Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.
Hey friends! Today, I’m bringing you a special episode. Normally we would be doing our solo episode today. We’ve been kind of alternating solo, guests, solo, guests, but today we are having another guest, but it is an internal guest: our sales and retention coordinator, Bryce, who works with us at Stratos, has created this really cool tool called the Social Media Audit.
I personally am going to try to come up with a better name for this document because I just feel like audits get a bad rep. But this is the thing, as you’ll hear in this episode this is a really, really powerful tool to know where you’re going with your social media, how you compare with your competitors, et cetera, et cetera.
I’m super excited to bring you this special episode. I hope that you enjoy it, but more than anything, I just really, really hope that this is useful to you. We drop like a whole bunch of tips and tricks for your social media and how to know like whether it’s working or not, or how to improve it. But in the end, this tool is a really powerful tool and so I just really hope that you take a minute. I know you, as a busy business owner, have tons of extra minutes, but I just hope you do take a minute to download the worksheet and fill it out.
If you are especially wondering “Should I be doing social media? How much are we supposed to be doing on social media?” I want you to especially go download it because this will give you some answers. All right. Without further ado, here is Bryce!
Alright, Marketing in the Wild friends. I’m really excited to introduce you to another one of our team members, Bryce. And I’m going to let him introduce himself, but we’re glad that you’re here. So Bryce, tell us who you are, where you are, and a little bit about you.
Bryce: Hey, yes, I am in Louisville, Kentucky. I am a proud Kentucky native, born and raised, and lived here my whole life. It is the best state and I’m a big fan of it. And I am the sales and retention manager here at Stratos. And a fun fact about me is that I used to be a professional magician.
Julia: Did you really? Did I know that?
Bryce: It’s probably come up, but it’s one of those things you just don’t believe.
Julia: So like, did you…I have questions about this now. We’re going to talk about audits in a second. So did you…what do you mean by professional? As in like people paid you money?
Bryce: I made money. Yeah. I think that’s my definition of professional. Something that you actually get paid to do, but yeah, I worked at restaurants mostly. I did not do the kid party scene, but I like table hopped doing card tricks at fancy restaurants for tips.
Julia: How did you get into this?
Bryce: I started juggling when I was 11 and then started magic at 13. I’m just, I was obsessed with it for like seven years. I’m retired now. So I can say I’m retired cause I was a professional.
Julia: He is now on his second career here at Stratos. So we actually, the reason I brought Bryce on is because we were going to talk about social media audits. I feel like the word audit is a really boring word. So bear with us, everybody. This is not like a tax audit or anything like that. Bryce is gonna walk us through. He actually helped us set up audits for our clients and for our prospective clients. So he is the expert in Stratos on them. So Bryce, tell us, how would you define what a social media audit is? If people don’t know what that is.
Bryce: Yeah, we use them mostly to get an overall pulse of where your business stands in the social media world in relation to your audience and customers, but then also in relation to your entire industry. So a big part of our audits is comparing your business to what your competitors are doing and how their social channels are being managed, run, and engaged with. So yeah, it’s an overall pulse and just kind of understanding your position in the landscape.
Julia: For sure. And why would somebody do one? Like we do them for other people, but in essence, the reason we wanted to bring you on is because people can do them for themselves too. Like, but why would they even do it?
Bryce: If you don’t really know where you’re at, you may not realize some of the blind spots in your social media and you may not have taken time to really compare yourself to, you know, the other business in town that is wildly successful on social media and engaging their audience regularly. So it’s just that opportunity to take a step back and kind of see the overall picture of where you stand so then you can, you know, best diagnose areas that need to be repaired or fixed, and also areas that need to be expanded and maybe an invested in a little more.
Julia: I think that’s like an interesting concept, even like comparing your social media to your competitors because it could turn out that the business is actually doing better than the competitors or worse, but then you also, as a business owner, then have some sort of like practical gauge to say, should we even invest time in social media? Because if you’re doing minimal effort, but you’re getting traction and your competitors are doing less than you, you may actually not have to like really do a lot of stuff on social media. Would you say that’s fair?
Bryce: Yeah, I think so. You know, one of the big things that we do when we’re looking through everything is, you know, on Facebook, you can see if people are running ads. That’s a big indicator that they’re actually investing money into their social media accounts. And then if you’re, you know, if you’re not, that’s an easy area to add on to your social channels, even outside of the organic posts is, there are so many businesses that are willing to maybe buy a billboard or a spot in the newspaper and don’t even think how much cheaper and more effective it is to have your ads pop up on Facebook instead.
