The ABCs of Social Media

Kid & magnifying glass
Big Duck
Meghan Bisbey
March 29, 2012

I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a webinar, The Social Media Audit, presented by Debra Askanase of Community Organizer 2.0 and Ash Shepherd of NPower Northwest. The biggest takeaway for me was that any organization that wants to be strategic in their communications should be incorporating a social media audit into their calendars.

What is a social media audit, you may ask? It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s Superman! Well, not really. But it is a tool that to will help you to evaluate your use of social media. It determines what’s working well, what’s not, and what might work better with some adjustments.

This is the nonprofit world. We all know that resources are stretched thin. So a social media audit can help you better allocate your limited resources. By providing a snapshot of where your organization currently stands and by highlighting areas in which you can strengthen your performance, the social media audit can help you progress towards more effective social media communications.

Here’s how to get started:

First, determine what you want to evaluate. There are four broad categories you should focus on when choosing the specific elements you want to evaluate in your audit.

  1. Your social media strategy. This includes core tasks of communications planning and development such as identifying goals and outcomes, selecting a target audience, and choosing which social media platforms to use.
  2. Its implementation. This includes practices like offering training to those who will be using social media on behalf of your org or monitoring and evaluating social media activities for accountability and improvement.
  3. Its integration. This includes core elements of integrating social media communications with other communications channels. For example, have you connected your social media to your website or your print materials?
  4. And, its support. This includes non-communications-specific practices within an organization that help ensure the communications function is successful. Does management understand and support social media as part your overall communications strategy? Are resources dedicated to supporting social media efforts?

With a clear idea of what to evaluate, next you must to decide how you will do it. You need to select a measurement scale, or a rubric you can use to evaluate your success, and a methodology for conducting the audit, i.e. interviews, surveys, focus groups, etc.

To learn more about conducting a social media audit check out Debra and Ash’s webinar or NPower Northwest’s Social Media Communications Audit – A Guide to Understanding and Implementation.

This article was originally published by Big Duck. It is reprinted here with permission.

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