The Five-Step Guide to Better Social Media Security, Step 5: Prepare for the Worst

Blog   /   Social
June 17, 2013

Security Masthead

Social media security measures can only go so far.

From human error to tech-savvy hackers, there may always be the slightest chance that something goes wrong with your corporate social media. To be clear, this is not a reason to stay off of social. This is a reason to prepare yourself for the worst.

All businesses should have a social media security crisis plan in place. Employees should be trained on what to do if something goes wrong, and how to do it. Believe or not, social networks themselves may be your best friend in situations like these. Ask yourself: are you ready?

The following is the fifth and final excerpt of a five-step guide that breaks the most common security challenges related to social media and provides simple solutions to reduce the risk of them coming to fruition within your company. This except specifically looks at how companies should prepare for a worst-case scenario in the case of a social media security threat. Download the guide in its entirety below.

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The challenge:

No matter how many social media security measures you take, there is always a chance, however slim, that something could still slip through the cracks. A button can be clicked by accident; the senior employee in charge of message approvals might miss a critical error; or an intelligent intruder can find backdoor access into one of your accounts. So what do you do when something goes sour on social media?

The solution:

People and brands should prepare for a social media disaster, like with any disaster, in advance.
People and brands should prepare for a social media disaster, like with any disaster, in advance. Photo by dmerti.

Be prepared.

Improving your social media security does not mean you can neglect to prepare for a social media crisis. Every enterprise should have a specific crisis plan in place in case something goes wrong. This means employees should be trained very specifically on how to respond quickly and effectively during a crisis. Plans should be simple and flexible, since crises tend to be unpredictable. Have a contingency plan built as well. HootSuite runs crisis simulations for Enterprise clients, testing and evaluating the emergency response of your social team. It then breaks down the areas and individuals that need to be better and suggests improvement to the overall crisis plan.

Even if social media has caused a problem, it can also help you get out of it. Social media happens in real-time, which means that a company needs to respond to a situation in real-time as well. Social media management tools can serve as a command center, allowing you to oversee all communications at once. These tools can alert you of a potentially harmful situation or odd activity on your accounts.

They also allow you monitor how the public is reacting to the issue and to quickly assign messaging to team members so that they can respond to questions and comments from followers and clients, or deal with any public-facing issues as they arise. Brands should have an outreach plan. Social media allows you to reach a massive number of followers quickly to notify them of the problem and how you’re working to resolve it.

Social assets should not be tied to a single location or computer in case the crisis is geographic in nature, like a power outage on major storm. Take advantage of the mobility of social media and be prepared to use laptops or smartphones to execute your crisis response. This also allows you to move around and interact with employees while never leaving your social assets behind.


With these five steps, you can put your C-suite at ease. Your brand’s social media assets will be secure, your employees trained on how to use them. And should the worst-case scenario come to be, you will be prepared to respond quickly and efficiently. Social media will be one of your company’s biggest assets moving forward. Take the time to protect it.

Want to read the full guide? Download it below.

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