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EPISODE 13 – Fiona O’Donoghue

Actionable Social Media Audits

The cornerstone of any strategy is not just understanding where you want to be, but also where you are now. And getting social media right for your organization is no different.

In this episode of Marketing Freed, I’m joined by social media consultant, Fiona O’Donoghue, as we discuss how brands can audit their social media and use that as a springboard into an effective social media strategy.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What a social media audit should include.
  • The key metrics to analyse.
  • Which social profiles you should analyse beyond your own brand’s.
  • How frequently you should run a social media audit.
  • Competitive analysis can provide inspiration and insight into what works well in your industry and beyond.
  • The importance of integrating social media efforts into the broader marketing strategy for a cohesive user experience.

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Episode Transcript
Episode transcript

The cornerstone of any strategy is not just understanding where you want to be, but also where you are now. And getting social media right for your organization is no different, which is why I’m so pleased to be joined by social media consultant, Fiona O’Donoghue, as we discuss how brands can audit their social media and use that as a springboard into an effective social media strategy.

Fiona, welcome to the podcast. Thank you. It’s good to be here. My first podcast. Oh, is it? Brilliant. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I’m very excited to be here. My first podcast. Thank you. just to start things off, can you give a bit of background to your career and how you ended up working as an independent consultant?

Yeah. So I have been an independent consultant for nearly three years now. and prior to that, it was always agency side. So I started off way back when in PR. I thought you’re, Stunts and things like driving tanks down the streets for EA games and building the world’s biggest show for Lynx.

And then, naturally, just the way that, the likes of Facebook and Twitter had been around, a couple of years before that. But around about 2010, 2012. Social media really started to be a game changer for brands and that’s when we started to see the kind of social media marketing that we see now.

And naturally throughout my agency career, social media, PR, digital, SEO, started to play into the roles I was in and leading different account teams across a variety of consumer and B2B. And fast forward to, my last permanent role was head of social. And I basically went off on my second maternity leave at the very end of 2019.

Fast forward to 2020. We know what happened in 2020. And I ended up not returning to agency life essentially because I, we were in the middle of a pandemic. Two little ones at home. But more so I just, the return to full time agency life.

I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do the great job that I was doing before. I didn’t want that. And also during the pandemic, obviously so many businesses really struggled. And where I live, there was certainly a lot of businesses on the local Facebook groups, on their own social media, just saying, I don’t know how to make this shift from, but there’s a.

I’m a local retailer, bricks and mortar. Or even if they were online before, they were just really struggling with how to use social media effectively and, navigate all. So during 2020, whilst I was on maternity leave still, I made a decision to leave a full time agency life. And I initially set up as attention seeker to help local businesses get attention.

So that was my, That is still is my consultancy name. marketing is all about getting brands attention. so yeah, I get my client’s attention in a nutshell. It does, it gets people talking. It’s quite interesting when people say, I introduced myself as Fiona. And when I saw attention seeker and they go, ah, it’s a conversation starter at least.

But yeah, so I started off nearly three years ago, mostly focusing on local SMEs, which was great and helped a few local clients, that are, really helped them navigate, as I said, that way from what it was before and the proliferation of the way people use social media in that time, which is fantastic.

But now I’ve come, I do a mix of local SMAs, but I still go back to my sort of agency routes as well. So it’s really lovely at the moment. I work with both in house marketing teams and, different brands of all shapes and sizes, UK, BTB set, local ones, and still work with agencies as a consultant as well.

So whether that’s with their clients or Their own, processes and building their own teams out, new business development, etc. still keeping a bit in my old agency life, but helping local businesses and, in house marketing teams as well. Is there anything you miss about agency life? I think, yeah, you’ve got to be a certain specimen, I think, to be in agency life.

And I think, that buzz is, it’s a killer sometimes, but it’s also fantastic. Just being around so many different personalities. And I think that support as well, what I love is, and it’s certainly, one of the agencies, all the agencies I’ve worked at have been fantastic, but certainly there were some, An agency where there was all digital SEO, PPC, content creation, paid social, PR, digital PR.

