How To Protect Your Brand on Social Media
In the wake of many negative headlines putting Facebook at the heart of distrust and controversy, how can you protect your brand on social media?
It’s no secret that social media continues to be a powerful tool for all businesses – regardless of size or industry. Active and strategic social media management is great for brand awareness, thought leadership and engaging with prospects, as well as building relationships with your loyal customer base.
Unfortunately though, social media is not risk free. Over the past two years, the number of social media scams have more than doubled, as the world is spending more and more time online.
Just weeks after the Cambridge Analytical scandal, Martin Lewis, founder of consumer help site MoneySavingExpert, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Facebook, after his image and name were used on false adverts. Though he is seeking exemplary damages, Lewis has stated that his aim is not necessarily to win the case, but to push Facebook to change its ad policies.
However, not all social media infringements require legal action. In 2008, two Coca-Cola fans created a Facebook page for their favourite soft drink. Over 3 million likes later, Coca-Cola proposed that the fans maintain ownership of the page, but allow Coca-Cola’s social media team access. The now official Coca-Cola Facebook page has over 107 million followers.
If you have concerns about how to protect your brand on social media, here are Generate UK’s top tips:
Not only is staying active on social media platforms good for brand awareness and personality, regularly logging in to your accounts will allow you to keep a far better eye on things. Additionally, should a breach occur, you will be alerted to it earlier – by either staff or a follower – so that it can be quickly resolved and controlled.
Evaluate which channels add value to your business, if you have any inactive accounts, deactivate these. This will also give your business a consistent voice and presence across your remaining channels.
Avoid Hashtag Hijacking
Hashtags are a great way to extend your reach, generate more impressions and be a part of hot topics or current events. However, when creating your own campaign hashtag, for a competition, Q&A or otherwise, think very carefully – choose something snappy, but specific, or you could find your campaign nosedives into brand-damaging, playground humour, like #WaitroseReasons or #McDStories.
I shop at Waitrose because I once heard a 6yr old boy in the shop say "Daddy does Lego have a 't' at the end, like Merlot?" #WaitroseReasons
— Jo (@Laquet) September 22, 2012
These #McDStories never get old, kinda like a box of McDonald's 10 piece Chicken McNuggets left in the sun for a week.
— Nicholas Taylor (@Starchas3r_) January 23, 2012
Incorporate Social Listening to your Social Media Strategy
Social listening is an incredibly important part of a strong social media strategy. Your business can utilise tools, like Hootsuite, to identify trending topics in your industry and monitor tweets that include your brand name – even if the user hasn’t tagged your Twitter handle. Not only can this help you create content that your users are interested in, it makes it even easier to interact with customer and prospects. Use social listening to protect your band’s reputation by responding to any complaints or negativity ASAP. Even if the issue needs looking into or will take some time, it is vital that you acknowledge any dissatisfaction with your brand swiftly. Apologise and ask the user to take the discussion onto direct message, this way, any issues can be discussed and resolved privately.
Minimise the Risk of Human Error
If your social media management strategy follows best practise and meets all of the necessary security measures, all your business needs to do is minimise the risk of human error with throughout social media training, policies and protocols.
Alongside a well though-out strategy, you company’s social media policy should clearly outline dos, don’ts and roles and responsibilities for your brand’s social media accounts. Additionally, all relevant employees should be receive comprehensive social media training and be made fully aware of processes and protocols in place. This ensures that – should your brand receive complaints or negative comments on social media, or even a social media breach – you have a team of well-informed employees to follow the processes in place. This means that the right members of your team are collectively held accountable for protecting your business’ reputation on social media.
Ensure Your Passwords are Strong and Protected
Lastly – we know we are really stating the obvious here – but ensure you have a set of strong passwords for your social media accounts. If your password is ‘BrandName123’ or ‘Facebook1’, you may be at much higher risk of someone accessing your company accounts and posing as your brand.
Use a complex password with at least 8 characters, containing a mix of upper case, lower case, numbers and special characters. For maximum security, ensure that you change your password an at least a yearly basis. We understand that this can be somewhat confusing, but using a password management software will make it far easier to keep all of your updated log in details secure.
Social media is invaluable to all businesses, but it is not without its risks. If you to suspect a security breach, report anything suspicious to the relevant platform.
We hope our advice has put your mind at rest about how to protect your brand on social media, but if you would like to find out more about our social media management services, contact our team today.