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How to Run the Easiest Social Media Audit [FREE TEMPLATE]

A social media audit is the best way to review and improve any social marketing strategy. Check in on your efforts with this free template.

Michelle Martin November 2, 2022
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Social media marketing is all fun and games until it’s time to measure your results, right? Have no fear: A social media audit is your business BFF.

Don’t let the name scare you — the IRS isn’t about to knock down your door. Regular audits help you understand what’s happening across all your platforms and how each fits into your marketing goals. And if you use a simple template, it’s not a labor-intensive or complicated process.

Keep reading to learn how to conduct an effective social media audit from start to finish. We’ll even walk you through our handy (and free) social media audit template to make it super easy.

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What is a social media audit?

A social media audit is like a report card for your social strategy. It measures how well your social content is performing on different accounts and networks. An audit identifies what you’re good at, what needs improvement, and suggests the next steps to make things better.

After an audit, you’ll have everything you need to optimize your social media marketing strategy.

You’ll know:

  • Your most effective platforms,
  • What your audience wants to see on each network,
  • Who your audience is (demographics and more),
  • What’s helping grow your audience (and what’s not),
  • How each platform contributes to your goals,
  • Which new ideas will help you grow,
  • And where to focus your attention next

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How to perform a social media audit in 7 steps

If you’re ready to start your social media audit, download the free social media audit template, and follow along with this video:

1. Create a list of all your social media accounts

You may think you know all your social accounts off the top of your head, but chances are, you’ve forgotten one or two. So start by listing all your social media profiles, including inactive ones.

Where to find this info:

Search each major social network for your brand and product names. You might uncover a few unexpected results, like old test accounts. Whoops.

Instagram search for Hootsuite social media accounts during a social media audit

Then, make a plan to deal with any troublesome accounts you’ve found. Old test ones your company has created probably won’t be too hard to get rid of, but finding old login info may be a pain.

Find any imposter accounts or others infringing on your copyrighted material? The legal department will likely need to get involved. Still, write down the steps required to tackle each phony account. For some, it could be as simple as contacting the fake account owners or reporting the account to the social network it’s on.

Once you’ve tracked down all relevant accounts, set up a social media monitoring program to watch for any new impostors.

In addition to your current social media presence, think about the accounts you don’t have yet. For example, are there any social platforms you haven’t considered? Should you be there?

Of course, you don’t need to be on every network. But an audit is a good opportunity to add new ideas to your social strategy for the future. At the very least, you should reserve your business username on new platforms, so no one beats you to it.

Where to list this info:

List your basic account info on the Summary tab of the social media audit spreadsheet.

summary tab of social media audit spreadsheet

Don’t worry if you don’t have the information for every column in this tab yet — we’ll continue to fill it out as we go through the audit.

2. Check in on your branding

Look through each profile to ensure they fit your current brand style guidelines. Check on your profile and banner images, hashtags, copy and phrases, brand voice, URLs, and more.

Here are the key areas to review for each social account:

  • Profile/bio text. You have limited space to work with when creating a social media bio, so make the most of it. Are all fields filled in accurately? Does the copy match your tone and voice guidelines?
  • Username. Try to use the same username across all social channels. Having more than one account per network is okay if they serve different purposes. (For example, our Twitter accounts @Hootsuite and @Hootsuite_Help.)
  • Links. Does the URL in your profile go to the correct website or landing page?
  • Pinned posts (if applicable). Evaluate your pinned posts to ensure they’re still appropriate and up-to-date.
  • Verification. Is your account verified with a blue checkmark badge? If not, should you try? We have guides on how to get verified on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter if you want to pursue this.

Where to find this info:

The best way to make sure that your accounts are on brand is to act like a member of your audience.

Visit each of your social profiles and see how your posts look to your followers. Be sure to click on any links to see if they need to be updated.

Where to list this info:

Use the information from your summary tab to start creating and populating the platform-specific tabs of your social media audit spreadsheet.

platform-specific tabs of a social media audit spreadsheet

After this step, you should be able to fill out the handle, bio, hashtags, link in profile, verified, channel owner, and “most recent post” columns. We’ve highlighted them in the image above!

If you’ve found any off-brand content or profiles that need to be updated, make sure to note that in the notes section.

3. Identify your top-performing social media content

It’s time to audit your your social media content. For each social profile, list your top five posts. Then, copy the post links into your social media audit template so you can easily review them later.

