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Social media reputation management isn’t about controlling the narrative — it’s about listening, learning from feedback, and responding in a way that builds trust in your brand.

Jeff Bezos is credited with saying “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” In the age of social media visibility and virality, what people say about you can speed its way to millions of people. Or at least be visible to your next potential customer. And that’s why social media reputation management is so important.

Reputation management isn’t about controlling the narrative. It’s about listening to what customers say, learning from their feedback, and responding in a way that builds trust in your brand.

The stakes are high. Over 2,000 executives surveyed attribute 63% of their companies’ value to their online reputations. Most consumers (93% according to this survey) say online reviews affect their buying decisions. Even hiring is affected as 86% of employees check reviews and ratings before applying for a job.

This is not a tale of woe. It’s a hero story starring you. By reading this post, you’ll have at your disposal the tools and strategies to “hear” what your customers say about your brand. You’ll be able to respond in real time. And you’ll create an online reputation that endears your company to your customers.

Bonus: Download a free guide to learn how to use social media listening to boost sales and conversions today. No tricks or boring tips—just simple, easy-to-follow instructions that really work.

What is social media reputation management?

Social media reputation management is the practice of observing and shaping how people perceive your brand on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

Without attention and guidance, your reputation shapes itself. Maybe that’s OK if everyone interacting with your company has a great experience.

Unfortunately, people are more likely to share a negative customer experience than a positive one. And sometimes, someone will spread misleading information. So you could end up with a poor reputation on social media, even if the vast majority of your customers love you.

With a reputation management plan, you’ll know when someone calls out your brand and the mood of that mention. Plus, you’ll have a plan to address it. You can shout positive messages far and wide. And address the negative mentions before they become full-blown public relations crises.

A social media reputation management strategy typically consists of three components:

An audit that surfaces your current reputation online

Ongoing qualitative and quantitative monitoring of social channels

Proactive and reactive messaging to build, improve, or repair customer trust

With that big-picture context in mind, let’s look at the steps you’ll take to build a loyal and loving fanbase on social media.

How to manage your reputation on social media

A good social media reputation management plan starts with listening to what people have to say about your brand. It continues with steps to mitigate negative sentiment. It includes ways to humanize your brand and promote the positive vibes your fans share.

Monitor brand mentions and conversations

Social media brand monitoring and sentiment analysis are at the heart of all online reputation management efforts.

Brand monitoring tracks all the social media posts and conversations that include a mention of your brand, products, and key spokespeople (like your CEO). Some people @ your company directly, but many don’t. So you’ll need to track branded #s and untagged mentions as well.

One thing about me, if I’m already late I’m going to Starbucks

— Bedazzled Stud ✨ (@csweetnsour) April 18, 2023

Remember to track common misspellings. If the team at Starbucks didn’t do that, they’d miss out on some interesting conversations.

Need social media monitoring tools to find these brand conversations? Hootsuite has you covered.

Sentiment analysis is the contextual review of brand mentions. It goes beyond counting how often your company is discussed on social media. It also considers the mood and opinion behind those conversations.

Say thousands of people talk about your product’s performance.

Sentiment analysis takes cues from their language to give you an idea if the mood is positive or negative.

A quantitative analysis of what you gather will tell you your social share of voice, social ROI, and your social sentiment score. From qualitative analysis, you’ll learn what hashtags and trends people associate with your brand.

Monitoring conversations about your brand online doesn’t just surface superficial sentiment. You’ll uncover all sorts of ways to improve your business — even learning how to make your product better. Which is exactly what The Isle of Paradise did here.

Listen for competitor and keyword mentions

What happens to your competitors and throughout your industry can also affect your online reputation. Remember the viral video of security officers dragging a United Airlines customer off of an overbooked plane? Other carriers felt the heat and had to change their overbooking policies.

That’s where social listening comes in. It goes beyond looking for mentions of your brand. It also tracks conversations that include your competitors and market-related keywords.

Have a look at how gaming chair maker Mavix jumped into this thread.

If anybody’s looking for a gaming chair alternative after watching this, look no further😈

— Mavix Chairs (@mavixchairs) April 18, 2023

Someone tweeted an unflattering video of their competitor. Mavix’s soft-touch trolling gathered interest and good feelings from gamers who needed a new seat. It’s a situation made possible first by active social media listening.

You should also set your software to listen for important keywords like H&R Block did here.

They found an opportunity to join an ongoing conversation. Even though it didn’t mention their company. And got to Tweet about an adorable pup doing taxes.

Engage and respond quickly

It’s not enough to listen to social media chatter about your brand. You must also respond, and do it fast. Why? 75% of U.S. consumers expect brands to reply to social media questions and complaints within a day. 20% think the response should be immediate!

Every mention is an opportunity to increase engagement on social media and build trust for your brand. Some conversations will be fun and friendly. Others may start because your customer is frustrated or confused. Social media listening tools will help you find and reply to these conversations fast. Now, let’s look at how you can respond to the full range of social media interactions.

For starters, you can turn your social media account into a public-facing customer service center. That’ll help ease customers’ confusion. Many people turn to social media when they need help, so it’s a natural place to answer questions and give guidance.

Nike, for example, has a dedicated Twitter account it uses to solve its customers’ dilemmas.

Any update on this? I am still having this issue…

— J. Strand (@DJ_Ajaxx) September 15, 2023

Nike doesn’t only use @nikeservice to answer individual questions, though. The brand also posts general updates that act like an ongoing FAQ section. Followers can find solutions before they even have to ask a question. Which means less burden on their customer service reps.

Sometimes, people talk about your brand in amusing and positive ways. Those are great opportunities to drop in and join the conversation. Wendy’s rarely misses a chance to talk square burgers or…historical architecture?

Why the sunrooms, Wendy. Spit some history my way!

— jaxsaid 🐌 (@jaxsaid) April 18, 2023

Not all social media posts are going to be positive, though. When a customer does share their disappointment, it’s important to help them quickly.

I’m not sure why @dominos has had me on hold for this long or why my food is still in “prep” an hour later but okay

— liv (@oliviafyeager) April 25, 2023

No matter which type of conversation you encounter, the key is to remember that there’s a person on the other end. Think about what you’d say to them if they were standing in front of you. Use that to help make your responses more human.

Reduce response time (and your workload)

Manage all your messages stress-free with easy routing, saved replies, and friendly chatbots. Try Hootsuite’s Inbox today.

Book a Demo

Enable and respond to reviews

When nurtured and managed, online reviews are a great type of grassroots, word-of-mouth marketing. They’re also an important part of cultivating your social media presence. A Brightlocal survey found that nearly half of consumers look at Facebook reviews.

The same survey also revealed that buyers think it’s important for brands to have at least a four-star rating. And more than half of buyers say they want to see both positive and negative reviews from the last two to four weeks.

You’ll need a steady stream of positive reviews. To get them, make sure you’ve turned on Facebook recommendations. Then don’t be afraid to ask. Over 50% of shoppers are “likely” or “highly likely” to leave a review if the business asks them to. And what’s the most effective way to request a customer review? It’s a pretty close race between email, in-person, on a receipt, and through social media, according to the survey.

Gathering a bunch of recent 5-star reviews is great. But if you really want to wow customers, reply to your reviews. 88% of consumers said they’re “likely to use a business if they can see the business owner responds to all reviews, whether positive or negative.”

When you do receive a bad review, you’ve got to tackle it head-on. It’s a signal to all customers that you’re willing to solve whatever issue may come up.

A good rule of thumb is to address bad reviews publicly. But then solve them privately. Those conversations may contain private information. That’s especially important if you work in a regulated industry like healthcare.

But don’t be shy about sharing the wins, either. You’ve worked hard to deliver a product or service people love. Use their hard-won feedback to earn more business by placing it on social posts or your website.

Cultivate your reputation proactively

You don’t need to wait for a customer to post about you. There are ways to establish and manage your social media reputation proactively.

One option is to publish content on your channels that shows the world what your brand is all about. Take the Irish leader of low-cost air travel, for example. The company is infamous for cut-rate services, but one look at its TikTok account and it’s clear that Ryanair just doesn’t care.

Ryanair doesn’t stop there. Its social team has masterfully spun its bad reputation into a Stockholm Syndrome-like relationship with the very people that malign them online.

