What large corporations don’t know about their digital brand presence can hurt them. Corporations that conduct global business and have a global following are likely to have hundreds –– if not thousands –– of points of presence (POPs) that relate to their brand. And hundreds more POPs that they aren’t aware of. Sometimes these accounts are created by well-meaning fans. Other times, they’re made by counterfeiters or cybercriminals who are planning to damage a company’s sales (and brand reputation). In this post, we’ll highlight four key benefits of discovering your unknown brand presence, and why it’s critical for your digital risk management practice.
Counterfeiters and cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated over time, and as a result, businesses need to be able to identify and act against these accounts quickly. When a company audits its web presence to discover unknown elements within it, they reduce their risk of falling victim to these malicious accounts. Once a governance or risk management professional identifies an account as a potential threat, they can engage their legal team to begin aggressive shut down with the network.
Some accounts aren’t created with the intention of harming a business’s brand, but end up doing so anyway. Rogue or abandoned accounts –– like those created by well-meaning –– can cause confusion for customers searching for a brand on social media. By first detecting and then either removing or integrating those pages with other accounts, corporations are able to create greater brand clarity on social media and, indirectly, improve the customer experience as a result. Contact for these accounts can be difficult to track, but the ongoing attempt to monitor, shut down or gain access to them is important.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram may be the most prevalent social media sites, but they’re not the only social media platforms that businesses, and people representing your brand, use. Industry-specific sites may also contain unknown POPs that hold significance for businesses working in certain industries. And if you are in the hospitality industry, Yelp and TripAdvisor may be critical to your bottom line. A web audit that doesn’t include these sites does not provide a business with 100% of its social media footprint. It is also important to think about Video platforms, blogs and websites to build a comprehensive digital inventory. A comprehensive digital audit is critical to your digital risk management practice.
Not all unknown accounts and POPs are detrimental to a company’s brand reputation. Some are quite beneficial but have –– for one reason or another –– not been accurately logged within a company’s digital inventory. These positive accounts may or may not be “official” company pages. They may be employees’ personal accounts (and part of an employee ambassador program), fan or community pages, or they may even be partner accounts. By bringing them under the centralized governance umbrella, businesses are able to ensure brand compliance and protect the company from inconsistent or poor brand exposure.
Although these accounts are not owned by the business, they can be part of damaging a brand for a number of reasons. And this is why a sound monitoring program for your entire digital landscape is part of good digital risk management practice.
Liked by Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director