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Here are a few transcribed excerpts from our discussion, but make sure to listen to the podcast to hear everything!

How Social Media Advertising has Evolved

Within digital media, it’s always interesting to see how consumer habits change over time.

Looking at the pace of change, it always seems like the thing that pops up this weekend becomes popular where it’s completely unexpected. Of course, it’s very hard to look into that crystal ball and see where things will be in five or seven years.

I think where we are today is really the age of platforms, as everyone is saying.

It’s been really interesting to see what’s happened. Again, I think where we are is less transactional, more relational.

Distinguishing Good Content

Smartphones being ubiquitous, what’s the right ad experience on mobile? It’s not going to be that kind of display banner from desktops shrunk down into a smaller space. How do we build something that’s immersive and full-screen and engaging and get somebody to raise their hand while they’re looking for that dopamine fix and scrolling through Facebook? Let’s give them a good experience here and let them go further on their own.

I think it’s an interesting way to look at it. We’ve seen success with that for some of our clients and not repurposing creative, but really building something that’s native to the platform.

It even plays into digital video. When you look at digital video and you’re going to run it in the Facebook environment, I think everybody now realizes it’s auto-play, it’s silent, it’s subtitled. What’s the right approach for that? How do we load our branding front end?

Finding the Most Accessible Platform for Your Content

There was Kodak. Now there’s really no longer Kodak, but there’s Instagram.

We’re still interested in photography and photos and sharing things and creating memories and preserving them. I think that’s the overall point that there’s some innate human things that are going to continue. It’s just what is the platform.

It may be fluid and it might be Facebook. It might be a little bit different. It might be something new that’s still in development.

The tricky thing with digital is really overall tracking. That’s a question that comes up from clients all the time is what is the overall spend. What percentage of our budget should be in digital? How do we decide that for social media? Social can be very hard to track and digital as well.

Transformation in Media Usage

I guess in the overall industry trend over the last five years there’s was sort of a race in marketing tech and ad tech to add more tracking, to go deeper and understand these discreet segments and hyper-targeting populations and looking at everything at the most granular level.

Now we’re hearing Procter & Gamble’s pulling back in a sense. Some of this could be a negotiating power as they’re looking at their overall budget with Facebook. I think the point can also be true that as they’re looking at Facebook overall and saying here is two hundred data points against each of these people, how do we then want to divide up our brand spend for direct response?

Everything is infinitely measurable, but is that really the way to invest in the platform and the way to approach the audience in that transactional manner? Whatever happens, we’re still going to be looking at a sales funnel to some degree.

Is Social Media Worth Investing Your Time and Money?

I think it’s really talking to the client about their own goals, their target, understanding within that full target analysis, who are these people, what are their typical media behaviors, weighing social media against everything else that they’re doing in their daily lives and then the budget. How much budget is there and how far can we stretch it?

If we look at those priorities, the audience might be fifty-five and older. They’re primarily broadcast, primetime viewers with a little bit of light online. Maybe they’re checking their bank statements and the weather or Facebook to follow-up with the grandkids, whatever it is. Again, it’s unique to each budget, each brand, each target.

Making Your Brand Constantly Top of Mind

Everybody has been talking about Olympics for the last week since it wrapped [a few weeks ago].

I think NBC is learning some hard lessons about trying to force fit content into the traditional broadcast primetime model and looking at an opportunity that was served up for a multitude of sports where people can go as deep as they want and follow everything as it’s happening.

We do live in that world now where everybody gets breaking updates in their smartphones. If you’ve downloaded the app, you’ve opted in for the notifications; you’re going to see the notifications throughout the day. This broadcast partner has decided that they’re going to repackage the content and air it in primetime. I think there’s a limitation there in what they were expecting to happen with the TV viewership that didn’t really match what they were doing online.

I think that just allowing the user to be free to engage where they want to and on their own terms and to go as deep as they want. What are you going to lose by having them go further in digital? You’re giving them the content they want.

It’s going to trend on social regardless. Don’t fight it. Go with it.

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Why You Need A Holiday Social Media Advertising Strategy Right Now

The holidays are… sort of upon us?

In my family, the annual joke is that if my mother starts asking about the holidays one month earlier than last year, we’ll eventually be giving her our gift wish lists in January!