And everybody was an expert in something. So if you weren’t sure and just leaning on other people for that advice and just the continuous learning. Whereas, the onus is on me now and I love that. I’ve always loved learning and I’m always up to date with different newsletters and podcasts. And, keeping on top of new things to make sure that I, even though I’m a social media consultant, I keep abreast of all aspects of marketing and what’s important, as well.

But I think, the onus as a consultant is to build up your own network of people that you rely on as that kind of audience. Sound boards or asking questions and, and that, but yeah, and Friday drinks as well. I miss that. Very much Absolutely. Just Friday, surely. yeah, sometimes I’m on D. Yeah, but no, totally take on board your point about, keeping your network, as an independent freelancer.

Because, I try and do that. I’m a member of, a group for freelancers called the Digital Marketing Union. And it’s, brilliant for just picking up on new ideas. If you need some skills that you just don’t have, or you just need some additional capacity, you can find really great people on there.

Yeah, exactly. It’s also a great place I’ve found if we’ve all had bad days, or where a client has done something really frustrating. Yeah. Yeah. Just sanity check. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. even there’s a local Facebook, not a local Facebook group, a Facebook group with Matt’s in the bar, who is for me, just one of the best social media gurus out there.

And, chase years ago, he started a Facebook group and it’s grown massively again. post pandemic. So I was there in my last agency role because it was such a great, it was mostly in house marketeers, like social media marketeers, agencies, just checking things, even if it was technical, the amount of technical things that meta throws at you when you’re setting up business pages and ads and things.

And so it initially started for me as that, but now, yeah, it is that case of sanity checking some things with maybe client situations or. technical problems as well. And yeah, so it’s good to have an online and offline network. I find it interesting as well. You mentioned that some of your clients are also agencies as well.

and that’s been my experience. I’ve provided some support to agencies. I know a lot of other agencies do rely on external support from freelancers that they can tap up whenever they need it. And I suppose in principle, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but of course, from the client’s perspective, they’re paying a premium for a service.

on top of what they could have got if they’d just gone direct to the first place. Yeah, absolutely. at the moment I’m almost, I’ve stepped in to pretty much lead, a project in lieu of one of the team members not being there now and I’m there as Fiona at attention hyphen secret. com, but I’m on behalf of the agency and you just roll with it.

But yeah, it is, it’s, there’s a couple of agency clients I’ve got where they know that I’m the freelancer. I’m a attention seeker. I’m part of the agency in that project. It falls through between the two. Yeah. Yeah. It’s part of the game, hey? Exactly. It’s enjoyable. Thank you for that introduction. Really the theme for the episode is around how you go about auditing your social media activity.

And then using that to form your strategy. Speaking personally, I’ve never conducted an audit for social media. I wouldn’t even know where to start. Walk me through the steps, please. Yeah, of course, yeah, absolutely. the size of the audit, of course, depends on the brand, the client, how many social media profiles they’re on, where they want to be, etc.

How, present they’ve been on social media, have they set up a Facebook page back in 2010 and nobody knows who owns it anymore and it’s all set up properly all the way through to, your, huge global EMEA brands that have multiple platforms or just a local business. The size of the audit will completely vary, but it’s such a great exercise to do.

if. For any brand of any size that’s on social media and has been present for at least a year, it’s a good time to, you should be checking in on essentially what’s working and what’s not working, and where, you want to, where you want to be. But the process I start off with, there’s a few different steps and a few layers to an audit.

But the first step for me is, almost quite basic, but really important. It’s a channel hygiene or channel housekeeping, set up. So it’s a case of looking at all of the social media profiles that the brand is present on. if they have multiple profiles on the same platform, so multi, like a, UK Instagram, a France Instagram, or if they’re on just, four or five different platforms.

Where are all the platforms? Are they all consistent? Have they got the same handle? Have they got the same profile description? Is it the same brand logo? The same banner? And things that, a lot of marketing teams and agencies, obviously you focus on the day to day posts and the content strategy.

But if you think of, and the profiles sometimes get left behind a little bit or not updated and sometimes on Instagram especially, people just pop Instagram story highlights in there and they’re like three years old and just having a really good first step as to, bit of housekeeping and does everything look the same?

