Social Media Audit


Social Media Audit



Conducting a social media audit for a corporation is a critical part of social media risk management. There are several key risk factors that stem from social media accounts and these are: risk of counterfeit accounts, cyber risks such as phishing, and brand inconsistency that damage your brand reputation. These key threat vectors are present for every company and an audit is how you mitigate the risk.

The process and schedule of your audits should be detailed in your social media governance procedures.

Many professionals come to Brandle asking us to discover social media accounts associated with their brands, but they may not have a process in place to handle these accounts once they are found!   

Brandle is designed to conduct a continuous social media audit to protect your corporate IP and brand reputation. You receive alerts for any new web presence created using your brand names –– whether authorized or unauthorized.


Social Media Audit Steps



Social Network/Platform Review

As part of your governance program, you should have (at least) an annual review of every Social Network/Platform to determine your corporate strategy for that platform. For your primary platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) you should conduct a platform review at least twice per year.


Social Media Audit Process 

Many companies conduct social media audits on an annual basis but may miss some key elements of the audit. Skipping or forgetting even a few steps in the audit process can damage a business’s ability to mitigate against risks on social media. 

The first step to completing an audit is to gain a clear picture of a brand’s web presence. Consider each site or page as a corporate asset; the asset elements are everything that is set on that site once you populate the profile. (This includes profile description, avatar, image, apps, profile metadata, referenced website, etc.) 

This is the first information a customer sees about you, the corporation, or the brand and this space is where you have control over maintaining brand and regulatory compliance standards.

A complete social media audit covers four distinct phases. They are: 

  • Discovery –– the process of identifying all corporate-owned, third-party, and fraudulent sites related to a business’s brand. 
  • Network Audit –– the process of reviewing each of a company’s accounts on social media networks and determining whether they align with overall social media strategy. 
  • Brand Presence Audit –– the process of reviewing social media profile content, i.e. logos, avatars, cover art, business information.
  • Content Audit –– review of content strategy and the protocol for creating, approving, and posting branded content. 




Within the discovery phase businesses should seek to identify the following types of points-of-presence (POPs) related to their brand:

Corporate Web Presence

  • Corporate POPs that may have been created without your knowledge.
  • Platform-generated place pages. Platform auto-generated pages from Wikis. 
  • Community-generated sites.
  • Brand review on new Social Networks to ensure all brands have a reserved page/account (to prevent brand squatting). 

Third-Party Web Presence (such as employees or partners)

  • Employee VIPs such as CEOs and other executives that have a following on social media.
  • Employees that claim a relationship to the brand (especially if in a regulated industry).
  • Licensed representatives (such as independent agents).
  • Advocates claiming a relationship to the brand.
  • Others (such as partners, retailers, etc).

Infringing Properties (infringing on IP, counterfeiters, phishers, etc).

  • Third-party POPs using your brand names, IP, or other identities that are considered malicious (such as counterfeiters, phishers, haters, etc.).
  • Send infringing and counterfeit POPs to legal counsel.

Social Network Audit



During the network audit phase, businesses should take stock of how their social media accounts mesh with current trends on social media networks. In some instances, companies may need to shut down accounts that have fallen out of prominence –– though they should retain the rights to their account name and information.

The networks can change rapidly and it's worth the time to review what has changed in the past year including:

  • Options to pages or accounts (what has been added and what has been taken away). This past year, Facebook made a lot of changes. Do you know what they are?
  • License agreement, privacy policy, rules for engagement, data use by the network
  • API, API access
  • New opportunities such as new page types, communities, and access to markets.
  • Demographics of current installed base and active user percent.

Brand Presence Audit



Corporate (Internal) Brand Presence Audit

Once you have an inventory of what you've discovered, you then need to review the asset elements of each account or page. The corporate branded accounts should take precedence. These are company sites: product sites, program or campaign sites. Remember, this audit process is to manage corporate risks and to identify any inconsistencies within profiles, information sections, pictures etc. This is not an ROI audit on marketing campaigns or ad spend. 


Third-Party Web Presence Audit

These are sites for your employees, partners, communities, etc. Corporations can't control them in the same way they can internal accounts, but they do need to provide guidance, especially in a regulated business or if the business has a formalized employee ambassador program. The same list from above applies, with the addition of reviewing any contractual agreement or policy specific to the third-party.



Content Audit



During this stage, companies should review their content posting processes. Determine which local employees are responsible for posting content and how corporate can ensure compliance within the content. (This step is, again, particularly important for businesses within regulated industries.)


Social Media Audit Mistakes to Avoid



Mistakes in the auditing process are fairly common, but the repercussions are anything but. Make it a point to avoid these potentially damaging social media audit mistakes: 

  • Limited Knowledge of Attached Tools: forgetting to note which apps and SaaS tools are attached to POPs. Problematic because security breaches can occur through these apps.
  • Missing URLS: social media networks often create alternate URLs for business pages that are different from the original UID or “vanity URL.” Employees may be unwittingly using this alternate URL, but not monitoring that use.
  • Not Monitoring Self-Generated Place Pages: Facebook creates self-generated place pages. If left unmonitored, businesses risk losing control over them. In some instances, users have posted complaints or even inappropriate comments on these pages.
  • Failing to Keep Tabs on Third-Party Accounts: Employee accounts, affiliates, and other third-party accounts can have an effect on business brand reputation.

Helpful Resources

The Social Media Governance Plan

This E-book by Brandle® guides you through the process of how to create a comprehensive and corporate-wide Social Media Governance Plan for a Social Enterprise.


Download Now

Enterprise Social Media Audit Case Study

This white paper by Brandle® highlights how an automated system outperforms a manual web and social media audit.

  • Discover why multiple spreadsheets can’t keep up with the digital world.
  • See how a manual audit missed almost 50% of a global company’s brand presence.
  • Learn why a manual audit put a regulated company at greater risk!

Download Now

Social Media Governance Best Practices to Protect Your Brand

This presentation highlights the six phases of social media governance to protect your brand online. After reading these phases, you'll be on the right track to developing your own corporate social media governance program based on the best practices of global corporations.


Download Now


Brandle Presence Manager: Your Key to Social Media Auditing

Brandle PResence Manager


As we mentioned above, Brandle is designed to conduct a continuous social media audit to protect your corporate IP and brand reputation. You receive alerts for any new web presence created using your brand names –– whether authorized or unauthorized. To schedule a demo of the Brandle Presence Manager and learn about its auditing capabilities, contact us today!