We’re more than halfway through 2012.
Just a few short years ago, many of us were trying to persuade brands to invest more money and resources into social media. This is no longer the case for many companies. Today, a number of brands are involved in some way on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and others.
But are they making the best use of their time and energy with their social media work?
Many brands jumped aboard social media between 2009 and 2011. In that time, they’ve learned a great deal. Plus, much has changed since 2009. New platforms have emerged (Pinterest). Other platforms have changed significantly (Facebook). And yet others have come and gone.
So, how is your brand doing?
The answer for many brands, I’m guessing, is: I’m not sure.
Why not conduct a social media check-up—a straight-forward social media audit?
If you’ve been steadily working on social media, but not checking to see if and how your approaches are working, or what your competitors are up to, here are some suggestions:
Take stock of your current social media work
• Are you using visuals consistently? According to recent surveys, visuals are resonating with fans more and more. And the brands that are taking advantage are winning—big time.
• Do you know the requirements around visuals for Facebook? If not, make sure to bookmark this post. And check back frequently as the rules change fast.
• Are you playing by the rules of Facebook’s Terms of Service? Do you know the rules?
• Have you checked your Twitter stats lately? You can learn a lot from a simple check on TweetStats.
• How many times a day are you posting? What times of day are working best?
• How many retweets are you getting per day? What’s resonating with your followers?
• Who are the folks that are interacting with you most? You can learn this from checking TweetStats.
• Have you updated your Twitter page with the new header feature? Here are a few brand examples.
• Where is your blog referral traffic coming from each month? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? Other sites?
• Which posts got the most clicks in the last month? Six months? Year? What can you learn from that? Any trends?
• What keywords are people searching for to get to your blog? Can you capitalize on any that you didn’t expect? Do the keywords reflect those you’re trying to rank for?
• How long are people staying on your blog? How many pages are they reading during each visit? What does that tell you?
• Are you active on other social platforms? Is your approach working? Is it worth the effort and resources you’re putting into it?
• Are you leveraging resources across different platforms? For example, if you’re active on Instagram, are you promoting that activity on Facebook and Twitter and sharing those images on Facebook where they’ll really pop (with the right headline, of course)?
• Have you explored new platforms (Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, etc.)? Are they a good fit for your brand?
• What are your competitors up to? What platforms are they active on? How many fans/followers do they have on those platforms? What kinds of things are they sharing? What’s working for them, and what’s not?
Insider tip: Consider a simple graphic that shows their accounts in fans/followers vs. yours. It’ll give you a nice, quick recap of where things are at (great tool to use with senior management).
What opportunities do you see as a result?
After looking at what you’re doing a bit more closely (and keep in mind, this post doesn’t cover all of the questions to consider), and peeking at what your competitors are up to, what opportunities do you see?
Continuous learning is what social media is all about from a brand perspective. You have the tools at your disposal to track your progress (Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, TweetStats, etc.). Now it’s just a matter of checking in every month and/or quarter to make sure what you’re doing is working and tweaking strategies and tactics that aren’t working.
Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. A version of this post originally appeared on Communications Conversations.