What ADM Looks for During a Social Media Audit

There’s a science to good social media marketing, and science revolves around having data you can trust. A paid social media account audit helps businesses understand whether they’re missing key opportunities, engaging in antiquated practices, or failing to track data that could inform future decisions.

An audit is a key first step in many agency-client relationship, and every agency conducts theirs differently. In this blog, we’ll lay out what ADM looks for in a social media audit, what common issues we encounter, and what you should learn through the process. 

What is the Goal of a Social Media Audit?

When engaging in a paid social media audit, our overarching question is: What could be done differently in order to achieve the brand’s goals? To answer that question, we work through an exhaustive list of individual checkpoints for each of their social accounts. 

While brands have a multitude of social marketing options today, more than 75% of all social media ad spend occurs on the Meta platforms—Facebook and Instagram. As the largest and most robust social ad tool, it draws the primary attention of our social media audits, but we apply the same principles and questions to every platform that the prospective client is currently using.

Do We Change Our Audit Approach For Different Businesses? 

Our audit process revolves entirely around the business’s goals, and because every business is different and has its own unique objectives, no two audit processes are the same. Starting at the most basic level, smaller budgets mean fewer campaigns and fewer ads live within each campaign, while larger accounts should have a greater breadth of creative concepts and mediums to assess.

Because our agency focuses both on eCommerce and health clients, we also have to consider the industry in which the prospective client operates. There are much stricter rules governing how health brands can advertise—they’re impacted both by federal laws and platform-specific policies—so for health clients, we put an emphasis on determining whether current practices are in total compliance with all applicable rules (you can read our in-depth guidance on that topic here). 

What Do We Look For in a Social Media Audit? 

ADM is always going to try to answer a series of core questions as we determine whether your brand’s social practices align with its business goals. These include:

  • Is the account structured in a way that will help the brand achieve efficiency and scale? 
  • Are there audiences that the brand hasn’t tested and should or audiences the brand hasn’t tested in the right way? (Usually, this means looking for audience expansion opportunities).
  • Is tracking set up correctly, and are the social platforms sending any tracking error messages? 
  • Are they following best practices for utilizing all of the available tools across the account? 

In addition to the implementation of the brand’s social accounts, we also look closely at their ad creative, asking questions like:

  • Is it clear what their product/service is from all of the creative?
  • Is there creative medium diversity? 
  • Is creative labeled in a way that makes it possible to track performance? 
  • Are they using what ADM knows to be winning creative concepts for their industry?

If we can answer all of these questions thoroughly, we’re well-positioned to identify any strategic shortcomings and provide recommendations for improvement.

What Are the Most Common Problems We Identify in Our Audits? 

While every audit is slightly different, there are some unifying issues that we encounter across client accounts and industries. For instance, it’s fairly common to find that a brand has been over-segmenting its Meta ads through audience targeting. This is the “old” way of advertising on Meta in a pre-iOS-7-update world. 

Those changes brought on by Apple in 2021 severely limited the effectiveness of Meta’s audiences, meaning that relying too heavily on segmentation can greatly limit effectiveness and bottleneck a brand from scaling. When we encounter that problem, it usually indicates that the account was being managed in antiquated ways—the fix to this is to consolidate campaigns and targeting and instead focus on strategically-designed creative to find the right audience. 

Another common issue we find during paid social media account audits is a lack of coherent nomenclature at the ad level. Good social advertisers need to constantly test out the performance of different creative, and without a system of naming conventions, it can be difficult to run those tests and optimize and iterate effectively. 

What an Audit Should Leave You With

At the end of the day, the purpose of an audit is to better understand the effectiveness of your current marketing approach, identify performance gaps, and, often, to find a new agency partner. When ADM’s Paid Social team digs into a prospective client’s Meta and other social accounts, it is focused on determining your capacity to run data-driven tests and assessing the quality and effectiveness of your social ad creative. Our goal is to pass along any applicable setup and creative suggestions that will help your business better achieve its goals—and make the case that we’re the right agency to implement those fixes.

If you think your brand has more growth potential on social media than it is currently showing, don’t hesitate to reach out to the ADM team today.