Compromised online personal data is now a fact of modern life, with daily headlines about high profile cyber-attacks and mishandling of private consumer data. A majority of Americans have personally experienced a major data breach.1 It’s no wonder that a relatively significant portion of the public lacks trust in key institutions to protect their personal information.2 This lack of trust is even causing some users to threaten abandoning social media for good.
Companies of all sizes are facing two unprecedented challenges in the area of social media security. With only half of Americans trusting businesses with their online personal information, they must address their customers' mounting privacy concerns. Moreover, it’s essential that they take steps to protect themselves from social media security threats, especially those that put them at risk of losing the public’s confidence which is required to build long-lasting relationships.3 Here are three proactive tips to improve social media security for your brand and your customers:
Tip #1: Respect User Privacy
The majority of consumers are concerned with identity theft fueled by stolen personal data.4 They feel that their personal information is less secure than it was five years ago, and for good reason: data theft such as a fraudulent charges on a credit card or someone hijacking a social media account has impacted 64% of U.S. adults.5
If you don’t respect user privacy, you will lose brand trust, especially if you’re in an industry with sensitive information such as the medical or financial field.6 When responding to a customer inquiry, warn people if they put their data at risk and when appropriate, take the conversation from a public page to a secure private message. With a solution like Lithium Messaging, you can quickly and securely authenticate the identity of consumers when they engage through social media, then collect personal data over an encrypted connection.
Tip #2: Practice Transparency
According to CSO, millennials have always known a world with technology and in general are very comfortable sharing personal and sensitive data online. Having not grown up with the internet and mobile phones, most Boomers are more skeptical and reluctant to share.7 In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, Americans over 50 are of the opinion that their personal information has become less safe in recent years, especially on social media sites.8
In a future where customer data will be a growing source of competitive advantage, Harvard Business Review asserts “gaining consumers’ confidence will be key. Companies that are transparent about the information they gather, give customers control of their personal data, and offer fair value in return for it will be trusted and will earn ongoing and even expanded access.”9
To build brand trust, be transparent about what your company tracks, what it does with the information it collects, and what you offer the consumer for sharing data. Craft a public statement about the measures your company takes to protect privacy and post it on social media, your website, and send out a link via email.
Tip #3: Invest in a Secure Social Media Management Solution
It doesn’t take much for a simple human error to become a major brand #fail. Take UK retailer HMV, who neglected to safeguard their social network access before a layoff. The soon-to-be-former employees took to the company’s Twitter profile to live tweet about staff members losing their jobs, creating thousands of retweets and national headlines before it was shut down.10
Brands can minimize the risk of a social media crisis due to lost passwords, phishing scams and disgruntled employees with a secure social media management solution. By syncing all of your social media accounts in one convenient place and managing your entire social strategy with a single tool, you’ll also gain these social media security advantages:
The ability to easily update or remove user access.
More protection against community managers accidentally posting from the wrong account since users don’t need to sign into multiple accounts.
Password management for multiple accounts and multiple employees in one location.
Permission control for publishing and access restrictions by user types for content creators, customer service agents, and editors.
Streamlined approval workflows which can be used to prevent unauthorized content from being published.
A dashboard that monitors activity across all social channels so agents can respond to the most critical issues first before they escalate into a crisis.