Why and how to do a social media health check
A social media health check is a key part of creating a strong social media strategy and growing your presence. Unfortunately, this often gets pushed under the rug as there are always more important things to take care of.
But here’s the thing: if you don’t examine your data how can you really know what is and isn’t working for your business, and what you can do to get better results?
So it’s time to zero in on your social media strategy and determine if your hard work is really paying off. Is your strategy healthy or lingering on life support?
Read on to learn what things you should check to see whether you’re managing your social media channels the right way or whether you need to rethink your strategy.
What is a social media health check and why does it matter?
A social media health check enables you to review what’s working, what’s failing and what can be improved upon across your social media channels. It allows you to sit down with all of the data in front of you, ask mindful questions and see where you stand. By asking questions, you’ll get a broader picture of how well your social strategy ties into your overall business goals, and the extent to which it reinforces a positive brand experience.
Yes, you will need to get detailed but as you start to get into the habit of performing social media health checks, it will become easier. Whether you’ve never done this before or are unsure if you did it correctly, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s everything you need to know to perform a successful social media health check.
First things first, where are you online? Create a spreadsheet and list all the social channels you are on, then take a closer look at each one. Do all of them work for you? Are you sure you’re focusing on the right ones?
No matter how popular Instagram is, it doesn’t mean you should create an account if your audience isn’t there. Did you create a Vine account that you’ve only used once? Do you have an old YouTube channel floating around with only five subscribers?
Nothing’s worse than wasting time and resources on a channel that isn’t producing any results. At the same time, you could be missing out on great opportunities by not taking a chance on new social media channels where your audience is spending time online.
So, here’s what you should do.
Look at each social network and check to see:
- How much traffic you’re receiving from each
- How well your audience is engaging with your content
- How active you are on each channel.
Based on your findings, you should be able to determine which profiles are the best and worst performers. The goal here is to find out which platforms produce the best results so you can focus in on those.
Now, if you have no longer have a good reason to use a specific network or you find that your audience is elsewhere, don’t hesitate to cut ties and just delete that account.
If you also want to give other social networks a try but don’t know which ones are worth your time, read this article as we walk you through all the major social networks and how you can use them so they’re worthwhile for you.
Another thing you can do is to find out which social channels your competitors are using and see whether they might also prove to be valuable to you.
- Am I on the right channels?
- Which are the best and worst performers?
- Which channels should I cut?
- Do I need to add a new social network into the mix?
Once you’ve decided which social networks you’re going to take advantage of, the next step is to ensure you have a proper profile page.
So check to see that all your profiles are completely filled out. This includes the following important information: profile photo, business information like address, phone number, email address, a nicely written description, and a link to your website. This information needs to be accurate and consistent across all social channels.
Consistency is also important when it comes to branding. Your business should be immediately recognisable across all your social media profiles. When there’s a disconnect between your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, your audience might find this confusing and they might wonder whether a specific profile is official, or if they’re even following the right business.
Now, while your branding should be consistent across your social channels, you might find that it’s best to have different descriptions on different social networks. For example, on Twitter you might want to try to show a bit of your personality in the description while LinkedIn might require a more professional description.
So, while consistency is important, it shouldn’t be more important than ensuring that the tone of the profile is right for the network.
- Are my profiles accurate and up to date?
- Did I include all the important information?
- Is my branding consistent on all channels?
- Is the tone of the profile right for that specific social network?
Is your social media marketing doing as well as you hoped? Are you meeting your goals and targets? If not, why not? Are your targets still right for your business or do they need to change?
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to meeting the social media goals you set out.
So, if your goal is to build brand awareness and get more people to learn about your business then check to see how your audience has grown over time using tools like Facebook’s Page Insights and Twitter’s Analytics.
Now, if you’re a small business with more than 10,000 fans or followers, is growing your fanbase still a goal? Wouldn’t it be more useful to focus on how much your current fanbase interacts with your brand and how many of them like, share or comment on your posts? Or how many visit your website and read your blog or purchase a product?
So, take a look at your goals to ensure they are being met and they are still relevant for your business.
You can learn more about developing specific goals in this webinar. In it, you will also find more information on how to monitor your goals, allowing you to see whether you are succeeding in your aims.
- Are you meeting your targets? If not, why not?
- Are your targets still right for your business or do they need to change?
When got started with social media, you probably had an idea of who you wanted to target. However, in some cases the people who end up following and engaging with you will be completely different than what you expected. So check to make sure that those who are actually following you are the ones you want to target.
Twitter and Facebook can give you this information about your audience. Check out our beginner’s guide to Twitter and Facebook analytics to see how you can learn more about your audience.
You should also look at how your fans and followers are reacting to your content. Are they engaging with your content?
Take a look at the number of interactions per post. This includes the number of replies, comments, likes and shares that you receive on a given post, tweet, or update. The more users who make an effort to interact with your brand and your content, the more likely it is that they’ll grow to care about your brand and what you have to say. And this is the audience you should be after.
- Are you reaching the right audience?
- Is that audience engaging with your social media accounts?
The content you share is your most important asset. It’s what builds your brand’s reputation so you need to make sure it’s engaging and also resonating with your followers, otherwise you won’t succeed. Use this opportunity to review the content you’ve shared and identify which posts have had the biggest impact.
Focus on metrics such as likes, shares, retweets and comments. If you want to go a bit more in-depth, you can also look at the content type:
- Educational/ informational
- Rich media (images, gifs, infographics)
This will help give you a better understanding of which type of content works best for each of your social channels. You can then use this information to fit more of that type of successful content into next month’s social media calendar.
If your content isn’t performing well and if no one or very few are engaging with it, try to find out why. Is it because it’s poor quality? Or maybe it doesn’t resonate with your audience? It might also be because you’re posting too frequently in a short period of time and your audience has begun to ignore your content.
If your content is performing well but you believe there’s always room for improvement, good on you. Browse through your competitors’ social media content to see what type of content they’re sharing and how their audience is responding, and which posts get the most interactions. This can give you ideas on what else you can do to increase engagement on your social channels.
- Is your content still performing?
- How does it compare to your competitors’ content?
How often should you perform a social media health check?
You should check things like the most popular content and the most engaging posts on a weekly basis. Each month you should go over your social media calendar to see what did and didn’t work so you know what type of content to focus on for the following month.
While these weekly and monthly checks help you to ensure you’re going in the right direction, an in-depth annual health check is essential to ensure your social media results align with your business goals.
The purpose of a social media health check is to give you a better understanding of where you stand and what you can do to improve. Use all the information you gather to create new goals – no matter what they are – and to reach them.
What’s on your social media health check? Tweet us @123reg to let us know.