Source: Ryanair’s TikTok

The tricky balance of snark and savagery is just the ticket for RyanAir. Its customers know full well they’re not getting a luxury ride, so any complaints about service can be met with a “see, we told you” attitude.

GoPro looks at social media reputation through a different lens. They don’t tell shoppers what their brand is. They ask current users to show it.

GoPro gathers UGC (user-generated content) by asking customers to tag images and video posts with a hashtag like #gopro. Consumers trust authentically created UGC over other types of content. So this strategy generates a lot of confidence in the GoPro brand.

Set up (and enforce) brand guidelines

No matter if your brand is snarky, serious, or somewhere in between, consistency is the key to maintaining your reputation online. A rogue employee posting off-brand replies can damage your reputation in no time.

Source: Facebook

In this case, it’s a fake “customer support” Facebook account trolling people. But you want to avoid a situation where your employees respond in a way that hurts your reputation. So you’ll need to create both a social media style guide and a social media policy.

The social media policy outlines big-picture expectations for how your employees post and engage on branded social media channels (or when they’re posting on personal accounts on behalf of your brand). The policy covers content types, how to respond to positive and negative feedback, legal compliance, and more. Here’s a guide to help you write your social media policy (it includes a free template to help you get started).

A social media style guide answers questions about how you’ll craft individual posts. What tone will you take on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook? Are there buzzwords and jargon you want to use (or stay away from)? And, of course, are emojis part of the plan?

Need more? This in-depth post will show you everything your social media style guide needs to have.

Social media reputation management software

Social media is a big place. It’s impossible to surface all the relevant conversations you should be a part of. These tools will help you find, analyze, and reply to mentions that matter to your business.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite makes it easy to track and respond to brand, competitor, and keyword mentions across all your social media accounts.

Try for free

The secret is Hootsuite Streams, a versatile way to view a variety of social media activities in one convenient space. You can create a stream to monitor keywords, brand or competitor mentions, and hashtags.

Once your streams are up and running, you can jump into important conversations by replying from your dashboard. So when someone shares your latest Tweet or talks about your great service, you can reply quickly without opening multiple platforms.

Private messages and DMs

Public messages and posts on your profiles

Mentions

Emoji reactions

… and more.

The all-in-one agent workspace makes it easy to 

Track the history of any individual’s interactions with your brand on social media (across your accounts and platforms), giving your team the context needed to personalize replies

Add notes to customers’ profiles (Inbox integrates with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics)

Handle messages as a team, with intuitive message queues, task assignments, statuses, and filters

Track response times and CSAT metrics

Free demo

Plus, Inbox comes with handy automations:

Automated message routing

Auto-responses and saved replies

Automatically triggered customer satisfaction surveys

AI-powered chatbot features

Brandwatch

Brandwatch is a social listening platform that searches through billions of social media interactions. It delivers insightful data about your brand’s reputation.

With Brandwatch, you learn what words are most commonly associated with your brand. You also know how often people talk about your company. And then you see the sentiment behind all those conversations.

Brandwatch is fully integrated with Hootsuite. You can view and respond to big-picture trends and individual instances from one place.

ReviewTrackers

ReviewTrackers rounds out your social media reputation management toolbox by giving you a convenient space to see and engage with your online reviews.

Source: ReviewTrackers

If you use the ReviewTrackers plugin on Hootsuite, you can arrange your reviews into streams the same way you do social media mentions and posts. And also, like other streams, you can respond to your reviews in real time without leaving the platform. Then when those 5-star raves start rolling in, just hop over to your Hootsuite Creator workspace and share them across all your social channels.

Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more. Try it free today.

Get Started

Manage all your social media in one place, measure ROI, and save time with Hootsuite.

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The Complete Guide To Marketing Real Estate On Social Media

Still, when it comes to marketing real estate on social media, there are certain strategies and tactics that can maximize the reach of your message. This guide will outline the best practices for using social media as a real estate agent, brokerage, or firm.

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template designed specifically for real estate agents, brokers, and marketers. Use it to easily plan your own strategy, track results, and keep your team in the loop.

Benefits of social media for real estate

Real estate is a highly competitive industry that requires agents to be constantly on their toes. With 90% of agents promoting their real estate listings online, cultivating an online brand that stands out is essential.

Leveraging social media real estate opens up countless opportunities for your brand, including:

Awareness

Want more eyes on your listings? More faces at your open house? Social media for realtors is one of the best ways to turn views into sales. Not only can you unlock access to thousands of new potential clients, but you’ll also remind past clients why they worked with you, and why they should again.

Reach

While an online listing may get a few dozen views, a strategically managed social media account can reach thousands of potential customers. It’s true, vanity metrics can be shallow, but don’t underestimate the power of social media engagement for your real estate brand.

Lead generation Networking

Real estate might feel like a solo game, but networking and community are integral parts of growing your brand. Social media makes it easy to meet and interact with like-minded agents, brokers, and firms. Not to mention, strategic social media collaborations can do wonders for your organic reach–so don’t be afraid to team up with relevant agents online.

Targeting Cost

Organic social media is an incredibly cost-effective way to market your real estate business. Most social media platforms are free to use, and while paid promotion can be beneficial, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to reach your desired clientele.

#1 Social Media Tool for Real Estate

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Social media strategy tips for real estate agents and firms

Ready to get started? Here are a few tips to help you create an effective social media strategy for your real estate business.

1. Plan ahead

Social media strategies are what set great accounts apart from their competitors. It’s not enough to think up clever posts on the spot–you need a long-term plan for consistently building your following.

You can start building a social media strategy for real estate agents by creating a marketing calendar for yourself and breaking down your posts into batches. Block off time to create content, update your calendar, and review analytics each week. As well, don’t forget to also plan ahead for holidays or special occasions that may be relevant to the real estate industry.

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template designed specifically for real estate agents, brokers, and marketers. Use it to easily plan your own strategy, track results, and keep your team in the loop.

2. Identify your target audience

Before you start developing a real estate social media strategy, you need to know who your target audience is and what they’re looking for. Are you targeting first-time home buyers in a certain area? Are you a luxury real estate firm looking to reach relevant buyers?

Let your target audience determine your channels and your wider real estate social media strategy. For example, older clientele might be more active on platforms like Facebook, while young influencers and content creators love YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

What’s Next – You’re Invited

— Sotheby’s International Realty (@sothebysrealty) April 26, 2023

3. Be your brand

Branding is important in any industry, but especially in real estate, where client-agent relationships are built on trust. But branding isn’t just about your logo, font, or colors. It’s about the overall experience you create for your clients.

Consider how you want to be perceived by prospective and current clients. If you’re a luxury firm, posts about travel, cars, and upscale dinners will be appropriate. If you’re marketing to first-time home buyers, consider sharing personal life milestones like engagements, home purchases, and family events.

Above all else, know your values and exude them online. Your clients will appreciate the authenticity more than you know.

4. Create stunning visuals

The real estate world is all about the wow factor. From beautiful homes to amazing views, it pays to showcase the beauty of your listings in a visually appealing way.

Create stunning visuals for your social media channels, such as videos of property walkthroughs and photos taken from different angles or perspectives. You can also create virtual home tours that give potential buyers a better sense of what each property is like.

Similarly, don’t forget about video-centric platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube. In the U.S., 62% of users access YouTube daily, and TikTokers use the app for an average of 1.5 hours every single day. Standing out on these channels is a great way for real estate agents to reach more users and build their brands.

Check out these real estate social media post ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

5. Uplift your neighborhoods

Of course, listings are an important part of your social media real estate. But polluting your client’s feeds with constant listings may lead to lost followers and engagement.

Data from the National Association of Realtors found that 46% of buyers want their real estate agents to give them knowledge about their search areas.

Consider mixing up your real estate content with local events, neighborhood hangouts, new restaurant openings, festivals, museums, sporting events, and more. Your audience will appreciate content that has a personal touch and gives them new insights into their city.

By creating engaging content that goes beyond just your listings, you can keep your followers engaged and build relationships with them over time.

6. Be a technology front-runner

Social media for real estate is a fast-moving field. Platforms like TikTok and YouTube have completely changed the game, and new tools are constantly popping up.

