What is a Social Media Audit?
Thursday 30th March 2023
by Beth Perrin
What is a Social Media Audit?
Thursday 30th March 2023
From time to time, it’s necessary to check through your brand’s social media pages to find out 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 outsourced to an external agency like 3sixfive if you’d rather gain an outsider’s perspective - and therefore unbiased results.
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?
There are a few different types of social media audits, and it’s completely up to you which one you want to conduct - or of course, you can carry out a comprehensive audit that assesses every area. The four main audit categories are:
• Content audit - Your copy, images and videos
• Interactions audit - Public comments and private messages
• Backend audit - Page roles, security settings etc
• Page optimisation audit - Are your pages optimised for the best results?
Let’s take a look at each of these audit types in more detail below.
A social media content audit 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 of the risks it can pose to your reputation.
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 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.
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?
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. Similarly, make sure that any UGC (User Generated Content) from your customers has been credited to the original sharer.
Next, let’s take a look at auditing 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 analyse the following factors:
Check that every customer is receiving a response and that none of your messages are being ignored on any platform. Make sure both positive and negative comments are being replied to.
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 platforms such as Trustpilot, Tripadvisor and Google, and 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 you and your team 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.
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.
Next, let’s take a look at auditing 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.
In Meta Business Suite, 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.
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.
All Facebook pages that represent your business should ideally be owned by your Business Manager, so for multi-location brands, check that all relevant pages are centrally accessible by your top-level social media or marketing team. Here’s how to add a page to your Business Manager.
Page Optimisation Audit
The final type of social media audit involves checking that each 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, that they are cropped correctly and that they aren’t blurry. 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.
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. If your Facebook page has recently changed over to the ‘new pages experience’, the end of your old bio may have been cut off due to the new character limit, so it’s worth giving this a check too.
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).
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.
Use the search bar on each social media platform to scope out any unofficial, old or duplicate pages that might be causing confusion for your audience. From here, you can decide whether these additional pages need to be claimed, merged 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.
If you choose to outsource your audit to 3sixfive, we’ll include screenshots of your content with labels such as ‘Good’, ‘Could do better’ and ‘Damaging’ so you can see your best and worst posts, plus we’ll notify you of any content that we removed during the audit and explain why.
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.
Team Training & Strategy Planning
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, which can 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.
Audit Case Study
We conducted a large-scale audit for a nationwide brand with nearly 2,000 pages across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, which produced the following results:
• We removed over 3,600 people from Meta Business Manager who no longer required access but were still listed
• We identified over 900 unwanted duplicate pages
• We removed over 3,200 pieces of unsuitable content that posed a risk to the brand’s reputation
• We identified over 700 locations that were not responding consistently to their incoming customer messages
We subsequently notified the brand of any areas where additional team training was needed, including understanding image copyright regulations, following content guidelines, adhering to GDPR laws and how to shut down inactive pages. We also explained how we could help make the necessary improvements and assembled a bespoke service package tailored specifically to the findings of the audit.
Hopefully you now have a comprehensive understanding of what a social media audit is, the different types available, what they can each reveal 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 conduct one yourself? No problem! Get in touch today to arrange an audit with 3sixfive and we’ll be happy to assist.
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