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How to clean up a messy Twitter profile: full audit checklist

| Posted in category Social Management Tools Social Media Twitter

If you are a community manager, you've probably created one or several social media accounts for brands or companies from scratch.

But imagine you have a customer who asks you to audit the social media account and (or) take care of it.

So once you've got the keys to the door you need to open it and see what you are going to work with.

Why do you need to audit and clean up a Twitter account?

There are chances Twitter strategy of the brand was not very wise. Most likely it was previously done unprofessionally (and now they hired you, hooray!).

If the account was handled by social media managers, you've got to know how they've done their job.

Be prepared to find out what was done right and what was done in a bad way. Learning from people's mistakes and successes may save you a lot of time.

You need to remove possible wrong steps or correct them.

Try to to get into the history of this Twitter account to act properly if any questions from the past arise.

Note: this post is not a tutorial on how to build a good Twitter account (tips on building an account from scratch can be found in this article).

This is a list of things you need to check once you've got a new Twitter account to take care of. Going through points and answering questions will result in a full audit which can be used by you or by the company you are doing this for.

Basically, you need to run through most of the tweets/responses to make a full audit. Sure, if the account has thousands of tweets and replies, you need to analyze it by segments as you won't be able to read all the stuff that has been posted. So it may take time. Be patient!

My fav audit formula

While performing an audit build your statements using this chain:

What've been done => the situation now/the result => recommendations.


Followers were asking question about the product (links to several questions). Some of them were answered and some were not, so several followers got zero response. As a result, some of Twitter users complained of getting no response from the brand, which may have influenced your company's reputation. We recommend answering all questions that are asked on your account within 24 hours if possible.

First steps – get prepared

  • If possible, contact the person (or people) that were in charge of the Twitter account and talk to them. Ask what they've done and what their aims and goals were.
  • Get the Twitter account credentials and credentials of the services that have been used for Twitter (stats, schedulers, follower management etc.)
  • Speak to the person or people responsible for marketing of the brand (or a business owner, or anybody who can answer your questions).

Now you've got the things to start with – let's move to the actual steps of performing the audit.

Stage 1: design and look

  • Check the Twitter cover, profile pic and background. It should be branded if it's a corporate account. Logos work well for profile pics, but you can also use a picture of someone behind the account to make it more personal. No default Twitter 'eggs' and backgrounds!
  • Check how Twitter button on the source website works. To learn more about using the text for sharing on Twitter, read this article.
  • Have a look at the Twitter handle used for this account. Is it relevant? Does it need splitting into several accounts (per product or service) or taking another handle?

Stage 2: content

  • Pics. Did they use any images, pictures? Were these items relevant? Were they created by the team or just borrowed? If you find images that aren't owned by the company and they are not distributed under Creative Commons, you need to delete them. Which images caused engagement and which didn't?
  • Text. Was it engaging? Were the titles right? Which text only tweets got more resonance?
  • Hashtags. Were the hashtags used for tweeting? How were they picked and are they popular? Did they influence social signals (favorites, retweeting, replies etc)?
  • Irrelevant content. It's a complicated term to operate with, but there are things that just can't be present on certain types of accounts. For example, if it's a personal account, there's a big no-no to drunk tweets and abusive posts – they may hurt the public person's reputation. If it's a brand account, pay attention to excessive use of irrelevant quotes, useless charity tweets (remember that random tweeting about charity is not charity), random irrelevant news (official Twitter of a bakery is not supposed to tweet politics, unless you do it in a humorous or creative way to engage users).
  • Links. To get all the tweeted links from an account you can use Look which links caused more social signals and delete tweets with irrelevant ones.


  • Post type distribution. Take a time period of 1 or 2 weeks and make a chart which shows post type percentage for this account. For example: 40% links, 30% images, 25% links and hashtags, etc. If you have time you can also correlate this information with social activity for these tweets and see which content is the best for your followers.

Stage 3: lists

Were they used? Are they public or private? Are they relevant or do they need cleaning up? Can they be used for raising followers engagement? If not, a Twitter account audit may include recommendations on using this Twitter option.

Stage 4: analytics

Include reports from Google Analytics or any other analytics tools that were used for tracking performance. Sure, the first things you need to speak about are traffic and conversions, but I'm sure you'll find interesting stuff when looking through the reports.

Don't forget about checking stats and using tools like Excel Twitter tool – there are lots of them, free and paid, so you can choose the one you'd love.

Stage 5: engagement

This stage has a lot in common with the other stages. But that one will include the main conclusions and recommendations on the engagement issue. You have to point out which actions caused the most of activities on your account – and base your takeaways on the info got from other stages of auditing.

Stage 6: followers/following

Here you'll be dealing mostly with cleaning up.

  • Unfollow people if their accounts are no longer active (6 months or more)
  • Unfollow spammy or fake accounts, also empty ones
  • Unfollow mass followers (depends on your Twitter strategy) – usually these are accounts that follow people without any connection to the niche or interest in each other's tweets, they never reply or communicate and post only links/quotes to get traffic. They can be identified by enormous followers/following numbers.

A nice tool for managing your followers is It's pretty helpful in cleaning up inactive, empty accounts or mass followers, and paid options allow you to use the history of following/unfollowing people. tool is handy when checking your followers or followers of some other accounts. With the help of this service  you can see whether someone's followers were bought.

Stage 7: influencers

Did the account connect with niche influencers? Were there talks, DMs, RTs, mutual shares? If you're not familiar with the influencers in the given niche, talk to the people who were responsible for this account, investigate the articles on 'top Twitter users to follow in [topic]'. Did these professionals mention your account? Did they tweet your links on DM?

Stage 8: account connected to other services

Difficult, but worth asking for: try to get a list of services where this Twitter account was used to log in. This will prevent from creating duplicate accounts on third-party services. You can ask this from previous owners and also have a look at the Twitter applications (see below).

Stage 9: applications

Go to Settings – Apps and look at the list of applications that have access to your account. Revoke access for those which are suspicious or no longer used.

Stage 10: events

Giveaways, chats, contests? If they took place on the given Twitter account, you need to know whether they were successful. Did they help to gain new followers? Or to engage those who were with you before? Did it bring traffic, or raise customers loyalty, or cause an impressive number of shares?

If these events took place, pick the most representative one and share your thoughts on how it was held, what the results were and what must have been done differently.

Stage 11: Twitter sales/customers/support/feedback

  • Was the account used for answering support questions? Were the customers happy with it? Was the response fast enough?
  • Was the account used to acquire new customers? If yes, check whether it was successful.
  • Did users provide feedback about the products/services?


I use this list of points to review when I need to audit an account or when I begin to work with a Twitter user. It covers pretty much everything about account efficiency and could help in pointing out mistakes and bad practices in social media management.

Do you have any additional points in your mind to add to this list? Share your opinion in comments below.

Image credit: Silvia Jansen via iStockphoto

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