Is it from the same tone of voice? Is it saying the same thing? Do your links work? Do they go off to the right landing pages on the website that you want it to? is the contact information up to date? Like all your essentials, like your social media profile, like your shop window, if just because You know what the brand should say and what you offer, whether it’s a product or a service.

If you think about it from a completely new, your target audience’s point of view, and somebody who’s never discovered your brand before, or maybe doesn’t know too much about it, and they discover you on whichever social media platform they go to your profile, does it say the things that it should say?

Does it entice them into your shop window, to explore more and find out more about you? Or is it a nice user journey? so if they find you on TikTok or Instagram, is it nice and easy for them to go off to, to buy a product or to find out more about your services? number one for me is, that sort of channel hygiene housekeeping step and just getting all your ducks in a row, and making sure that everything’s all nice and consistent.

And a nice easy user journey and vice versa with your website as well. Have you got the right social media icons on the website, are they in the head where the footer, are they hidden away somewhere that they should be at the head where the footage and it should just be one really nice journey and you know your social media platform should fit, should fit into a wider marketing, marketing strategy.

So that’s, step number one And then we look at the performance of each channel as well. So say there are on multiple platforms, I tend to use good old spreadsheets and get, I’d look at a channel hygiene or a housekeeping spreadsheet that says, LinkedIn, profile handle, how many followers are there at the moment, average reach, what’s the total reach in the period of the audit that we’re looking at, which tends to be a year, sometimes six months, but we tend to look at a year’s worth of data.

Yeah. For any social media audit. so yeah, all of the sort of key data’s average engagement rates and things. So look at all the channel performance and then just look at, say as a multiple platform social media audit, you can really get a good gauge at that point of what platforms are working really well.

and then you can look at, taking X or Twitter into account, for example, who knows what that platform is going to be in a year. say if you compare, if they were quite active on Twitter or X, whatever you want to call it, say they were really active on there a year ago.

Right now, at the moment, probably take a guess that your reach and engagement on that platform is probably not what it used to be. And so do you want to then look at a new platform at that stage, a new channel threads is they want to try and attract the audience at the moment. So it’s, a case of looking at, are you in the right, how are your channels working for you?

there’s no point in being on every single platform if that’s not where your target audience is. And by looking at the performance of every channel that, that brand is on. Then you can decide on, you can get a really good idea of what’s working and what’s not working, which is the point of the audit.

And then you can start to look at further down in the audit, which is more about the audience and your target audience. Where should you be? if, a particular platform was part of your social media strategy, if you already had a social media strategy at that point, is it time to start to maybe?

Wind that platform down and put resource into another platform that you want to test or it seems to be doing better for you Or you maybe want to down weight Resources that were going into a platform and up weight another platform for example So yeah, but if that’s yeah first two steps channel hygiene housekeeping channel performance Just get a really good lie of the land is the first step Couple of steps and to take an audit.

I’ve got a question for you because something I’ve always struggled to wrap my head around Yeah, we’ve been conducting an audit or thinking about an audit. It’s actually the starting off with the audits putting the cart before the horse because and I Suppose depending on the business the social media channels might serve different kind of purposes.

I could well assume that for a FMCG brand There will be some social media activity that directly and you can attribute it directly to that generated some sales because people click through and whatever they bought a pair of shoes. There will be other that maybe B2B brands or something that’s maybe more considered where it’s probably unlikely that you can tie back a single bit of social media activity to any commercial outcome.

But it’s still valuable for building awareness, building brand affinity, whatever it is. But how do you approach it? Yeah, absolutely. that’s the important part about having a social media strategy and those objectives and understanding your typical marketing funnel that every single piece of content, every single post should do a job, whether it’s that top line awareness pace and tapping into getting the attention of the audience.

the target audience through to engaging them and that community building element of it and having conversations on post, making it shareable. And, that’s the kind of metrics that you want to be looking at. when we talk about average engagement rates and how channel performance is the most important thing is it’s great to have likes on a post, but what you really, want to be having is, comments.

to your BTB point, for example, on even LinkedIn or any platforms, I say LinkedIn, but any platform and you can on the surface of it have a 34 percent average engagement rate, but actually say that was a promotional post then and all of the internal team were liking that post and that post’s engagement rate on the surface at 34 percent was fantastic, but actually it was liked by the internal team.

