These days, consumers are turning to social media for almost all of their brand interaction. Not only is it pertinent that you maintain an active presence on these networks, but it’s equally important that you take the appropriate measures to protect your brand and your reputation. Between April and June 2016, some 600 fraudulent brand accounts were created with the purpose of duping innocent customers into sharing their personal information and as a result, many businesses have paid the ultimate price. To prevent your property management company from becoming the next victim, keep the following tips in mind.
Establish yourself on social media before anyone else has the chance
Regardless of whether you’ve got a solid social media strategy in place or not, the first step to protecting your property management brand is to make sure you’ve at least set up shop online before the hackers have a chance to do so fraudulently. Claim your spot on all the major social networks, even if you don’t plan to use them all. If possible, take the steps to verify your business (a designation usually identified by a special icon or flag). This will help your customers and prospects to recognize which accounts they can trust and which they should be leery of.
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Take and maintain control over all of your social media accounts
Brands that are least susceptible to social media hackers are those that already have governance strategies in place, including designated staff responsible for handling social media communications. The more you plan ahead, the more you’ll be able to establish a sense of control right off the bat and the easier it will be to quickly identify and address any potential breaches.
Conduct routine inventory of your brand online
Don’t assume that just because you’ve got the first two steps in place that your property management brand is safe from potential social media sabotage. Be proactive about it by conducting regular searches of your company name on all the popular networks and online in general. This can help you uncover any potential fraudulent activity. As an added bonus, by finding out where your brand is being mentioned online and what’s being said, you can also effectively stay on top of your reputation.
Act swiftly to mitigate potential damages
Should your ongoing efforts turn up any nefarious activities being carried out in your name, the faster you respond and conduct damage control, the less likely you’ll be to suffer serious consequences. If you spot a fraudster impersonating your brand, act quickly by notifying your fan base via your legitimate social media accounts. Letting your customers know what to watch for will thwart any would-be criminal activity from taking place and also demonstrate that you care about the safety of their information.
Develop and implement a response strategy
In addition to reporting fraud to the appropriate authorities (social media sites and government bodies, if necessary), you should also develop and implement a response strategy that keeps customers informed on how they can also report suspected fraud. For example, PayPal created a special email account that’s used solely to report phishing schemes. While you may not need to go to this extreme for your property management company, communicating to your fans and followers how and where to report their suspicions will add an extra layer of protection to your online presence.
And, above all else, it’s important to remember that in addition to the five tips listed above, the fluid nature of social media means that your strategy must also be agile. As social networks change and evolve, criminals will continue to come up with new and creative scams to perpetrate. It would be wise to conduct regular evaluations of your social protection plan and make changes when and where necessary to ensure it remains a strong and solid barrier against potential breaches, keeping your property management brand and your loyal customers safe from harm.
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