Don’t forget, platforms are constantly changing their algorithms and features. Keeping up with these updates can help you uncover new tactics that get your content seen by more people.

7. Prioritize customer service

With Hootsuite Inbox, you can bridge the gap between social media engagement and customer service — and manage all of your social media messages in one place. This includes:

Private messages and DMs

Public messages and posts on your profiles

Mentions

Emoji reactions

… and more.

The all-in-one dashboard makes it easy to

Track the history of any individual’s interactions with your accounts on social media (across your accounts and platforms), giving you and your team the context needed to personalize replies

Add notes to customers’ profiles

Handle messages as a team, with intuitive message queues, task assignments, statuses, and filters (this feature is particularly useful for larger brokerages)

Track response times and CSAT metrics

Free demo

Plus, Inbox comes with handy automations:

Automated message routing

Auto-responses and saved replies

Automatically triggered customer satisfaction surveys

AI-powered chatbot features

Check out our social media customer services tips to inform your strategy.

8. Educate and inspire

For many people, real estate is a black box. It can be intimidating to commit to a mortgage, neighborhood, or home sale if you don’t really understand the process.

Your clients will appreciate the effort, and it will help foster trust as they journey toward their purchase.

One of the biggest benefits of using a social media marketing strategy for real estate is the ability to boost your efforts with paid social media. Not only can strategic investments get your content in front of more people, but you’ll be able to target your best customers directly.

Set targeting parameters by location, age, demographic, and interests to ensure everything you post is seen by the most qualified audience.

Hootsuite Ads lets you manage paid campaigns across networks with ease. Plus, build comprehensive reports that show you what’s working, what’s not, and where you should target next.

10. Build community

While your followers might initially come to your content for real estate information, they stay for the community. Your social media pages can be a place where audiences come to explore new cities, learn about specific real estate markets, or even connect about issues that matter to them.

Consider how your real estate and social media strategies are built to foster long-term connections with your followers. You never know which one of these people will become your best client later on.

11. Stay consistent

Consistency is key on social media, where the competition is fierce, and attention spans are short. Real estate agents that plan ahead, post regularly, and have clear strategies for their content have a better shot at standing out.

Learn how often to post on every major channel in our comprehensive guide. Once you know what kind of posting schedule you want to follow, batch, schedule, and track your posts using Hootsuite.

Real estate social media strategy template

Building a real estate social media strategy from the ground up is never easy, so we created this extensive template to help you get started.

Simply make a copy of this document and tailor it to your needs. Then, you’ll be ready to take the realtor social media world by storm.

Inspiring examples of real estate social media marketing

Still wondering how to market real estate on social media? Here are some of the best real estate agent social media campaigns we’ve seen.

1. Graham Stephan

With over 4.1 million subscribers, real estate YouTuber Graham Stephan is one of the best-known names in real estate social media. But, you’ll be surprised to see much more than simple listings and walkthroughs on his channel.

Graham knows that his viewers are interested in growing their wealth, so he gives tips, tricks, and insights into his own life, and how he became a multi-millionaire at twenty-six. Graham’s content is a good reminder that it’s not only clients that come to your channels. Consider how you might use content to inspire the next generation of realtors. And, grow your personal brand at the same time.

2. Oakwyn Realty

The best brands know that you don’t need to slap your logo on something in order for people to recognize it as yours. Oakwyn Realty, a real estate firm in Vancouver, BC, knows this better than most.

Instead of posting home walkthrough videos, or agent achievements, Oakwyn focuses on promoting its values, inspiring its agents, and cultivating a strong vibe with its social media content.

Take this post, for example, which offers a simple, natural visual, paired with an inspiring quote. Does this have anything to do with real estate? Maybe not. But, it does paint Oakwyn as a brand that cares about its agent’s health and success–and that’s something buyers, sellers, and agents will want to get behind.

Oakwyn is a great example of how focusing on content, rather than sales, can level-up your realtor social media marketing.

3. Engel & Völkers

Buying a home is about more than just a stunning property. Homes mean memories, big life events, security, and more.

When real estate brokerage Engel & Völkers makes property walkthrough videos, they go beyond simply showing off the bedrooms and bathrooms. They show you what your life would look like if you lived here, from weddings, to raising children, and everything in between.

Use your real estate social media content to place your clients in the home, and see how fast those sales come through.

4. West Haven Group

We’ve already talked about the importance of educating real estate clients through social media. One of the best ways to do this is through regular market updates, like this one from West Haven Group.

Market updates help people buying and selling real estate gauge whether now is the time to invest or sit still. They also position your firm as experts in the real estate field.

You never know when a potential client will need a nudge in the right direction, so be sure to share your knowledge and industry insights widely.

5. Miranda Caldwell

Video platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts thrive on short, snackable content. So, why not use them to show off the best, most interesting features of your house?

Miranda Caldwell does real estate TikTok right with these short, intriguing videos that keep her viewers watching. Consider how you might leverage unique or different features of your property on social media

Real estate social media FAQs What social media is best for real estate sales?

The best social media channels for real estate agents depend on who your target audience is. According to the National Association of Real Estate Agents the majority of home buyers are older millennials and Gen Xers. These audiences are more likely to use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Source: National Association of Real Estate Agents

How is social media used in real estate? What should a new realtor post on social media?

New realtors should focus on creating content that showcases their expertise in the field, provides helpful tips and insights to potential buyers, and promotes their listings. As well, it’s important to share content from other realtors or industry professionals in order to build relationships within the community.

Get Started

Get new clients and close more deals with Hootsuite, the #1 social media management tool for real estate agents.

Social Media Activism In 2023: How To Go Beyond The Hashtag

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

What is social media activism?

Activism on social media includes promoting awareness of social justice issues and showing solidarity through the use of hashtags, posts, and campaigns.

Genuine social media activism is supported by concrete actions, donations, and measurable commitments to change.

Without genuine offline action, using a hashtag or posting a black square or rainbow flag comes across as opportunistic and lazy. Critics are often quick to call out these minimal efforts as “slacktivism” or performative allyship.

Brands should tread carefully: More than three-quarters of Americans (76%) say “social media makes people think they are making a difference when they really aren’t.”

Along the same lines, when a company participates in social media activism that does not align with its past or present actions, it can prompt backlash and calls of virtue signaling, greenwashing, or rainbow capitalism.

We’re about to dive into 10 ways to engage in meaningful activism on social media. And, of course, we’ll provide plenty of social media activism examples where brands got things right.

But it really all boils down to this:

Words are just words, and hashtags are just hashtags. Yes, they can both be extremely powerful. But for brands, especially those with significant market share and resources, actions speak much louder. Social media activism must be accompanied by real world action.

Listen to credible voices working on the cause. Learn from those who have well-established expertise in the movement. And commit to working towards real change.

How to use social media to authentically support a cause: 10 tips

1. Pause and review your social calendar

The first thing to do before engaging in social media activism – whether you’re responding to an immediate crisis or beginning a longer term campaign of activism and allyship – is to hit pause.

Review your social calendar. If you use a social media scheduler, you might want to unschedule upcoming posts and save them for later. Review your content calendar to see how things align with the stance you’re about to take. If you’re responding to a crisis, you’ll likely want to stay focused on the cause at hand.

In the wake of the Uvalde shooting, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays paused their social media game coverage and instead used their social channels to share information about gun violence.

They went all-in on this, not holding anything back.

Firearms were the leading cause of death for American children and teens in 2023.

— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 26, 2023

While your regular content is on pause, take the time to learn about what’s happening beyond the headlines so you can take a meaningful stance followed up with concrete action.

That action component is critical in terms of garnering support for your activism rather than backlash.

Before returning to regular programming, consider how your campaigns and content will resonate within the larger context.

DON’T:

Try to profit from your support. Social movements are not marketing opportunities, and customers will call out actions your brand takes that appear motivated by anything other than good faith.

2. Listen to your customers (and employees)

It’s normal for emotions to run high during social justice and human rights movements. But those in-the-moment spikes can lead to long-term changes in how people feel and behave – and how they expect companies to behave.