If your world is anything like mine, the holidays seem to come earlier and earlier every year.

No more than 12 hours past Halloween, we’re flooded with December holiday themes, nearly bypassing Thanksgiving entirely.

The days get shorter, service providers get busier, and every company with a retail item has something they want you to buy.

And while no one wants to be a Scrooge, it can be tough to think about building a holiday strategy this far out.

Especially because the global pandemic has shown us that each day can either drag on, or circumstances can change in an instant.

But that’s exactly why you should be putting together your strategy now instead of taking the “wait and see” approach.

You should be thinking about why you need to start earlier and what you can do to stand out.

And know the things to keep in mind as we move closer to the holiday season alongside a thick air of global uncertainty.

Here are a few ways this year is a little bit different.

Earlier Online & More Spread Out

We all have seen the numbers.

People are spending a lot more time on the Internet than usual these days.

After all, what else is there to do when you’re stuck at home on quarantine or you’re working and/or studying from home all day?

But more than that, people are understandably concerned about in-person touchpoints in their shopping experience.

This is driving more people to online purchases than ever before.

Suddenly, you’ve got a lot more lingering eyes on your shopping cart page than a year ago at this same time.

And people are finding themselves doing a lot more online shopping than usual.

You could say it’s due to a need for dopamine.

And the relatively new concept of “anxiety shopping” – anxiety over what the future holds and a need for present-moment comfort.

That is if you still needed validation for the new impulse buying habit you’ve picked up in the last six months.

People are also being encouraged to complete their holiday shopping earlier this year.

Brought about by concerns over COVID-related delays in shipping or supply chain issues.

All this compounded by the uncertainty over the future of the pandemic and whether jobs will stay secure.

This means that the shopping may start early and actually may be spread out throughout the holiday season, as changes materialize.

But the moral of the story is this: People are online and they’re buying so you need to get your brand in front of them.

And you need to do it now.

Tip: If you’ve been uncertain over whether or not to add a commerce function to your site, now is the time to make that happen.

People will be buying online.

And there is no way to guarantee that, two or three months from now, brick-and-mortar shops will even be able to stay open for in-person shopping (as we saw five months ago).

Salesforce research shows that 50% of all seasonal retail revenue is complete by December 3, meaning you can’t afford to delay.

If the first quarantine and decline of in-person shoppers caught you unawares, don’t let it happen again.

Invest in a commerce function on your website now, or at least start listing your products or services on Instagram, Pinterest, or another third-party shoppable site.

Make sure you don’t miss out on major online sales and all your shopping revenue.


Recent studies show that the pandemic has changed our Internet behavior.

Desktop use is back on the rise, while mobile app use has suffered a bit of a dip.

If you’ve been taking great pains to fine-tune your mobile strategy, you don’t need to take the effort away from it (people are still using their phones).

But you do need to spend time to make sure your desktop experience is just as beautifully optimized for all the incoming traffic.

Why Spend Twice as Much for Just as Many

This is one preparation that never changes; but this year, it might just be amplified.

Every year in September, we start preparing our clients for the upcoming holiday season.


There are more and more businesses spending money for the first time, and more of them spending more money than they did all year long.

What does that mean for you?

Greater competition for the same eyes.

Prepare for things to cost more – and expect to get poorer results overall, on average.

But that’s every year.

Here’s where this year is different:

First of all, we’re in an election year in the U.S.

While there is always more competition for eyes during this time of year, it’s compounded by the amount of competition that only comes out once every two to four years.

There are policy changes or ballot measures as well as publishers reporting breaking news stories or running election guides.

You’re competing with far more than just other businesses. You’re competing with the fabric of governing structures.

And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, or if I’ve mentioned it enough in this article, but we’re in a pandemic.

So don’t be surprised if you have to spend more than twice your normal ad budget to get the same results.

Tip: Get in touch with your deeply creative side for this holiday season strategy.

You’re competing with a lot of noise that makes people nervous, afraid, exhausted – or it makes them feel assaulted with demands to buy products or donate money.

Give your audience something fun and lighthearted.

People need more happiness to hold onto.

Be the brand that gives it to them!

