Conducting a Social Media Audit is a critical part of social media risk management and the process and schedule of your audits should be detailed in your social media governance procedures.
Many people come to Brandle asking us to discover social media accounts using 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 — Discovery
Many companies conduct social media audits on an annual basis but often miss some key elements of the audit to truly mitigate corporate risks. At Brandle, we believe that the first step to an audit is understanding web presence. Consider each site or page as a corporate asset and the asset elements are everything that is set on that site once you populate the profile (the profile description, avatar, image, apps, profile meta data, referenced website, etc.). This is the first information a customer sees about you, the corporation, or the brand and is where you have control over maintaining brand and regulatory compliance standards.
At Brandle, we consider a complete audit to include a Discovery (find what you don't know), Inventory Web Presence Audit (review the profile content and asset information of what you do know), and Content Stream Audit (review the content stream for brand standards, policy adherence, and compliance).
Search the web to find pages and accounts that are represent as your brand(s). This search is easiest using an automated system (such as Brandle) but can be accomplished by hand. Be sure to review the web in general, and then focus on each social network (including industry vertical networks) to find accounts. Look for:
Corporate Web Presence
- Corporate POPs (points-of-presence) that may have been created without your knowledge.
- Platform-generated place pages. How will you monitor or manage these?
- Platform auto-generated pages from Wikis. How will you monitor or manage these?
- Community-generated sites. How will you monitor or manage these?
- Brand review on new Social Networks to ensure all brands have a reserved page/account (to prevent brand squatting). If your brand is taken, what is your strategy now?
Third-Party Web Presence (such as employees or partners)
- Employee VIPs such as CEO and other executives that have a following.
- Employees that claim a relationship to the brand (especially if in a regulated business).
- 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, but are considered malicious (such as counterfeiters, phishers, haters, etc.).
- Send infringing and counterfeit POPs to legal counsel.
Corporate Branded Web 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. This is not an ROI audit on marketing campaigns or ad spend. A full list of audit items is listed in our Social Media Governance e-book.
Third-Party Web Presence Audit
These are sites for your employees, partners, communities, etc. You can't control them, but you do need to provide guidance, especially in a regulated business or if you have 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.
Social Media Audit Guidelines
To get detailed information about how to conduct a corporate social media audit, download our Social Media Governance Plan e-book.