70% of members of Generation Z say they are involved in a social or political cause. And they expect brands to join them. More than half (57%) of Gen Z says brands can do more to solve societal problems than governments can, and 62% say they want to work with brands to address those issues.

But the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer found consumers don’t think brands are doing enough to address social change.

Source: Edelman 2023 Trust Barometer

Use social listening to better understand how your audience is feeling. Understanding the broader perspective allows you to express empathy and solidarity with negative sentiments, then rally your audience around positive sentiments with strong calls to action.

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DON’T:

Dismiss emotions or police tone. People typically have legitimate reasons to feel what they feel.

3. Be honest and transparent

Before posting anything in support of a cause, reflect on your company history and culture. That might mean looking at the diversity of your teams, re-evaluating non-environmental practices, assessing the accessibility of your marketing, and more.

While difficult, it’s important to have honest internal conversations about company values and changes you may need to make. If you’re not honest, you’re going to have problems with social media activism.

Admitting past mistakes is the first way to show that your company means what it says. Be upfront about anything that goes against your current position. Without doing this, your social activism will ring hollow—or worse, hypocritical. It could also prompt people to call you out.

Disney originally stayed silent in response to Florida’s “Dont Say Gay” bill, sending out an internal email of support for LGBTQ employees rather than making a public statement. That quickly became a problem for the company, as the hashtag #DisneyDoBetter took off and employees, creatives, and fans all shared their concerns about the weak stance as well as the company’s previous donations to supporters of the bill.

tl;dr: “We will continue to invite the LGBTQ+ community to spend their money on our sometimes-inclusive content while we support politicians working tirelessly to curtail LGBTQ+ rights.”

— (((Drew Z. Greenberg))) (@DrewZachary) March 7, 2023

Within a few days, Disney had to acknowledge its mistake and make a lengthy public statement.

— The Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) March 11, 2023

Brands can either hold themselves accountable, or be held accountable. But don’t feel you need to be perfect before you can take a stand. For example, more than half of employees say CEOs should publicly speak out about racism as soon as the company has its own racial equity and diversity goals in place, with concrete plans to meet them.

DON’T:

Hide internal issues and hope no one finds out about them – or hide behind internal communications. Internal emails can quickly go public when employee concerns are not addressed.

Be afraid to be honest. Customers appreciate honesty. But Edelman found only 18% of employees trust their company’s head of DEI to be honest about racism within the organization. If your employees can’t trust you, how can customers?

4. Be human

Humanize your communication efforts. People can and do see through inauthentic behavior.

Overused phrases and carefully calibrated language tend to make company statements look templated. (Thoughts and prayers, anyone?) Be considerate in what you want to say, but throw out the corporate jargon and canned content. Be real.

Edelman found that 81% of respondents to the 2023 Trust Barometer expect CEOs to be personally visible when talking about work their company has done to benefit society.

— Merck (@Merck) March 31, 2023

Yes, this is a statement that has likely gone through lawyers and other corporate messaging professionals. But it’s clear and does not hold back. And Frazier has repeatedly proven his ability to unite business leaders in social action. He’s talked about his values and how the issues on which he chooses to take a stand align with corporate values.

He told the Albert and Mary Lasker foundation that when he stepped down from President Trump’s Business Council after the President’s remarks about events in Charlottesville, he spoke to the Merck board about whether he should present it as a strictly personal decision or include mention of the company.

“I’m very proud to say that my board unanimously said, ‘No, we actually want you to speak to the company’s values, not just your personal values,’” he said.

DON’T:

Just say what everyone else is saying. It needs to come from your company.

Worry about keywords, irrelevant hashtags, or algorithms. Say the right thing, not the highest ranking thing.

5. Make your stance clear and consistent

When you do share a message in support of a cause, ensure that message leaves no room for ambiguity. Don’t leave people asking questions or filling in the blanks for you.

The gold standard for clear brand positioning comes from ice cream brand Ben and Jerry’s. They are consistent and vocal in their support of racial and social justice.

DON’T:

Try to have it all or do it all. Speak to the causes that matter most to your brand and your employees, so you can be consistent and authentic.

6. Share how you are taking action

People want to hear how brands are tackling issues beyond social media.

It’s one thing to post a message in support of Ukraine. But it’s action that really counts. More than 40% of consumers boycotted businesses that continued to operate in Russia after the invasion. On social, both #BoycottMcDonalds and #BoycottCocaCola were trending in early March, until the companies finally ceased Russian operations.

Show that your company is actually taking action. Which organizations are you donating to, and how much? Will you make regular contributions? How is your brand actually doing good within communities? What steps are you taking toward a more ethical production process and supply chain? Be specific. Share receipts.

For example, when Dove launched its #KeepTheGrey campaign to draw attention to ageism and sexism in the workplace, the brand donated $100,000 to Catalyst, an organization that helps create more inclusive workplaces.

— Dove Canada (@DoveCanada) August 21, 2023

And when the makeup brand Fluide celebrated Trans Day of Visibility, they highlighted diverse trans models while committing to donate 20% of sales during the campaign to Black Trans Femmes in the Arts.

DON’T:

Make empty promises. Edelman’s 2023 special report on business and racial justice found more than half of Americans think companies are not doing a good job meeting their promises to address racism. If you can’t live up to your promises, you’re better off not to make them in the first place.

7. Ensure your actions reflect your company culture

Similar to point #3, practice what you preach. If your brand promotes diversity on social media, your workplace should be diverse. If you promote environmentalism, you should use sustainable practices. Otherwise, it’s not social activism. It’s performative allyship or greenwashing. And people notice: Twitter saw a 158% increase in mentions of “greenwashing” this year.

One way to ensure your activism aligns with your culture is to choose causes that connect to your brand purpose. In fact, 55% of consumers say it’s important for a brand to take action on issues that relate to its core values and 46% say brands should speak about social issues directly related to their industry.

For example, the sexual wellness brand Maude has an ongoing campaign promoting inclusive #SexEdForAll.

Offering real calls for action and donating a percentage of profits from their Sex Ed For All capsule collection, they work in partnership with the Sexual Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) to promote inclusive sex education.

That said, your brand purpose may not have an obvious connection to social causes. That doesn’t mean you can opt out of the conversation.

Source: Twitter Marketing

Responsible corporate culture should be first and foremost about doing the right thing. But know that over time, it will actually improve your bottom line. Diverse companies are more profitable and make better decisions.

DON’T:

Take too long to follow through on commitments. Your customers are watching and waiting.

8. Plan for good and bad responses

Before your brand takes a stance on social media, prepare for feedback.

Benefit did all the right things on this post by stating the actions they were taking, showing how the cause related to their core values, and linking to partners who are experts in the work.

Expect an influx of messages and equip your social media managers with the tools they need to handle them. That includes mental health support—especially for those who are directly impacted by the movement you are supporting.

Consider the following do’s and don’ts:

DO:

Review your social media guidelines and update as needed.

Clearly define what constitutes abusive language and how to handle it.

Develop a response plan for frequently asked questions or common statements.

Be human. You can personalize responses while sticking to the script.

Hold relevant training sessions.

Apologize for past actions, when necessary.

Adapt your strategy for different audiences on different social media platforms.

DON’T:

Disappear. Remain present with your audience, even if they are upset with you.

Be afraid to admit that you don’t have all the answers.

Make it the responsibility of your followers to defend their basic human rights.

Take too long to respond. Use tools like Mentionlytics to keep track of messages.

9. Diversify and represent

Diversity shouldn’t just be a box your brand checks during Pride month, Black History Month, or on International Women’s Day. If you support LGBTQ rights, gender equality, disability rights, and anti-racism, show that commitment throughout the year.

Make your marketing inclusive. Build representation into your social media style guide and overall content strategy. Source from inclusive stock imagery from sites like TONL, Vice’s Gender Spectrum Collection, and Elevate. Hire diverse models and creatives. Remember that just about every movement is intersectional.

Most important: Listen to people’s voices rather than simply using their faces. Shayla Oulette Stonechild is not only the first Indigenous global yoga ambassador for Lululemon, but she’s also on the company’s Vancouver-based committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Open your platform up to takeovers. Amplify unique voices. Build meaningful relationships with a broader group of influencers and creators. You’ll likely grow your audience and customer base as a result.

