Six simple steps to protecting your brand on social media

It takes years to build a reputation but only moments ruin it. Learn how you can protect your brand image in the murky world of social.
18 March 2018

Every company that engages in social media marketing needs to uphold a strong and credible reputation. Source: StockSnap

While it is true that social media is a fundamental ingredient to any brands marketing strategy, it should be acknowledged that it is something that does not come without its risks. The bustling city of social media never sleeps, and so it is fundamental that your business stays on its tiptoes when managing an always-on presence.

But this should not deter you from creating a social presence for your brand. In fact, not having an active social profile can hinder your reputation even more.

Luckily, it is more than possible for your brand to have an active social media presence without falling victim to reputation-declining events. Follow our guide on how to navigate the murky waters of online brand protection.

Implement a social media policy

Creating a social media policy for your brand allows you to establish a set of processes and protocols for your brand channels to follow. It will protect your brand from malicious behavior and without a clear policy in place, your company risks being humiliated by what employees post and could even face legal issues.

A sound social media policy should outline appropriate behavior as well as rules and regulations surrounding social media use. For an effective policy, your business must consider; company culture and mission, your brand guidelines and best practices, roles and responsibilities around social, processes and security protocols, industry regulations, as well as relevant laws.

Educate your employees on social

Implementing a social media policy is all well and good, but in order for it to be successful, it needs to be something that every single employee knows about. It would be wise for your business to provide training that covers topics such as the best practices and appropriate use of social networks, the ins and outs of the company’s social media policy, how to mitigate risk, as well as the potential security risks involved with using social media.

It’s important that your employees understand the importance of brand reputation on social. Source: Shutterstock

Up your password security

Though it may sound simple, ensuring you have a strong password is often overlooked by many businesses. So, if your password to your social media accounts sounds a little like “Dog123” then immediately stop reading this article and change your password.

Having a password protection plan will make it harder for fraudsters to hack your company’s account and do some real damage. Ensure you have the following covered for all social media accounts:

Complex passwords: Your password should be between eight and 20 characters, including upper and lowercase with special characters

Two-factor login: This will ensure you will be prompted for additional verification when signing in, adding an extra layer of security

Password managers: Software such as LastPass will secure all your passwords through one central login.

Consider an approval system for social posting

With multiple employees possibly having access to the businesses social accounts, it would be wise to have a clear system in place where every post is approved before being made public. This will ensure the content posted reflects your brand.

Continually monitor social activity

Continuously monitoring your social activity is important for your brand reputation. It allows you to engage with your customers thereby building valuable relationships, address any customer support issues, and keep an eye out for any inappropriate content which may affect your brand.

Ensure you are an active prescence on social and always available to answer any customer concerns. Source: Shutterstock

There are a variety of third-party apps and integrations, such as Proofpoint and ZeroFOX, which help you to protect your accounts by automatically identifying and remediating risks.

Have a contingency plan

Even the most thought-out campaigns are not adept from the odd bump in the road. But having a social media contingency plan as part of your strategy will ensure you are able to quickly and efficiently deal with escalating issues that can cause significant damage to your brand image.

A good way to devise a plan is by first considering a set of possible negative scenarios which may arise, and then for each of these scenarios outline the brand messaging procedure, roles and responsibilities, and key points of contact.