Pagoda Blog

How Social Media Brand Security Can Protect Your Data and Your Reputation

November 4, 2021

Social media is an extremely powerful tool that, when wielded strategically, can increase brand awareness, drive customers to your site, and grow your audience. It can also do great damage if you don’t take the steps to take control of your brand across social media channels. Social media brand security refers to both the actual cybersecurity of your social media accounts as well as the integrity of your actual brand. This means that when people search for your business online, the social media content that surfaces accurately represents your business. Even if your company doesn’t invest much in social media marketing, investing in social media brand security is important for your online (and offline) reputation. 


Below we share how to improve your social media brand security in order to get in control of your online reputation and protect your data. 


Own all social URLs associated with your name 

The number one way to protect your brand on social is to own all social URLs and account names associated with your business name. This means conducting research across social media channels to see how many similar brand names already exist. In an ideal world, you would do this research prior to choosing a business name so you can choose one that isn’t already in use on social. Once you have a name, sign-up for all social media channels with that name. Even if you don’t plan to use the channel, sign-up with your business name anyway to prevent another company from using it and detracting from your brand. 


Conduct a social media audit 

After you own your name, conduct a social media audit using a tool like SocialMention. An audit will detect any overlooked places where another brand might be using your name or other ways your brand may be misrepresented. If applicable, you can claim an account that violates your Trademark. In other cases, you may just need to closely monitor that account in case your customers engage with the other brand and it requires a timely response.   


Store your account info in a password manager 

To protect your social media profiles from a hack, it’s important to store your passwords in a secure password manager like Passportal.  A password manager not only gives you the ability to generate extra strong passwords but will also automatically update account info, allow you to securely share passwords with fellow team members, and help you stay organized with all your passwords in one place. This is especially important with staff turnover or role changes. 


Ensure all appropriate team member’s phones are secure 

For those team members who manage your social media accounts, it’s especially important to ensure that their mobile phones are secure. As part of your BYOD policy, you can require team members to use a strong password or fingerprint lock to secure phones or other personal devices used to access work social media accounts. 


Use a social media manager app

It can get messy if employees are always posting and responding to comments within the social media platform. It’s all too easy to accidentally publish a controversial post or comment from a brand account that was intended for a personal account. These small slip-ups can have large repercussions for your brand, from casting you in a poor light to legal consequences.  A social media manager app, like Buffer or Hootsuite, allows your marketing team to create and publish posts without logging into Facebook, Twitter, or other social platforms. You can create an account associated with a business email to further separate personal and work accounts. Using a social media app is a highly effective way to limit access to your social media accounts while still allowing multiple people to create and publish content for your business.  


Create a social media policy 

A social media policy should cover everything from branding do’s and don’ts to proactive steps required to mitigate the risk of someone hacking your accounts. Below are the most important items to include in your social media policy: 


Branding guidelines: Identify industry-specific words and phrases that are encouraged and those that run contrary to your business’s mission and branding. 


Privacy policy: What information can and cannot be shared on social? Identify both company and customer information that must remain confidential. This is especially important if you work with PHI (personal health information) and are required to comply with HIPAA


Password guidelines: Create guidelines around how to create a secure password and where to store that password. This is an important general policy to have in place for all work-associated accounts. 


What action to take in the event of a potential scam or hack: If an employee expects your accounts are compromised, your social media policy should outline exactly what steps to take to report and resolve the situation. Designate who should be notified in the event of a suspected scam or hack. Once that individual or department is notified, what are the next steps? Depending on the severity of the compromise, this may include changing passwords and doing damage control (i.e. notifying your followers that your account was hacked and posts during X time frame were not your own). If your followers’ data was compromised, you will need to notify them and take the necessary steps to avoid liability. Read this post about cyber liability insurance for more information.


Social media brand security can go a long way in protecting not only your brand’s reputation but also your data and that of your customers. Don’t hesitate to reach out if your business needs support ensuring the integrity of your technology, from social media and other online applications to your physical devices. Schedule a free consultation today


Feature photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Related posts: 


How to Monitor (and Manage) What People Are Saying About Your Business

Are You Doing All You Can to Protect Your Customer Data?

How Long Does it Take for My Site to Rank on the First Page of Google?  


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