6 ways to protect your brand from social media risk

By January 18, 2018

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In the today’s social era, social media risk should be high on your organisation’s list of priorities. Regardless of your industry, social media has not only transformed the way we communicate and engage with audiences, it has also increased the potential scale and likelihood of a any social media slip-up or crisis that could arise.

To help ensure the security of your social assets and minimise the chances of a crisis coming your way, here’s our six favourite tactics to help minimise the risks associated with your social activity and to protect your brand reputation on social.

1) Provide Individual Login Credentials

Giving employees an individual login for corporate social media accounts is an essential step to ensuring an organisation’s social media accounts remain secure. Social media management platforms like CrowdControlHQ provide this capability.

The common mistake of sharing login details between many different employees significantly increases the chances that the organisation might lose control of their accounts, or that employees are unable to access the accounts because someone has changed the details. Individual login credentials also limit the impact of having login details hacked or stolen.

Additionally, it allows a full audit trail of social media activity to be recorded for each employee. If inappropriate or sensitive information is published, the employee can be quickly identified and their social media access revoked.

2) Assign Ownership of Accounts & Activities

Allowing employees to access only the social media accounts that are relevant to them or their team is an effective way to limit the internal risk an employee presents to the organisation.

For example, a Customer Service agent is primarily responsible for replying to questions and enquiries received via social media, so has no need to publish brand new content. In this example, restricting the employee to only access customer service related accounts helps eliminate the risk that the employee could accidentally post content that has not been approved. Again, a social media platform like CrowdControlHQ provides this capability.

3) Identify & Filter Out Inappropriate Content

All the major social media networks have some type of profanity filter that can be turned on. These filters are quite simplistic, However, Facebook allows users to prevent explicit content from being posted onto a page, but Twitter users cannot prevent others from posting offensive messages.

It can be worthwhile to set up an alert system to detect whenever unsavoury content is posted onto the organisation’s social media accounts, so that the content can be immediately removed and/or responded to.

For example, it is possible to be alerted to inbound messages that contain explicit language and are linked to your organisation’s social media accounts, enabling you to take the appropriate steps to remove the content. Likewise it is possible to monitor all outbound messages published by employees for sensitive phrases and have these messages sent for internal approval before being published.

These types of automated alerts help protect an organisation from the risks of customers or employees posting content that could offend others or negatively impact the brand’s reputation.

4) Implement a Strong Social Media Policy

A strong social media policy helps all employees understand exactly what is expected of them when representing the organisation on social media. It is a powerful tool to help protect both employee and the organisation from social media risks when applied correctly. Many organisations simply create a social media policy but then do not enforce it, or fail to provide employees with the necessary training to follow it.

A good social media policy document will outline the approach and tone-of-voice all employees are required to use when engaging customers or the public on social media. If then, for example, employees from one department are frequently responding to customers in a rude manner, the policy can be used to show the employees how and where they have breached the policy – further training can then be arranged for these employees on the right way to respond.

Additionally, publishing a customer-facing policy that clearly explains what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour on the organisation’s social media channels can help provide further protection. Sometimes, it might be necessary to delete an individual customer comment that contains explicit language, and so the customer can be directed to the policy for explanation of why it was deleted.

5) Training & Best Practice Sharing

Ensuring all employees receive comprehensive social media training, and encouraging the sharing of best practices, is a vital step in mitigating social media risks.

Training should go together with an effective social media policy to help cement good social media practices. This is because many of the risks of social media that can impact an organisation are down to human error. For example, it is possible for an employee to publish information publicly on Twitter instead of sending it as a Direct Message to a customer, or for an employee to post a message onto the organisation’s Facebook page rather than their own personal Facebook page.

6) Data Security & Compliance

In addition to the common risks mentioned above, it is important to consider the security of any data held in your social media management software. Organisations operating within the European Union need to know how and where their data, and their customers’ data, is being stored. This is a result of the EU Privacy Shield legislation, which replaces the previous Safe Harbour agreement, which restricts the transfer of EU citizens’ personal information outside of the bloc.

The majority of the social media networks themselves are Privacy Shield compliant, however, not all social media tools are compliant. So there is an inherent risk associated with plugging in corporate social media accounts and recording customer social media data when using non-compliant applications.

It is important to ensure that any social media management products or tools are subject to a due diligence process to conform so that they are EU Privacy Shield compliant. Key questions to ensure that your data is protected include:

  • Who has developed / owns this technology?
  • Has this technology been penetration tested?
  • Will they be investing to keep it safe / up to date?
  • Where will data be stored and in which legal jurisdiction?
  • Do they provide a UK-based help-desk support service?

Alongside the numerous benefits of social media, you need to understand the potential security issues and risks associated with a diverse group of social media accounts and users. Download a free copy of ‘The Complete Guide to Enterprise Social Media‚Äô and learn more about the risks of social media in large and complex organisations, and how you can help to protect your organisation against them.