Social Listening Audit. Much like a mystery shopper but online!

I often run social listening audits on my clients to see if they’re dropping the ball or if they’re on point… sneaky I know.

Listening Audit

What’s a Social Media Audit?

This is where you get an unknown to the brand to ask the brand leading questions in all social channels they’re active in. The question needs to implicate you’re only a click or two away from buying. I do this because you would figure anyone who asks a brand a strong leading question should be responded to as quickly possible (timely and relevant).

Here is the different ways to ask a brand a leading question on 5 of the main social channels.

Facebook – create your own wall post, comment under the most recent brand post and private message.

Twitter – @mention the brand, @reply to the brands most recent tweet, mention the brand (but don’t tag them) and if possible send a DM (can only do if you’re both following each other.

Instagram – create your own image and tag the brand in your comment and comment under their most recent post.

Pinterest – pin a brands product and comments under a brands pin.

Polyvore – comment under a brands set or create your own set featuring the brand.

Listening Audit2

The list goes on… from here, during business hours they should all be responded to within 1 hour.

How does your brand stack up? Is it missing daily opportunities, you might be surprised with what you uncover.

I will also not take ‘lack of resources’ as an excuse.


What are the KEY social stats you should be paying attention to.


I sat down with a brilliant mind for dinner (Simon Doukas, Co-Founder and Director of Lodie) and we discussed at length some major issues with what brands social KPI’s are.

It became more and more obvious that brands are measuring on the wrong stats which is leading them down the wrong path. Below is a look at the stats you should be focusing on, as improving these will help your end objectives which is generally to sell $$$


If you’re reporting on reach or amount of likes or  (you’re fired). The true stat here isn’t about eyeballs or how big your community is, it’s about how many people engage with your content.

  • Engagement
  • Talking About This


You could have 1 million followers this doesn’t mean anything. You need to be reporting on engagement. How many Twitter users engage with your tweets, this is the number you need to focus on.

  • RT
  • Favourited
  • @replied


Like all channels Instagram posts don’t have a long life span so gramming at the right time is critical. Once you have established the best time to post, your key metric here again is engagement.

  • Likes
  • Comments


The above is all about engagement and that KPI should be carried out in all your communication channels, this includes email. Email isn’t about how many you have in your database, it’s about how many of them are active and engaging with the brand.

Everything you do needs to be measured against engagement. If your content is not being engaged with, change it, if it’s working keep doing it and tweaking it slightly to make it better.

STOP worrying about these artificial numbers that you think makes you look good. Your KPI’s should be engagement, this is a true test for digital marketing managers. It’s also the hardest test so I know why brands prefer reporting on the fluff numbers.

Let’s get serious about what you’re doing and the moment you change your KPI’s to engagement is the moment your brand will start to see some real results $$$, who knows you may even start to enjoy it 🙂

You’re sitting on the best content!

Sitting on content

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

I don’t have any content, I have no idea what to post, Would people actually like that… I hear this all the time and my response is usually the same.

‘…read my blog!’

There’s no right or wrong (apart from the obvious no go zones) in social, it’s all a learning curve that brands should embrace and not be afraid to try something new.

Most brands will post the same stuff over and over again, why? Because on Monday we post an offer, Tuesday we post a #TBT, Wednesday we post something funny … etc you get my point. Someone that got paid way to much made it super easy for the marketing team and gave them guidelines on what to post each day and the community manager has taken this way to seriously. Whilst this isn’t the worst idea, brands need to be more flexible with their content and post what’s relevant and timely.

Often the best content is right under their noses. Yes, if you love a brand you want to know everything you can about it. Don’t tell me about stuff I already know, every now and then give me something that’s ‘inside news’.

  • New product landed
  • Opening a new store and where
  • Throwing an awesome party
  • Competition is coming get excited
  • Behind the scenes at shoots
  • New product coming soon, pre order here… etc

Don’t sit on content. When you have it, shout it out as that’s when it’s most relevant to your community.

So what am I trying to say here? Don’t sit on content, don’t wait for the perfect time, your community wants to hear about EVERYTHING the brand is up to and they want to hear about it when it happens. They want to know the ins and outs and connect with a brand on a deeper level. This is all about the brand being real and transparent, helping to nourish customer relationships.

Don’t be afraid to try something new that doesn’t sit within your content plan. Don’t be the gate keeper that blocks everything, let content flow past you, only thing you need to worry about is making sure the execution is on brand and that your listening and responding constantly.

Tweak your content plan

Time to plan

I often see brands regurgitating that same content across all social platforms, I get why they do this from a resource standpoint but I’m not sure why this is being accepted by marketing and brand managers.

There’s plenty of different social platforms, all of which have different users which need to be respected. If your brand is currently posting the same content across all your active channels I would advise you stop and think about your audience and what this content means to them. More often than not your message is lost and leaving either users with a feeling of ‘I don’t know this brand anymore’ or even worse yet ‘this brand doesn’t know who I am’, both of which are negative brand experiences.

The obvious stat that marketing managers need to know is which demographics are using which social media platforms.

