Starting a social media audit for your church is a key part of developing—or updating—an effective social media marketing plan. Before you can think strategically about your church’s future social media use, you need to document and evaluate your existing social media.
Auditing allows you to identify what’s working and what’s not, while also identifying potential impostor accounts (for larger churches), outdated profiles, and new opportunities for social engagement.
Put all that learning together and you’ll be well equipped to make the most of your social budget if you have one. I’ve unpacked the process out for you step-by-step, complete with a template to make sure you keep track of all the important details.
What is a social media audit?
“Audit” can be a “yawn” word for some of us, but it doesn’t have to be. In your church’s case, it’s simply the process of hunting down all of your social channels, as well as any impostor accounts, and putting all the key information about each account, all in one place.
As you build your audit document you’ll need to think about your goals for each channel, and evaluate whether your existing strategy is working. This allows you to see how each social account functions as a building block in your social strategy.
Once you’ve identified the blocks, it’s time to remove the unnecessary pieces and add new ones that will help take your social media outreach to a new level.
Or, maybe you just need to make some simple course corrections to get your social media strategy on track.
No matter where you currently stand with your church’s social media, a social media audit will present a clear picture of your current work and help you think clearly about the best strategy forward. It will also leave you with a single strategy document that lists all of your social accounts, the goals for each and who’s responsible for what.
Bottom line is that a good audit will help improve your social media results in the future.
How to undertake a social media audit in 10 simple steps
1. Create a document for your audit (or use my template)
An audit begins with getting your Kojak lollipop out, or putting your Sherlock hat on.
The best way to keep track of all the information you’ll uncover during your audit is to use a spreadsheet.
I’ve created a social media audit template for you, which you will find at the end of this post. If you’d prefer to create your own spreadsheet, you can do so using a program like Excel or Google Docs. For each social account, you’ll want to record:
• the link to your profile (for example, instagram.com/yourchurchname)
• your social handle (for example, @yourchurchname)
• the internal person or team responsible for managing the account (also known as the “owner”—for example, the social marketing team)
• the mission statement for the account
• the top three posts in terms of engagement
• three important metrics
• key demographic information
You should also include a column for any relevant notes about the various social media accounts.
2. Track down all your social media accounts
Now that you’ve got a document to track your accounts, it’s time to go on the bear-hunt. Start by listing all of the accounts that you and your team use regularly. But don’t assume that you’ve got them all.
For example, there might be old profiles created before your church had a social strategy. Maybe these were abandoned at some point. It’s time to bring them back into the fold.
Or maybe various departments within your church are using social media, but there’s no unified system or list of accounts.
This is also a good time to identify networks where you don’t yet have a social presence, so you can start thinking about whether you should add them to your social strategy, or at least create profiles to reserve your handle for the future.
Do a google search
Google your church name and the name of your locations to see what social accounts come up. If you find accounts you don’t recognise, do some investigating to determine whether they’re actually connected to your church, or if they’re impostor accounts run by someone not affiliated with your church.
Record your findings
Record all the relevant accounts you find in your audit document. Use the notes column to indicate any accounts that require further research—for instance, if you can’t tell whether the account was created by someone at your church or by an impostor.
3. Make sure each channel is complete and “on brand”
Once you’ve listed all of your accounts, take the time to look at each one thoroughly to make sure it’s consistent with your current brand image and standards. Check the following:
Profile and cover images
Make sure these incorporate your current brand logo and imagery.
You have limited space to work with when creating a social media bio, so it’s important to make the most of it. Make sure all fields are filled in completely and accurately with current brand messaging.
Church Handle (name)
Are you using the same handle across all social channels? In general, it’s a good idea to do so if you can.
Of course, you might need different handles if your accounts serve different purposes. Take a look at your handles and record in the notes if you want to make changes for consistency across social platforms.
Make sure you link to your church website or an appropriate landing page..
Evaluate your pinned posts to ensure they’re still appropriate.
4. Identify your best social media posts
For each social media channel, look for the top ten posts that had the most engagement. Record links to these top-performing posts in your spreadsheet.
Once you’ve recorded all of these posts, go through all of them and look for themes. Do you tend to get the most response when you post photos? Videos? Do people respond to the same kinds of posts on your Facebook Page as they do on your Instagram account?
For example, I know these Facebook posts perform really well for churches. Read: 9 Of The Best Types Of Facebook Posts That Reach More People
5. Check the performance
Use analytics to gather some key insights about each social account.
Identify the most important metrics to track for each business goal, and how to track them. Choose one or two key metrics for each account and make notes about their performance in your audit spreadsheet.
As part of your evaluation, you might find that some of your social accounts are much more effective than others. For the accounts that don’t perform as well, you need to decide whether to adjust your strategy.
6. Understand your audience demographics for each social media channel
As you think about how each social account helps support your church’s mission, it’s important to understand who you can reach through each channel.
Audience demographics are a good starting point. For example, Instagram users are much younger than Facebook users, and LinkedIn users tend to have high incomes. You get the picture.
7. Make a decision about which social media channels are the best for your church
You’ve hunted for enough information now to make some great decisions about where to focus your social media marketing efforts.
Looking at how each channel is currently performing, along with who you can each through each platform, look for ways to tie each social account back to your social media marketing strategy.
For example, you might decide to focus more of your energy on Facebook for a while. All churches have constraints. Use your best channel first.
8. Centralise social media channel passwords and ownership
Each social media channel should be “owned” by one person on your communications team, or maybe your whole team. That person is responsible for ensuring the channel is on brand, up-to-date and performing well.
This person will also be in charge of necessary approvals on the account, and will guide its strategic direction. They’ll decide who should have access to the account and what level of access each person should have.
9. Repeat it all again
Your social auditing is not a one-off process. With all of the changes on social media, you should conduct regular audits to ensure everything is on track, and look for changes in the way your accounts are performing.
10. Remember the goal
This is just a process. Enjoy the results! Audits are all about establishing a baseline for performance and then improving. The results should demonstrate why you invest time in this again and again.
Social Media Audit Template For Your Church
Check out the social media audit template here.