The development of the HR Social Media Strategy always has to start with the HR Social Media Audit. Each journey requires a crystal clear plan and the team must know both the start and end points. Conducting the audit of social media gives us the full understanding of the current status and indicates key lessons learned that we could use as a basis for the new social media presence. We just only know the point of the start. We usually do not start any development from the ground up, but we have to collect and evaluate the current tools, channels, and practices. It is always valuable to have a clear picture of the current landscape. It is beneficial to know what works and what does not work. It is not a tool to blame anyone; it is a pure social media audit. It is like a medical health check.
Even the agile company should not start from the scratch. It has to collect all information about the current status of the company and understanding the behavior of key competitors in the industry. It can seem useless, but there will be a member of the leadership team who will start asking questions. It is a dangerous moment when the entire development of the HR Social Media Strategy can be postponed or canceled. It can return to the beginning and start over.
The audit of the social media should not be just done when designing or updating the HR Social Media Strategy. It is always a good practice to make the regular review of practices and competitors on the job market. The competitors can change the behavior and tools significantly that does not have to be noticed during the normal operations. It can be highly beneficial for the strong brand name of the business to conduct a detailed review of the position of the organization in social media once a year.
Scope of the Social Media Audit
The audit should be considered as the project. The team has to decide what activities are in the scope and what will be out of the scope. Without the proper definition of the scope, the activity can be without any boundaries because team members will add new requirements, and the leadership team will not be able to approve the final report. The audit report is the outcome of the activity and needs to be approved by the Steering Committee and the leadership team of the business.
The scope of the social media audit should consider following areas to be researched and analyzed:
- current social media profiles;
- current tools used to publish;
- performance of profiles;
- topics in social media;
- competitive landscape;
- key competitors;
- key influencers;
- outcomes and recommendations.
The team has to keep in mind the results of the audit. The leadership team expects to receive a proposal that will be fully supported by the documentation, observations and the proper analysis of available data. They do not want to make a final decision that is based just on feelings and ideas that are not supported by any research or the evidence.
Understand your current tools
Surprisingly, most organizations are present in social media even nobody publishes posts officially. Companies do forget that employees can post messages, clients, and customers can mention the brand name of the business in posts or products can be mentioned during discussions in social media. Most times, the unofficial communication is richer, sharper and more accurate than the boring official Twitter account.
The team has to make a deep research about the presence of the organization in social media. Not all posts will be positive and in favor of the company. However, this finding usually works as a great eye opener. The leadership team will realize that the business has a different face than the desired one.
The team has to ask employees for help. Employees should try to find all relevant information about the company, and the team should sort them into several predefined streams, including how positive the posts are about the enterprise. The more negative posts the organization has, the harder job is ahead of the team.
All information gathered should be compared with the performance of the current social media channels the company uses for the formal and official posts. Almost every business has a proactive person who runs social media account on Twitter and publishes some official information. However, the team should not be surprised how underperforming the official social media accounts are.
Understand your current topics and content, employees, and external audiences
The team has to explore the performance of different topics. The behavior of employees on social media should be described in a detail because the team can use data about employees in next phases of the social media strategy development. Also, the external audiences should be carefully tracked to identify topics and interests that describe most of them.
Social media is about influences, followers and topics that connect people. They usually decide to follow anyone because they share interests, and they want to discuss the same issues. This is the reason the team has to invest time in the exploration of the topics that connect the current internal and external audiences.
The team should make a brief evaluation of the content and highlight the most promising topics for the further investigation.
Know your competitors
Final step in the social media audit is about your competitors. During the previous activities, you have met them all. They are usually visible in data provided. They influence your followers, and you influence their followers.
The team has just collected information about them and conduct a fundamental analysis of the size of the audience. The detailed analysis should be done in the next phase of the development of the social media strategy.