As I sit down to write this, I can't even think of a working title. What I'm about to explore is not a fun topic but it's a conversation every executive knows is coming. The Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a series of events, which has destabilized markets and is affecting businesses, large and small, globally. The conclusion to draw is that layoffs are coming and crisis communication is going to be in play. Mitigating social media risks during company layoffs may not be your first crisis concern, but you will want a strategy to protect your global digital footprint and your brands.
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Brandle has some amazing customers and we are fortunate to be able to work with top-tier professionals at global companies. These social media governance professionals not only stay on top of changes with each social network, they also must stay on top of what is happening with their brands across the company and across the web. It's a difficult job that balances strategic thinking, risk management practices, marketing trade-offs and extreme detail (all while keeping an eye to any crisis that may arise).
One of our most advanced social media governance professionals is Sue Serna, global Social Media Lead at Cargill. In January, Sue wrote an excellent LinkedIn post titled:
We thought it would be a great review for Brandle readers, and I have received permission from Sue to share her post here. She got the idea for the post after speaking with a student about social media governance.
"Don't be a dinosaur! 3 social media governance must-dos for companies of any size."
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Brandle, Inc., the pioneer of corporate social media governance, is pleased to announce our newest module for the Brandle Presence Manager — the Brandle Ad Accounts Manager. This module solves the challenges large enterprises face managing cross-platform ad accounts across the company and around the world.
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We've all dealt with it; somebody grabbed your brand's name (or a variation thereof) and is holding it hostage on Twitter. Even worse, they could be misusing it as a counterfeit site phishing customers and sales. Getting that handle back can be tedious, expensive, and is not always successful. But there may be hope if that username is attached to an inactive Twitter account!
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As reported by The Verge, Twitter started sending emails to the holders of accounts who had not signed in for six months or more:
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For most companies, brand reputation and recognition is a priority. And if you read global risk research, you know that "cyber risks" and "damage to brand reputation" continue to rank in the top risk concerns of global CEOs. (You can take a closer look at research by Deloitte, PwC and AON.) And when you are talking about brand reputation and cyber risks, you are talking about your branded digital footprint!
Additionally, a significant portion of a CMO’s budget is allocated across digital channels and social relationships. So ensuring that these channels are secure, effective and monitored is critical. This is why digital governance programs are becoming a key function in major corporations.
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We are excited to announce that the Brandle Presence Manager has added native support for the global social networks VK and Weibo.
This is great news for our global brand companies who need to discover, monitor and manage the digital presence of brands that are sold around the world!
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There are many digital threat avenues for bad-actors to infiltrate a corporation and social media has become a favorite. Even though there are technology solutions (such as Brandle) that help corporations with these risks, it still takes constant oversight, monitoring, and forward thinking. One area that is often overlooked is employee social media training specifically around the topic of risk to the corporation. This falls into the category of corporate social media security and risk management.
Creating a strong training program to educate employees on the risks and pathways that hackers and phishers use is critical. Delivering the requirements employees must follow to assist with corporate social media security should be mandatory. There are six key requirements that should be part of your social media security training program.
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One of the most important things that organizations must understand about their social media governance plan is that it is not a static, unchanging document. Social media governance is a dynamic process that must be constantly monitored and optimized to ensure that it is steering the organization in the right direction. And the "right direction" is away from risks to corporate brand reputation and threats to data security.
To be truly proficient at social media governance, you need to know how to work your plan!
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When social media arrived on the business landscape the notion of governance and risk management was essentially non-existent. Social media has evolved from a basic customer touchpoint, into a critical business channel for communication, branding, support and sales. With this shift in importance, the risks to an enterprise have escalated. In fact, corporate CEOs consider damage to brand reputation due to the risks inherent in social media as their number one risk concern.
The corporate risks associated with “being social” range in severity from minor events (such as losing one customer due to poor communication on Facebook) to major events (such as counterfeit sites phishing your customers or an account hack that delivers harmful information). Just ask Dove or any of these other brands that have recently found themselves at the center of a firestorm! Even the networks themselves are at serious risk as in the recent Instagram hack. Due to heightened security and risk issues, social media governance has transitioned from an ad-hoc administrative task, to a critical discipline that is firmly part of the corporate risk management strategy.