Yesterday’s lecture was quite fast paced with a presentation both from me as well as from our guest and practitioner in residence Jemma Watkins. We both concentrated on social media audits with my talk focusing more on the technicalities of an audit and Jemma’s presetation offering some very valuable examples and case studies.
- There is no agreed model or template for a social media audits.
- The form that the audit takes MUST reflect the perspective from which it is undertaken and the related objectives to that perspective.
- “Audits are key for identifying priorities, benchmarking previous efforts, and planning for future efforts; the same applies for social media” (Owyang 2009).
According to Smiciklas (2011) a successful social media audit has 6 components: reach, architecture, content, conversion, integration and measurement. (Some of these components are directly linked with measurements – see Seiple 2011).
However, the perspective from which the audit is undertaken will require some components to be dedicated more attention to. For instance, a branding audit might focus on how the brand elements are represented through a company’s social media accounts putting a particular emphasis on architecture, content and integration. A communication audit on the other hand might also consider reach and measurement as well content and integration.
Similarly, the company’s experience with social media will provide you with more data on some components and less on others. A company that is at the beginning of its social media use might integrate its accounts well but not have a content strategy, a coherence architecture or clear measurements linked with their objectives. Also, if a company has no social media activity then the social media audit will focus on exploring the market, identifying what competitors do and benchmarking against them.
In this respect Jemma’s talk was extremely insightful. She showed you not only how social media audits are presented as a separate service to agency clients but how they can influence strategy through the insight they provide. The examples she provided indicated that audits are used either as a kick off activity or as part of an ongoing monitoring and evaluation process. If used a monitoring avenue, then audits require time to build up data so that comparisons and trends can be observed over time.
We’ll speak about metrics, ROI and ROE soon. Until then, check out the documents on MyBU and the list of examples below:
- Bolsinger (2010) on SocialFresh
- Boame (2010) on Techipedia
- Breakenridge (2011) on deirdrebreakenridge
- Dorien (2011) on Moreinmedia.
If you happen to find another model, share it with us in the comments section!