So actually what you want to be looking at is. There’s other types of posts that have had a great engagement, but from a comment’s perspective, shares is really interesting at the moment as well, because there’s definitely an increase in what we call dark social, and this term’s been around for years and years but it’s really, I think, prominent at the moment.

People are so hyper aware, I think, of being social, but there’s certain content that we all share, whether it’s in a WhatsApp group, in a private DM, or. an email, slack, etc. And from a social media marketer perspective, you can’t see where that post went, you should have UTM tracking parameters on it, etc.

If it is an important campaign, but, essentially it is really hard to track certain behaviors and purchase points, but it all builds towards the bigger picture. So as long as you’re Reaching the right people and reaching new people, you’re getting that kind of quality engagement, the comments, the shares.

Then that just harks back that people are aware of the brand, they’re engaging with it, and then you can add on layers at the bottom of, your typical marketing funnel of going, okay, what’s the conversion stuff like? What do we really need to be tracking, and is it all set up properly from a Google Analytics perspective and all of that really important stuff.

and lead generation conversions, et cetera. But I think the biggest thing with social is much better these days. I remember 10 years ago having conversations about just community engagement and all like that kind of stuff. And clients saying, yes, but where’s the sales? And it’s that’s it all builds towards.

It’s really important and social media. This is what I love about It’s that one to one connection with your customer, you know If you literally have your customer right in front of you on their phone most likely and you’re talking to them and you’re having a conversation with them or You’re engaging them in some way and whether they’re ready to purchase or not at that point You’ve got inside their minds and they you want it’s that opportunity to build up and to get social.

I had an old boss who used to phrase it in the way that, what particular advert made you buy that car? Yeah. And the truth is, it’s none of them and all of them. It’s the sum total of everything you’ve seen in your lifetime that made you choose that particular brand and make a car. Yeah. I’m really pleased you mentioned dark social because it’s a thing that I have struggled with, to, with my attribution, measurement, and I know a lot of my clients do as well.

there’s a guy that I listened to a lot of his, content on podcast guy called Chris Walker. his, background is, marketing business consultant. and he’s a huge advocate for just asking at the point of conversion. How did you hear about us? And it always being a free text field.

Cause if you start providing a pick list, people just randomly click. You’re guiding the conversation. and I’ve implemented that for a couple of clients and it’s been really eye opening to just see, particularly when you compare it against say HubSpot’s data. Because HubSpot can only track so much and basically HubSpot will say everything’s come through the website.

In a way it’s true, everything has come through the website, but it’s exactly the same as 20, 30 years ago. Everything would have come through the telephone. The telephone’s not generating any demand, it’s just the medium that you’ll receive in that inquiry in the first place. And some of the insights have been absolutely fascinating.

Stuff that we would never have, never even have known about existing. And a really deep insight. They’re what’s driving more of the conversation more inquiries that had we not asked that question We would probably have gone. Oh, that didn’t work. Let’s stop that and put the money into Google Ads or something Exactly.

Yeah, exactly and even word of mouth as well So I’ve got a couple of my agency clients where I’m helping them with their own Social media as well, because typically I think in any industry, but it’s typically as marketers, our own marketing is tense. So all the agencies I’ve been at, gosh, we have to do our own social media and me as a consultant.

Please don’t look at mine as social media, that’s terrible. But, a couple of the agencies I’m working with to help them with their, to practice what they preach, they’ve then said that they’ve been at networking events and said, oh, I saw this LinkedIn, and people are watching, every single post matters just because somebody’s not converted or got in touch with you at that particular point.

When they’re ready, you’re on their minds and obviously the way that the algorithms work as well is that if somebody has spent a bit of time on a post or they’ve engaged with it in some sort of way, the next post will be shown to them in their feed, etc. So it’s all, it all is, so important. I always say to my clients, don’t be disheartened if you don’t get that immediate sale, if you don’t get that immediate engagement rate, it all builds up and it’s all important.

And, Yeah, I think that when you look at a social media audit, it’s identifying what is doing that and what, and keeping in mind that awareness, engagement, conversion, journey, and yeah, even just the sort of housekeeping element of it, just making that as easy and simple as possible, for your ideal customers or clients.

