How to Conduct a Social Media Audit
Thursday 18th January
How to Conduct a Social Media Audit
Thursday 18th January 2024
Throughout the year, you should check through your brand’s social media pages to find out if they are correctly optimised, if your current strategy is achieving your desired results, and to make sure that your business reputation is being correctly upheld. This process is called a social media audit, and can either be conducted internally by your social media management team, or - if you’d rather gain an outsider’s perspective (and therefore unbiased results) - outsourced to an external agency like 3sixfive.
Regular audits are especially important for brands with lots of different locations (such as nationwide restaurant chains and retail stores), as these often have many social media pages being run by different people, meaning there’s a higher risk of inconsistencies and reputation damage.
What Does a Social Media Audit Include?
A social media audit can be broken down into four categories. These are:
• Content audit
This involves assessing your copy, images and videos.
• Interactions audit
This involves assessing your responses to public comments, private messages and reviews.
• Backend audit
This involves checking your page roles, security settings etc.
• Page optimisation audit
This involves assessing your page information and appearance.
Let’s take a look at each of these stages in more detail below.
Social Media Content Audit
Start by conducting a content audit, which involves looking through your recent posts and making sure they represent your brand in the best way possible, and that they are achieving your desired goals in terms of likes, clicks, comments, shares and positive sentiment. You should assess your content in the following areas:
Check that your content is suitable for your target audience. Inappropriate content - such as posts including excessive profanity, nudity, strong political views, offensive language or unsuitable humour - should be removed quickly, and the person responsible for posting it should be notified immediately so they are aware that it shouldn’t be posted again. Inappropriate content poses a direct risk to your brand’s reputation, with 45% of consumers saying they will unfollow a brand because of irrelevant posts.
• Tone of voice
Make sure that every post follows your tone of voice guidelines and conveys the correct level of formality. For example, brands with a younger demographic may be happy to use slang terms, sarcastic/cheeky language and emojis, whereas brands with an older audience - or those that deal with more serious topics - may want to steer clear of these features. If all of your pages are using different tones of voice or communication styles, this will result in a lack of consistency and can weaken your brand identity. 87% of customers think brands should work harder at delivering a consistent experience and 71% of businesses agree that inconsistent brand presentation leads to customer confusion, so it’s vital to ensure that your social media presence isn’t disjointed.
Are you posting enough to keep your audience engaged, bombarding your followers with excessive content every day, or posting so rarely that your pages appear inactive? Are you prioritising one platform over another or distributing content evenly across all of them? Posting too often can be irritating for your audience and may cause them to unfollow or mute your page, with 41% of social media users confirming that they will unfollow a brand if it posts too frequently. However, on the other hand, not posting enough can give the impression that your page is no longer active or that you’re not available to talk to your customers.
• Image & video quality
All of your images, videos, Reels and stories should be appropriately sized and cropped for each platform, and should be high resolution. Blurry, grainy or incorrectly cropped assets will make your social media pages seem cheap and low-quality, negatively impacting your brand image.
• Image copyright & permissions
Check that the correct licences and permissions have been gained for any stock photos or graphics used on your social media pages - for example, from Adobe Stock or Shutterstock. Sharing images that you haven’t taken or created yourself without obtaining the necessary permissions can result in hefty fines from the copyright holder. Similarly, make sure that any UGC (user generated content) from your audience has been credited to the customer, as downloading and sharing photos, videos and testimonials from people without their consent is another violation of copyright.
Social Media Interactions Audit
Next, you should audit your social media interactions. This involves assessing your comment responses and private messages to make sure your community managers and customer service reps are replying to your audience in a timely manner, and are speaking to them appropriately and helpfully. You should also analyse how well customer complaints are being managed, and identify any missed opportunities to spark conversations and build brand love. Measure the following factors:
• Response rate
Check that every customer is receiving a response and that none of your messages are being ignored on any platform (unless they are spam). Make sure both positive and negative comments are being replied to.
• Response time
How fast are you responding to your customers? Are you getting back to them quickly or leaving them waiting hours/days for an answer? With 46% of consumers expecting companies to respond within 4 hours, it’s vital that you’re replying to them swiftly in order to avoid frustration.
70% of people agree that a brand’s response to a review can change their perception of it, so make sure you’re responding to all of your customer feedback (both positive and negative) on social media platforms that allow reviews, such as Facebook. This applies to reviews left for your brand as a whole, as well as those left for each individual store or location.
