A B2B social media audit is an overall view into the analytics, performance, behavior, and schedule of your organization’s social media activities. By doing an audit, you can find if your existing activities are accomplishing your intended goals. It also helps provide a roadmap for the future so you can grow your audience on whatever platforms your organization is active on.
It’s important for B2B organizations to stay active and engaged on social media. According to marketing expert Jeff Bullas, 93 percent of B2B buyers think businesses should have social media profiles and 81 percent of B2B companies have some sort of profile or account on social media.
By temporarily stepping out of the day-to-day tasks of social media and looking at all strategy and messaging holistically, you’ll be better able to make decisions about what to change and what to keep. Below are 10 questions that should be asked during a B2B social media audit.
Who Is My Audience on Social Media?
Knowing who you are targeting on social media is the crucial step to any strategy. Each platform has a different audience and is used in a different way. This means that your audience is going to be unique as well. Start by looking at your company-level marketing personas if you have them. If you don’t, create them and then look at how that audience typically uses social media based on statistics and your own experience with your audience.
Identifying not only who is interacting with your company on social media, but what they are using social media for (such as research, personal entertainment, professional connections, etc) will make a huge difference in the rest of your messaging and strategy.
What Is My Brand Voice?
Brand voice is usually something that is set at a company level in an overall marketing strategy. B2B companies are usually a lot more professional and formal then B2C, but choose to make their tone more casual or relaxed on social media, depending on what it’s being used for. For instance, if a B2B company is using LinkedIn to recruit new employees, then it would make sense for their tone to be more professional as that of an employer.
However, if they wanted to showcase their company culture a little bit more, they could create an Instagram account that shows their employees travel pics or photos of around the office and other company events.
This is KoMarketing’s strategy with their Instagram account.
This mixture of voice is appealing to the same audience (the potential employees), but it’s showing the nuances of the organization and what it offers as an employee as well as what it’s really like to work there.
What Platforms Should I Be Using?
Not every organization, especially for B2B, should be on all available social media platforms. With the top ones overall being Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest, social media managers can look at each platform’s demographics and content to see where they’d be a good fit. Companies that aren’t in a creative field or very visually driven likely won’t do well on Instagram and a startup that is looking to attract recent college graduates and millennials may find success with Snapchat.
Because each platform varies in the type of demographics they cater to, it’s important to only focus on what’s the best fit for your organization. It is possible to be on every social media platform mentioned, but only if your social media department is willing and able to be regularly active on all of them with their own separate strategy for each. Otherwise, stale profiles or a presence that doesn’t match the brand’s voice or offerings won’t be worth the effort.
What Are Our Editorial Guidelines?
Just as a blog or website has editorial guidelines, your social media should also have them because it is content that you’re pushing out for your target audience to see. Not only should it include the basic needs like proper grammar, stylizing of brand names, and the correct usage of industry terms, it should also include rules for publishing social media content under the organization’s name specifically.
For instance, some industries, such as finance and pharmaceutical, have strict guidelines about marketing and what they can and cannot say online. These need to be outlined clearly in a social media editorial guidelines document so everyone is on the same page with what is allowed to be published. Failure to do so can result in fines by governing organizations and angry customers that are upset with the messaging or confused by the content.
What Should We Be Posting?
The next part in the B2B social media audit is to analyze your editorial calendar to see what has been posted in the past and how it worked for your audience on each social media platform. This sets a standard for a new editorial calendar that outlines what the organization should be posting on each platform.
For many, they use a template with designated theme days or spaces for the frequency of types of post, such as self-promotional or external thought pieces that the audience would find interesting. That makes it easy to fill in the blanks for each week with new content that can then be scheduled out on a tool like Buffer or SproutSocial.
The audit can also outline where to find content. Some social media and research tools such as BuzzSumo or DrumUp suggests content for you that’s popular based on a given topic, so including a list of where to find content to share is always a good idea. The audit should also outline what type of content is not allowed, such as coverage of a specific topic or viewpoint that goes against company policy.
What Is My Hashtag Strategy?