Don’t Feel Like You Need to Push Sales Right Now

Ah, but you don’t need to offer sales right now – it’s about so much more than that.

Think about it:

What do people know about your brand?

Do they know your brand at all?

What better time to start telling them all about your fabulous brand with its fabulous products and services than right now, before your holiday sales kick-off.

Even if the concept of the marketing funnel is supposed to be dead or something, it still serves a purpose.

You know that you have to keep the funnel full by adding more people at the top, unless you want it to eventually be empty.

So, run your Instagram Reels.

Make engaging Facebook (and now LinkedIn) stories.

Experiment and A/B test with carousels and GIFs and videos – but just make sure you’re in the game.

You’re getting people interested in your brand and leaving breadcrumbs along the way for your big holiday reveal.

And also, any sales you make in the meantime is gravy.

Today, more than ever, people are buying from companies that share their values.

So don’t be afraid to talk about them!

People are more likely to buy from a brand that has a message they care about.

Whether it’s supporting a nonprofit for Giving Tuesday or letting people know about the care that goes into designing and manufacturing or selecting products for sale.

Be Ready to Pivot

As a marketer, I know it’s en vogue to roll our eyes and groan about every new change delivered to us from the Advertising Platform Gods.

I get it.

I do.

It’s annoying.

But also, I get really tired of hearing the complaints, especially when they’re connected to stubbornness and a general refusal to make the changes necessary.

We’re marketers.

Pivoting, adjusting, and adapting is literally the job.

Right now, we’re in a constant global PR crisis of sorts.

There are fires and a pandemic, a general election, and justifiable civil unrest.

Every day is a new exercise in how our brand should respond to the current happenings, especially this year.

And then you should be prepared to completely scrap it at a moment’s notice.

We have zero idea what the last quarter of the year holds for us.

The business owners and marketers I’ve seen thrive this year have had one thing in common:

They pivoted early, often, and were ready to make changes at a moment’s notice.

They gave themselves a moment to grieve their previous plans, and then they got to work.

Conversely, I saw a lot of businesses and marketers struggle because they sat around doing the “wait and see.”

They stayed frozen and indecisive, hoping and praying day after day that the winds would change course and blow in their favor.

Don’t wait for a virus or a civil movement, or a natural disaster to tell you what to do.

It’s your job to figure it out early and quickly, and adapt.

So make the plan.

Just be prepared to scrap it on a dime.

Tip: Build pivots into your plan.

It’s good common practice to have a plan in crisis for both internal and external communications.

And this is a great time to flex that muscle.

No, seriously, what could go wrong?

Then plan for each possible thing.

If there is another quarantine and we have to move to ecommerce only, how will we adjust our language? Our retail partner strategy? Our own ecommerce strategy?

If there are more layoffs and fewer people can afford to make purchases, how will we change our messaging?

How will we respond with compassion, but also so that we can salvage our own business?

What happens if the Advertising Platform Gods change rules, regulations, or algorithms?

Force yourself to see the worst-case scenarios unfolding before your very eyes.

This holiday season will be fraught, no question.

Don’t stand by and wait to see if things work out the way you want them to so you can launch the strategy you normally do.

More Resources:

How To Use Chatgpt For Social Media


If you’re looking for a powerful language model that can assist with a variety of social media purposes, ChatGPT may be just what you need. ChatGPT has the ability to generate human-like responses to a wide range of queries, from providing quick customer support to generating engaging social media posts.

With its vast database of language patterns and deep learning algorithms, ChatGPT can quickly analyze large amounts of data and provide insights that can help you make decisions about your social media strategy.

This page is part of the How to Use ChatGPT guide. At the bottom of this page, you’ll find links to other use cases.

Content Creation & Curation

Brainstorm catchy post ideas

User prompt: Come up with a creative social media post idea for a fitness brand, focusing on motivating people to start working out.

AI response: “How about a post that features a before-and-after transformation of a real client who achieved their fitness goals? You can caption it with, ‘The best time to start your fitness journey was yesterday. The next best time is NOW. Start today and create your own success story! #TransformationTuesday #FitLife'”

Generate engaging captions

User prompt: I need an inspiring and engaging caption for a photo of a beautiful sunset at the beach. The audience is travel enthusiasts.

