As a leading social media agency for colleges, universities and higher education institutions, we are frequently asked to share our best practices. This is part of a series of posts to explain how social media audit can serve their interests.
A social media audit involves a comprehensive review of a higher education brand’s primary social media presence, activities, and performance. The goal is to assess the effectiveness of the current strategy and identify areas for improvement. This typically includes social media channels of the institution, schools, departments, alumni and centers of excellence. It excludes social media channels of athletics, labs, clubs and organizations, special events, and special initiatives.
After gaining access to institution’s social media management software, we conduct a twelve-point social media audit to assess the following:
1. Profile Information Audit
Assess all official social media profiles to ensure accurate and consistent information is presented, including logos and colors, profile pictures, cover photos, about information, and contact details.
2. Platform Presence Audit
We identify all social media platforms where the brand has a presence. This includes major platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.
3. Content Audit
We evaluate the type, frequency, and quality of content posted on each platform. We assess whether the content aligns with the brand’s goals and resonates with the target audience.
4. Engagement Metrics Audit
We analyze engagement metrics such as likes, comments, shares, X-reposts, and other interactions. We assess the level of audience engagement and identify successful and underperforming content.
5. Promotions Audit
We analyze the content promotions the brand is running to ensure they are aligned with institutional goals.
6. Editorial Calendar Audit
We review and evaluate the existing content schedule and plans outlined in the editorial calendar for social media marketing to ensure institutional objectives are being met over a longer time horizon.
7. Hashtag Usage Audit
We review the use of hashtags across platforms. We assess the effectiveness of branded and domain related hashtags and occasionally identify opportunities for new ones.
8. Brand Consistency Audit
We ensure a consistent brand identity is applied across all platforms. We check if branding elements such as logos, colors, and brand promise and position are used uniformly.
9. Metrics & KPIs Audit
We evaluate key performance indicators (KPIs) that are aligned with the brand’s goals. This may include metrics such as reach, impressions, engagement rates, and conversion rates.
10. Competitor Benchmarks Audit
We compare the brand’s social media followers and volume metrics with that of key competitors. We identify areas where the brand excels and areas where it can improve based on peer benchmarks.
11. Followers Audit
We analyze the demographic information of the audience on each platform, including age, gender, location, and other relevant details. We examine the growth or decline in followers/fans on each platform. We evaluate the demographics and interests of the audience to guide tailoring of future content and engagement strategies.
12. Sentiment Audit
This is included by special request only. We evaluate and analyze the sentiments expressed by the audience toward the college brand or its academic offerings on various social media platforms. The goal is to gauge the overall sentiment—whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral—associated with the brand.
What’s typically excluded is evaluation of the performance of paid social advertising campaigns, including ad spend, reach, click-through rates, conversions, and ROI.
A social media audit provides valuable insights that can improve the effectiveness of your institutional social media strategy. It is typically conducted every few years to adapt to changes in the social media landscape and the brand’s goals.