And that’s where an audit is really important, identifying What attributes to eat each stage of that user journey? Yeah. Yeah. And, what, one of the things I’ve discovered certainly for one of my clients, when asking that attribution question on the website inquiry form is the importance for that particular client of one of their employees, in fact, it’s one of the founders, their social media presence, not just the brand social media presence.

So as part of an audit, might you also include a, Key employees, key people audit as well. Definitely. Yeah, it’s really, important. And I think LinkedIn really stands out as the prominent platform for that. there’s been much more talk and mention about personal branding in the last couple of years.

and I think more and more people are starting to understand that you do personally have to have, especially if you’re in the leadership team, of any business, that their social media has to be supportive of. What’s happening with the company, sharing, and it comes down to obviously if thought leadership is a key objective as well.

Again, it’s a buzzword, thought leadership, I think, but being able to talk, with an opinion about your, your industry, your client’s industry. things like the spring budget last week, having an, if there was something relevant to your industry, to your clients about that. Whilst the company.

If it’s relevant, it should be sharing guidance and advice or something, some sort of value ads, taking that as an example, the leadership team, the CEO, the MD, whoever, anybody at any level, actually, new graduates coming in, it all builds up to that brand’s reputation, essentially, and casting that net a little bit wider.

So definitely when we’re doing audits, obviously you start with the brand’s page, but then we look at. the employees and the team as well. So it doesn’t even mention that they work for the brand, it’s just a really simple things like that. But, what I tend to do as well is give a little bit of a sort of cheat sheet or a toolkit for, the employees as well to say, the, it’s their personal profile, so you can’t tell them what to say, but a bit of guidance on how to optimize their profiles.

basically so that it’s really clear again, what they do, who they do it for. how they do it, if there’s any links that they can add to their website, to their, profiles, then just do that. and also a bit of guidance on, again, any, sort of social media profile that they’re on, but predominantly LinkedIn as well, like how to use that and just that if they can, not just share a post or like a post from the company, but to share it with their own opinion as well, that’s the most important thing.

and just set some guidelines for employees to help. with that as well. So it is, definitely really important and it is almost like going back to my PR days as well, where, we’d have interviews with the CEOs and the MDs directors, et cetera, because it’s that sort of err media covers and that thought leadership.

And it’s no different when it comes to social media. It’s really important. Are, any of the metrics that you might be measuring, when looking at a person, a private social media profile, different to how you’d be analyzing a corporate profile? You get a little bit, you can’t go into a personal profile to see reach and engagement and things.

So it’s, they, if they have, for example, a creator mode turned on, on their profiles, then they should be able to see reach. And there’s, with LinkedIn, again, particularly, there’s a few tools that they can use to measure, They’re, clipped, essentially, and they can look at reach and engagement and, things like that, but it’s harder to say, Oh, we’ve, you’re getting a great engagement.

It’s more sort of surface level, and that’s where audits can sometimes be quite manual, where you’ll go through personal profiles or, competitor profiles, as well, if you don’t have access to, third party social media tools. But, yeah, the, metrics we don’t tend, unless it’s a, a CEO and it’s a really big campaign where we’re doing thought leadership, we don’t tend to set personal KPIs for personal profiles, but, and likewise as well, we’re not going to pull up an employee and say, you’ve not shared anybody’s posts, it’s their personal profiles.

They’ve got to do what they’re comfortable with. But what we can do is just say, equip them with as much. as we possibly can to make them feel comfortable and happy to engage on social on behalf of the company. I think providing that security and building a culture where people feel empowered to do that and know the guidelines comfortably enough that they can feel secure that they’re not going to be standing out of line and getting in trouble for doing so is so important because otherwise it is just so easy just to go yeah I like it that’s job done but it’s not really adding anything to the conversation.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. you mentioned, maybe looking at competitive profiles as well. Is there anything that you’d be trying to analyze among your competitors? Inspiration almost, it’s obviously you want to do a direct comparison, so there’s some social media tools you can use with an audit and if you have access to the likes of Sprout or Agorapulse, which are brilliant tools and ones that I’d recommend, but they’re not particularly cheap, so you know, you can only do what you’ve got, so sometimes some brands only have native analytics and they don’t necessarily allow you to track competitors, so if you don’t have access to a tool, that we use for social media auditing and reporting and listening, etc.

