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Spring cleaning: How to do a social media audit

A woman with cleaning supplies wiping an oversized smart phone.

Spring is the time when we throw open the windows and clean up the debris of the winter. It’s also the perfect time to do a social media audit for your nonprofit organization. Like your annual spring cleaning, it’s something you should do every year, and it’s a great way to clean up your digital space. 

A social media audit involves reviewing your organization’s complete social media presence, not just analyzing the metrics (to learn about assessing metrics, read my article on creating a social media plan). Rather, an audit is a checkup on whether your social media profiles are accurate, consistent, and secure. It’s an important step in protecting your nonprofit’s brand. Without a social media audit, you run the risk of having profiles that are inconsistent, and worse, could be used by individuals who shouldn’t have access. 

1. Review your social media profiles

Create a list of all your social media accounts. Include everything, even if it’s an old account or a subaccount you aren’t using right now.  

Then, use your personal account and go to each profile to see what the average user sees when they search for you. There are a few specific things you ‘ll want to check to make sure they’re both accurate and consistent across platforms. These include: 

  • Profile picture: This is likely your organization’s logo. Make sure it’s the current version, is high quality, and crops correctly when used in a square or circular slot. 
  • Banner picture: This is the large image that accompanies your logo. It’s good to keep this updated regularly because that indicates to your audience that you’re actively posting updates.  
  • Bio or ‘About’ language: Make sure the language describing your nonprofit is accurate and consistent across platforms.  
  • Landing pages or links: This includes the link in your bio and buttons on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Test the link as a user to ensure it’s working. 

2. Do a security checkup 

Have you ever logged into Facebook and noticed that a past staff member has access to your nonprofit’s page? Or discovered that your Instagram account’s email was set to the staff member who set it up in 2010 but hasn’t worked with you since 2012? Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen by doing a security check. 

Your first step is to change the password and set up two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is a second level of security that usually requires you to verify new logins using either a code sent to your email or phone, or a security app like Duo or Google Authenticator. Don’t use a staff member’s phone number to set up 2FA; if they leave suddenly, you may not be able to access the account.  

Next, check who has permissions and access to your account. On Instagram and TikTok, see what email account is attached to the account. Ideally, it’s a generic organizational account and not an individual staff members’ email. Ask your IT colleague(s) to set up an account such as [email protected] instead.  

For platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube, you’ll need to see who has permission to access your page. Access to these is based on staff members’ individual accounts. If a staff member has left, make sure to remove their permissions.   

3. Search for duplicates or lost accounts

A couple of weeks ago, some colleagues reached out to tell me that Candid’s Facebook page had reshared one of their personal photos—which is something we would never do. When we investigated, it turned out it was a page that looked like Candid’s but was not. It was a fake.  

This actually happens more often than you might think: 16% of Facebook accounts are fake or duplicates. That’s over 275 million profiles and pages.  

Because this happens regularly, it’s good to search for your nonprofit’s name to see if you find any duplicate accounts. If the nonprofit had other names at one point, also search for those. I’d suggest trying this in Facebook but also on Google. 

The other thing you’ll want to search for is forgotten accounts: that TikTok account you created in 2020 that never got used; the YouTube channel designed for one specific event; a Flickr page from 2010. Track down all the possible errant accounts and give them a quick update so they’re at least “on brand” and it’s clear they aren’t being used. It may seem counterproductive to update an old account, but it helps maintain consistency of your brand, ensures your audience knows where to find you now, and keeps it up-to-date in case you decide to start using it again.  

The process of doing a social media audit can take time, but trust me, it’s worth it. You’ll be able to go into the rest of the year knowing you’re on brand and have locked down your accounts. Good luck spring cleaning your accounts! 


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