Social media's global reach is a blessing and a curse for businesses.
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Social media is a powerful tool that completely changed how businesses interact with their customers. It has many upsides, but its downsides are just as many. Social media has widened brand reach for businesses around the world.
However, it’s this same reach that opens up businesses to irreparable damage. A single inappropriate tweet or Facebook post will spread quickly, thus hurting your brand and reputation.
You have to be cautious about how you manage your social media accounts; a single slip up could hurt your business. Social media has a huge impact on how businesses operate and thus should be handled with care.
Below are some of the risks and ways to manage them:
Risks associated with social media
Social media accounts are a soft target for cybercriminals. Once they gain access, they can do almost anything they want. They can delete or deactivate the accounts. They can also share malicious or inappropriate messages in a bid to hurt your brand.
Some will use it to access your systems, especially if the system requires the employees to login via Facebook. With such access, cyber criminals can collect customer data, install malware, or hold the company at ransom.
Social media allows people to be whoever they want. Anyone can create accounts, name them after your business, and use them as to defraud customers. Also, your employees are part of your brand, and any inappropriate actions, either online or offline, could hurt your brand, which is why you need a risk management plan.
How to deal with social media risks
i. Educate your employees
To err is human, which means anyone can make a mistake. It could be the manager or any other employee affiliated with your business. A simple mistake is all cybercriminals need to gain access into your systems and networks.
Therefore, educate your employees on how to use social media. Create policies that govern how your employees handle social media. Employees represent your brand, and anything they post on social media becomes a representation of your company.
ii. Invest in security technology
You could adhere to all your social media policies and still face cyberattacks. Without the right technology, you are vulnerable to malware attacks, phishing, etc. You can start by installing firewalls to protect your corporate networks from these attacks.
Also, encourage your employees and social media handlers to use VPNs each time they access corporate and social media accounts.
Invest in social media management tools to help manage your social media profiles from a single interface. These tools will help you track analytics, schedule posts, and even keep tabs on your competitors. They will also monitor your accounts and notify any time there is unauthorised access.
iii. Monitor your social platforms
While employees are free to be whoever they want on social media, their interactions could have an impact on your brand image. Therefore, monitor your business accounts and your employees’ social media presence.
Like earlier mentioned, educate your employees that their actions on social media could cause reputational harm. This is especially true for c-suite executives as they represent the company. Ensure that every employee understands that
iv. Limit social media access
How many employees have access to the company's social accounts? Social media attacks can come from anywhere, even from within the company.
The greater the number of people who have access to the company's social media accounts, the easier it is to compromise the accounts. With everyone having the logins, it becomes harder to track who is using the accounts.
However, if you were to restrict access to only a few employees, it becomes easier to track and manage the accounts. This is where social media management tools come in handy. With these tools, you can control access, and the content posted.
Using the tools, employees can create accounts that grant them access to the company's social media accounts. In case an employee is fired or quits, you can use the same tool to delete their account.
Social media is vital to the growth of your business provided you can mitigate the risks. Also, understand that social media threats are constantly evolving. Perform regular audits and keep up with the evolving threats.
Use the tips discussed above and keep learning new ways to adapt to the ever-changing threats.