrics. Then on a monthly and quarterly basis, evaluate your results and make changes.