Julia: For sure. And I think then if you can see that your competitors are running ads, suddenly you need to think about what your game plan is. Cause they’re getting in front of new faces that you also want to get in front of. So, tell us about like, we’ve actually put together a social media audit sheet and we’re going to have it available to you all in the show notes if you want to test it out for yourself. It’s totally free. Bryce is always happy to sit down with somebody who’s running an audit and walk them through it without a hardcore sales pitch. So don’t worry everybody. But tell us about like what people will find on a social media audit. What factors are we looking at? And what’s important about those factors?
Bryce: So our audit is kind of broken down first through the different social channels. And that’s something you need to do first when you’re thinking about auditing your social media, is just make sure that you have a page on all of the relevant platforms. Maybe somebody created you a Pinterest page five years ago and you’ve never touched it. But you may have people that are following you on that channel and it could be useful for your business.
We kind of start with the main three that we work in, which is Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and then just go through each of those and pull out the numbers. How many total likes or followers is the page? What is the frequency that you’re starting at? You know, how many times a month are you posting something on there or engaging on there? And then also, what are your ratings on those, which is most applicable to Facebook, kind of what is the amount of reviews that you’ve had and where’s the business at, on each of those.
And then the next thing would be to make sure that all of those are on brand, that all of them have the same profile picture if necessary, or that it’s not just a random photo that doesn’t have anything to be with your business. That’s kind of the starting point.
Julia: For sure. Do you put any, this is like a curveball question, but do you put any more weight into some of those factors than others?
Bryce: Yeah. With organic social media posts mainly, it does matter how many followers and likes you have because those are the people that are really only going to see those organic posts and they are the people that would be sharing your content if they like what they see. That number doesn’t matter as much if you’re looking at doing targeted ads, it really doesn’t matter how many likes and followers you have. And in that case, it just matters how good your ad is when it’s showing up for the different ones. But, likes and followers do matter to an extent when you’re doing this pulse and then especially in comparison to your competitors and see which of you have the bigger audience in your area.
Julia: For sure. Yeah. The one that I really love talking about is engagement just because if you have like hundreds of like, even your competitors. If you look at your competitor and they have a hundred thousand followers and are only getting two likes per post, their content is either bad or they could have paid for followers at some point. And obviously, we can’t see our competitors behind the scenes necessarily, but sometimes some of our clients have lower follower counts, but higher engagement, and that can also produce better results, too. And so I think it’s like holding those two in tandem.
Bryce: Yeah. And then, you know, after you get your ducks in a row, figure out, you know, all the channels that you’re on, it is really helpful to go and identify what your best post was overall or what your best post was kind of in the last three months or so. And once you identify your best posts, then you ask the question, okay, you know, maybe your best post in the last two months was celebrating a staff member’s birthday. That’s kind of an easy toss-up post because likely that person shared the post, like, “Hey, look, my business gave me a shout out.” But it’s also just, it’s personal. It’s authentic. It’s still on-brand because it’s, you know, one of your employees or coworkers that your customers engage with regularly. But then after you look at your best posts and what’s kind of performing the best, you should evaluate, you know, the whole performance and look at all of the likes, all of the engagement, what month’s the best? Was that because we posted more or was that because we posted higher quality and kind of, you know, gauging those different factors.
Julia: And so that’s, I think, what the magic behind an audit, is that it can give you so much information on how to move forward. I feel like so many people come to us, scratching their heads, be like we have no idea how to make social work, or we don’t have the time to figure it out. When in reality, like a good audit, whether we do it for you or you do it for yourself, should tell you like a ton of information on how to move forward and what is worth spending your time on and what is not worth spending your time on, too.
Bryce: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It gives you that whole picture of what has worked, what could work, and what isn’t working.
Julia: Yeah. And so you kind of already answered this question, like after an audit, what happens? That’s where you would start making decisions based on content, based on your numbers, based on your competitors. Also how much time and money and effort you should be pouring into your social media to see the results. Is there anything else that should happen after an audit?
