By Dane Panes, Content Writer SMB Compass
Social media has become an invaluable tool for most businesses today. The platforms have given their brand better visibility and allowed them to connect with their audience on a much deeper level. If companies want to improve their profitability metrics, going live on social media is one way to go.
However, mishaps and other issues can arise, especially if you or your employees are not careful in handling social media. Blunders could happen, and without a plan to avoid these mistakes, the brand could go downhill, and the business would suffer. As part of your social media marketing efforts, you should be aware of the possibilities of mistakes that can damage your brand’s image. Taking steps towards prevention is always the best solution to protecting your brand in social media.
Here are five strategies on how you can do that:
1. Create a Social Media Policy
A social media policy is a document that outlines how every employee in the company should behave in social media to help protect the company’s image. Even if your business’ social media page is being handled carefully by a team, other employees should also be mindful of the things they share and post on social media. Your social media policy should act as a guide on how your staff should present themselves on social media. They are part of the company, and their actions could reflect the company’s reputation.
In creating a social media policy, it’s crucial to develop your approach around these areas:
- Roles which specifies what each person or department can and cannot do on social media.
- Goals on how the company expects their social media marketing to help their bottom line.
- Rules and regulations in social media posting
- Legal implications and consequences of non-adherence to the policy
Once you have a social media policy in place, your staff will get a better idea of what the company expects of them regarding their social media behavior. It isn’t meant to discourage social media use. Instead, it works to help regulate their actions to avoid mistakes that could potentially ruin the brand.
2. Protect Your Social Media Passwords
According to safetydetectives.com, poorly managed passwords positions a company at the biggest risk of data breaches. There’s no way to tell when hackers will strike. If they do and your brand becomes their target, your company could lose thousands of followers, and with that, potential sales in one snap of a finger. Since social media platforms serve as a lead generating and nurturing tool, it’s vital to keep your social media followers’ information and engagement secure. One missed security detail, and the hackers can easily access your leads’ accounts, making them more susceptible to scams.
One way to protect your social media passwords is to use password management software like Dashlane or LastPass. This allows secure sharing of social media log-in credentials to the social media marketing team. A master password is given to the team, which they will use to gain access to the secured network where the credentials are stored. Aside from that, the software may also ask for multi-factor authentication to ensure that the person logging in is, in fact, an authorized member of the marketing team.
3. Monitor Social Media Activities
Social media can also be a source of baseless rumors and false information. Without quick action, these accusations could spread like wildfire. Having a person or team to monitor your social media accounts’ activities (i.e., mentions and tags) can help detect these hearsays so your company can address them immediately and mitigate the damage.
However, it could be difficult for humans to detect what’s being said about the brand at that minute, considering the vastness of the social media world. This is then where social listening tools can come in handy. The software offers a feature that alerts a company or organization whenever someone mentions their brand. Whether it’s a complaint from a customer or employee, social listening tools help you track mentions quickly, giving you ample time to respond and solve an issue.
4. Secure Your Brand Name
Most businesses usually use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to build their brand among their online audiences. Although focusing on these platforms is good, it’s also essential to keep an eye out on other domains like LinkedIn and others where other people might be using your company’s name and risking your reputation online.
Online tools like KnowEm allow digital marketers to search for any brand name involvement in over 500 social media networks. Another alternative is YourBrand.Ai, which is a free tool that enables business owners to scour hundreds of social media platforms for their brand name and identity.
5. Have a Contingency Plan for Social Media Crisis in Place
There is always the possibility of a social media mistake happening. An angry client may post something negative about the company, or a picture may slip through revealing a vital and confidential detail about the company. No matter what the circumstances are, having a pre-planned backup strategy for social media crisis helps you act quickly and resolve problems before they become bigger.
In creating a plan, you should be able to put a focus on these areas:
- Initial steps to take at the beginning of the crisis (i.e., stopping pre-scheduled social media postings, acknowledging the problem, or engaging with people and answering questions)
- Roles of every department in mitigating the risk
- Criteria for prioritizing the crisis
- Updated contact information of key persons
By preparing your plan beforehand, your company and team are more likely to effectively manage any issues in the future, in case it happens. This avoids further damage and preserves the image of your brand, as well.
Prevention is always the best solution for protecting your brand against all sorts of damage. That’s why in the early parts of your business, you should already have a plan on how you can avoid social media mishaps from happening. Aside from that, it also doesn’t hurt to have a back-up plan to help manage the issue at hand. This way, you can protect your brand and ensure the company will see constant improvement in its profitability metrics.
Building your brand’s online reputation can take years, don’t allow a single mistake to destroy it. Start with the five strategies outlined above in protecting your brand on social media. Once you have a solid social media management plan in place, it will be easier to maintain a solid brand reputation online.
Author Bio – Dane Panes started freelance writing in 2017. Since then, she has written about a lot of topics for different businesses. She started writing for SMB Compass in March 2020 and has been a full-time content writer ever since. Now, she focuses mostly on topics related to entrepreneurship and business financing.