DON’T:

Stereotype. Don’t cast people in roles that perpetuate negative or biased stereotypes.

10. Keep doing the work

The work doesn’t stop when the hashtag stops trending.

— God-is Rivera (@GodisRivera) August 3, 2023

Commit to ongoing social activism and learning. Continue educating your brand and your employees and sharing helpful information with social media users who follow your brand.

Champion the cause offline, too. Perform non-optical allyship. Look for ways to support long-term change. Become a mentor. Volunteer. Donate your time. Keep fighting for equity.

DON’T:

Think of brand activism as “one and done.” One supportive post isn’t going to cut it. If you’re going to wade into the waters of digital activism, be prepared to stay there for the long term.

Schedule messages and connect with your audience on social media using Hootsuite. Post to and monitor multiple social networks from one dashboard. Try it free today.

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Best Time To Post On Social Media In 2023

When is the best time to post on social media? With a few exceptions, early morning weekdays are your best bet.

When, exactly, is the best time to post on social media? It’s a question social media marketers have been asking since the dawn of time — well, since the dawn of Facebook, at least — but we’re here to help.

The Hootsuite team analyzed thousands of social media posts on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to see if certain days and times universally get more engagement than others. We looked at posts across our social media channels, using an audience of roughly 8 million followers, to figure out the best and worst times to post.

The overall best times to post on social media in 2023

Here’s a quick summary of what we found:

Generally, the best time to post on social media overall is 9:00 AM PST (12:00 PM EST) on Mondays. But every network has its own sweet spot.

The best time to post on Facebook is 10:00 AM PST on Mondays.

The best time to post on Instagram is 9:00 AM PST on Mondays.

The best time to post on Twitter is 9:00 AM PST on Fridays.

The best time to post on LinkedIn is 1:00 PM PST on Mondays.

The best time to post on TikTok is 1:00 PM PST on Sundays.

Will these times work for everyone?

The truth is that there is no single best time to post for everyone. You’ll find your real personal best time to post on social media by posting often and measuring performance as you go. (Preferably using Hootsuite analytics, which tell you the exact best posting time based on the unique behaviors of your audience).

If you’re just starting out on social media and don’t have a lot of past data or audience insights to work with, these posting times are a great place to start.

Eileen Kwok, Hootsuite’s Social Marketing Coordinator told us: “It’s good to test out different times and see what works best for you. Start off by posting in the morning, afternoon, and at night and see which times tend to pick up. After a couple weeks, based on your assessment, you’ll find what works best for you.”

Is there really a best time to post on social media?

Because newsfeed algorithms (especially the Twitter algorithm and Instagram algorithm) consider “recency” as a major ranking signal, posting your content when your followers are online is one of the simplest ways to improve your organic reach.

This brings us to the bad news: it’s hard to agree on a single standard “best time to post on social media.” Everyone and their uncle has done a study on industry benchmarks — but the real source of truth always comes back to your own data on your own followers.

Trish Riswick, Hootsuite’s Social Engagement Specialist notes: “The worst thing in the world is having an amazing post that you’ve worked so hard on and then it doesn’t get the traction that you wanted it to. We’ve all been there. Knowing when your audience is most active online helps ensure that doesn’t happen.”

Universal best times to post like the ones we found in our research are best used as starting points for new accounts that haven’t built an audience yet and so don’t have anyone to test on.

Once you do have an audience though, it’s staggeringly easy to determine the best time to post for your social media channels — especially if you have the right tools.

The tool that tells you your real best time to post

Want to find your actual best time to post in seconds? You need a tool that measures when your target audience is the most active. Enter Hootsuite.

Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature automatically tells you the best times to post on every platform. The recommendations are based on your past performance and are tailored to your unique audience and their activity patterns on social.

The Best Time to Publish tool goes one step further than the rest and breaks down different suggested times based on four key goals: extend reach, build awareness, increase engagement, or drive traffic.

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Simply select your goal and Hootsuite will provide tailored recommendations for the best times to post.

According to our analysis, the best time to post on Facebook is 10:00 A.M. PST Mondays and Tuesdays.

When it comes to Facebook, past performance and follower activity are both important. You also want to think about what time your target audience tends to scroll, paying attention to differences in time zones. Regardless of the platform, you always want to post in the time zone of your target audience.

– Trish Riswick, Social Engagement Specialist, Hootsuite

The good news is that almost half of all users check Facebook multiple times a day, and they spend longer on this social media platform than many others, so you’ve got a few chances throughout the day to post during peak times.

Key Facebook statistics to keep in mind when posting:

For more facts, check out the latest Facebook statistics and Facebook demographics.

The best time to post on Instagram

The best time to post on Instagram is 9:00 AM PST on Mondays and 8:00 AM PST on Wednesdays, according to our analysis.

Recency is a key ranking signal in Instagram’s algorithm. This means that audience behavior is an important factor in posting times. Thinking about when your audience scrolls, and planning accordingly, will help you capture the most attention.

While early morning tends to garner the most engagement for brand accounts on Instagram, the Hootsuite social team recommends adjusting your strategy slightly when posting on your personal account.

“If you’re managing a brand account, I think it’s always good to post on Instagram early in the day. However, I find that when it comes to personal accounts, your own Instagram account for example, most people prefer to post at night time — 8 or 9 p.m.”

Eileen Kwok, Social Marketing Coordinator, Hootsuite

The team also notes that certain industries may have better luck on Instagram when people are leisurely scrolling in the evening. For example, people tend to house hunt, shop, and watch videos later in the day. Real estate, retail, and entertainment accounts might get better results posting on Instagram in the evening.

Key Instagram stats to keep in mind when posting:

View all the latest Instagram statistics here (and catch up on Instagram demographics while you’re at it.)

The best time to post on Twitter is 7:00 AM PST on Mondays and 10:00 AM PST on Wednesdays, according to our analysis. When the Hootsuite social team looked at their data, they found the most success posting on weekdays between 7:00 to 10:00 AM PST.

Like Instagram, the Twitter algorithm prioritizes recency and puts a premium on trends. Twitter says they determine trending topics based on “topics that are popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis.”

Capitalizing on events — the Super Bowl, awards shows, etc. for example — and posting relevant content around those events can help you get more attention. However, the Hootsuite social team also warns that these events could potentially take eyes off content that isn’t directly related to them. “It’s smart to keep in mind what’s going on in the world as a basis of when you should be posting. For example, if it’s the Super Bowl and social media will be really busy with content, maybe you don’t want to post on that specific time or even on that day because you will get less engagement,” says Eileen.

Among the big social media platforms, Twitter earns the title of the most popular for news and current events. That’s why, according to Trish, mornings tend to be the sweet spot for posting on Twitter:

“We recently ran a poll that suggested we should be posting more readable things in the morning when people are just getting ready for work or on their lunch break. People are more likely to want to start their day reading because they’re more awake. I think that plays a role in why morning posts do better on Twitter.”

Key Twitter stats to keep in mind when deciding the best time to Tweet:

Here’s our full list of Twitter statistics (and Twitter demographics, too.)

The best time to post on LinkedIn

The best time to post on LinkedIn is 1:00 P.M. PST on Mondays, according to our analysis. However, the Hootsuite social team says they also have plenty of success posting earlier in the day on LinkedIn.

According to Trish, it’s best to post a variety of content types throughout the day on LinkedIn. “We tend to post more written content in the morning and videos in the afternoon,” she says. That’s because people tend to engage with videos and longer-form content later in the day, while they’re generally seeking readable material early in the morning.

“You would think that early mornings would tend to do better on LinkedIn, but we’ve found that our afternoon posts do sometimes blow up. While it used to be primarily professionals who are up and scrolling at 5 a.m., LinkedIn now has a lot of young professionals who are browsing in their leisurely time, too. We do still see a lot of success before 9 a.m. on LinkedIn, though,” she adds.

Riswick emphasizes the importance of not making assumptions about your audience on LinkedIn. Today, almost 60 percent of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 25 and 34 years old. This demographic tends to prefer shorter-form videos and images, which may be why those later-in-the-day video posts perform well.

