If you’ve been following us for any length of time, you’ve probably heard us preach about the importance of building your brand’s presence on social media once or twice [a day], but it’d be remiss of us not to dive into the importance of also protecting your brand and how to protect your brand on social media.
Let’s dive right into these 5 tips on how to protect your brand on social media.
Tip 1: Have a Social Media Policy
Regardless of how small or large your business is, it’s never too early to have a social media policy in place. A well-crafted social media policy can help defend against security and legal risks, empower your staff to advocate for your business [without putting your reputation at risk] and ultimately help protect your brand. Here are a few things that your social media policy could include:
- Roles and responsibilities
- Security protocols
- A plan of action for a security or PR crisis [even if it’s just a point of escalation]
- Guidance for employees’ personal social media accounts
- Employee advocacy guidelines
Tip 2: Sort out your access
Speaking of getting your foundations in place and how to protect your brand on social media, one thing that surprisingly gets missed is account access and keeping those accounts locked up tight! In a survey by Statista, 22% of internet users in the US said their online accounts had been hacked at least once, while 14% reported they were hacked more than once [and that’s not even talking about all of the recent data breaches here in Australia 😅].
With that in mind, here our top tips on securing your accounts:
- Outline who owns the social accounts and keep a record of who has access to each social media account. Have a process in place to remove access for employees who leave the organisation.
- Ensure that each person who does have access has two-factor authentication switched on for that extra leve of security. Take it a step further and ensure your email [if one is attached to the account] is also secure and has two-factor authentication switched on.
- Ensure that there are enough people who do have access to your accounts. This is one that we couldn’t stress enough and we’ve seen too many businesses lose access to their social media accounts this way – if there’s only one person with access and they happen to go on leave, leave the organisation, get locked out, then you’re stuck relying on the platform’s support team to hopefully resolve the issue.
- I’m also hoping this one goes without saying, but just in case it’s not, keep your passwords safe. Use different passwords for different platforms and look at using a tool such as ‘How Secure is my Password’ for a final check.
- Revoke access to suspicious third-party apps like dating services, games and photo editing tools.
Tip 3: Invest in dear ol’ community management
You may be looking at this third tip on how to protect your brand on social media and be thinking that one of these is not like the other, but just go with me on this one.
A lot can happen in an internet minute – 575k tweets are sent, 66k photos and videos are shared on Instagram, 2M snapchats are sent [LocaliQ, 2022]. With so much happening in the wonderful world of the internet, it’s more important than ever to have someone [or multiple someones depending on the size of your brand/business] keeping an eye on what people are saying – enter the legendary community manager.
If you are looking at bringing in a community manager or outsourcing to one [or if you already have, go you!], here are a few things to keep in mind to make their lives a li’l easier:
- Build out a response register and be sure to include general processes [i.e. who to escalate to], FAQs and responses, words to use and words to avoid. It’s also really important to include information on how to handle feedback and complaints.
- Depending on the size of your business, this may also look like investing in social media listening tools to help monitor for any mentions of your brand.
- Make sure your community manager (or managers) are resourced adequately and able to respond to comms in a timely manner. This study found that 80% of customers expect companies to respond within 24 hours, and with half saying that they’d stop doing business with a company that doesn’t respond to a negative comment at all.
Tip 4: Invest in your content
Would this be a TDP blog without us recommending investing in your organic social media content?
But you may be asking how investing in content that is humanised, consistent, authentic and relatable is going to protect your brand on social media? By showing up authentically on any social media platform, you’re bound to build affinity with your audience and help encourage more positive responses. This affinity and trust comes in quite handy when a post or campaign doesn’t quite hit the mark – your community is less likely to respond negatively.
That being said, it doesn’t mean you should be out there playing it safe with the content you share to protect your brand and reduce the chance of a “risky” post. This can come across as inauthentic and you’ll find yourself struggling to connect with your audience as they’ll see right through it!
It’s also important to stay connected and aware of what’s happening in your industry and your wider community, both online and offline. We’ve seen one too many instances of brands being called out for being tone-deaf to trending topics or news. This could look like pressing pause on your scheduled content when an important conversation or current event is taking over social media, or finding ways for your company and employees can support social responsibility initiatives to make a positive impact.
Tip 5: Have a contingency plan
Sometimes the best way to protect on your brand on social media is to prepare for those protections to fail. How you respond to an inevitable mistake or misstep can determine how your brand recovers, so it doesn’t hurt to have these plans laid out well in advance. As with any crisis response [and we use the word crisis quite loosely here], the key is to have a detailed plan and to react quickly. Doing it right could help you turn the whole situation into something quite positive!
If you’ve got your account and access foundations sorted and are looking for more guidance on showing up authentically on social media, our social media marketing courses are here to help! Whether you’re after a bite-sized lunch and learn session or an in-depth 12 months of extended learning, we’ve got you covered. Click here to learn more.
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