AI response: “Try this caption: ‘Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully. 🌅✨ Let’s wander where the Wi-Fi is weak and create memories that’ll last a lifetime. #SunsetLovers #TravelGoals'”

Curate conversation starters

User prompt: Create a thought-provoking question to spark conversations for a book club’s social media page. The book of the month is “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

AI response: “You can post the following question: ‘In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch tells Scout that “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” How can we apply this lesson to our daily lives and become more empathetic? Share your thoughts! 📚🤔 #BookClubDiscussion #ToKillAMockingbird'”

Generate content themes and ideas

User prompt: Help me create a list of weekly themes for a lifestyle blog’s social media content calendar for the month of May.

AI response: “Here’s a list of weekly themes for May:

Week 1: Spring Cleaning Tips 🌷🧹

Week 2: Healthy Seasonal Recipes 🥗🍓

Week 3: Mental Health Awareness Week 💚🧠

Week 4: Outdoor Fitness Activities 🏃‍♀️🌳”

Develop publication schedules

User prompt: I need a publication schedule for a tech company’s LinkedIn page. We want to post twice a week, focusing on industry news, product updates, and employee spotlights.

AI response: “Here’s a suggested publication schedule for your LinkedIn page:

Tuesdays: Industry News and Insights 🌐💡

Fridays: Alternating between Product Updates and Employee Spotlights 🔧👩‍💻”

Brainstorm post ideas for specific dates

User prompt: Suggest engaging social media post ideas for a coffee shop to celebrate International Coffee Day on October 1st.

AI response: “Here are some post ideas for International Coffee Day:

Share a special offer, like ‘Buy one, get one free’ on all coffee drinks to encourage customers to visit your shop ☕🎉

Highlight the unique aspects of your coffee shop, such as your roasting process, sustainable sourcing, or local partnerships 🌿🤝

Host a virtual coffee tasting event or workshop, teaching customers how to make the perfect cup of coffee at home 👩‍🍳🏠”

Community Management and Customer Support

Responding to support tickets or inquiries

User prompt: A customer sent a message saying: “I’m struggling to get my AI assistant to understand my prompts. What can I do to improve my success with using the platform?”

AI response: “It can be helpful to provide more context and clarity in your prompts. Try making your questions or requests more specific, and don’t hesitate to add relevant background information. Also, consider breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. By doing this, you’ll help the AI understand your needs better, and ultimately, provide more valuable and accurate responses.”

Interacting with community members

In a social media community related to AI Assistants, you can use the AI to engage with your audience in discussions, provide recommendations, or share tips.

AI response: “Great question! To make the most of your AI assistant, try the following:

Spend time experimenting with different prompts and request formats to discover what works best for your needs.

Break down complex tasks into smaller, more specific requests to improve the AI’s understanding.

Review and provide feedback on the responses you receive to help the AI learn and improve over time.

Remember, the more you interact with your AI assistant, the better it’ll become at understanding your needs and delivering what you’re looking for.”

Crafting empathetic responses to negative feedback

AI response: “You can reply with something like this: ‘Hi [Customer’s Name], we’re truly sorry to hear about your experience at our restaurant. We take customer feedback seriously and want to make things right. Please send us a private message with your contact information so we can discuss this further and find a solution. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. 🙏'”

Identifying issues that require escalation

User prompt: A user tweeted about a major security vulnerability they discovered in our software. How should I respond and escalate the issue to the relevant team?

User prompt: A follower on Instagram criticized our clothing brand for not offering enough size inclusivity. Help me address their concern in a positive and constructive way.

AI response: “Consider responding like this: ‘Hi [Follower’s Name], thank you for sharing your thoughts. We’re committed to promoting inclusivity and are always working to improve our range of sizes. Your feedback helps us do better. Please know that we’re actively working on expanding our size offerings to cater to all body types. Stay tuned for updates! 🌟'”

Social Media Advertising

Writing persuasive ad copy for a product or service

To generate compelling ad copy for a product or service related to AI Assistants and Social Media Advertising, simply provide a detailed prompt, including information about the product or service you’re promoting.

