While it is true that social media is an amazing marketing opportunity for businesses and brands, it is not one that comes without risks. Since companies can’t turn their social channels or audience off, it is possible for a disgruntled customer to tarnish your brand image in a matter of hours. This could happen with an angry post or tweet, or even a fake page.
However, even with these risks, it is important for brands to join the conversation that is inevitably taking place on social media. Protect yourself against brand-damaging events by following these 6 tactics.
Brand-Protecting Tips for Social Media
Locate All Fake Pages and Places
With over 50 million Business Pages on Facebook, it can be hard for your audience to distinguish which page is actually yours. They could stumble upon one with the same logo, cover image and messaging of your brand, but is run by someone unrelated to your company.
Mitigate this issue by conducting a social media audit on all platforms. You can do this by simply typing in your company’s name into the search bar and take a look at which pages appear. Claim location pages that belong to you and if possible, report the pages that do not so that they will get taken down. This is an important step to take so that no one tries to sell your product or services for less, speaks out against your branding or company mission and more.
Establish a Social Media Policy
Before you start posting on any social channels, establish the personality and voice that you would like to have on it. Do this by creating a social media policy. This policy should include what processes to follow when things such as bad comments or reviews come in, as well as what guidelines your content should follow. Also be sure to include your company’s mission and culture so that your social media manager knows to display this through eye-catching content.
After creating this policy, be sure to educate your employees on the proper messaging that should take place on your channels. Advise them on the best practices within each channel, as well as the risks that come with social media usage.
Strengthen Your Passwords
While it is obvious that you should have a strong password for your brand pages, it is often a thought that is overlooked. With technology on the rise, it has become easier and easier for hackers to break into business profiles. Combat this by having different passwords for each of your social channels. Here are a few factors to consider while making a strong password:
- Contains at least 8 characters
- Needs at least one uppercase letter, symbol, or number
- Uses at least one lookalike letter or symbol, such as capital O and 0.
- Avoid common keyboard patterns such as, qwerty or anything in numerical order like, password1234.
- Don’t use any predictable dates, such as the day or year your company was founded.
- Update your passwords every 6-10 months.
Monitor Your Reputation Frequently
Another key aspect of protecting your brand on social media is managing your reputation through reviews and negative comments. This is something that should be included in your social media policy. Replying to angry tweets, reviews or wall posts is important in maintaining your brand image. Companies need to let their consumers know that they value their feedback. Do this by apologizing for experiences that don’t measure up to your usual standards, replying to product improvement suggestions and more.
Most customers now expect brands to respond to each comment, tweet or post within a timely manner, usually under 24 hours. Be sure to have a person or team spearhead these efforts and have them check all your social networks consistently or have notifications sent to the appropriate team member asap.
Approve Posts Anytime, Anywhere
Mistakes happen on social media all the time. Sometimes it’s as small as a typo, or as bad as brand-damaging content. To mitigate these mistakes, create an approval system within your team or company. When your brand has thousands of fans and followers, it’s important to ensure a select amount of individuals have the ability to approve content on behalf of the whole brand.
Using a social media management tool, like SOCi, allows you to turn on approval gateways. Set up a virtual hierarchy which allows certain employees to draft posts, and others to approve them. Easily leave comments for your employees on what to edit or delete with help from SOCi. You can even set up alert emails when your content has been approved or rejected.
The ability to approve posts allows you to control your messaging, giving your brand consistency and a similar tone of voice.
Store Your Approved Assets
Your social media management tool should also allow you to house assets that have been approved by your team. Create a message and image library of all past and future posts to keep a common theme and a consistent look and feel. You never know when you’ll need to look back on past messaging or how you addressed a certain issue.
Saving old and future messages and graphics will allow you to secure your brand by keeping a common theme and a consistent look and feel. Looking back on past messaging gives you insight on how your brand has tackled certain issues, holidays or events before. The easiest way to do this is to find a platform that allows you to store your approved assets within it. If you are using SOCi, you can create a message and image library that allows you to access posts by dates or tags will allow you to efficiently find past messaging, giving you the power to create something inspired by the same ideas.
If you have multiple locations or various pages for customer service, regions, etc, having an asset library allows all these pages to pull from the same content and images without needing to be re-uploaded or emailed.
Don’t put your brand at risk on social media, implement these 6 tactics to put up a strong line of defense. What other things do you do to keep your social media presence protected? Tweet your answers to us, @meetsoci.