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Insider’s Perspective: Risk on Social and How to Protect Your Brand

Enterprises are investing a lot in social media marketing campaigns. But the smell of blood is in the water and it’s attracting a frenzy of hackers, spammers, and scammers. According to Nexgate, two in every 10 branded Twitter accounts are unauthorized or fake, with twice as many on Facebook.

That’s scary enough to send anyone running. Now think of how legal, IT, security, compliance, and executive teams in highly regulated industries feel. We wanted to know more about the risks and benefits of social media, specifically for large-scale campaigns, and found the perfect person to answer our questions.

Ray Kruck is vice president of global partners and marketing at Proofpoint Social Media Protection, a pioneer in social media security and compliance. With more than 15 years experience in security and technology, Kruck co-founded Nexgate and led their sales team before combining forces with Proofpoint. We recently spoke with Kruck about the risks associated with large-scale social media campaigns.

Compliance and reputational risks

Compliance risks happen when a brand engages with the public, whether from a corporate side or through advocates and sales professionals. “Any touchpoint significantly expands the footprint of the brand and exposure points for compliance risks,” Kruck says.

Any brand in any industry that shares content and engages on social is at risk of damaging their reputation if they share or say the wrong thing. Examine how you vet content, train your advocates and social sellers, and monitor what’s being said about your business.

The temporal nature of campaigns amplifies the risk

“Social media campaigns tend to spike engagement, which is good because new products and services need to make a big impact in the market,” Kruck says.

Campaigns are short-lived and high intensity. Without a social media campaign policy in place, there’s a high propensity for mistakes.

“Brands often step outside of comfort zones, trying out new tools, such as Snapchat, Periscope, or Instagram, for the very first time,” he says. “Agencies and third-party providers may step in to drive engagement, so content may be sourced elsewhere or shared by untrained employees.”

Do the risks outweigh the benefits of social media campaigns?

“The opportunity for brands to leverage social certainty outweighs the risks. However, planning for potential crisis or adversity builds the social team’s resilience and creates a stronger campaign,” Kruck says. “Like training for a marathon, if you train wearing heavy shoes, then the race seems like a breeze.”

He explains that brands in regulated industries have to be very deliberate when they leverage social as a communication tool. As a result, their campaigns are well thought out, specific, and targeted. Working within best practices and policies comes naturally to these brands. “They’re the ones pushing social networks to deliver more secure, trusted, and quality products—because it’s essential to their livelihood.”

Build the guardrails for the steps to success

We’ve seen many successful social campaigns from brands in regulated industries. Kruck uses Amex as an example, as the team actively engages their social audience which leads to greater sales and customer loyalty.

“They’ve built in controls and processes to mitigate risk and keep themselves out of trouble,” he says. “The brands that plan for the storm or bad weather are the ones that enjoy the benefits of being on these powerful platforms.”

How can brands mitigate risk and drive social campaigns?

“All too often regulated businesses have a conservative and restrictive view of social—many avoid social or turn off all inbound commentary,” Kruck tells us. “This is the opposite of social.”

Brands must acknowledge the risks and integrate technology, training, and procedures to mitigate issues. “Anyone engaging on behalf of a brand should be highly trained and only use a pre-approved publishing platform, like Hootsuite,” he suggests. “ Proofpoint has several products integrated into the Hootsuite platform and together we ensure all the controls and security is in place at all times.”

These security features were essential to Avidia Bank when it launched an innovative social media campaign around its Cardless Cash product. Avidia Bank used Hootsuite and Proofpoint to launch the campaign, remain secure and compliant, and drive 13 percent more mobile app enrollments. Read our case study to find out how.

If you’d like to learn more, Kruck—along with other industry leaders—discusses the inherent risks of social media for big companies in our webinar Avidia Bank: Fueling Product Launches with Social. He’s joined by industry experts Amy McIlwain, global industry principal at Hootsuite, Katelin Cwieka, marketing specialist at Avidia Bank, and CarrieAnne Cormier, retail operations and strategy at Avidia Bank.

Watch the Webinar

Kruck also attended Connect via Hootsuite, Hootsuite’s online social media conference, where Proofpoint was the official compliance partner. He shared the virtual stage once again with Amy McIlwain, global industry principal at Hootsuite, to delve deeper into  social media compliance. Watch the recordings for free online.

Watch Online