User prompt: Craft a persuasive ad copy for an AI-powered social media management tool that helps users schedule posts, monitor engagement, and analyze performance.

AI response: “Revolutionize your social media game with our cutting-edge AI-powered social media management tool! Streamline your content creation process by effortlessly scheduling posts, tracking real-time engagement, and analyzing performance data. Harness the power of AI to optimize your social presence and unlock your brand’s full potential. Don’t miss out—start your free trial today and watch your online influence grow!”

Generating targeted audience suggestions for a campaign

User prompt: Provide targeting suggestions for a campaign promoting an AI-based graphic design tool aimed at small business owners and freelancers.

AI response: “For a campaign promoting an AI-based graphic design tool, consider targeting the following audience:

Small business owners and entrepreneurs within various industries (retail, e-commerce, restaurants, coaching, etc.).

Freelancers in fields such as graphic design, web development, copywriting, and marketing.

Age range: 25-54, as this group typically composes the majority of small business owners and freelancers.

Interests: Entrepreneurship, small business management, freelancing, design software, and digital marketing.”

Crafting an attention-grabbing headline for a sponsored post

To create a captivating headline for a sponsored post on AI Assistants and Social Media Advertising, provide a prompt that highlights the main benefits or features you want to emphasize.

User prompt: Write an attention-grabbing headline for a sponsored post about a new AI-powered hashtag suggestion tool that helps brands increase their reach on social media.

AI response: “Boost Your Brand’s Visibility Like Never Before with Our AI-Powered Hashtag Genius – Uncover High-Performing Hashtags Today!”

Social Listening and Sentiment Analysis

User prompt: Analyze the sentiment of this customer review: “I usually love this brand’s products, but my latest purchase left me disappointed. The material feels cheap, and the fit is all wrong.”

AI response: “The sentiment in this review is mixed. The customer has expressed both positive feelings towards the brand in general and negative feelings regarding their latest purchase.”

Tailoring your communication strategy based on sentiment

User prompt: Based on the following feedback, suggest adjustments to our communication strategy: “I appreciate the prompt shipping, but the constant promotional emails are getting annoying.”

AI response: “Considering the mixed sentiment in the feedback, you can maintain the positive aspect of prompt shipping in your communication. However, it would be a good idea to re-evaluate the frequency of promotional emails, possibly offering an option for customers to choose how often they receive such emails.”

“The customer service was fantastic, and the issue was resolved quickly.”

“I love the design, but the product itself didn’t meet my expectations.”

“I’ve been a loyal customer for years, but the recent changes in pricing have made me reconsider.”

Influencer Marketing and Collaborations

Creating personalized partnership pitches

User prompt: Help me craft a partnership pitch for a travel influencer with 200k followers on Instagram. Our brand is focused on eco-friendly travel products.

AI response: “Hi [Influencer’s Name],

We’d love to propose a collaboration between you and our brand, [Your Brand Name]. We specialize in eco-friendly travel products designed to make journeys more sustainable, which we believe aligns perfectly with your values.

We’d like to offer you our [Product Name] to try out on your next trip and share your experience with your followers. We’re confident that your audience will appreciate the eco-conscious aspects of our products.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this partnership opportunity!

Crafting collaboration messaging for a giveaway

User prompt: Create an Instagram caption for a joint giveaway between our sustainable clothing brand and an eco-conscious beauty brand.

AI response: “🌿 GIVEAWAY TIME! 🌿 We’ve teamed up with our friends at [Beauty Brand Name] to bring you an amazing eco-friendly bundle! Win our bestselling [Clothing Item] + [Beauty Brand]’s must-have [Beauty Product] to elevate your sustainable lifestyle game! 💚

To enter:

Like this post ❤️

Follow both @[Your Brand Name] and @[Beauty Brand Name] 🤝

Tag two friends who’d love this eco-friendly duo 🌍

Giveaway ends [End Date]. Good luck, green warriors! 🌱💪 #EcoFriendlyGiveaway #SustainableLiving”

Proposing co-hosted events with influencers

User prompt: Write a proposal for a co-hosted virtual cooking class featuring our vegan meal kit brand and a popular plant-based food influencer.