What makes a “top-performing post?” Well, that depends. If you want to find the content your audience likes best, we suggest ranking posts by engagement rate. You may want to choose a different key metric to focus on, like link clicks or conversions.

Look through your top posts for patterns. Then, ask yourself:

  • What type of content is getting you the response you want? Photo posts? Videos? Feed, Stories, or Reels?
  • What has the highest engagement metrics: Candid, behind-the-scenes content or polished and pro posts?
  • Are people responding in the same ways across all networks? Does specific content perform better on one platform than others?
  • Do people engage with your posts if you ask a question?
  • Are your top posts aligned with your current brand voice? (If not, and they’re performing well, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate that voice.)

Use the notes column of your audit document to record your thoughts. We’ll come back to these notes later!

Where to find this info:

You can use the built-in analytics tools for each social network to sort and find your top posts for the key metric you’ve chosen. Not sure how? We have complete guides to using all of them:

But hold up: That could take forever. Instead, make life easier and use Hootsuite Analytics. You can find the top posts for all your social accounts in one place with just a few clicks.

Hootsuite Analytics is a great all-in-one tool for reviewing your data at a glance. You can even schedule regular custom reports, sent straight to your email.

Hootsuite analytics reporting dashboard

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In Hootsuite Analytics, each report has a flexible, customizable interface. You can drag-and-drop an unlimited number of “tiles,” each of which displays your chosen metric. That way, it’s easy to review your top metrics and adjust your social strategy on the go.

Where to list this info:

Once you’ve identified your top content for each platform, add a link to that post in the highlighted column of your audit spreadsheet.

List the top content for each platform on the appropriate tab of the social media audit spreadsheet

4. Evaluate each channel’s performance

Now, it’s time to evaluate how each social channel contributes to your overall marketing goals.

If you haven’t already created a mission statement and a few key goals for each social account, now’s the time.

Several accounts may have similar goals, like driving traffic to your website and increasing conversions. Others may be exclusively for customer service purposes or brand awareness.

For example, our YouTube account is all about product education. Our @Hootsuite_Help Twitter account, though, is only for tech support:

Hootsuite Helpers Twitter account homepage

For each channel, list out its goal(s) and track your progress toward them. For measurable goals like traffic or conversions, write down the actual numbers.

How many website visits came from Instagram? How many sales came from Facebook Page visitors? If the goal is customer service, write down your CSAT score and see if it’s improving over time. Be specific.

For goals without quantifiable data, record supporting evidence. If your Facebook account is for brand awareness, has your following grown? Have you increased your organic or paid reach?

We want to get clear on the purpose of each of your social channels and measure their effectiveness.

Where to find this info:

Finding relevant information will depend on the goals you set for each channel.

Tracking customer service or brand awareness goals? Try using social listening tools to gather data from real customers.

If you’re measuring traffic or conversion goals, you can use Google Analytics. You can view the traffic breakdown by channel (plus a lot more information) by going to Acquisition -> Social -> Network Referrals.

Use Google Analytics to breakdown webtraffic breakdown by social network when conducting a social media audit

Tracking conversions from social media isn’t an exact science, though it’s easier on some channels than others. You’ll need to set up Meta Pixel (formerly Facebook Pixel) to track Facebook conversion data, for example, and many networks have their own tracking codes. Many e-commerce platforms also have built-in social channel tracking.

Going platform by platform can be tedious (so many tabs!), but you can make your life much easier by using a social media management tool like Hootsuite Analytics for this, too.

And you don’t have to take our word for it, either — our own social team uses Hootsuite to conduct their own social media audits.

“I use Hootsuite to run social media audits for our own channels because it’s got all of our analytics and channels in one spot. That makes it super easy to scroll through our various posts and networks, understand what is working or not working, and build my recommendations to make changes for the future.” – Nick Martin, Social Listening & Engagement Team Lead at Hootsuite

Where to list this info:

Add each platform’s mission statement to the appropriate tab of your audit spreadsheet, then move down to the Performance section.

List individual platform performance on the social media audit spreadsheet

Your mission statement will tell you each platform’s purpose and determine which KPIs are most important.

For example, if your mission statement for Instagram is “Grow brand awareness and drive traffic/leads,” you’ll probably want to list metrics like audience growth rate and website traffic from social. Get specific!


Go one step further and compare each channel’s performance against your top competitors.

