As PR and social media professionals who often share content on behalf of brands and company executives, we literally have their reputations in our hands…and on our dashboards.
That’s why every PR pro must guard against the unscrupulous. Recent Twitter hacks of major brands like Burger King, Jeep and Chrysler show that no one is immune.
With hackers growing more sophisticated by the day, no one can guarantee a 100% bulletproof social account. But we can avoid the kind of sloppiness that invites trouble. Hacks are not only embarrassing in professional circles, but they can have reputation repercussions for companies and their brands.
Here are some tips for dealing with, and preventing social media mishaps.
Follow good password protocol. Passwords such as “hello123” and “love” are a temptation to mischief-makers. By regularly changing passwords, limiting the number of approved users, and safeguarding your personal email and social accounts, you can eliminate easy security loopholes. Also, never save passwords to your browser; it’s an invitation to hackers.
Be prepared. Have a written and approved set of steps for a social media hack or mistake so you can “nip an issue in the bud” and minimize any damage as quickly as possible. Build in redundancy. For example, make sure that automated tweets can be suspended quickly and easily in the event of a disaster or other breaking news.
Think before you delete. If a questionable update is posted, think before you rush to delete. Sometimes, a deleted tweet just calls greater attention to the situation. A simple correction could be all you need to fix the error; or, if you have caused offense, apologize promptly and sincerely.
Separate your personal and client streams and dashboards. It’s easy to make mistakes (e.g. auto-log in), which is all the more reason to separate your business and personal streams. This helps safeguard your Twitter worlds with an extra layer of security if one of your accounts be compromised, and it reduces the chances you’ll tweet about your wicked hangover on a client’s account.
Double-check vendors. If you use a subcontracter, make sure they’re buttoned up. Every entity contracted to deal with your brand needs written security and content guidelines.