AI response: “Hi [Influencer’s Name],

We hope this message finds you well! We’ve been admiring your plant-based recipes and the positive impact you’ve made on the vegan community. 🌱

We would be thrilled to collaborate with you for a co-hosted virtual cooking class, featuring our vegan meal kits at [Your Brand Name]. We believe that your culinary expertise, combined with our easy-to-prepare meal kits, will create an engaging and educational experience for our audiences.

During the event, we could cook one of your signature recipes using our meal kit, while discussing the benefits of plant-based eating and sharing tips for creating delicious, eco-friendly meals.

We’re excited to hear your thoughts on this collaboration and discuss further details!

ChatGPT Guides & Prompts

Interested in other domains also? Be sure to check out our full list of guides:

The Evolution Of Technology And How It Has Evolved Seo Best Practices

Search engine optimization (SEO) has changed over the years. The evolution of technology has been the reason for much of this transformation and has influenced the way that a specialist SEO agency can help clients accomplish their goals.

This article takes a look into some of the ways how technology has influenced SEO best practices to develop,

The beginning of a new era

Desktops became more popular in households in the 1980s. But it was the internet that truly changed the way people used desktops. Tim Berners-Lee proposed the World Wide Web project for the first time in 1989. But the mass adoption of the technology kicked off over the past three decades. As web users began increasing in the mid-90s, search engines started to appear to help users navigate it. Yahoo! came about in 1994 and Google launched its services in 1998. Search engines began cataloging websites and made finding information easier.

At the start, SEO featured a lot of practices now deemed bad behavior by both the engines and SEO agencies. Things like keyword stuffing and excessive tagging used to lead to higher search engine ranking. These days, the engines would penalize you for doing so. Content marketing wasn’t about quality but quantity.

Refining keyword practices

It’s no wonder that SEO best practices began to focus on data. Google introduced its first algorithms to filter search engine results at the start of the 2000s. While keywords and other early practices were still a thing, the quality of your content started to increase in importance.

In 2005, personalization also entered the equation. It was at this time people began to see different search engine results depending on their personal web usage and preferences.

Google began to incorporate results from various sources into its website ranking in the early hours of data generation. This meant SEO wasn’t only about optimizing your website. Companies had to make sure they optimized their social media, images, and video as well. The idea of having an SEO agency helps your business become more prominent.

Introducing smart devices

Smartphones have been another major technology shaping SEO best practices. The devices entered the mass market after the release of the iPhone in 2007. The technology didn’t immediately change how companies had to optimize for SEO. But as smartphone technology kept improving, these devices started to change online marketing.

It was the device together with technologies like the 4G that transformed SEO. If you look at current data, around 90% of the global Internet population use mobile to connect. This means websites have to adjust to different devices. Optimizing your content for mobiles is one of the most recommended practices in the industry. You won’t find an SEO agency that won’t recommend it.

Voice search is another interesting technological development that has become more prominent. Google announced Voice Search in 2011 which is the same time Apple’s version entered the market. Best SEO practices started focusing on localization, conversational tones, and structured data.

You can check the level of optimization of your site for mobile devices, using special SEO tools. For example, one such tool is the SEO Page Checker by Sitechecker. 

Enter artificial intelligence (AI)

AI’s impact on SEO has been best showcased in the personalization of websites and marketing. Content marketing is not aimed at the masses any longer. You can create a more personalized influence where individuals are targeted. AI can be a powerful part of building a stronger SEO strategy. You can use it to learn about your campaigns and market trends.

What will SEO practices look like in the future?

Technology has always played a role in how you should practice SEO. It will continue to transform best practices in the years to come. Predicting the future is not an easy thing to do. But there are trends already shaping SEO.

Social Media Marketing Audit Template

Social media marketing audit template Audit your social media marketing with our guided template, complete with worked example How will this social media audit template help me and my business?

Every successful marketing strategy starts with a detailed audit. After all, how are you supposed to improve if you don’t know how well you’re currently doing? This is especially true when formulating a social media strategy. The fast-paced nature of social platforms means that you constantly need to review your performance and optimize your posts if you want to become a thought leader in your industry.

