Could Your Brand’s Social Image Be at Risk? Here’s What You Should Be Doing

business brand social image tips guidesYour brand is the lifeline of your business, and proper protection is necessary. It’s what your audience expects you to deliver and live up to. Without a preventative plan, your company can suffer extreme consequences that can be fatal to the bottom line and brand image.

To help prepare against potential threats against your reputation, many businesses utilize social media risk management to foresee and manage risks. This includes closely watching and frequently auditing all social media profiles, ensuring social security protocols are updated, risk protocols are incorporated into the agenda, and employees are trained and updated on the social media crisis scenarios.

Controlling Your Social Reputation

Social media risk management protects your brand in many ways, and helps establish and maintain trust. According to VentureBeat, there are more than 2.1 million negative social media mentions every single day in the United States alone. As a business, regardless of size, the goal is to cultivate positive relationships and use social media as a steering wheel to achieve that.

Risk management isn’t just about preventing the worst from happening; in an unpredictable ecommerce-driven world, things happen. How you handle it as a business with distinct values is half the battle, and having the right methodologies in place can help better your response strategy.

How Counterfeit Website Can Affect Your Brands

Counterfeit websites are a major risk factor. These are websites pretend to sell authentic products to people in the name of your brand. They professionally-designed and usually trick people into thinking they’re the real deal. Once a purchase is complete, the consumer either receives a knock-off or used product, or doesn’t receive a product at all.

As a company, you should inform your customers on how to spot these counterfeit websites by telling them to watch out for red flags and report these websites via your social media channels. Paying attention to social media dialogue can even prevent these counterfeit sites from getting even more out of control. Red flags include offers that are too good to be true, e-mails with spelling and/or grammatical errors, lack of customer support, and no encryption during the checkout process.

Even big-box retailers aren’t exempt from risk. Amazon ran into trouble when customers discovered that their trusted online retailer was prone to selling goods from counterfeit websites. Due to Amazon’s flexible policies, there was an influx of products from shoddy manufacturers in China. Instead of shaming these counterfeit product-selling sites, Amazon should have focused on educating their customers on how to spot counterfeit goods and the benefits of buying authentic products and relaying that via social media and email marketing.

Negative SEO

Another factor that can put your brand at risk is negative SEO, which decreases your search engine ranking. The most common form of negative SEO is unnatural links. These links could come from anyone trying to hurt your brand. When Google’s algorithms search the Internet and discover thousands of unnatural links, your website gets penalized because of it. To prevent negative SEO from impacting your brand, it’s imperative to conduct link audits on a regular basis.

Brand risk isn’t just external, either. In some cases, your brand could be hurt by the actions of your staff. There are countless examples of how companies suffered at the mistakes of their employees. For example, two employees at a Domino’s Pizza put cheese up their noses and placed it on the pizza they sold to customers. They uploaded the video to YouTube, causing 65% of surveyed customers to say they would never order a pizza at Domino’s Pizza again. Social media risk management would have helped Domino’s Pizza anticipate and get ahead of the situation.

Always be one step ahead. Manage your business with care and precaution, and keep open dialogue between you and your customers. There are many tools that can help you manage social media and your overall brand. Take a step back and evaluate what’s best for your business and budget.

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