In 2013, there has not been a month without news of a major brand’s social media security crisis.
From Fortune 100 companies to some of the biggest news agencies in the world, no one has been exempt from social media security threats. Accounts have been hacked, altered and used to spread political and anti-corporate messages. Profiles and followers have been lost, brand images have taken a hit, and even the stock market took a brief tumble as a result of these security issues.
So what is the solution? As brands devote more time and effort to social media campaigns, what follows is a natural need to better educate themselves about the risks associated with using social. Once you understand them, you can take the necessary, but fairly simple steps needed to combat them.
The following is the first excerpt of a five-step guide that breaks the most common social media security challenges and provides simple solutions to reduce the risk of them coming to fruition within your company. This excerpt specifically looks at the need to educate and train employees regarding social media. Download the guide in its entirety below.
1) Educate and Train Employees
To fully take advantage of social media, your company needs to entrust employees in all departments to take part in the conversation. Honing in on the expertise of people in the finance, human resources, development, and even sales departments will add a lot in terms of quality and quantity of social messaging. But while those in charge of social media may know the ins and outs of the networks and how to use them securely, employees across the company may not be in the same position. A staff member unfamiliar with how to post, or someone who cannot see the signs of a suspicious link, email or social message, may act as the entryway for a hacker looking to gain access to your social assets.
It all boils down to training. If you don’t want employees who are unfamiliar with social media to be using those platforms, make them familiar. Educating employees about how to use social media tools helps ensure they are doing so securely. And structured social media training programs, such as HootSuite University, do exist. With a minimal financial and time investment, employees can learn the best practices for utilizing social networks for the benefit of your company while maintaining secure control. These tools often come in a variety of formats, from webinars to white papers, meaning you can chose the option that best fits your business.
Employees should also be taught to click with caution. Do all people using your social assets know how to spot a malicious link? Spammy links are a common way to hoax or phish in order to compromise social accounts. As employees of the Onion recently found out, all staff should understand the potential consequences of clicking strange links in emails, no matter who is sending them. This is especially those that lead to pages which prompt them for usernames and passwords.
In addition to increasing basic security, social media education can also help improve the overall performance of your social media campaigns. Training programs extend beyond basic education into advanced themes like social media etiquette and how to use social to attract new clients.