Managing social media updates as part of content marketing activities takes time. You want to make sure you are focusing in the right places and getting the returns on your investment. That’s why our Word Doc social media audit template helps you review the effectiveness of your own social media activities, or for your clients. There’s also a full example report included using a fictitious company who are looking for more clients in their sector.

The template includes both blank pages and tables in a workbook format that you can complete, followed by a worked example.

Who is this social media audit template for? How is the audit structured?

The audit template includes:

The main audit template, with blank tables for you to fill in

An example of how a fictitious company – Health Recruitment Ltd. – would complete the template when auditing their company’s social media

We recommend using the social media audit template to conduct top-level analysis that can be presented in a concise format. The example audit can be used to help gauge how you can use the template to apply to your business, and see how practically you can implement the audit and its findings in your marketing strategy.

The audit includes:

Opportunity: Review your channel performance, competitor benchmarking, governance etc.

Strategy: Define key objectives, structured around RACE (Reach, Act, Convert, Engage)

Action: Determine what tactics you will use, integration with brand style/tone of voice, and plan social selling and listening actions

At the end of the blank template, we have also included:

An example of a completed audit by fictitious company: Health Recruitment Ltd

Latest updates

This template has been updated in our RACE Growth Process OSA (Opportunity, Strategy, Action) framework to improve usability and integration with your marketing strategy.  It has also been redesigned so that the template and example audit are all within one document for ease of use. An instructional page has also been written for the audit template to guide you through each section if you are only completing a top-level audit of your social profiles.

Resource Details

Author: Miriam Shaviv. Updates provided by Dr Dave Chaffey.

Format: A downloadable Word Doc

Related resources:

We recommend you use this audit alongside our example social media plan template as well as our Social Media Learning Path.

Techniques for measurement of ROI for social media are covered in our module on evaluating content marketing ROI.

About the author

Miriam Shaviv

Miriam Shaviv is Director of content at Brainstorm Digital who is active in creating and managing social media strategies for B2B and B2C clients. Connect to her LinkedIn.

The History Of Social Media

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines social media as:

“forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).”

While services like YouTube and Facebook automatically come to mind, you can trace the origins of social media back to the late 1970s.

In this article, you will find a brief overview of the history of social media, from the early pioneers of electronic communication to the social networking platforms that dominate the internet today.

Bulletin Board Systems

Randy Suess and Ward Christensen introduced the Computerized Hobbyists Bulletin Board System in 1978.

While initially designed to help the inventors network with fellow members of a computer club in Chicago and generate content for their club’s newsletter, it eventually grew to support 300-600 users.

CBBS still exists today as a forum with posts dating back to 2000.

As modems increased speed, bulletin board systems became more popular with computer users. Using the telnet BBS Guide, you can travel back in time and see over 1,000 bulletin board systems.

For those looking for modernized versions of bulletin board systems, try Wikipedia’s list of internet forums.

Internet Relay Chat, Instant Messaging, And Chat Rooms

As an extension of BBS systems, Jarkko Oikarinen set up the first Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client and server in 1988. It would allow users to chat with each other in real time.

That would lay the groundwork for instant messaging services like mIRC and ICQ, which still exist today.

While ICQ has continued to update its interface to match the current times, mIRC has had the same website since 2008.

Celebrities like Michael Jackson used America Online chat rooms to host one of the first Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with over 25,000 participants.

AOL released a free, standalone version of its instant messenger service in 1997, which connected its users until it signed off for the last time in 2023.

In 1999, Tencent launched QQ, an instant messaging service.

This service still exists today, along with the social network Qzone (launched in 2024), boasting 574 million users.

The First Social Networks

In 1997, the first social networking sites launched: Bolt and Six Degrees.

Dan Pelson designed Bolt as a platform for 15-20-year-olds to use for email, voice mail, voice chat, message boards, and instant messaging. 11 years later, Bolt announced in its forums that it would shut down.

Six Degrees founder Andrew Weinreich, sometimes referred to as the father of social networking, created his platform to help people connect with people they didn’t know (yet).

He also filed the first social networking patent for:

“A networking database containing a plurality of records for different individuals in which individuals are connected to one another in the database by defined relationships.”

The platform still exists today, although it doesn’t look like it has changed since 2023.

The Birth Of Social Blogging

A year later, in 1999, LiveJournal would enter the social blogging arena.

