It’s the beginning of a new year and people are evaluating their lives and determining what to change in order to improve. This also makes it a great time to evaluate your online life, including social media. Allow me to introduce the 5 W’s of a social media audit…

Why Do a Social Media Audit?

If you’ve been using social media for work for more than a year, it’s likely it has become engrained in your daily routine. It is also likely that the way you use social media has changed as you meet more people and build relationships through these channels. While these changes are often positive, you need to make sure they are inline with your original goals. Conversely, you need to make sure your original goals are still appropriate for your business as it stands today.

What is a Social Media Audit?

A social media audit takes an objective look at your current social media efforts to uncover what is working and what may not be. When performing an audit, I like to look at the following areas:

  1. Reputation/Sentiment: How are you viewed by others online? Do you have a positive, neutral or negative image?
  2. Content: What types of content are you posting? Is it all your original content? All curated?
  3. Hub Usage: Do you have a blog and how effectively is it being used?
  4. Spoke Usage: Are you using your social networks effectively?
  5. Engagement: Are you interacting with your target audience or are you talking at them?
  6. Promotion: Are you effectively promoting your social media initiative?
  7. Measurement: How are you measuring your success? Are the findings inline with your original goals?

Where are my social media efforts making an impact?

I find that an audit is most useful if the person performing it takes a look at everything from the perspective of the target audience. Point of view is very important to an audit, so all public-facing accounts should be disclosed to the person performing the audit.

When should I do an audit?

Ideally, you should do an audit yearly when you perform your other communications audit. This may not be realistic for your organization, but, at the very least, you should have one completed every few years. If you have been engaging in social media for more than a year, now may be the time to do a check-up.

Who should do the Social Media Audit?

An audit really should be performed by an objective 3rd party. If you are not able to hire someone to perform an audit, maybe you can find someone in your network that has a similar job and would be able to provide an objective viewpoint. Also the person completing the audit should be familiar with creating social media strategies for business and not just comfortable using the tools.

I will leave you with a final thought and that is to not take the audit too personally. The audit is to designed to make sure you are still focusing on your goals and to see what is working and what is not. Your time and other resources are important, so it makes sense that you are spending them on things that are helping you grow your business.

What are your biggest concerns with social media this year? Let me know in the comments below…


Beth knows new media web marketing and the technology industry from the inside out. Literally.

As VillageWorks’ leader, Beth brings both tech industry experience and proven evaluation skills to her clients. Unlike most agency marketing execs, she knows what works in new media and web marketing because she’s done it herself.