Key LinkedIn stats to keep in mind when posting:

16.2% of American users check LinkedIn at least once a day (up from 12% in 2023)

LinkedIn pages that post weekly have 5.6x more followers than pages that post monthly

Here’s the full list of LinkedIn statistics to help inform your posting time.

The best time to post on TikTok

According to our analysis, the best time to post on TikTok is at 9:00 AM PST on Saturdays and 1:00 PM PST on Sundays. We’ve also found that Thursdays at 7 p.m. are a hot spot for TikTok.

Unsurprisingly, TikTok spend the most time on the app in their leisure hours, which tend to be later in the day. If you’re in an industry that does well on most channels in the early morning — such as finance or politics — you’ll want to adjust your posting times to later on TikTok.

The TikTok algorithm requires a bit more time than the other platforms to post and display videos to the right feeds. That means you’ve got to think ahead and be a bit more patient than you would on other platforms.

Another important thing to note: TikTok doesn’t always publish videos the second you hit “post,” so you’ve got to keep that in mind when strategizing your post times. In other words, post a bit earlier than the time you want your video to start showing up on peoples’ feeds.

“We’ve learned the hard way that on TikTok you should post a bit earlier than when you actually want your video to go up.,” says Trish. “Sometimes TikTok can take a little bit to actually get your video out because it’s trying to figure out what your video is, whose algorithm it should fall on, that kind of stuff. That’s why adding the right keywords is so important — because it helps move you into the algorithm quicker.”

Need help with TikTok keywords? We’ve got you in our guide to TikTok SEO.

Key TikTok stats to keep in mind while posting:

5 tips for finding your best time to post 1. Look at when your audience is most active online

Many social media algorithms prioritize recency. Why? Because people care about what’s new — especially given how frequently we check our feeds these days.

Posting when your followers are online is one of the easiest ways to work with (not against) both algorithms. By predicting when your followers are likely to be browsing their feeds, you maximize the chances that your content will reach and connect with them. (And as our experiments have proven, the timing of your Instagram posts does impact engagement.)

Eileen recommends playing to the habits of your target audience rather than your industry when you’re deciding what time to post: “Understanding the social habits of your target audience and getting to know when they’re online can help you get more views. For example, there’s something like 60 billion views under the finance hashtag on TikTok. Brands are finding ways to make financial topics interesting for a younger demographic with TikTok, but they need to post at times that make sense for that audience.”

Finding when your target audience is online is as simple as looking at your analytics. Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature, for instance, provides a heatmap of the hours and days your followers are active.

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2. Look at your top-performing posts from the past

You’re already optimizing your content to match your social media performance goals. When it comes time to decide when to post that content, we recommend taking an equally data-driven approach.

The first step is to take a look at your analytics tools, or social media reports, and zero in on your more successful posts for a given metric. The posts that did the best in terms of:

Awareness (i.e., posts that have high impressions)

Engagement (i.e., posts that earned impressive engagement rates)

Pro Tip: Hootsuite Analytics’ Best Time to Publish feature pulls your unique posting history automatically, without any data-crunching, and suggests times to post in order to maximize your ROI.

This data then gets pulled into Planner and Composer, so when you’re scheduling next week’s posts, you can automatically see suggested times to post based on your own unique social media performance history (most tools only recommend based on global best times to post).

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3. Post in your audience’s time zone, not yours

If you’re aiming to catch people during their bleary-eyed morning bed-scroll, posting at 6:00 AM makes perfect sense. Of course, if your target audience is made up of European innovation executives, make sure you schedule that post for 6:00 AM Central European Time (or even earlier if you want to make sure you catch Eastern Europe, too.).

At Hootsuite, our channels strive to catch people across North America (PST through EST) by posting in the morning or early afternoon, Pacific Time. For channels that also want to catch the UK, the earlier in the morning, the better.

Meanwhile, brands with a substantial audience in a specific region might consider creating a separate handle for that audience. (This may have the added benefit of allowing you to post in a target language, too.)

Another option for those of you with a global customer base is publishing content around the clock. (In which case, we definitely recommend a social media scheduler.)

4. Check out the competition

Check your competitors’ feeds to see what they’re up to. Take a survey of their high-performing posts (or even do a full social competitive analysis) and see what patterns crop up, or perhaps reverse-engineer your competitors’ strategies.

Here at Hootsuite, for instance, we’ve learned to avoid publishing on the hour, because that’s when a lot of brands post. Instead, we post on the :15 or :45 mark to give our content a little breathing room.

It’s worth keeping an ear to the ground in your industry, whether you learn tactics worth emulating, or just spot some pitfalls to avoid. (You might even consider adding publishing schedules to your ongoing social listening endeavors.)

Hootsuite’s industry benchmarking tool within Analytics shows you how you stack up to the competition. It’ll even give you personalized tips for how to gain an edge against the leaders in your industry.

5. Test, optimize, and switch up your post times

At a certain point, you’ve done as much due diligence as you can, and it’s time to smash that publish (or schedule) button and see what happens. But what happens if the results aren’t what you’d hoped?

Some systematic A/B tests (where you post the same content at different times in order to see which time earns the best results) can be illuminating.

Social media is always changing, and so are the people who use it. For example, the big shift to remote work has coincided with more frequent social media use.

Habits have shifted from checking feeds during lunch to checking between zoom meetings. If your audience is changing, your strategy might need to change too.

The Hootsuite social team recommends changing up the times you post fairly often. If something you thought would perform well doesn’t, consider posting it at a different time slot the following week. Seasonal changes, cultural shifts, and user trends are always changing, so keep experimenting!

– Trish Riswick, Social Engagement Specialist, Hootsuite

Get personalized recommendations for the best time to post on every network and manage your Facebook presence alongside other social channels with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, engage the audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.

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How To Run The Easiest Social Media Audit

A social media audit is the best way to review and improve any social marketing strategy. Check in on your efforts with this free template.

Social media marketing is all fun and games until it’s time to measure your results, right? Have no fear: A social media audit is your business BFF.

Don’t let the name scare you — the IRS isn’t about to knock down your door. Regular audits help you understand what’s happening across all your platforms and how each fits into your marketing goals. And if you use a simple template, it’s not a labor-intensive or complicated process.

Keep reading to learn how to conduct an effective social media audit from start to finish. We’ll even walk you through our handy (and free) social media audit template to make it super easy.

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What is a social media audit?

A social media audit is like a report card for your social strategy. It measures how well your social content is performing on different accounts and networks. An audit identifies what you’re good at, what needs improvement, and suggests the next steps to make things better.

After an audit, you’ll have everything you need to optimize your social media marketing strategy.

You’ll know:

Your most effective platforms,

What your audience wants to see on each network,

Who your audience is (demographics and more),

What’s helping grow your audience (and what’s not),

How each platform contributes to your goals,

Which new ideas will help you grow,

And where to focus your attention next

It’s a crucial step if you’re planning on updating your social media strategy for next year:

How to perform a social media audit in 7 steps

If you’re ready to start now, download the free social media audit template above and follow along.

1. Create a list of all your social media accounts

You may think you know all your social accounts off the top of your head, but chances are, you’ve forgotten one or two. So start by listing all your social media profiles, including inactive ones.

Where to find this info:

Search each major social network for your brand and product names. You might uncover a few unexpected results, like old test accounts. Whoops.

Then, make a plan to deal with any troublesome accounts you’ve found. Old test ones your company has created probably won’t be too hard to get rid of, but finding old login info may be a pain.

Find any imposter accounts or others infringing on your copyrighted material? The legal department will likely need to get involved. Still, write down the steps required to tackle each phony account. For some, it could be as simple as contacting the fake account owners or reporting the account to the social network it’s on.

Once you’ve tracked down all relevant accounts, set up a social media monitoring program to watch for any new impostors.

In addition to your current social media presence, think about the accounts you don’t have yet. For example, are there any social platforms you haven’t considered? Should you be there?

Of course, you don’t need to be on every network. But an audit is a good opportunity to add new ideas to your social strategy for the future. At the very least, you should reserve your business username on new platforms, so no one beats you to it.

Where to list this info:

Don’t worry if you don’t have the information for every column in this tab yet — we’ll continue to fill it out as we go through the audit.

2. Check in on your branding

Look through each profile to ensure they fit your current brand style guidelines. Check on your profile and banner images, hashtags, copy and phrases, brand voice, URLs, and more.