From Social Dating To Social Gaming

Friendster, launched in 2002, was described as:

“…an online community that connects people through networks of friends for dating or making new friends.”

From 2010 until its end in 2024, Friendster shifted focus from a network for connecting friends to a “…social gaming destination of choice.”

It allowed people to connect, play games, and share their progress.

The Rise Of Today’s Most Popular Social Platforms

In the early 2000s, we saw the launch of several of the top social networks still popular today.


Launched in 2003, LinkedIn created a social networking space for professionals to strengthen their network connections for better career opportunities.

It allows people to connect with business acquaintances and college alums, find jobs, and recommend professional services.

Today, the network has over 830 million members worldwide.


Shortly after LinkedIn, Myspace would launch in August 2003.

It was a space for friends, where you could create customized profiles, highlight top favorite friends, meet your friend’s friends, publish blogs, share photos, post in forums, join groups, discover music, and play games.

In 2013, Myspace rebranded itself as a music portal to connect people with their favorite artists and is a music-focused social network.


2004 saw the launch of Facebook (first known as Thefacebook). Created by Mark Zuckerberg to connect with other Harvard students, Facebook’s popularity exploded. By the end of 2004, it had over 1 million users.

Since then, it has become the second largest social network, boasting 3 billion users worldwide.

As of 2023, the network had over 100 million accounts and still considers itself the “…best online photo management and sharing application in the world.”


In 2005, Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman launched Reddit as a place where users could share content, discuss topics of interest, and vote up the most popular stories.


In 2006, Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass launched Twitter.

The idea behind their network was simple: allowing users to send short messages of up to 140 characters to friends and acquaintances.

Now, Twitter’s user base of 436 million can send tweets with up to 280 characters with images and video.


The community, now managed by CEO Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, has over 472 million users and 550 million blogs.

Sina Weibo

Launched in 2009, Sina Weibo is China’s answer to Twitter. The microblogging service currently has 582 million users.


Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra founded Pinterest in 2010.


2010 also saw the launch of Instagram by founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.

The photo and video sharing service, acquired by Facebook in 2012, has grown to 1.4 billion users and expanded its features to include live video streaming and shoppable posts.


Former Facebook employees Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever launched Quora in 2010.

The social question-and-answer network aimed to bring together people with questions and experts in specific fields to provide answers.

It is home to 300 million users, including former presidents and popular celebrities.


In 2011, Stanford University students Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy came up with Snapchat.

While initially considered a “terrible idea” by fellow students in a product design class, this network would eventually become one of the top social networks for teens and home to over 347 million users.


Nikolai and Pavel Durov founded Telegram in 2013. The social app focuses on providing secure instant messaging and voice calls.

It currently has over 700 million users.


Gaming enthusiasts Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy founded Discord as a voice, video, and text communication service in 2024.

Since its inception, it has expanded from focusing on the gaming community to giving spaces to any interested community looking for a place to belong.

Discord is now home to over 150 million users and 19 million servers with 4 billion discussions.


TikTok (or Douyin in China) launched internationally in 2023 after being acquired by ByteDance and merged with

Known as the leading destination for short-form mobile video, it has over 1 billion users and is the most downloaded app worldwide.


Paul Davison and Rohan Seth founded Clubhouse in 2023 as a social network for hosting voice chatrooms.

While it began as invitation only, it is now open to the public and available for Apple and Android users. As of February 2023, it had 10 million weekly active users.

Honorable Mentions

Unfortunately, not all social networks found long-term success. In this section, you will find some notable names in social media history that came, made their mark and faded into the sunset.

Orkut Google+

Another social product from Google, Google+, launched in 2011. Although it was integrated with Google’s other products, including YouTube, and boasted over 500 million “identity” users, it would eventually shut down in 2023.


In 2012, Colin Kroll, Rus Yusupov, and Dominik Hofmann launched a unique social video network, Vine. It allowed users to share short, looping videos. Twitter acquired the platform in 2013 but ultimately shut it down in 2023.


Live-streaming video service Periscope launched in 2024 after being acquired by Twitter. Twitter ultimately incorporated live streaming into its network, shuttering Periscope as a standalone app in 2023.

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