The optional SWOT analysis section of the social media audit template allows you to compare your accounts' performance against top competitors

Scroll down to the SWOT Analysis section of your audit spreadsheet and use the data you gathered in this step to list your internal strengths and weaknesses. Maybe your posts earn an unusually high number of likes and comments, but you’re producing fewer videos than your competitors. Make a note!

Then, take a closer look at the competition. Have they failed to capitalize on a new feature? Are their accounts growing faster than yours? Those are opportunities and threats to your brand, so make sure you’ve got your eye on them.

Manually collecting this type of data can be overwhelming. The good news is, there are easier ways to do it.

Hootsuite Analytics does Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter competitive analysis for you. You can track up to 20 competitors per network and get a clear view of your strengths and weaknesses — plus actionable insights on the top posts, hashtags, and content formats in your niche.

Social media competitor analysis in Hootsuite Analytics: Overview report

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Competitive analytics in Hootsuite go as far as telling you the average caption length and number of hashtags used per post.

Social media competitor analysis in Hootsuite Analytics: Post length report. Use this information in your social media audit

Hootsuite Analytics also features a handy industry benchmarking tool that helps you compare your performance against averages across your industry.

To get social media industry benchmarks, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Hootsuite dashboard and head to Analytics.
  2. In the menu on the left side of the screen, scroll to Benchmarking and click Industry.
  3. Pick an industry that best describes your business. 

Selecting an industry in Hootsuite Analytics Industry Benchmarking

That’s it! Now you can see how your results compare to average performance stats within your industry. You can set up custom timeframes, switch between networks — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok — and look up benchmarks for the following metrics:

  • Profile impressions
  • Profile reach
  • Followers
  • Audience growth rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Video plays
  • Posting frequency
  • Clicks
  • Shares

… and more.

Industry benchmarking in Hootsuite Analytics; Two graphs comparing post engagement rate and post like numbers.

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You will also find resources to improve your performance right in the summary section:

Industry benchmarking in Hootsuite Analytics: Performance summary with dedicated resources for improvement

And, if you need to present your results to your team, boss, or other stakeholders, you can easily download your comparison report as a PDF file. 

If you want to conduct an even more thorough competitive analysis, check out this related blog and free template.

5. Understand your audience on each platform

Now that you know how each account is helping support and grow your brand, it’s time to dig deeper to understand who you’re reaching on each platform.

Audience demographics are a good starting point. For example, Instagram gets a lot of attention for its ecommerce features, but consumers actually spend the most money on TikTok. Likewise, Facebook is the most popular platform for people 35-44, but YouTube is the place to be for the 18-25 group.

While your audience may differ from the norm, we’ve compiled all the top demographic data for each social network to get you started:

Learn the demographics of your unique audience on each platform and use that, along with the types of posts they prefer, to create buyer personas. (Don’t worry; we’ve got a free buyer persona template to make that easy for you.)

Where to find this info:

You can find demographic information within each platform’s native analytics. It’s a lot faster if you use the all-in-one audience reporting in Hootsuite Insights, though.

This enterprise-level tool can give you an instant overview of millions of online conversations in real time.

Search for any topic or keyword, and filter by date, demographics, location, and more. You’ll be able to identify thought leaders or brand advocates, understand the perception of your brand in the market, and get immediate alerts if and when your mentions spike (for good or for bad.)

Hootsuite Insights can tell you a lot about your target audience — and how they feel about you. If you want to learn more about your unique audience, Insights is the only tool you’ll need.

Request a demo of Hootsuite Insights

Where to list this info:

In your audit spreadsheet, scroll down to the Audience section for each platform and add in any relevant demographic information.

The audience section of your social media audit template should include demographic information and number of followers

Be sure to include the number of followers you have now and the percentage change over the past year.

Find something interesting in your social listening audit? Be sure to note it here. If positive (or negative) sentiments about your brands have increased, for example, you’ll want to keep an eye on it.

6. Take action: Update your social media marketing strategy

Now that you know where you stand, think about ways to improve your social media metrics. It’s time to revisit the notes you made earlier!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Which platforms are driving the most results?
  • Are there any new social media platforms you should be using?
  • Are you neglecting any platforms? Do you even need them, or would it be better to ditch them and focus on your higher-performing ones?
  • What content types are working best right now? How can you make more of this?
  • Is your content resonating with your expected audience demographics, or has a new potential persona emerged?