Then your native analytics won’t show you things like reach and engagement and post performance, for competitors, but you can still be tracking them. And that’s where month reports should come in as well, where we can look back at, what were our competitors doing this month? What do we think they were doing really well on the surface of it?

Has something got comments, shares, these things you can see. From an external perspective without any, any other tracking tools, any tracking tools in place. But, yeah, competitors is definitely really important. Number one is a direct competitor in anything. any analysis, track up to three direct competitors, if possible.

And get an idea of what’s working for them. Or what’s not working for them because that should then inform your social media strategy, but I think it’s the competitor part of an audit as well. I also look at non direct competitors, sometimes brands that are completely not even in the same industry.

But for example, if there is, an FMCG brand. and their commerce features are not set up properly or they could be doing better to make it easier for people to go and find out more to buy their products. Then I can go and look at a fashion retailer, for example, that is doing really well and say this, is fantastic.

this is a brand that’s got their commerce and all their shopping features set up perfectly. And even though they’re not a direct competitor and they’re not even in the same industry. It’s a really good example of how we should be approaching that, or things like community engagement, if there’s a brand that’s lacking in getting comments and things, having a example of a great brand of any size, any industry that’s, that does really good at that and is a bit of inspiration, obviously still relevant to the brand that we’re auditing, but, I think it’s really good as well to the, inspiration.

When you look at the audit and you can see the areas that are lacking, whichever they might be, whether you’re not reaching, engaging, converting, then you can go and look at, okay, what are your competitors doing? How are they doing it? What’s doing really well that we should take on board and learn from, and also what other brands In the world or that are, doing really well that we should take inspiration from.

And obviously not to carbon copy, nothing like that whatsoever. But it’s just really, there’s so many different social media platforms, features that you can use. And sometimes it’s looking at what is working really well for other brands that we should take on boards to keep improving. ’cause that is the purpose of the audit is to improve and evolve.

Yeah, great. Thank you. And when you talk about, what are other brands doing really well, that maybe we can replicate for, our own brand? Yeah. Are there, things that you’ve noticed that brands are doing brilliantly that’s helping them really stand out? Or maybe the opposite of what, in your experience, are a lot of brands getting wrong with their socials?

Yeah, do you know what? I think, for me, the number one thing with social is you have to, Listen and show that it’s that social element of it. It’s so simple because it’s social media and but a lot of brands Don’t do that. They use it as a broadcast platform rather than a conversation platform and you have to listen to what your audience are interested in or talking about at that moment and be part of that and I think there’s still so many brands where you see them putting out fantastic content or maybe they’re maybe even using influencers and content creators to create that content and then their community are talking amongst themselves and asking things like oh I, can’t find this available anywhere where can I find it and somebody else has answered that question for them and I, see that continually where I’m like, it’s, difficult and obviously, again, it depends on the brand and the size of resources available.

It isn’t, social media is a multi spectrum job. There’s so many different layers to it, and it, the community engagement, it can be time consuming depending on how much you’re putting out there and how many platforms you’re on. But even at a very basic level of having guiding, guidelines in place of community management and saying, we’re going to check in on our platforms.

At 10:00 AM 4:00 PM and we’ll have a roster, of people who can do that. And that’s just really important to have that. And obviously some brands are lucky enough to have a full dedicated customer service team, being Scottish and potentially a little bit biased. But, there’s a fantastic brand on Twitter, it’s Scott Trail, so there’s the train service in Scotland.

Their customer service is. Fantastic. And they tap into trends and things that people are talking about. And there’s, they’ve got a really good brand voice and it’s funny as well. You wouldn’t expect a train company to be funny, but actually if you go on to the ScotRail platforms, even just their, and they sign it off with their individual names.

So there’s a human behind the tweet to the response. So people know that it’s. I don’t, Adam responding etc. And there’s a person there and that’s so important to, you have your brand and your tone of voice and you have a guidelines. Are you funny? Are you serious? These kind of things are really important to have.

