Social media platforms are a great way for firms to interact with customers, followers and potential clients. However, recent hacking events of Twitter and Facebook have exposed some risks that firms had not considered with regards to their social media accounts. The hacks also revealed how poorly a social security breach can reflect on the firm. Corporate social media accounts have vast amounts of information about the firm and their clients. It is, therefore, important to stay vigilant about their level of risks associated with social media marketing. Most firms have a competitive advantage by using social media platforms. There is no option for firms to shut down their social media. The best course of action is to have an efficient social media risk management plan.

What are the risks of social media?

  1. Mistakes

Social media platforms garner many comments for poorly written content or incorrect information. Mistakes like posting poorly vetted social media content or comments can be detrimental for a company.  All content should be thoroughly vetted before it is posted. Appropriate approval channels should be established and adhered to.

  1. Hacking

All systems have one or two vulnerabilities. Hackers are always on the lookout for new ways to get into company networks for malicious purposes. The thing about hackers is they will monitor your daily routines until they find a vulnerability they can exploit. Hackers can access your social media platforms and gain access to the company’s network, client’s data and sensitive company information.

  1. Poor communication

Firms should be on the lookout on the responses their employees give on social media. The corporate account on social media platforms represents the brand of the company. Giving customers false information, being rude and criticizing other users can have a negative impact on the company reputation.

Ways to mitigate social media risks

  1. Create a policy

Every company needs to strategize and create a policy that addresses the use of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The policy should be detailed on all the activities to be undertaken. It should stipulate the right channels of approval before any content is posted on social media. The policy should align the goals of social media branding with the goals of the company. To create an effective social media policy, you need to involve the HR, IT, Marketing and Customer care departments. Marketing and customer care personnel are the major users of social media for branding and interaction. The IT department can enlighten the company on the cybersecurity risks that arise from social media platforms.

  1. Train employees

Once you have formulated and implemented a sustainable social media management policy, employees need to be trained. Training ensures every employee involved in social media activities knows exactly what is expected of them. Training should be done to every new member who is added to the social media marketing team. Employees should also be educated on phishing attacks. Phishing is whereby a hacker can set up a legitimate-looking email, text, links or automatic messages. When an employee clicks on the item, it sets up malware that collects data including credit information, usernames and passwords.

  1. Authentication protocols

The easiest way for hackers to get into your account is the accounts have poor authentication protocols. Passwords should be complex and unique. You can train employees on how to create passwords that are not easy to hack. You can request the IT department to create strong passwords that should only be given to specific employees. All corporate social media should be set up to send a notification in case they are accessed from a new location.

  1. Periodical reviews

A monitoring tool should be set up to collect data and generate reports. These reports should be analyzed to ensure no new risks have emerged. The policy can be reviewed from time to time depending on technological changes.

5.Remaining compliant with relevant regulations

There are many compliance regulations that have been set with regards to privacy, internal risk management, cybersecurity and risk mitigation. Ensuring that you have implemented the necessary requirements to secure data, networks, fraud and network authorization. These regulations may assist a company to start their social media risk management process, but new threats emerge daily, and you need to stay alert.

Using a SaaS platform for social media management

Manually monitoring social media activities and communications can be hectic. SaaS platforms let you manage all your social media activities from one place. The IT department can set up the necessary parameters to be monitored. The system can then monitor the sites and notify you in case a risk arises. Having a centralized platform that integrates company goals with security measures, company strategies, key performance indicators as well as other company policies to help you stay ahead of problems that may come up and to meet goals set forth by their compliance management plan.