For global brands, the content you and your customers post on your social media pages can reach hundreds of thousands of people in seconds around the world. Whilst this can offer unrivalled opportunities to engage with your consumers, it also means you could be exposed to a myriad of social media risks at any time of the day or night. Below is a short extract from Crisp Labs’ ‘Marketing In A Social Age’ report which explores some of the business-critical risks facing global brands.
It can be difficult to recognize and police the fine line between strong customer opinion and the on-set of a campaign against your brand. These attacks can come from bloggers, activists or worse, an upset hacker who could potentially hijack your domain or account. Activist groups for example use social media to reach out quickly to huge audiences online and their approach is often viral images and videos which are shocking and disturbing.
Interestingly, 96% of the people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned-profiles*. This means internal teams must go beyond their own channels to gain valuable insights and manage brand health before a full-scale attack occurs.
Social PR crisis
Imagine a controversial incident kicks off between your staff and a member of the public, or your latest ad unintentionally trivializes a social justice movement and starts trending for the wrong reasons. These incidents can snowball into a PR nightmare in minutes.
Preventing PR crises on social media takes time and planning, and rapid response times are critical for putting your plan into action. The correct PR and corporate affairs teams need to know the minute a post starts gaining momentum so that they can instruct social media teams to calm the storm by quickly addressing contentious comments.
In addition to take-downs, you can positively respond to repeated negative sentiment, report abusive comments to the social platform (e.g. Facebook or Twitter) or actively encourage positive comments to ‘bury’ the negative.
Offensive content and hate speech
Profanity, trolling, sexual innuendo, hate speech, terrorism propaganda, drug promotion, gore imagery, child abuse imagery – the list of unsavory user generated content that is at risk of being posted to your social media pages goes on. Such comments can seriously offend your audience and ultimately impact their opinion of you as a brand.
They must be addressed immediately, and in serious cases, removed. However, beware. Whitewashing all negative comments and general opinion from your social channels is also considered poor brand management and can result in retaliatory comments which escalate into a full-scale brand attack.
Scams and impersonation accounts
Scams on social media channels are nothing new, but they’re constantly changing and evolving to take advantage of unsuspecting victims online. A brand’s social media channels can be at serious risk of being used to market counterfeit and pirated goods if left unmonitored.
Scammers can also register fake profiles containing your original brand name or advertise their fake products through social media ads, luring your customers away to their illicit sites. The so-called ‘angler phishing’ can also dupe your customers into giving away personal and financial details and can leave them open to identity theft.
To protect your reputation and your customers, your team must proactively monitor for accounts and handles being set up using similar terms and logos or selling fake products or services.
Crisp Labs’ 'Marketing In A Social Age’ report looks at how global brands can maximize the opportunities that social media presents, while also effectively managing its risks. It also offers practical tips to promote and protect your brand online, along with unique insights, analysis and ideas from our research division, Crisp Labs, which you can incorporate into your brand’s social media strategy. Download your copy of ‘Marketing In A Social Age’ free now.