Social media has unique advantages and disadvantages for your brand. While you can benefit from the huge opportunity it offers, your brand can also be at risk with the potential threats that social media poses. It is so important to understand how to protect your brand on social media.
When you are on social media, you are not in a position to control your brand image and sometimes open yourself up to unsolicited exposure. Anytime we interact with others using the face of our brand we must be aware of the risks we expose ourselves to and how to mitigate these risks and protect our brand on social media.
Whether you like it or not, social media is impossible to ignore for your business. No matter whether you are selling a product or a service, social media plays a crucial role in the success of your business online. The good side of social media is that it enhances your opportunity to build your brand image more than damage it if you take safety measures to protect your brand image online.
Here are some potential threats your brand could be exposed to online:
- Rogue Employees
- Disgruntled Ex-Employees
- Malicious Competitors
- Misunderstood or Ill-Advised Advertising
- Technical Threats, Like a Hack
- Information Dissemination
All of the above-listed threats are real to life, and potential threats to a brand at any time. It is crucial that you have clear guidelines and ways to protect your brand on social media should you be exposed to an internal or external threat.
Let’s take a look at the 6 Surefire Ways to Protect Your Brand on Social Media:
How to Protect Your Brand on Social Media
1. Create a Social Media Policy
More often than not it is better to follow a process and have a set of guidelines when committing to a project. The same rule applies to social media marketing too. Be sure that you have a clear social media policy that lays out the guidelines and etiquette your employees and brand managers should abide by on social media.
The social media policy can help protect you from hateful behavior from “trolls” or others online, and it also gives your employees actionable advice on how to handle such circumstances. The policy should have a set of rules that work as guidelines for the employees to follow surrounding their use of not only company social media, but also their personal social media accounts.
Here are some potential rules that you should include in your social media marketing policy:
- Employees must understand the culture and mission of the company.
- Employees should be made aware of the brand guidelines and industry best practices.
- Make employees aware of the roles and responsibilities they have on social media.
- Be sure that the employees understand security guidelines and processes.
- Any industry regulations relating to social media.
- Related laws, if any.
- Examples of how to handle specific situations on social media.
2. Train Your Employees
Once the social media policy is created, reviewed, critiqued, and implemented, train employees on the policy and how to apply it. The employees should be made aware of the set of rules that they will have to follow, and the plan should be readily available either through the company intranet or even printed and posted in the office or at employee desks.
The policy does not necessarily have to be a legal tool, but it should be a set of processes that every employee should follow while they are on social media, even if they are representing themselves. Areas to train your employees on might be how to use social media, what is our company's social media policy, the risk factors associated with social media, and how to avoid damaging social media situations are some of the topics employees should understand.
3. Protect with Strong Passwords
Weak passwords are the most typical source of a hack or breach. Make sure that you create complex passwords for your social media that cannot be guessed by people and hackers. Passwords protect your brand accounts from getting compromised. We have seen multiple instances in which a client's hosting account gets compromised, and the password ends up being Password123.
Hackers are becoming stronger and quicker, so be sure that your accounts and your employees' accounts use standard password protection. If someone gets a hold of your password, they might harm your brand by impersonating you or even sending harmful content from the social media account that can damage your image. Create multi-layered passwords that are not similar to your brand name and include things like numbers, symbols, and a combination of lower and uppercase letters.
You can also add two-step authentication to accounts, which will add an extra layer of security to ensure that only verified users are on the account. Only share the password with users that are allowed on the accounts and keep the account usage limited to more accountable employees. Also, be sure to avoid multiple login options.
4. Approval of Social Posts is a Must
Someone from your team must approve social media posts for every channel that you use for your brand. You could also have individuals take ownership of different channels depending on your structure. Either way, it is essential that all the channels follow your brand image and speak in the tone of your brand.
Nothing should go out from your social media channels without the approval of the channel owner or someone that is given editor/approval status on the account. Follow the approval process strictly. There should be no exceptions. You could also use a multiple approval system that sends the post through numerous reviews and sets of eyeballs.
5. Do Not Disclose Your Hashtags
There have been instances in which a brand's hashtag is leaked or promoted before the campaign starts. Leaked hashtags are also called hashtag hijackings, which can damage your brand image. Keep your hashtags protected so that they do not get disclosed before a campaign begins.
The hashtags might end up in a place where they can be distorted and used against you at your own expense to damage your brand popularity or brand campaign. Create hashtags with a plan in place for promotion and distribution.
6. Regular Monitoring
It is essential to monitor your social media activities on a daily, or even hourly, basis. Monitoring can help you improve your processes and provide your customers with a more pleasurable social media experience that helps you to trend on social media. You will be able to engage your customers in a better and much-improved manner.
By using the steps mentioned above, you should be able to put an excellent social media marketing plan and policy in place. Always remember that technology changes quickly, so you must be ready to change as well. Gauge the buy-in of your employees, and make sure that they understand the importance of these steps and you will be able to protect your brand on social media.
Thanks for checking out 6 Surefire Ways to Protect Your Brand on Social Media.
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.