The process of governing your digital landscape is a risk management practice that is never finished. The web is a fast-moving place and nothing in digital is static. This means that a quality governance program needs to quickly adapt to changes in social and digital environments as well as corporate priorities and policies.
We see many companies that go on “autopilot” after implementing a new social media governance program and conducting their first audit process. Unfortunately, this approach does not allow for quick transition when new problems arise (which are sometimes undetected without applying continual governance practices). Having a nimble governance program isn’t always easy, but it is manageable.
These five steps will help digital governance managers monitor, protect, and review their governance practices to maintain a strong brand reputation across their digital landscape:
#1 - Stay on Top of Governance Foundation
One of the first things a company should do when instituting a digital and social media governance program is to establish a governance foundation. This includes formulating a governance plan, putting key team members in place, and setting up a centralized governance model. These steps might seem basic, but if they’re not attended to properly, your governance strategy could suffer as a result.
#2 - Monitor all Digital POPs
A business brand does not solely exist on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Instead, a brand is defined by a combination of many different points-of-presence (POPs). If your company has ignored certain social media channels –– including industry-specific networks like Zillow or Yelp –– then governance managers need to include monitoring these channels in the future. In addition, a digital landscape also consists of blogs and websites, so these should be included in monitoring your digital landscape. New POPs come to life frequently, and they should be monitored with the same scrutiny as pre-existing accounts.
#3 - Continually Review Risk
The unfortunate truth is that hackers, scammers, phishers, counterfeiters, and even haters never stop threatening business brands. Because of this, social media managers must continually review company risk factors on social media platforms. This may include activities such as analyzing the threat vectors common on each network, reviewing changes in policies and APIs of each social media networks, and tracking attached tools to social accounts as these can be a target for cyber attack.
#4 - Conduct a Web Audit of New Accounts
Businesses should undertake a web audit on an annual or semi-annual basis depending on their size, industry, and company practices. However, it’s also important for businesses to audit any new accounts that are either 1) created by the company or 2) found through social media discovery. These new accounts can influence brand reputation, and it’s critical that companies identify and monitor them. You may also want to consider defining your digital landscape and include monitoring POPs that strongly associate with your brand (though do not represent your brand). These POPs include partner accounts, influencers, and even sponsored events using your logo.
#5 - Create New Programs and Goals
Has your company managed to reach all or nearly all of its goals regarding digital and social media governance and brand optimization? If so, then fantastic! Even if this is the case, you shouldn’t rest on your laurels. Businesses should constantly look for new ways to expand their brand reach and develop new programs to boost brand presence. Managing a more widespread branded digital landscape can help companies reach new customers, establish trust in their field, and generate more customers online.
Our team at Brandle has years of experience working with top brands to identify social media threats, monitor brand compliance, and improve brand presence. If you're interested in more expert information about monitoring, protecting and reviewing your digital landscape, check out our free eBook "Social Media Governance Plan: A Guide to Implement a Global Risk Management Process for Your Social Enterprise":