But just showing that there’s a human there listening, responding to questions like, where can I find this in stock? Or can you do this in a different colour? Whether or not the brand actually takes that on board and they can do it. attribute that and say okay actually we can make this a different color because there’s enough of you asking for it.

Or McDonald’s is a company I keep referring to lately just because in January I think it was they relaunched their breakfast wrap. I had no idea about this but then I loved it. They, in all their TV advertising and their display they said we had wherever it was like 24, 000 DMs about the breakfast wrap and they caught me, the They quantified how much social media comments and messages they’d had about this breakfast wrap.

And they said, it’s that kind of you asked, we listened type thing. On any level, whether it’s just simply responding to questions, are you open or is it available? Just that kind of really community management. It’s just responding to what’s the comments that are there or whether taking that through and listening and informing NPD, wider marketing strategies.

It’s, I think some brands are doing that fantastically. And for me, they really stand out because it shows that they’re using social media properly and keep that human element. They’re not just using it as a broadcast. Channel. so closing the name, isn’t it Social media. Yeah. . You should be, it should be two way.

Yeah, exactly. It has to be, and that’s, the great thing. and yeah, I think you can have conversations on your posts and have that, rapport with your customers and clients there that. That’s fantastic and whether or not that leads to a sale or conversion at the end, of course it will.

It might lead to a verge of a recommendation. You never know what that’s going to do, but you’ve got that person’s attention, you’ve got that engagement. So yeah, it’s important and often under, undervalued, I think. Yeah. I’m going to start bringing this to a close before I let you go, just a one final question on the audits.

How frequently would you recommend a brand conducts a social media audit? Yeah, I think annually is a good, set. obviously if you are a huge global brand, Nike, Coca Cola’s of the world, then you’re potentially looking at bi annually, because there will be so much and social media moves so fast.

So many different new features. we’re in March now and. Things have changed so drastically just in the last couple of months even. but, generally, annual, look at it would be the most, the very bare minimum once a year. and that can, be at any time. Obviously, if you’re doing your planning for the following year, or the following financial year or if you are just finally in a place ready to say we’ve been on social media for a little while and actually what’s working, what’s not.

certainly I’ve taken a look at the previous year’s data and performance and insights is the good place to start. Yeah. Great. Thank you. something I’m asking every guest is for a book recommendation that they feel everyone in marketing should read. Yeah, I love Dave Trott, even, read all of his books, but the one that he published I think 10 years ago, Predatory Thinking, so I still refer back to it, because it’s just full of short stories, but every single one just makes you think a little bit differently.

It’s about challenges, and it’s just putting your mind in a different place, and sometimes, especially at the moment, obviously I mostly work from home or with clients, and it, and Especially, I wake up at 5, 6am, get some work done, take the kids to school, job done, go get the kids in school. A little anecdote, a little short story now and again, which really helps on a bit, it’s inspirational.

And it’s just especially if you’re having a bit of a challenge with a pitch or a brief or, a new strategy, I find it really helpful to look at. It’s a lot of different ways to do challenges, but Dave Trott is, for me, just gold for anybody in marketing has to read, even just follow him on Twitter or his blog, brilliant, really, good.

I totally agree. I’ve read, I think I’ve read all of his books. They are all thoroughly enjoyable, like you said, an easy read because you can just pick it up, read one or two chapters in the space of a few minutes, but they’re always thought provoking. They’re always interesting. Takes you out of. Just your, mindset for that moment causes you to think about something slightly different and same for the content he puts out on Twitter and on his blog as well, so totally second that recommendation.

Yeah. Fiona, thank you so much for your time. You’ve been a wonderful guest and thank you for sharing all your social media experience around auditing. how can people connect with you after the show? Yeah, so I, my website is attention-seeker. com and there you’ll find, I am on all of the social media profiles.

I hope so. but as I said earlier, I don’t, I do it all for my clients, so their social media and marketing is fantastic, mine’s could be better, but I am active on all the social media platforms, and if you want to find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, threads, you’ll find me on attention secret.

com. Yep. Brilliant. I’ll include the links in the show notes. Fiona, thank you so much. Great to meet you. very much. Thank you.