July 11, 2022
by Naren Arulrajah, Ekwa Marketing
You might cringe at the word “audit,” associating it with stress-causing, time-wasting tax problems. Fortunately, not all audits are as daunting – or frightening – as those. A social media audit is a methodical review of your profiles, postings, and strategy, which yields valuable insight into potential problems and opportunities for improvement.
An audit is something like a health check for your social media presence. It can identify weak points, underperformance, and potential problems, discover your social strengths and pinpoint opportunities. From there, you can easily devise a “treatment plan” for optimization. Social media audits should be conducted regularly, like a person’s health checks. The timing can vary, depending on the scope of your social activities, but somewhere between one and four times a year is typically appropriate.
Step 1: List your accounts
This might seem unnecessary, especially if your dental practice only uses a couple of networks. However, those active accounts might not be your only profiles. Maybe years ago, your practice manager and you both created Facebook pages. Only one is in use, but you never deleted the other. Possibly someone opened a Pinterest for your practice and never even used it. Or you might have added your practice on Nextdoor but found the audience lacking and forgot all about it…
For an established dental practice that has used social media since the early days, this step can turn out to be a bit challenging. If you are still unsure, try searching for your practice name on each social network. Once you have a complete list of existing accounts, add an entry for each account (if any) that you plan to create.
For each social profile, add the following details:
Step 2: Set SMART goals
One of the most common mistakes dental practices and other small businesses make is using social media without a clear goal. You might allocate resources simply to keep your profiles active. However, it is virtually impossible to optimize your strategy without specific goals, much less measure its success.
Start by looking at the big picture, which is your overall marketing strategy. What role does social media play? How can you utilize each account to support your broader marketing and business goals? Because every network is different, you might have very different goals for each.
One way to verify that you have set good goals is to make sure they meet the SMART criteria. That means your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Example of how a SMART social media goal supports broader marketing goals:
Overall goal: Increase brand awareness, which is the first step in lead acquisition.
SMART goals: Increase Instagram reach by 25% in the next six months.
Why it works: Specific enough to be actionable, measurable because reach is a metric Instagram measures, achievable because 25% is a reasonable number with increased/optimized posting, relevant because reaching more people means raising awareness of your brand, and time-bound because there is a deadline.
Step 3: Evaluate social accounts
Before digging into the specifics of post-performance, you will want to make sure the profiles themselves are optimized. For each account, check the following and make a note of any deficiencies:
Step 4: Gather post performance data
With just a few clicks, you can access an overwhelming volume of data about engagement and performance. Fortunately, most networks also make it easy to sort and filter data, giving you the most relevant numbers.
You need to decide a couple of things before you start. The first is the timeframe, which is most often one year. That means you will compare a metric (such as audience size or daily reach) from current data with the same date one year ago. The difference is called YoY (year over year) change. However, you can replace the year with any timeframe you choose.
The next decision is what you will use as KPIs (key performance indicators). For this, refer to your SMART goals for each account. What three (or more if needed) metrics best measure the success of those goals? If daily reach is not important, don’t waste time monitoring it. If driving traffic is not a goal on this network, you don’t need to be concerned with link clicks. Your KPIs are the relevant metrics.
For each account, record the following:
Step 5: Analyze and review
Ok, so you have audited all your social media accounts and filled an entire spreadsheet with data. Now it is time to review and analyze.
Lastly, how do you compile all this data, information, and inspiration into an actionable plan? You go back through everything and create a to-do list (or allocate tasks to your team). Here is what it should include:
Perhaps your dental practice was among the first to join the social revolution, creating good profiles on all the important networks. You post regularly, have a respectable size following, and occasionally get likes or comments. If there are no problems with your social media, you might think there is no need for an audit. Before dismissing the idea, consider how many patients have said they do not need check-ups because they do not currently have dental problems.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah, President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, has been a leader in medical marketing for over a decade. Ekwa provides comprehensive marketing solutions for busy dentists, with a team of more than 180 full time professionals, providing web design, hosting, content creation, social media, reputation management, SEO, and more. If you’re looking for ways to boost your marketing results, call 855-598-3320 for a free strategy session with Naren. You may also schedule a session at your convenience with the Senior Director of Marketing – Lila, by clicking https://www.ekwa.com/msm/ or simply send a text to 313-777-8494.