Whether you’re working with a new client or doing a yearly analysis of your own social media channels, conducting a social media audit and coming to an actionable conclusion can be tough. For starters, you might be wondering which metrics are the most important, or how to get through all of your data.

Here are a few tips to keep you on track.

1. Go In with an Open Mind

If you’re looking to prove certain metrics right or wrong or tell a specific story, you may find yourself ignoring data that tells a stronger tale.

Because of this, it can be helpful to tackle an audit in two parts: Have one team member pull and aggregate the data into a usable format, and have another start the analysis. This keeps one person from having tunnel vision and getting stuck on the minutia.

2. Plan Check-Ins

This is very important, particularly if the conclusions you are coming to about the success of your social channels aren’t positive.

Check in with clients or team members so they’re not taken aback by the results or feel attacked if their role has not contributed to social success. The point of an audit is to find a starting place and continue to move forward, regardless of the success of current strategies. While you may not be on par with your competitor or aspirational pages, there’s always something you’re doing well comparative to the rest of your page.

Be sure to highlight the positives as well as the negatives you’ve made in strategy.

3. Stay Focused in the Present and Past Happenings

When conducting an audit, it can be easy to get sucked into thinking: “Okay, we aren’t doing this right, so here’s what we should do instead.” You need to paint the full picture of what is or isn’t successful before you can make informed strategy decisions. Once your audit is complete, you can take the next steps forward to build a strategic future plan.

Bonus Tip: Don’t sweat a mistake in one small post. If it’s not a pattern, pull back and see if that little thing impacts the bigger picture. If it doesn’t, drop it.

Completing an audit can be difficult, but keeping your mind open and trying to stay focused on the bigger picture will make the process go more smoothly.

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