Think about new content and campaign ideas, building off what you learned from your top content in step three. For example, if video is a big hit, write down a specific strategy to work more of it into your marketing. That could be “Post 3 new Instagram Reels per week” or “Repurpose existing long-form video into short, 15-second clips for social media.”

These decisions don’t have to be forever. Successful marketing depends on testing and experimenting to find what works for your audience. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Regular social media audits will let you know if you’re on the right track or need to go in a different direction.

For each new strategy and idea, write it down in your marketing plan. (Don’t have one yet? We gotcha with yet another awesome template: this free social media marketing plan document.) Your marketing strategy is a living document, so keep it current.

Where to find this info:

Your brain! Use all the data you’ve collected so far to generate new ideas. Have your goals for each platform in front of you so that you can connect your updated marketing plan to them. Remember to let others know when you’ve updated the marketing plan, so everyone is on the same page.

Once you’re done with your audit… plan the next one! Stick to a regular schedule. Quarterly works well for most companies, although you may want to check in monthly if you run many campaigns or channels.

Regular audits connect your team’s day-to-day marketing work with your company goals. Over time, you’ll refine your social strategy and learn how to best connect with your audience.

Where to list this info:

After you’ve had a chance to review your data, add in your new goals for each platform to the goals section of your audit spreadsheet. Be sure to set a date to come back and review your progress.

List specific goals for each social platform during your audit

Congratulations — your audit spreadsheet should now be complete! To make it easier to review your findings, fill out the rest of the information on the summary tab.

Free social media audit template

Bonus: Get the free social media audit template to see what’s working and what’s not. Save time and improve performance.

A spreadsheet is the best way to keep track of your social media audit information (and everything in life).

social media audit spreadsheet template: sample

If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve created a ready-to-use social media audit template for you. Download it above, or make your own with the following fields:

Account details:

  • Your username
  • Link to your profile
  • About/bio text for the account
  • Any hashtags that appear in your bio or that you’ll regularly use
  • URL to use in your bio
  • Whether your account is verified or not
  • Internal person or team responsible for managing the account (also known as the “owner”—for example, the social marketing team)
  • Mission statement for the account (for example: “To promote company culture using employee photos,” or “To provide customer service”)
  • Details of the current pinned post (if applicable)
  • Date of the most recent post (to help you identify underused/abandoned accounts)

Performance details:

  • Total number of posts published
  • Total engagement numbers: Engagement rate, click-through rate, views, comments, shares, etc
  • Change in engagement rate vs. your last audit
  • The top five posts for each platform by engagement rate (or the key metric you’ve chosen)
  • Your campaign ROI (if you run paid ads)

Audience details:

  • Demographics and buyer personas
  • Follower count (and change +/- vs. your last audit)


  • 2-3 S.M.A.R.T. goals you want to achieve by your next audit
  • Whether you met the goals you set for this audit, or changed course (and why)

Now you know everything you need to conduct your own social media audit. Go forth and analyze!

Frequently asked questions about social media audits

What is a social media audit?

A social media audit is a process used to measure the success of your social strategy across accounts and networks. An audit identifies your strengths, weaknesses, and the next steps needed to improve.

Why is a social media audit important?

A social media audit helps you review how your social media efforts track against your business goals.

An audit will show you which content and platforms are performing best, who your audience is and what they care about, and where to focus your efforts next.

How do I start a social media audit?

Start your social media audit by listing all of your accounts, then go through each account to review its performance. For a guided tour of the process, scroll up in this blog.

How long does a social media audit take?

That depends! You can conduct a quick social media audit in as little as 30 minutes, but if you want to do a deep dive into each of your accounts, you might want to set aside a few hours.

What are the steps of a social media audit?

A social media audit is pretty straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  1. List all of your accounts
  2. Check in on your branding
  3. Identify your top-performing content
  4. Evaluate each channel’s performance
  5. Understand your audience on each platform
  6. Take action and set new goals

Save time by managing all your accounts in one place with Hootsuite. Plan content and campaigns, schedule posts, manage conversations, and see all your analytics and ROI data with quick, automated reports. Power up your social marketing today.

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By Michelle Martin

As an ex-agency strategist turned freelance WFH fashion icon, Michelle is passionate about putting the sass in SaaS content. She's known for quickly understanding and distilling complicated technical topics into conversational copy that gets results. She has written for Fortune 500 companies and startups, and her clients have earned features in Forbes, Strategy Magazine and Entrepreneur.

Read more by Michelle Martin

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