Over the last few years, not a month went by without news of a mega brand’s social media disaster. From Fortune 100 companies to some of the world’s major news agencies, social media security threats affect everyone. Social media accounts have been hacked, changed, and used to protest political & anti-corporate messages.

Accounts & followers/likes have been lost, brand reputations have been tainted, & even the international stock market took a short spill as a result of safety matters.

So what’s the solution? Removing your company off of social media? This is clearly not an alternative, as more and more people look to social networks and use them to follow, debate about, and buy from their preferred companies and brands. Social media has become fundamental for business, and is predicted to unlock value in excess of $1.3 trillion over the next few years. Social’s role will continue to grow and outshine more traditional business marketing & selling tools.

Organisations should not ignore the benefits of social media due to fear of being victimized by outside sources. In reality, most of the above-mentioned security difficulties were the consequence of very simple cons & a lack of individual attention: suspicious emails & websites that employees visited without recognizing the risk; passwords being sent through email; untrained staff using corporate social outlets. These conclusions had major penalties on brands’ social media behaviours and could easily have been avoided.

The following steps examine the most common security challenges related to social media & propose easy solutions to reduce risk within your company’s social universe.

 

Educate & Train Staff – It all comes down to education. Make your staff acquainted with social media before they start using those channels.

Consolidate Social Media Platforms – In building a social organisation, a vital step is to bring all corporate branded social accounts under one central management system (Hootsuite is a popular platform). Begin with a view of all the social media accounts within your organisation to define branded accounts that are functioning outside of your space.

Take the Essential Steps to Protect Passwords – The preliminary step in password security is truly taking the time to build a strong & complex password.

Implement a Messaging Approval Program – There is an easy way to reduce the likelihood of inappropriate/controversial posts from ever getting sent out from the corporate account: enforce an approval procedure.

Prepare for the Worst – Refining your social media security does not mean you can disregard to prepare for a social media catastrophe. Every organization should have a particular crisis plan in place in case something does go bad. This means personnel should be coached very explicitly on how to answer rapidly & competently during a crisis.

Conclusion

With these five steps, you can put your mind at ease. Your brand’s social media accounts will be protected, & your employees well-versed on how to use them properly. And should the worst-case scenario come to be, you will be ready to react promptly & professionally. Social media will be one of your corporation’s leading tools moving forward. Take the time to protect it.