Hashtags are used regularly on Twitter and Instagram, but LinkedIn has also stepped up the options that are available with hashtags. Users can now follow specific hashtags and business profiles can add their own unique hashtags to their page, which users can follow. This gives businesses the unique advantage to create their own branded hashtags that their audience can follow.
On most platforms that are using hashtags regularly, the number of hashtags will vary, but should include a mixture of branded hashtags, niche hashtags, and then a few industry-specific hashtags. You can research the popularity of hashtag or what it has been used in before using a hashtag search engine like Hashtagify or by simply searching for hashtags in the search function of each social media platform.
What Is My Posting Schedule?
When and how often to post on social media throughout the week varies widely depending on the company’s offerings, the social media platform, and the target audience. According to a CoSchedule blog post that pulled research from 14 different studies, here is how often you should be posting on each network:
- Facebook: 1-2 per day, resharing other pages’ posts is OK
- Twitter: 15 tweets per day is recommended, about half of these can be retweets or comments on other users’ posts
- Pinterest: 11 pins per day, with at least half being repins from other users
- LinkedIn: 1 per day
- Instagram: 1-2 per day, only repost others’ images when it is beneficial to the audience
Of course, this is just a general outline and will depend on which platforms you’re active on, what your team can feasibly accomplish, and what gets the most engagement from your specific target audience. Use your own data to make your best guess as to where to focus your efforts.
Can I Repurpose More Content?
A B2B social media audit is a good time to look at the content you have already created. This includes your social media content as well as content your publishing on other platforms, such as YouTube or your blog.
When analyzing this content see what has done best in the past and look for ways that this content could be repurposed for more social media content. For example, if you do videos on YouTube every Friday, could be stills from the videos be pulled to be used as stand-alone images on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?
It’s also fairly easy to create images that summarize key Concepts from long-form blog content in a tool like Canva. You can use brand colors in the logo at the bottom of the image, and share a few key points that the writer made in the long form content.
Then, in the text portion of the social media post (or an Instagram bio link list), you can link to the full piece of content so the audience can read more.
Do I Need to Run Any Paid Campaigns?
If you aren’t already running paid campaigns on your social media, and audit is a good time to consider this as an option. B2B decision-makers are already using social media both professionally and for personal entertainment, so it may make sense for your business to run advertising on specific social media platforms.
Research the available ad formats and options on your most popular social media platforms to see if there’s an opportunity to gather more potential customers or to convert users through paid social media content.
If you are already running paid social media campaigns, an audit is a perfect time to look over your data and see what types of ad formats and content are performing the best. Then you can optimize your campaigns to focus more on the top-performing ads. This can help cut down on ad budget and result in a higher click-through rate.
What up and Coming Social Media Trends Are Important to My Business?
A B2B social media audit helps you look at past performance and plan for the future, but it also means researching the social media industry as a whole to see what trends your company could start focusing on in the next quarter or the next year.
It can be done by attending social media training and conferences, reading the latest social media books or e-books that experts in the field have released, and listening to podcasts or reading blog posts that forecast upcoming trends in social media.
For instance, your research could determine that not many of your competitors are using live streaming video yet, but you think there’s a potential for your audience. Launching a live stream strategy and schedule could help your business be at the forefront of gathering new customer through live streaming content before your competitors get to it.
By staying proactive about what’s available in terms of social media marketing, you can stay ahead of the curve and plan ahead to avoid stressed and overwhelmed that comes with a poorly-executed social media strategy. When making research part of the process, you are ensuring that you are better prepared for what’s next.
An audit is meant to answer any lingering questions you may have about the past and future of your company’s social media strategy. Social media is now a crucial component of any B2B marketing strategy and should be taken seriously as a viable way to get better employees, customers, and industry connections that can serve your business for years to come. By looking at past data as well as future trends and new technology available, B2B companies can use social media successfully to meet their company goals. Whether it’s being used to drive sales or another way to spread brand awareness, social media for B2B will continue to be a crucial part of any marketing strategy.
Screenshot taken April 2019. Featured image via Pixabay.