There is no doubt that social media has emerged as an important corporate branding tool. This ubiquitous, cost-effective tool for marketing, promotion, and communicating with customers is both advantageous and precarious. The cleverest campaigns can go viral, gaining the attention of broadcast media and drawing widespread attention to your brand. However, equal levels of negative attention, and potentially legal action, is directed at a brand when social media goes wrong.
McDonalds was caught in a precarious situation recently when its Twitter account was hacked and they were left apologizing and cleaning up the mess. The tweet read “@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.” McDonalds responded by posting a statement “Based on our investigation, we have determined that our Twitter account was hacked by an external source. We took swift action to secure it, and we apologize this tweet was sent through our corporate McDonald’s account.”
Compromised social media accounts are not the only risks to consider. Posts created by authorized account users can also pose a threat to a company’s brand. So, what are some steps you can take to mitigate risk? MessageWatcher suggests three important measures.
- Monitor your Social Media Accounts
The MessageWatcher solution allows you to define key words to search in your company’s social media accounts. You will be alerted immediately when an account is compromised or an inappropriate post is made in any of your social media platforms. You can expand the search to include your employees’ personal accounts, as well. You will be able to respond quickly to any content that does not comply with your marketing strategy.
- Implement Social Media Guidelines and Provide Training
Don’t assume that your employees know what is or is not appropriate content. When you establish clear rules about social media, you will mitigate future misunderstandings and missteps. Creating social media guidelines and imparting those to employees will reduce the risk of an employee mistake.
- Prevent External Sources from Gaining Access
There are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of your accounts being hacked.
Review your privacy settings on all of your accounts when you set them up, and review them on a regular basis. Select a strong password and change it frequently. Use different passwords for different accounts. Always log out of accounts on shared computers, and be cautious while using public Wi-Fi, as sensitive data can be easily exposed on a public Wi-Fi network.
While these steps may not be foolproof, they will lessen the risks. Reviewing your social media strategy and policies on a regular basis is likely to keep your company safeguarded.