100% always audit your content. The real question is when to audit other accounts, like comparable, competitor or inspirational accounts [AND] when to audit your own social media accounts. Here’s a quick cheatsheet for how to tell.
When To Audit Another Account
Auditing a comparable, competitor or inspirational account
1. When Starting Out:
If you’re new to Instagram (or any social media channel) or pivoting your content strategy and unsure what to post, conducting an audit of a big account gives you invaluable research.
Use the audit to generate an emulation plan, allowing you to identify what types of content resonate with the audience you’re trying to reach.
Understanding what a successful, established account is doing right gives you a blueprint for your own growth and success. This ‘emulation plan‘ acts as a starting line, setting you on the right course from the get-go.
2. Before a Major Campaign:
Gain insights into what works for similar accounts before you launch your own initiatives.
3. Seasonal Check-ins:
If your industry has high and low seasons, audit a big account to see how they adapt their strategy.
4. After Algorithm Updates:
Instagram frequently changes its algorithm. Post-update is a good time to see how big accounts are adapting.
5. New Feature Release:
Whenever Instagram launches a new feature (e.g., Reels, Stories), see how big accounts are leveraging it.
6. Quarterly or Bi-Annually:
Regular audits can help you stay updated with the ongoing trends and strategies of big accounts.
7. When Your Growth Stalls:
If you notice a plateau in your engagement or follower count, auditing a successful account can provide new strategies.
8. After Their Successful Campaign:
Wait for a competitor to finish a particularly effective campaign, then audit to understand its components.
9. Competitive Landscape Changes:
When a new big player enters the field or existing ones pivot their strategy, that’s a good time to conduct an audit.
10. During Industry Events:
Events like trade shows or industry-specific holidays can be high-activity periods worth auditing.
11. When Expanding Your Niche:
Before diversifying the type of content you post, audit big accounts who are already successful in that area.
12. When Rebranding:
If you’re considering a rebrand, audit competitors to gain insights into how well their branding strategies are performing.
13. Year-End: Conduct a year-end audit to summarize annual trends and help you plan your strategy for the next year.
When To Audit Your Own Account
- After Significant Growth: If you are just starting out, you may want to wait until you have a significant following and content pool for a more meaningful analysis.
- Post-Campaign: After running specific campaigns, include your content to evaluate the effectiveness of those campaigns.
- To Maintain Quality Control: Regularly audit your own Instagram account to ensure your content remains aligned with your brand values, objectives, and audience preferences.