How to protect your brand on social media

Sanjana Ahuja

August 31, 20236 min read

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Do you like to share vacation pictures or watch cute cat videos? Well, who doesn’t? And what better place to do that than on social media?  

But social media isn’t just a place for these amusing bits of brief entertainment. You got to open yourself up to the possibilities. It's also a bustling global marketplace and a stage for your brand to shine. It’s got the power to broadcast your brand voice to billions across the world. 

As of 2022, an astonishing 4.59 billion people were on social media. And that number is predicted to leap beyond 5.85 billion by 2027. This isn't just a crowd — it's over half the world's population waiting to hear your brand story! 

But every coin has two sides. Just as your brand message amplifies, so does the potential for the misuse of your brand. 

The beauty retailer “Sephora” experienced this harsh reality when counterfeit Facebook ads flooded the platform, falsely promising free products to entice users into revealing their personal and financial details. It wasn't just an attack on the company's funds; it was a damaging blow to their image and customers' trust. 

Your brand is not merely a logo or a tagline — it's a promise you make to your customers. It's a commitment to quality, authenticity and dependability. So, defending your brand on social media isn't just important, it's a battle you must be ready to wage and win. 

Are you ready to fight the good fight to protect your brand on social media?  

We imagine that you’re nodding furiously across the screen.  

So, buckle up, and let's begin our march towards understanding how, starting with the meaning of today’s subject. 

Table of Contents

What is social media brand protection? 

Brand protection on social media is the process of safeguarding your brand's identity, image, reputation and intellectual property rights from misuse and abuse on various social media platforms.

Brand protection on social media involves:

  1. Brand monitoring: You need to keep a watchful eye on how your brand is being talked about and represented on social media. This includes social media monitoring for trademark infringements, counterfeit product promotions, fake accounts and even negative comments. All these components can harm your brand's image if you don’t take the necessary measures.

  2. Community management: Interacting with your audience and managing their perceptions forms an essential part of brand protection. Ensuring positive interactions, responding to comments promptly and building a healthy community around your brand can help maintain your brand's positive image.

  3. Security measures: You need to protect your brand's official social media accounts from hacking and phishing attacks. Implementing strong security protocols, like two-factor authentication and regular password updates, forms an integral part of this component.

  4. Legal enforcement: If required, you must take legal action against those who infringe on your brand's trademarks or copyrights. This may include sending cease-and-desist letters, reporting violations to social media platforms or initiating legal proceedings.

  5. Employee advocacy: Your employees are your brand ambassadors, and how they represent your brand on social media also falls under brand protection. Clear guidelines and training should be provided to your employees about what they can and cannot share about the company on their personal social media accounts.

Why do enterprises need brand protection on social media?

You've built a robust brand, cultivated a strong customer base and have top-notch offers. 

So, why the extra effort for brand protection? 

Well, the answer lies in understanding the impact of social media itself and how it reflects and influences your brand's perception.

Customer trust and brand reputation

In the words of Amazon's Jeff Bezos, "Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room."

Today, most of these conversations happen on social media. Any negative experience, fake account or fraudulent activity linked to your brand can damage your brand's reputation and erode customer trust, which can take years to rebuild. 

Amplified visibility

Social media's power to amplify messages is a double-edged sword. While positive experiences can boost your brand, negative impressions can spread like wildfire, causing potentially irreparable damage. 

The infamous airline incident in 2017, where a passenger was forcibly removed from an overbooked flight, triggered social media outrage that led to a decrease in the company's market value within days.

Intellectual property rights

Your brand's intellectual property, including your name, logo and unique products or services, is a precious asset. On social media, these can be easily misappropriated by imposters or competitors, leading to confusion among customers and consequently lost sales. 

Legal liabilities

From copyright violations to defamation, enterprises could potentially face legal issues if inappropriate content is associated with their brand on social media. Brand protection helps mitigate such risks by monitoring and controlling how your brand is portrayed online. 

Understanding the landscape of brand protection

Just as a ship needs a compass to navigate through oceans, businesses require a clear understanding of the brand protection landscape to steer their efforts in the right direction. 

This begins with conducting a comprehensive social media audit of your brand and actively monitoring brand mentions and conversations. 

Conducting a comprehensive brand audit

A brand audit is pretty much a health check for your brand. It involves assessing your brand's current position in the social media landscape, identifying risks and assessing your brand protection measures. 

Here's how to get started:

  1. Create an inventory of brand assets: Catalog all your digital assets. This includes your official social media accounts, logos, branded hashtags, copyrighted images or videos, patented products or services and your unique brand voice.

  2. Examine your brand presentation: Evaluate how your brand is being presented across different social media platforms. Is your branding consistent? Is your brand voice authentic and engaging? Are your visual elements recognizable and of a high quality?

  3. Identify potential vulnerabilities: Look for areas where your brand could be at risk. Are there any unauthorized accounts using your brand name? Are there any counterfeit products being promoted? Are there any damaging reviews or negative comments that need to be addressed?

  4. Assess current protection measures: Evaluate your current brand protection strategies. Are they effective? Are your social media accounts secure? Do you have a process in place to deal with brand-related crises?

