Overcoming Security Challenges In Social Media Marketing
The hyperconnectivity that social media provides is the reason why marketing on social networks is a must for brands of all sizes. But once scammers and hackers get involved, what was once a golden marketing opportunity becomes a grave threat to an organization. From phishing scams to hijacking accounts and tarnishing a brand’s reputation, social media is yet another digital landscape where businesses need to be vigilant about cybersecurity. Here’s what you need to do to ensure maximum safety and vigilance throughout your social media marketing campaigns.
Establish An On-Going Social Media Security Awareness Program
While having updated and patched security software is a necessary part of cybersecurity practices, it’s important to note that the majority of hacks and scams, especially those on social media, are the result of human error. Perpetrators look for the easiest way into a system, relying on the “human factor” such as overly simple passwords or pure human curiosity that will lead a company employee to click on a link which downloads malicious software.
In other words, your company’s safety on social media largely depends on your employees’ vigilance. That’s why it’s crucial, before all else, to train your employees on social media security measures. It’s best to establish a policy for social media activity which they can refer to as safety guidelines.
Some of the key points of your guidelines will be:
- Confidentiality rules and guidelines related to sharing information about your brand.
- How to create strong passwords and how often they should be changed.
- Using a different password for every account (both on social media platforms and other company accounts).
- How to recognize phishing scams and spam, and other security threats; Being cautious with opening links and downloading files.
- How to identify and avoid suspicious add-ons and third-party apps.
- Expectations for regular software upgrades.
- Guidelines for remote work (working on unsecured networks in public spaces, physically guarding devices, what to do if a device is lost or stolen).
- How to respond in case a security concern is identified, etc.
Make sure that training is ongoing so that you can stay on top of the latest threats on social as well as the persistent ones.
Limit Account Access And Set Up A System For Posting
Now, you may put a lot of trust in your team, especially if you have only a few employees in your company. Nevertheless, the best way to structure and organize your social media marketing strategy is by putting a trusted person in charge and allowing social media access to only selected employees.
Not everyone on your social team needs to know the passwords, but it’s also wise to limit the number of people who can post. By doing this, you’ll ensure both that your accounts are safe and that your online presence is managed by the best people for the job, who have shown a proper understanding of security measures.
If you have a larger social media team, it’s best to set up an approval system so that content will be verified before posting.
Monitor Accounts And Brand Mentions
Engaging in social listening is important for your cybersecurity measures as much as it is for your digital marketing efforts and online reputation management. Tools such as Hootsuite and Mentionlytics will help you stay on top of all the posts and comments related to your brand. In case an imposter account arises or you note some other form of suspicious activity, you’ll be able to act before it’s too late.
Also, keep in mind that idle accounts are an especially easy target for hackers. If you have social media accounts that you’ve stopped using, that you use rarely, or that you’ve put on hold until you develop a campaign for, make sure you monitor activity on them as well.
Perform Regular Audits
As we’ve seen in the case with employee training, cybersecurity needs to be a company-wide mindset – and a continuous effort. Drop the “set-and-forget” approach and make sure you review the following at least once a quarter:
- Recent social media security threats.
- Your social media policy in case it needs updates.
- Privacy settings on all social platforms.
- Your system for approving posts and who has access to accounts (for example, make sure all former employees have access revoked).
If you’re not careful enough, your social media accounts can be an open invitation to perpetrators. That’s why it’s important to educate your employees, set up a foolproof system, and foster a culture of security and cyber-literacy as a company.
Guest Bloggers Bio:
Natasha is a lady of a keyboard whose fields of expertise could be summed up in digital marketing, business and IT related topics. Although she is primarily content creator for DesignRush, a B2B marketplace connecting brands with agencies, Natasha is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter Dashboard.