• GDPR and data consent
Make sure that customers’ sensitive data is being handled carefully, and that all of your team members are adhering to the GDPR and other data consent laws when asking customers to provide personal details, such as their phone number or address. Check that names and photos are blurred or removed when sharing screenshots of positive reviews or testimonials publicly onto your page(s).
• Message repetition
Check that the same response hasn’t been copied and pasted to multiple customers. 66% of consumers expect brands to understand their individual needs, so you should be typing out a unique response each time that is tailored to their specific question or concern.
Backend Social Audit
Next, you should audit the ‘behind-the-scenes’ parts of your social media accounts that aren’t seen by your followers, but can still have a big impact on your brand’s security and reputation.
• Meta page roles
In the Business Suite, which is Meta’s business management platform for both Facebook and Instagram, admins can assign and remove page roles for all of the different people who work on your page. These roles include Editor, Moderator and Community Manager, and determine which actions each person can and can’t take on your page. It’s important to check that each person has been assigned the correct role for their job, and that anyone who should no longer have access - such as former employees - has been removed.
• Two-factor authentication
Each team member with Business Suite access should have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled, as this provides an extra layer of protection to ensure the security of your account beyond just their username and password.
• Central access
All Facebook pages that represent your business should ideally be owned by your brand’s overarching Business Manager, so for multi-location brands, check that all relevant pages are centrally accessible by your top-level social media or marketing team.
Page Optimisation Audit
The final stage of a social media audit involves checking that all of your pages are optimised and that all of the relevant sections have been filled out.
• Cover photos and profile pictures
Make sure that your chosen images work well on both desktop and mobile - they should be cropped correctly and not blurry or distorted. Check that they are consistent across all platforms and that all of your business locations are using the same design or photo style, so customers can see that they all belong to the same brand. If you’ve recently undergone a rebrand, make sure all of your locations have updated their profiles to your new style.
Check that all of your business locations are using the same username format and that your usernames closely match your page names (for example, our Instagram handle is @3sixfivesocialmedia and our page name is 3sixfive). If your business has more than one store in a specific town or city, make sure the exact location is included in the username or page name so customers know which store they are interacting with.
• Business info
Make sure your bio or ‘About’ section contains all of the details your followers need to know, such as your opening times, phone number, website and email address. Check that this information matches up with your Google business listing and other online directories to avoid discrepancies between them.
• Business type/category
Check that all of your pages are listed as the correct category and that the same one is used by all of your locations (for example, Donut shop or Hotel).
• Tabs and sections
Facebook offers a range of different sections (such as About, Photos, Videos, Reviews, Groups, Mentions and Services) that you can display along the top of your page as clickable tabs. Check that the most relevant ones for your business are visible on yours.
• Unclaimed pages
Use the search bar on each social media platform to identify if there are any unofficial, old or duplicate pages that might be causing confusion for your audience. You may end up with duplicate pages if your business has undergone a rebrand and started a new page under a different name without removing the previous one, or if you forgot the login details or got locked out of an old account. From here, you can decide whether these additional pages need to be claimed, merged into your current one, or removed.
Present Your Results
Once you’ve completed your audit, you should present your findings in a clear, structured way that’s easy to understand and can be shared with other departments within your business if necessary. Your audit report should show where your current strengths and weaknesses lie, and should outline the steps that need to be taken next in order to improve your social media presence.
For multi-location businesses, state which ones are performing well and which ones are falling behind in terms of content quality, reputation maintenance and customer service standards. Make sure that the person or people responsible for running your worst performing pages are informed about what they’re doing wrong and how they can make things better, both for your brand as a whole and for their specific store.
Implement Changes Based on Your Results
Finally, you should use your audit findings to start implementing business changes that will boost your reputation and improve your online sentiment. In some cases, team training will be required to make sure everyone who represents your brand on social media knows what they should and shouldn’t be doing. This should include tone of voice training, GDPR training, copyright training and more.
Your audit results may also indicate that it’s time to partner up with an agency like 3sixfive, and outsource your Community Management or Review Management to a team of experts who can get your reputation back on track and provide a positive experience for your customers, leaving your internal teams to focus on what they do best.
Hopefully you now have a comprehensive understanding of how to conduct a social media audit, what the different stages are, and - most importantly - how you can use the findings to make powerful changes to your brand’s online strategy. Don’t have the time or expertise to carry one out yourself? No problem! Get in touch today to arrange an audit with 3sixfive and we’ll be happy to assist.
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