Monitoring brand mentions and conversations

It's also crucial to keep your finger on the pulse of the conversation surrounding your brand. Monitoring brand mentions and conversations involves tracking and analyzing instances where your brand is mentioned on social media.  

So, here’s why this is important and what you need to do:

  1. Manage your brand's online reputation: Monitoring brand mentions helps you gauge your brand's reputation. Are the mentions mostly positive or negative? How are customers responding to your latest product or campaign?

  2. Use all engagement opportunities: By monitoring brand conversations, you can respond promptly to customer queries, address concerns and even show appreciation for positive feedback.

  3. Detect crises early: Timely monitoring can alert you to potential crises. Negative sentiments or controversial discussions involving your brand can spiral quickly on social media. Early detection enables swift action to control the situation.

  4. Gain competitive insights: By keeping tabs on how consumers talk about competitors, you can gain valuable insights to inform your own strategies.

  5. Identify fraud: Spotting and taking action against counterfeit accounts or fraud becomes faster when you actively monitor brand mentions.

Also, read about social listening, and explore its benefits to take your brand reputation to the next level.

Tips to protect your brand on social media

Armed with the right strategies and tools, you can safeguard your brand and build a trustworthy and engaging online presence. 

Here are some key tips to fortify your brand protection armor:

Establish a strong social media policy

A robust social media policy is the foundation of your brand protection strategy. It lays the blueprint for how your brand should be represented online. 

Identify who is responsible for posting content, responding to comments or messages, monitoring brand mentions and handling potential crises. The clear demarcation of roles ensures smooth operations and quick response times.

Encourage employee advocacy

Your employees are your brand ambassadors. Encourage them to share positive experiences and news about your brand on their personal social media accounts. 

However, provide them with clear guidelines about what is appropriate to share to prevent any potential miscommunication or disclosure of sensitive information.

A dashboard showing top employees who are brand advocates

Protect your brand's online identity

Just as you protect your personal identity, it's crucial to safeguard your brand's online identity.  

Here's how:

  • Implement security measures for social media accounts

  • Use strong, unique passwords

  • Enable two-factor authentication

  • Claim and verify profiles on social media platforms

  • Establish authenticity and credibility 

Engage authentically with your audience

Authentic engagement helps build strong relationships with your audience, fostering trust and loyalty.  

Here’s how you can go about it:

  • Create valuable and engaging content: Share content that resonates with your audience and encourages interaction

  • Address audience pain points and provide solutions: Show your audience that you understand their challenges and are there to help

  • Share industry insights: Position your brand as a trusted expert in your field

  • Encourage user-generated content (UGC): This not only engages your audience but also provides you with free, authentic content

  • Leverage UGC for social proof and increased engagement: Share positive reviews or testimonials to build credibility and trust

Crisis management and damage control

Despite a brand’s best efforts, social media crises can still occur. How you respond to these crises can either mitigate the damage or worsen the situation. 

So, be sure to:

  • Develop a crisis management strategy: Prepare a plan outlining the steps to take in case of a crisis.

  • Predict potential crises: Regularly assess potential vulnerabilities to be better prepared.

  • Designate a spokesperson for consistent messaging: Ensure one voice represents your brand during a crisis.

  • Respond transparently and promptly to crises: Honest and prompt responses can help regain customer trust.

  • Communicate solutions and the steps taken: Keep your audience updated on what you're doing to resolve the issue.

  • Monitor and manage your brand reputation: Continually monitor sentiments and take steps to rebuild your brand's reputation, if necessary.

  • Implement necessary changes based on lessons learned: Use a crisis as a learning opportunity to strengthen your brand protection strategy.

Also, check out this important guide on social media crisis management for brands in 2023 to get a better idea of how you can handle potential crises.

AI-powered platforms like Sprinklr Insights can go a long way during such times of distress as they broadcast alerts about brand mentions and negative customer sentiments. They even help brands pause content publishing across channels with a single click, helping them in reacting promptly during a crisis and realigning their strategy.

A smart alerts dashboard for brand mentions, engagement and negative sentiments from multiple channels.

Key takeaway

Safeguarding your brand's image on social media might seem daunting, but it's an integral part of navigating the digital age. Whether it's establishing a strong social media policy or handling potential crises, each effective strategy contributes to making that brand-protection armor of yours ever sturdier. 

Taking the steps mentioned in this article will not only protect your brand but empower it to shine brighter and outperform competitors. In addition to preserving your reputation, you'll also be building a loyal community that values your brand as much as you do. 

But remember, you don't have to do this alone. 

With Sprinklr's comprehensive suite of social media management tools, you can automate brand monitoring. You can also manage multiple social media accounts securely, engage with your audience more effectively and respond to potential crises swiftly. 

Ready to take your brand protection to a whole new level? Connect with us today to know more.

Frequently Asked Questions

To protect your brand on social media, you can file for trademarks and copyrights, take legal action against infringements and work closely with regulatory bodies or social media platforms to report and take down any unauthorized use of your brand.

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