Accept No Impostors: How To Protect Your Brand From Impersonators

by | Nov 30, 2022 | Branding, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Media, Need to Know, Social Media, Social Media Strategy

Think what you will about it, but there’s no denying that the post-Musk Twitter is entertaining. If you were like me, you were glued to your feed last week during the blue-check fiasco. Not up to speed on it? Basically, the blue check changed from representing a “verified” account to a paid one. You see the problem, right? For the low price of $8, people could basically pretend to be anyone they wanted on the site. And they did. All sorts of parody tweets seemingly from legit corporate accounts went viral, posing serious reputational damage to mega corps including Ely Lilly and Nintendo. 

For consumers, it was comedy gold. For brands, a trash fire. 

But look, it’s the internet. Bad actors are out there. Here’s how to keep them at bay – and keep your brand from a crisis.

Monitor for impersonators.

The bigger you get the more others want to take advantage of your brand equity and reputation. Set up searches and alerts for keywords or hashtags ownable to your brand and encourage your team or customers to keep an eye out for fakes. Also look for misspellings or variations on your username – you can often spot impersonators this way. If you find a fake account, report it. 

Educate your team and customers!

This is a big one. So many issues start when people click on a link or respond to an email/message that “looks” legit. Educate people to look for a specific username or email address and provide secure channels for communication. If you do giveaways or sales through your social accounts, it’s only a matter of time before the scam accounts will start popping up. Tell your customers how you’ll get in touch with them, and how to verify that it’s you contacting them. Additionally, look for alternative ways of notifying winners or collecting details to reduce the risk of their personal information being compromised.

Avoid getting hacked.

Protect your account – and your followers! Use strong passwords (and change them often), set up two-factor authentication, and be very careful about who you give account access to (this includes social media “takeovers” where you have no control over the broadcast content!). Keep a list of everyone who has access to your accounts, and if an intern or staff member moves on, revoke their access to avoid potential issues in the future. If you do get hacked, move fast!

Be good!

You’re way less likely to have a reputational crisis if you’re strategic in both how you do business and how you comport yourself on social media. Follow best practices, stay on brand – and remember to make sure you’re sending people to your mailing list and website!

Need some help making sure that you’re doing everything you need to keep your brand safe? Book a Pulse Check to see if you’re on track – or what you need to do to get there.