As an executive organisation, your social media marketing is complex. A larger online presence means you’re sharing more information and have more employees involved, and with this comes a greater risk. When things go wrong or someone makes a mistake, your brand’s reputation is at stake.
That’s why it’s important to consider risk management in social media as part of your wider digital marketing strategy. So, you can continue building your presence and benefiting from social networking, without worrying about falling into the potential pitfalls.
What is a social media risk management plan?
A social media risk management plan is a strategy covering the ways an organisation will control how they use social media. The idea is to make sure only the authorised employees have access to each social media account, and that no false or damaging messaging is shared. A good risk management in social media strategy includes a set of rules that every user must follow when posting or engaging online.
What are the primary social media risks involved?
Social media is a powerful marketing tool for modern businesses, but there are a few things that could go wrong along the way. The good news is that, when you’re aware of the risks, you can take steps to mitigate them.
1. An employee shares unauthorised/confidential information
Even if it’s done inadvertently, more access to your company’s social media accounts means more chances that company secrets will be leaked. It happens to even the best in business, with Elon Musk famously tweeting about taking Tesla private, a mistake that cost him $40 million in fines.
2. An employee makes a comment that negatively impacts your brand
It’s easy to get caught up in current events, but when brands give their take on something, this could cause offence or make consumers see the business in a negative light. In turn, this can deter people from doing business with you. When making a joke or weighing in with an opinion, it’s best to get a second pair of eyes on the comment. Anything that conveys prejudice or backward thinking could be harmful to the future of the company.
3. Personal safety could be put at risk
Not only are executive brands at a greater risk of having company information stolen (passwords, etc.), but constantly posting means you might be giving away too much information to criminals. Photos with particular landmarks can give away the whereabouts of the poster, and telling people you’re going away on holiday just tells them your home is unoccupied.
4. Phishing attacks
A major part of your risk management social media plan should go to phishing prevention, which makes brands the victim of executive impersonation fraud. Hackers can send out messages to your online audience with your branding, to trick users into clicking on fake links which can then steal their information. These attacks reflect badly on your business and can quickly cause a loss of trust.
How do you manage & mitigate risks on social media?
Risk management in social media comes down to building a tailored strategy that every person in the business is familiar with. While there’s no one-size-fits-all here, knowing the steps to managing and mitigating risks could just save your organisation from an online disaster.
1. Build a social media risk management team
Build a social media risk management committee made up of employees from each department, who can bring their own viewpoints to the team, oversee the social media strategy, and relay it to their own department.
2. Formalise social media policies and share it with the entire company
Get your risk management plan in writing. Include how the organisation is proactively mitigating risks and outline what employees need to be aware of. Cover the role of each individual and list out the policies that must be followed when posting or engaging on social media.
3. Audit all social media accounts
Carry out an audit of who has access to all of your social media accounts, including any agencies you’re currently working with (or have worked with in the past). Revoke access to anyone that shouldn’t have it. Carry out this audit each quarter, and regularly carry out a social media risk assessment to review your strategy and identify new vulnerabilities.
4. Outline rules and permissions to each internal team
Make sure each employee knows which networks they can post to, and what each network is for. Everyone has a responsibility towards risk management in social media, and should be well-informed about the policies you have in place.
If something has gone wrong with your executive social media accounts, contact FraudWatch for digital brand protection.