Here are the key areas to review for each social account:

Profile/bio text. You have limited space to work with when creating a social media bio, so make the most of it. Are all fields filled in accurately? Does the copy match your tone and voice guidelines?

Username. Try to use the same username across all social channels. Having more than one account per network is okay if they serve different purposes. (For example, our Twitter accounts @Hootsuite and @Hootsuite_Help.)

Links. Does the URL in your profile go to the correct website or landing page?

Pinned posts (if applicable). Evaluate your pinned posts to ensure they’re still appropriate and up-to-date.

Verification. Is your account verified with a blue checkmark badge? If not, should you try? We have guides on how to get verified on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter if you want to pursue this.

Where to find this info:

The best way to make sure that your accounts are on brand is to act like a member of your audience.

Where to list this info:

After this step, you should be able to fill out the handle, bio, hashtags, link in profile, verified, channel owner, and “most recent post” columns. We’ve highlighted them in the image above!

If you’ve found any off-brand content or profiles that need to be updated, make sure to note that in the notes section.

3. Identify your top-performing social media content

It’s time to audit your your social media content. For each social profile, list your top five posts. Then, copy the post links into your social media audit template so you can easily review them later.

Look through your top posts for patterns. Then, ask yourself:

What type of content is getting you the response you want? Photo posts? Videos? Feed, Stories, or Reels?

What has the highest engagement metrics: Candid, behind-the-scenes content or polished and pro posts?

Are people responding in the same ways across all networks? Does specific content perform better on one platform than others?

Do people engage with your posts if you ask a question?

Are your top posts aligned with your current brand voice? (If not, and they’re performing well, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate that voice.)

Use the notes column of your audit document to record your thoughts. We’ll come back to these notes later!

Where to find this info:

You can use the built-in analytics tools for each social network to sort and find your top posts for the key metric you’ve chosen. Not sure how? We have complete guides to using all of them:

Hootsuite Analytics is a great all-in-one tool for reviewing your data at a glance. You can even schedule regular custom reports, sent straight to your email.

Try Hootsuite for free. (You can cancel anytime.)

In Hootsuite Analytics, each report has a flexible, customizable interface. You can drag-and-drop an unlimited number of “tiles,” each of which displays your chosen metric. That way, it’s easy to review your top metrics and adjust your social strategy on the go.

Where to list this info:

4. Evaluate each channel’s performance

Now, it’s time to evaluate how each social channel contributes to your overall marketing goals.

If you haven’t already created a mission statement and a few key goals for each social account, now’s the time.

Several accounts may have similar goals, like driving traffic to your website and increasing conversions. Others may be exclusively for customer service purposes or brand awareness.

For example, our YouTube account is all about product education. Our @Hootsuite_Help Twitter account, though, is only for tech support:

For each channel, list out its goal(s) and track your progress toward them. For measurable goals like traffic or conversions, write down the actual numbers.

How many website visits came from Instagram? How many sales came from Facebook Page visitors? If the goal is customer service, write down your CSAT score and see if it’s improving over time. Be specific.

For goals without quantifiable data, record supporting evidence. If your Facebook account is for brand awareness, has your following grown? Have you increased your organic or paid reach?

We want to get clear on the purpose of each of your social channels and measure their effectiveness.

Where to find this info:

Finding relevant information will depend on the goals you set for each channel.

Tracking customer service or brand awareness goals? Try using social listening tools to gather data from real customers.

Tracking conversions from social media isn’t an exact science, though it’s easier on some channels than others. You’ll need to set up Meta Pixel (formerly Facebook Pixel) to track Facebook conversion data, for example, and many networks have their own tracking codes. Many e-commerce platforms also have built-in social channel tracking.

Going platform by platform can be tedious (so many tabs!), but you can make your life much easier by using a social media management tool like Hootsuite Analytics for this, too.

And you don’t have to take our word for it, either — our own social team uses Hootsuite to conduct their own social media audits.

“I use Hootsuite to run social media audits for our own channels because it’s got all of our analytics and channels in one spot. That makes it super easy to scroll through our various posts and networks, understand what is working or not working, and build my recommendations to make changes for the future.” – Nick Martin, Social Listening & Engagement Team Lead at Hootsuite

Where to list this info:

Your mission statement will tell you each platform’s purpose and determine which KPIs are most important.

Optional:

Go one step further and compare each channel’s performance against your top competitors.

Then, take a closer look at the competition. Have they failed to capitalize on a new feature? Are their accounts growing faster than yours? Those are opportunities and threats to your brand, so make sure you’ve got your eye on them.

Manually collecting this type of data can be overwhelming. The good news is, there are easier ways to do it.

Hootsuite Analytics does Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter competitive analysis for you. You can track up to 20 competitors per network and get a clear view of your strengths and weaknesses — plus actionable insights on the top posts, hashtags, and content formats in your niche.

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Competitive analytics in Hootsuite go as far as telling you the average caption length and number of hashtags used per post.

Hootsuite Analytics also features a handy industry benchmarking tool that helps you compare your performance against averages across your industry.

To get social media industry benchmarks, follow these steps:

Sign in to your Hootsuite dashboard and head to

Analytics.

Pick an industry that best describes your business. 

That’s it! Now you can see how your results compare to average performance stats within your industry. You can set up custom timeframes, switch between networks — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok — and look up benchmarks for the following metrics:

Profile impressions

Profile reach

Followers

Audience growth rate

Engagement rate

Video plays

Posting frequency

Shares

… and more.

Try for free

You will also find resources to improve your performance right in the summary section:

And, if you need to present your results to your team, boss, or other stakeholders, you can easily download your comparison report as a PDF file. 

If you want to conduct an even more thorough competitive analysis, check out this related blog and free template.

5. Understand your audience on each platform

Now that you know how each account is helping support and grow your brand, it’s time to dig deeper to understand who you’re reaching on each platform.

Audience demographics are a good starting point. For example, Instagram gets a lot of attention for its ecommerce features, but consumers actually spend the most money on TikTok. Likewise, Facebook is the most popular platform for people 35-44, but YouTube is the place to be for the 18-25 group.

While your audience may differ from the norm, we’ve compiled all the top demographic data for each social network to get you started:

Learn the demographics of your unique audience on each platform and use that, along with the types of posts they prefer, to create buyer personas. (Don’t worry; we’ve got a free buyer persona template to make that easy for you.)

Where to find this info:

You can find demographic information within each platform’s native analytics. It’s a lot faster if you use the all-in-one audience reporting in Hootsuite Insights, though.

This enterprise-level tool can give you an instant overview of millions of online conversations in real time.

Hootsuite Insights can tell you a lot about your target audience — and how they feel about you. If you want to learn more about your unique audience, Insights is the only tool you’ll need.

Request a demo of Hootsuite Insights

Where to list this info:

Be sure to include the number of followers you have now and the percentage change over the past year.

Find something interesting in your social listening audit? Be sure to note it here. If positive (or negative) sentiments about your brands have increased, for example, you’ll want to keep an eye on it.

6. Take action: Update your social media marketing strategy

Now that you know where you stand, think about ways to improve your social media metrics. It’s time to revisit the notes you made earlier!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Which platforms are driving the most results?

Are there any new social media platforms you should be using?

Are you neglecting any platforms? Do you even need them, or would it be better to ditch them and focus on your higher-performing ones?

What content types are working best right now? How can you make more of this?

Is your content resonating with your expected audience demographics, or has a new potential persona emerged?

Think about new content and campaign ideas, building off what you learned from your top content in step three. For example, if video is a big hit, write down a specific strategy to work more of it into your marketing. That could be “Post 3 new Instagram Reels per week” or “Repurpose existing long-form video into short, 15-second clips for social media.”

These decisions don’t have to be forever. Successful marketing depends on testing and experimenting to find what works for your audience. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Regular social media audits will let you know if you’re on the right track or need to go in a different direction.

For each new strategy and idea, write it down in your marketing plan. (Don’t have one yet? We gotcha with yet another awesome template: this free social media marketing plan document.) Your marketing strategy is a living document, so keep it current.

