Facebook and Twitter are remarkable networking tools. They can increase your potential leads and customers. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and are free and therefore cost-effective. However, with all good things there comes a risk. How can you protect your privacy online and decrease the risks of phishing or hijacking on your sites?
Think Profits.com’s social media team can advise you on the best social media mangement strategies. Here are five of our favourites:
1. Watch your friends: it’s exciting to watch your business grow new friends and fans. However, if you don’t recognize their names, they could pose a threat. Spammers and phishers often become “fans” of hundreds of companies or people in an attempt to post spam on your wall or hack into accounts. To prevent this, you could change your privacy settings so that you can approve who becomes your friend or fan. You can also check your account regularly and delete any people who seem suspicious.
2. Watch your words: you never know how closely your “friends” or “fans” are scrutinizing your posts. Try to stay neutral and non-offensive when communicating. Never write derogatory status updates about your competitors. Avoid projecting politically-charged or extreme viewpoints when possible.
3. Stay photogenic: controverial or embarassing pictures may have a place on your personal social media accounts, but definitely not on your business ones. Also keep in mind your employees’ privacy when tagging any photos on your company profiles. Ask permission before posting staff names on your company accounts.
4. Think proprietary: never post proprietary information on social media. All it takes is one competitor to run with your ideas and sell them–before you do. Instead, provide your customers with information on specials and promotions. It’s okay to give them “glimpses” of new ideas that are TBD. But retain some secrecy.
5. Tweet and write regularly: this is the best advice for taking control of your social media accounts and safeguarding your privacy. While Facebook and Twitter have privacy filters, the best option for monitoring your accounts and their integrity is to login often. Some companies only update Twitter once a month. This not only leads your fans to become disinterested; it also exposes your accounts to spamming. Regular tweeting and writing prevents this–as you can login and delete any posts that look like spam.
All this may sound daunting, but don’t worry: social media really is meant to be fun and engaging. It’s the exception to the rule that your account is hacked into or phished. The conspiracy privacy theories surrounding social media are not founded in fact. That said, it doesn’t hurt to take a few precautions. Your best bet is to strike a balance between taking risks on social media and watching with your privacy. Think Profits’ Internet marketing team can help you manage your social media accounts to avoid pitfalls.