With ever-increasing returns on investment in the social space, what could go wrong?
In a word: everything.
Professional social media management is a serious game for both agencies and clients, and clients should beware of the pitfalls that come with poor choices.
Almost always, if the client or its agency had prepared for situations that arise when a brand is open to public conversation on social networks, the issue could have been prevented. With that in mind, here are four crucial ways to secure your social media marketing and defend against both cyber security and brand integrity dangers:
Check social media security measures
When it comes to internal or third-party social media management:
How are passwords chosen for your social media accounts?
How is access limited to passwords among a broader team?
On what devices will your social media accounts be open?
When you hand over the keys to your social media accounts, you’ll want to make sure that precautions are being taken to protect against hackers or even unforeseen data breaches that can occur. If you’re working with a third-party, ask for training sessions and/or a written handbook so you’re on the same page about whether accounts can be accessed on-site, off-site, via mobile apps, via personal accounts, etc.
Consider social media protocols
If you’ve hired a professional marketing or advertising agency they should have a written procedure for dealing with disgruntled employees, unhappy customers, foul language and other inappropriate content.
At a minimum, the procedure should outline how quickly posts are removed, and/or how to report situations to you or your team for an executive decision. Not only should you be comfortable with their procedures, but you should also be comfortable with your responsibility to get back to your external social media team in a timely manner. Your online reputation depends on it!
Pay attention to the details
If you’ve experienced a social media security breach or mishap, work directly with a key member(s) of the social media team who is responsible for executing the work. In the conversation, ask the person to describe problem and how similar problems have been resolved in the past.
For example, we once had a restaurant client whose happy hour post ended up on the Facebook page of a higher education client. Luckily, we spotted the post within minutes of it going live and were able to rectify it.
Now, we have a “write-edit-proof-post-check” procedure that allows for catching those sorts of errors before they even happen. Those are the honest stories you’ll want to hear in your sit-down with your team.
Monitor progress internally
If you’ve outsourced social media management, you or someone on your team should monitor your social media platforms on a weekly basis. It will only take a few minutes to scroll through posts and review analytics. Don’t meddle with the team you hired to manage your social media presence, but do check in at regular intervals.
One unfortunate phrase we hear from prospects is this: “We don’t want to be on social media because people can say negative things about us for everyone to see.”
The truth is, people are going to say negative things about you and your brand online and offline. You may as well be there to guide the conversation with a competent and effective social media marketing strategy and team.
Ultimately, social media is a vital part of any comprehensive marketing strategy today. Plan carefully, put social media security measures in place and be sure to participate in the conversation.
This article has been edited.