Like it or not, social media is a powerful marketing tool that ranks right up amongst other things like email and search engine marketing. However, unlike other online promotional channels, social media has much more potential to operate as a two-edged sword. Gathering positive reviews can quickly turn into downplaying negative ones. Handling critical comments and feedback can be tricky business.
If you want to protect your brand while also tapping into the marketing power of social media, here are a few tips to help you get going.
Start with Security
The first thing to consider when you’re doing anything online is how you’ll handle security concerns. With social media, this can be tricky, as you’re using other companies’ platforms. This naturally takes a portion of the control out of your hands.
Nevertheless, social media security is essential. As recently as 2020, there have been massive hacks into social media networks. The most notable was when a 17-year-old from Florida convinced someone at Twitter that he was a coworker who needed their credentials to access the customer service portal. That was all that was needed to get into the backend of Twitter’s system and hack into 130 high-profile accounts including the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama.
The point is security matters. While the bulk of cybersecurity rests on the shoulders of the social media companies themselves, you can do your part by safeguarding your company’s info. Only allow approved individuals to have usernames and logins. Instruct them regarding the safety of guarding said info, too.
Consider Your Strategy
Apart from literal hackers, there are many other ways that you need to protect your brand’s social media presence. This should start with your overall social media marketing strategy. As you lay plans to create an endless stream of content, consider the following:
- Don’t overextend yourself: It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be on every social media channel to find success. On the contrary, you want to consider the focus of each platform — Facebook for community, Twitter for cutting-edge news, Pinterest and Instagram for visual content, and so on. Then choose two or three of the best ones where your brand can easily shine.
- Be willing to create ephemeral content: This is content with a short shelf-life. Everything from marketing campaigns to the content itself should be short, sweet, and current at this point to be successful in the age of distractions and short attention spans. Save evergreen ideas for your onsite content.
- Be personal and interactive: There are many ways that you can schedule posts and have them go up automatically. However, it’s wise to resist the temptation to over rely on automation. This can strip any semblance of personality and attractiveness from your brand.
Considerations like these are crucial elements in ensuring that your brand communicates effectively and resonates with consumers on social media.
Create Posting Policies
Finally, you want to tie all of your social media protection measures into official posting policies for your brand. This is a crucial step in maintaining consistency across all of your social media posts and content. Things to address in your policies include:
- Ethical considerations: Every brand has its ethical stances at this point. Make sure to identify yours. Train your marketing personnel to spot and avoid misinformation that promotes controversial topics, organizations, causes, or people that don’t align with your company’s values.
- Brand voice and tone: The way that your brand sounds is a big deal. Is your brand clean? Comfortable? Casual? Formal? While the quality of your content is a priority, the voice and tone that you use to present that content should be consistent as well.
- Content categories: It’s easy to get lost in the weeds as your team pumps out an endless stream of content. To avoid this potential problem, create policies that emphasize what kind of social content, messages, and other categories your team should focus on. This can be images, text-based posts, how-to’s, sharing industry knowledge, or anything else.
- Consider employees: Remember to also consider what you’re asking your employees to do at all times. Are you taking ethical stances that can make them uncomfortable or compromise their ethics? Make sure to keep lines of communication open as your team operates.
All of these considerations should be established in a formal staff handbook that is kept up to date at all times.
Protecting Your Brand on Social Media
Social media is a wild part of the online world that is still very much so in its infancy. If you want your brand to tap into the positive benefits of social media, it’s important that you also take steps to protect it, as well.
From basic cybersecurity to strategic considerations and staff handbooks, take the time to protect your brand before you get too far into your social media activities. You’ll be thankful for the effort once you get neck-deep into the daily grind of running a social media marketing operation.