Bryce: Yeah. You know, with all of our audits, we give recommendations. If your best posts or if your best month of growth was the month that you posted four times as much as the others, maybe your audience is just looking for more material from you. And then it’s definitely time to go make edits, making sure that, you know, there’s just consistency across the board, as far as your brand, your messaging, your frequency, all of those things, just to make sure, you know, it’s a tightly run ship. Cause this is the face of your business. People say that if you don’t exist on social media, you don’t exist at all. If your social channels aren’t personal, informative, or clearly geared towards selling, then they’re not being used effectively.
Julia: Yeah. I totally agree. I was just thinking like we, so Bryce has actually had our team run audits on different companies that we would love to work with. And so if you’re listening and you’ve received an audit, it’s because we really love you. We really want to work with you! But I was surprised when I ran the audit. And just a few things, like when you run it, it took me about an hour to do it for this other business. And that’s just looking at their outside analytics.
And so if you do a deeper dive, it could take you longer than an hour, but it really doesn’t take that much time. So just consider doing it for yourself. But one of the things that I was surprised as you also had us track, are our people responding to comments? I was surprised to see some of these competitors were getting tons of comments from their audience and weren’t actually responding to them. Talk to us about that. Like, why is that important?
Bryce: Yeah. I mean, in a very real sense, it can just be money left on the table. A lot of times I’ll see people comment, “Where can I buy this?” or “Can I come by the store today?” “What are your hours?” That’s another part in audits as well. Anytime I’m on a website, I always look to see if I can, the second the webpage loads, if it’s a brick and mortar store, especially, can I see the store hours? And is there a button that I can click to call them? That’s what most people are hopping on your website to see, especially from their phone, so make all that information as accessible as possible. And then so many Facebook pages still don’t have a message feature activated or their store hours or those easier ways for people to do business with you.
So yes, back to comments for sure. You can turn on your notifications. I know we and they want to be disconnected, but have a team member, you know, kind of rotate each day of the week or something to just be checking those, commenting back, and still engaging, or just, you know, thanking people for the time to, you know, post randomly on your brand and engage with you. It’s just not letting any opportunity be wasted there.
Julia: I think it’s like a wasted opportunity if people don’t respond, I also would encourage everybody to think about the positive psychology around it, too. If as a consumer, I go and comment on somebody’s post and they respond to me, it feels like that human interaction. And so I am more likely to respond more and comment more. And when I comment, all of my friends see it. And so it’s this trickle-down effect where it’s not just money left on the table for that particular commenter. It’s also money left on the table from the reach that you could get from reinforcing and thanking people for interacting with you. So I think that’s really important and it was, it’ll be on your audit if you try it out and so I wanted to mention it. So Bryce, how would people know that it’s time to do an audit?
Bryce: Well, the new year is a great time to do it. I think if there are any parts that you aren’t set on in your business or unknowns, like if you’re listening to this right now and you’re like, “Oh yeah, I am wondering how my Instagram is performing” or “I don’t remember the last time I checked my LinkedIn analytics,” then it’s probably a good time to do an audit. Or if you’ve lost business to a competitor or one of their ads popped up on your wall and you’re like, “Well, why aren’t we doing that?” That’s a great time to do an audit, just to kind of look over how you are using social media, how everyone else is using social media, how you can do it better, those kinds of things.
Julia: For sure. I even think it would be wise to do one quarterly and keep them so you can track like the growth. Also if you have questions about it, we’ve had a lot of companies lately who have had in-house marketers who are stretched too thin and they can’t keep up with social media also. And if you need a benchmark for knowing where your social media was and is, it’s also a good place to even be able to evaluate how well things are going. So everybody, if you want to try and audit, we have them in the show notes. It’s a downloadable PDF that you can fill out. And for one it’s beautiful, but second of all, it’s really useful. And so I think that if you’re listening to this and you’re curious about where your stats are or how your social media is doing, head over to our website, marketinginthewildpodcast.com, go to the episode notes and download your PDF. Bryce, if people have questions after they fill out the audit, how could they reach you?
Bryce: Yeah, the best way to reach me is my first name, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s the easiest and quickest way to reach me. I’m happy to help you build your audit, look over your audit, do a little strategy session with you and talk through your audit and next steps afterward. Any of the above.
Julia: And we obviously would love to work with any of you. But even if you just need some extra help, like that’s what we want to be here for. So Bryce, thank you, thank you, thank you! For one, creating this audit for us, for our team to use and for our clients to use, but also thanks for sharing this with the rest of the Marketing in the Wild fans. So thank you! All right, we’ll see you guys next week.
Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have. If you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out.
If you love our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.
Also thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be, too.
In this episode…
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