Where to find this info:

Your brain! Use all the data you’ve collected so far to generate new ideas. Have your goals for each platform in front of you so that you can connect your updated marketing plan to them. Remember to let others know when you’ve updated the marketing plan, so everyone is on the same page.

Once you’re done with your audit… plan the next one! Stick to a regular schedule. Quarterly works well for most companies, although you may want to check in monthly if you run many campaigns or channels.

Regular audits connect your team’s day-to-day marketing work with your company goals. Over time, you’ll refine your social strategy and learn how to best connect with your audience.

Where to list this info:

Free social media audit template

Bonus: Get the free social media audit template to see what’s working and what’s not. Save time and improve performance.

If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve created a ready-to-use social media audit template for you. Download it above, or make your own with the following fields:

Account details:

Your username

Link to your profile

About/bio text for the account

Any hashtags that appear in your bio or that you’ll regularly use

URL to use in your bio

Whether your account is verified or not

Internal person or team responsible for managing the account (also known as the “owner”—for example, the social marketing team)

Mission statement for the account (for example: “To promote company culture using employee photos,” or “To provide customer service”)

Details of the current pinned post (if applicable)

Date of the most recent post (to help you identify underused/abandoned accounts)

Performance details:

Total number of posts published

Change in engagement rate vs. your last audit

The top five posts for each platform by engagement rate (or the key metric you’ve chosen)

Audience details:

Demographics and buyer personas

Follower count (and change +/- vs. your last audit)

Goals:

2-3 S.M.A.R.T. goals you want to achieve by your next audit

Whether you met the goals you set for this audit, or changed course (and why)

Now you know everything you need to conduct your own social media audit. Go forth and analyze!

Frequently asked questions about social media audits

What is a social media audit?

A social media audit is a process used to measure the success of your social strategy across accounts and networks. An audit identifies your strengths, weaknesses, and the next steps needed to improve.

Why is a social media audit important?

A social media audit helps you review how your social media efforts track against your business goals.

An audit will show you which content and platforms are performing best, who your audience is and what they care about, and where to focus your efforts next.

How do I start a social media audit?

Start your social media audit by listing all of your accounts, then go through each account to review its performance. For a guided tour of the process, scroll up in this blog.

How long does a social media audit take?

That depends! You can conduct a quick social media audit in as little as 30 minutes, but if you want to do a deep dive into each of your accounts, you might want to set aside a few hours.

What are the steps of a social media audit?

A social media audit is pretty straightforward. Just follow these steps:

List all of your accounts

Check in on your branding

Identify your top-performing content

Evaluate each channel’s performance

Understand your audience on each platform

Take action and set new goals

Save time by managing all your accounts in one place with Hootsuite. Plan content and campaigns, schedule posts, manage conversations, and see all your analytics and ROI data with quick, automated reports. Power up your social marketing today.

Start Your Free 30-Day Trial

All your social media analytics in one place. Use Hootsuite to see what’s working and where to improve performance.

The Academy Awards Of Social Media Strategy

On Sunday night many of us were glued to the screen, munching on snacks and gathering with friends for the 84th annual Academy Awards. It was only a year ago that we saw “The Social Network” rake in the acknowledgements, and a year later Facebook is still growing and driving a marketing movement from traditional to digital.

In this article, we will take a look at the winners of three major Oscar categories (about movies, not actors), analyzing the victors as if the world (and the Academy) were run by social media marketers. We have boiled down the point where being involved in social is a necessary part of any marketing strategy, so we must learn how we can analyze pop culture and integrate our work, passion, and drive to progress our thought process and refine our social media strategy.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Why are we looking at this award? This is all about communication in my eyes. Taking an idea from one place and transforming it for a wider audience without losing its roots is paramount in social media planning and client communication. Think about analyzing social media data. How you interpret the data is going to have a major impact on your reaction, so it is of the upmost important to maintain communication and ensure that you drawing the correct picture with data that can be viewed in a variety of ways.

The Winner: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for The Descendants

Photo credit Nicogenin Why?

What really stands out here is the transfer of emotion from paper to the silver screen. This relates directly to social media in a number of ways.  Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend SearchFest 2012 in Portland, Oregon and hear a surprisingly informative talk led by John Shehata, the master of social media for ABC News. There is a reason that this guy works for a major communications outlet, and it is because he is simply smart as hell. Here are a couple of things he said at SearchFest that resonate with The Descendants.

I’m going to combine a couple of John’s thoughts here in to one statement. It is incredibly important to transfer emotion and discussion worthy content in to a clear and concise message. For movies, The Descendants did this very well by taking an emotional story and magnifying those feelings in to an understandable movie for a wider audience.

If the inception of this movie were a social media strategy, it would be a good piece to the social puzzle.

 

Best Original Screenplay

The Winner: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris:

Photo Credit Robert Griggs Art Why?

If you are like me it is impossible to not like this movie, and here is how I am going to compare it to social media. Let’s simply take a look at the plot, which is an original story that can unleash the most trapped of social media marketers.

Gil, played by Owen Wilson, is an insightful witty guy who is trapped in a traditional engagement. The reason I say he is trapped is because the guy is simply unhappy with his situation. He is with a woman that he doesn’t love and is very un-enchanted with the ideas and likes of his soon to be family.

Are you a Gil with your social media strategy? Are you doing the same thing as everybody else because of trends? We have gotten to the point where unfortunately there are norms emerging in social media. People have tried different strategies, and the few that have consistently worked are now being gathered up and distributed so that we live in a copycat world.

In order to become truly happy, Gil sticks with his instincts and returns to the golden age of Paris on a nightly basis risking his relationship for self-discovery.

This really makes me wonder why so many of us are simply following in the footsteps of others.

How can you truly make an impact if you don’t spend a little bit of time on yourself and your own ideas. In the long run, thinking about Midnight in Paris really reminded me that there is a massive opportunity in social media right now.

So many people are just looking for links, following posting patterns, and running contests to gather fans that they will never engage. That is when it is time for your trip to the golden age, to come up with your own way of engaging connections and using EdgeRank factors to focus on the nitty gritty of developing your brand through social while truly defining yourself as a digital marketer.

Best Picture

The Winner: The Artist

Photo Credit Nouhailler Why?

I realize that of all of the nominees, that this motion picture was probably the least viewed among the masses. You don’t have to have seen the movie to understand its impact and use its rise to the top as a lesson in social media strategy. It is just like most of the posts you make on Facebook, which are seen by only about 10% of your fans (source: John Shehata @ SearchFest 2012).

Let me ask you one question as we dive in to the final category. What would the world be without risk? That is exactly what director Jean Dujardin did by creating The Artist. It is hard to imagine a silent film gathering so much acclaim in a society that is driven by the senses and craves instant gratification.

So what can we learn from The Artist? This is a perfect time to talk about engagement. This is a movie that has the viewer engaged throughout by focusing on the other senses and diving in to the past while adding a modern twist. Let’s think of a few things we can do in social to emulate this strategy, remember that we cannot talk!

This is perfect, because in social media don’t want to hear us talk. They want us to send them a message. What is the best way that we can send a message without talking? By creating moving visuals that will let the community do that talking for us.

We can be effective re-inventing methods that the world thought was dead. Do you guys remember GeoCities? GeoCities was essentially the silent film era of social media. For an example, if you had a tech site you could dig through old GeoCities pages and put together a mosaic of funny and informative screenshots. That kind of content could get you a lot of attention in the right niche.

The final lesson I see here is that it is important in social to not lose sight of the past. What I mean is that a person who became you friend or connection four years ago should carry the same weight as the person you connected with while you were reading this post. Maintaining affinity is how you build your audience. Think about the way that Facebook works. If a person starts to engage your brand or page less, they start to see your message less and less. It is all programmed in to the Facebook algorithms and ensures that you need to be as strong today as you plan on being for the rest of your existence. Any moment that you let up, you are losing at that is just the plain truth.

In the long run guys, I think it important to apply our work to other things going on in our lives. It allows us to be creative and to explore ideas we may have ignored otherwise. I realize that there is not a whole lot of concrete information here, and that is how I planned it. When it comes to strategy, we need to continue pushing the envelope and start bending the rules otherwise we are on a track to stagnant city, where movies like Superbabies and From Justin to Kelly live.

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