February 9, 2011

The Anatomy of a Digital Audit

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it's not open."
Frank Zappa

Part of how I help clients is to take a clear snapshot of their organization online. The Internet is a busy place full of opinion, noise, content, accurate and inaccurate information. But the same can be said about your organization.

Small, medium or large, your company has stuff it needs to work on. It also has things that it does well and issues that need to be addressed to improve. And for that, welcome to the human race.

Good Communication meets Miscommunication

A digital audit is a mix of heuristic analysis along with formal monitoring by companies such as Radian6 (not an affiliate link). It's like an x-ray with intuition. It can measure numbers of blogs,forum entries, comments, tweets,website mentions and more but it takes some additional analysis to measure tone and opinion.

The key to a unbiased digital audit is to analyze your entire web presence which includes your website, social networking profiles and any other content you generate online. It also includes conversations generated by others about you, your company and any topics that are essential to your business.

Digital is Not a Department

What often happens is money, resources and time are spent on building products and hiring qualified people then a small handful (if that) are given the task of managing all that the organization does online. This is exactly how customers feel disconnected. Internal and external communication must be a full organization initiative.

Add to that, you need to add experience and knowledge and context when looking closer at your digital footprint. I do have a couple of decades of marketing and media experience that certainly comes in handy. But every situation is different and often perception is far from reality. I have seen far too many business owners either hide behind the research or discard it. Both tactics are dangerous.

Software and Google Ain't Enough

Through an ongoing realistic online snapshot, you can gain new ways to find honest feedback from your customers through software and online searches, then collect data in pie charts and spread sheets but it won’t do you a stitch of good on its own. You need to do something with the findings or go with gut calls and opinion.

A digital audit is a process by which you look at your organization from the customer's perspective. It's also about looking at the information and being honest enough to discover what you will do about it. And if you think "everyone" has this online thing mastered, think again. The non-stop journey continues for all of us.

Are you ready to have a look?

knealemann | How can I help?

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