Protecting Your Business on Social Media
In an effort to keep up with the highly digitalized age, most businesses throughout the United States have established an online presence to leverage brand visibility with consumers. In 2020, 91.7% of U.S. businesses held social media accounts, which was a five percent increase from 2013’s 86.2% of businesses. Social media marketing has enabled companies of all sizes to increase brand awareness, present the company’s identity and core values, as well as promote the goods and services being offered.
Although social media provides a great way to market a business, it can be dangerous if you are not careful. Once something is on the internet, it will never be fully deleted from every browser, so it is crucial to minimize mistakes while utilizing social media for marketing. Below are the top steps that businesses should follow to protect themselves and their employees while on social media.
Develop a Social Media Policy
Whether your business’ social media is run by a single individual or by a team of employees, it is important to create a social media policy that will be reflected in everything shared and posted. A written policy will institute a stable manner to conduct online activity in a secure and reputable way. A few things that need to be addressed in the policy are brand vision, brand voice, privacy, and potential legal risks. These topics will constitute a professional way for the people running the social media to best understand what is expected to be posted and shared, and just as importantly, what is not to be posted and shared.
Keep Passwords Safe
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the risk is high if a password gets into the wrong hands. Hackers are prominent in the online sphere, ready to take hold of accounts for their own advantage. One way to keep the maximum amount of social media accounts protected is by using multiple passwords. For example, a business’ Facebook and Instagram password should be different, so that in the off chance a hacker breaks into one account, the other account is still secure.
Institute Social Listening
For all the good that social media does to spread awareness, it can just as easily spread false information. Learning to implement social listening within your marketing team can protect your business from being caught up in rumors and ‘fake news’. Having a designated team member to handle any negative feedback about the business is a great way to mitigate potential problems. Furthermore, false claims regarding the business should be addressed as quickly as possible before they create serious damage and spread throughout the internet.
Along the same lines, by instituting social listening, your business will be able to identify current trends and topics within the market. This will also help with creating content that is fresh and engaging for your audience. For example, if you are in the food business, then consider highlighting daily specials to grab consumers' attention (and taste buds)!
Prevent Social Phishing
Preventing social phishing is easier said than done, but it is important to be aware of these cyberattack methods as they often look like legitimate emails and messages. Hackers and cybercriminals use social phishing to gain exclusive access to sensitive business information and leverage it to their advantage. The best way to prevent this from happening is to be aware of the specific server and email address that is sending you emails. The hackers will try to trick employees into giving them access by just clicking a single link. Social media teams and individuals should stay on the constant lookout for anything that does not seem to be coming from a legitimate site or address.
By using the steps listed above, you can more effectively protect your business while it utilizes the marketing aspects of social media. Nonetheless, if your business needs more protection, consider reaching out to a business or franchise attorney to discuss your matter.
DYE CULIK PC is a Charlotte, North Carolina small business and franchise law firm. Our attorneys have represented small businesses for more than a decade, for everything from starting a business, to buying or selling a business, or even disputes and litigation with competitors, employees, and customers. Give us a call at 980-999-3557 if you need help or legal advice for your small business. Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates on CLT small businesses.