Seems like women are dominating social media

Understanding the above is one thing, but then understanding your community is another. Do yourself a favour and take a look back at your content and see who’s engaging with it. From here you’ll start to understand your community and be able to tweak your content accordingly.

Monitoring gender behaviour on social media is not about reinforcing gender stereotypes. It’s about using data to find out what really makes your audience tick and optimising your content to achieve your social media objectives.

Lesson 101

Don’t share content between your channels, tailor your content in each channel for the community that play within it.

Example: Sharing Instagram straight to Twitter.


  • Easy to share within the Instagram app
  • Shows Twitter users you’re on Instagram which could help to increase Instagram followers


  • Instagram image doesn’t appear in Twitter stream
  • Often Instagram copy is long and the copy (message) get’s truncated
  • Can’t use links where on Twitter you can and you should
  • @mentioning can be different. Not everyone has the same handle on Instagram as they do Twitter

Twitter and Instagram

*Not showing images isn’t as appealing as showing images.


  • Pos to Instagram
  • Use image at a Twitpic and post to Twitter natively
  • Allows you to correctly @mention
  • Allows you to Twitterfy your copy
  • Allows you to add links

Twitter images

*Using images makes your tweets stand out and get noticed


Nike Running and Nike Training Club show some great examples of engaging Pins aimed at women

Nike on Pinterest

What your Community Manager should be doing each day.

Community Brand Managers

Brands understand that social media plays a huge role in the overall success of their company. However time and time again brands are putting inexperienced students at the helm.

This either shows great trust or sheer stupidity. If I was running a brand, their social media person would need to have some serious experience and show a solid understanding of digital communications. This is why we consistently see brands with a major a dose of #socialmediafail

Below is a day-to-day guide of what your social media team should be doing in all the channels your brand has an active account in.

Listen, acknowledge and respond

  1. Listen as soon as you get into the office and respond to all direct mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  2. Listen as soon as you get into the office and respond to all indirect mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  3. Before Lunch listen and respond to  all direct mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  4. Before Lunch listen and respond to  all indirect mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  5. Before you go home listen and respond to  all direct mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
  6. Before you go home listen and respond to  all indirect mentions in all social channels you’re active in.
Learn more about Listening and Responding

Create content

  1. In all channels you’re active in you should be posting at least once a day. That means 7 times per week.
    – Content should either be content the brand has created or content that has been found and shared.
If you’re wondering what Facebook and Instagram KPI’s should be, read them here.


Social is all about brand awareness and so don’t expect it to generate online revenue. I feel due to it’s lack of instant online revenue, brands don’t pay as much respect to this medium as they should (hence hiring junior social media teams). Remember in social, your message is disrupting their day, they’re not on Facebook to buy, they’re not on Instagram to buy etc. However, Google users are searching for a solution so return from CPC should be expected.


Bonus Tip

Your social media team should be listening in channels they’re not active in.
Example: If your brand is not active on Twitter, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be listening in this channel.

I recommend listening in all non active channels at least once a day. This will help with gauging overall brand sentiment as well as highlight brand opportunities.


Listen … and REWARD!

If you’re a brand that doesn’t want to fork out the big bucks for a multichannel campaign here’s an idea that’s easy and cheap.
It’s an idea that you should be doing at the bare minimum but I know brands aren’t.

Brands love positive user-generated content right? So why don’t brands incentivise their community for it.

Listen and Reward

In all your channels listen to what the community is saying about you. This should be done regardless, but here’s an idea to take that a step further. Listen … and REWARD!

In any channel, if a user has something great to say about you, tell them thanks and for being so great you’re going to give them a reward. You may not have the resources to reward all positive mentions (usually done through a loyalty platform), then reward a few a week that really stand out. Rewards can be in the way of product, gift cards or even money on their loyalty card. It doesn’t need to be anything of huge value, but it’s a great way of saying thanks.

When giving out these rewards I would be looking to give them to users that have a strong digital presence as they’ll be more likely to tell their channels of what just happened. By doing that they’re spreading the word for you and giving your brand great positive brand awareness.

Again, it’s simple, easy and cost effective. It can be turned on and off as often as you like, but I advise this is something that is done all year round with a couple of rewards going off each week. The more the better!

What do you think of this idea?

Simply Fix, To Get More YouTube Subscribers

Get more YouTube subscribers with this pop-up

Generally when users land on your YouTube page there will not be an aggressive sign up option. Instead the ‘subscribe‘ is tucked away in the right corner. Below is a trick that will have users that you direct to your YouTube page be asked to ‘subscribe‘ as seen in the example below.

Oakley YouTube Subscribe

All it takes is adding this extra bit of text to the end of your YouTube URL whenever you share it: The below example is for Oakley Australia–K8TKtH0QSg?sub_confirmation=1

Pretty easy, right?

This small parameter at the end of your URL will show this popup to prompt your users to subscribe to your channel.

Make sure you add it to any YouTube links on your website (footer links), when you share through social media and when you mention your YouTube channel in emails.