I once met a small business owner who was keen on promoting his newly formed business, a café. He solicited a few suggestions from me and I was more than happy to provide some advise. I thought social media would be an excellent platform from which to begin with and I mentioned the idea of a few key platforms and suggested a few audits prior to engaging in social media. The audit would have given me a better picture of the state of readiness of his business to adopt social media platforms as its main marketing communications initiative. However, to my surprise the café owner told me that their teenage daughter was going to do what I offered to do. I laughed, walked away, and never looked back. Just three months later I passed that same café and noticed it was closed on a weekday. I walked to the business next door to enquire about the café and sure enough they went under!
Social media for business is not a pastime. Yes, your son in College knows how to make a Twitter account, but so does my 6 year old nephew. Will either of these work great for your business? No!
Prior to engaging in social media including in Facebook, organisations will have to develop strategic blueprint that can guide their strategic initiatives in developing their organisation and brand. The social media audit is certainly an excellent tool to provide marketers with a snapshot of the current state of readiness of an organisation in using a social media platform in building brands. In this section, we’ll have a look some of the audit issues that might be of interest to marketers when assessing an organisation’s/ brand’s use of Facebook.
1. Assess the presence of the organisation/ brand on Facebook:
Is there an official or unofficial presence? Has it been thought through? Of course having a mere presence is not generally enough. To fully leverage the social revolution organisations need to maximise their presence with excellent, fully branded landing pages in Facebook and determine on how best to position the product in front of social visitors.
2. Look for staff involvement with Facebook:
Many companies will have a poor presence while their staff have an active personal profile on Facebook. A review of staff involvement in Facebook might provide the organisation with a list of candidates best suited to advocate the organisation’s brand on the Facebook platform.
3. The profile of the organisation’s/ brand’s fan base on Facebook:
There is a need to analyse the demographics of fans that follow an organisation/ brand on facebook. This provides an idea if or not the communications initiatives pursued by the organisation/ brand reaches its intended target market/ audience.
4. Look to see how well the organisations/ brands use Fan Pages:
Fan Pages provide powerful tools for developing a brand presence. While the amount of friends you have on the profile page is limited and capped at 5,000, Fan Page can have an infinite number of fans. This is probably one of the most important reason to use a Fan Page and not the profile page. Why would any organisation ever want to limit the amount of fans their brand can have?
5. Integration to company or brand website:
How is Facebook being used to drive traffic to the main web presence? Most organisations, especially small business owners are aware that Facebook is a valuable tool for establishing a brand’s personality and engaging with customers. However, many administrators fall short of the next step of using their Facebook Page to drive traffic back to their main business hub – their organizational corporate website. One indication that the organisation is on the right track includes put the website in front and center with a custom tab that either directs visitors to the corporate website showcasing the site right there in Facebook.
6. Record numbers of fans:
Make a note of the current numbers of fans. The larger the number of fan base the more the chances of customers or prospects engaging with the brand. This contributes to customer equity and ultimately to brand equity.
7. The Frequency and Recency of the organisation’s Facebook updated:
Make a note of the date when an update was made to the page (Recency) and the number of times in a day, week or Month the page was updated (frequency). This indicates a healthy engagement level between the brand owners and the target audience.
8. Specific Facebook apps or automation:
List any evidence of the use of apps by the organisation/ brand. Is the right combination of apps being adopted? Apps are now available by industry verticals.
Love to hear form my readers of any other issues from a marketing perspective that is worth looking at in completing a social media marketing audit on Facebook.