Have you ever stopped to consider who is using your brand's name on social media, and why?
Let's take the higher education sector as an example.
Universities will have a core set of social media accounts representing the brand.
Alongside these you'll no doubt find accounts for academic departments and student facing services. But who else is using their brand name?
Typically they'll also find staff, students, and alumni choosing to reference their association with the university. You may also discover events, research centres, partner organisations, and a few rogue operators thrown in too.
There's a good chance quite a few of the accounts you discover will be defunct thanks to staff turnover or set up without regard for the future (i.e. one time use accounts with reference to a year or specific date)./
Why audit your brand's social media footprint
You don't want to be in a position where your audience can't find you thanks to the noise created by a messy digital footprint. It's even worse if your core brand accounts are overshadowed by a more popular account referencing your brand name.
Here are four benefits of auditing your brand's social media footprint.
1. Is your brand name being used correctly?
Does your brand name lend itself to a variety of versions? Universities definitely have this issue.
Whether it's Uni/University of Mid Wales or Mid Wales Uni/University, you'll most certainly find social media users referencing it the wrong way.
You do have to leave any aspiration of it ever being perfect locked away in the back of your mind. However, understanding how your audience reference you will give you a clear idea of how your brand is talked about.
You can tackle any imperfections with internal colleagues, working together to amend incorrect brand names. Going forward you may even go as far as developing a naming conventions policy.
For other audiences, you may need a more subtle approach to ensure the preferred version of your brand name is adopted more widely.
2. Outdated brand identities
There's nothing worse than the hard work of a rebrand being undermined by old logos popping up where you least expect them.
There should be no excuses for your digital presence not to be on top of rolling out a new identity.
Be prepared for your next rebrand by mapping out the accounts in your organisation that will need a new logo when the time comes.
3. Impersonation accounts
I can already hear you groaning at the thought of tackling a fake brand account. Tackling them is an absolute headache and success varies by platform, with Facebook and Instagram the worst at being helpful in our opinion.
Sometimes you'll get a quick win and for others it is a waiting game, watching for the moment you spot a platform violation.
Whatever your strategy, knowing the accounts pretending to be you is useful information even if just to keep a watching eye.
4. Gathering good data
Whether it's finding out you have 10k+ social media accounts using your brand name, or a clear list of your influencers off the back of an audit, you'll have in depth data.
If your audit helps to build a better picture of your sub-brand accounts, this information could be useful when considering your next social media management platform. Knowing if you have 5 or 500 account connections to pay for really does help with budget setting and assessing providers.
Let's get auditing
If you're considering an audit of your brand's social media footprint, you may be wondering where to start. Your capacity to complete an audit may vary depending on how big your team is, how complex your brand structure is, and whether you can psych yourself up to getting it done.
Here's a few things to think about as you get ready to audit.
Do you know all brand name variations (including acronyms) you want to search for?
Which platforms do you need to audit? You could audit one platform at a time to spread the workload
Set some rules for your audit, for example the threshold for considering an account to be dormant through lack of posting.
In our view it's not a case of should you audit, it's more of case of when are you going to get it done?
Can we help?
Undertaking an audit of your brand's social media footprint is time consuming, and not the most exciting task. At Neon Caffeine we enjoy conducting audits, yes we really do, so let us take the task off your hands. Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you to build a picture of your brand's social media footprint.