In 2019, Pew reported that 72% of adults use some form of social media. Virtually every type of business and interaction that takes place in person now has an online equivalent. With the rise of social media, businesses have followed consumers to the platforms and used them for everything from market research to loss prevention.
Social media can provide unprecedented opportunities for marketers, but also opens the door to major reputation damage—this is where risk management and asset protection come into play.
The Asset Protection Industry and Social Media
According to Statuslabs, 80% of online consumers in the US reported that negative information read online made them change their mind about a purchasing decision. Statuslab also reported, via a study by the World Economic Forum, that more than 25% of a company’s market value is directly attributable to its reputation, and 87% of executives rate managing reputation risk as more important than other strategic risks.
Some brands have massively grown their following and their profits with social media marketing. Direct-to-consumer companies like Casper have taken off with the help of social media. On the other side of the coin, it is easy for consumers or even employees to damage a brand’s reputation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or other platforms.
Brands can (and at this point, must) participate on social media, and many of them thrive because of it. But social media’s power will always come from the consumers. One negative experience that is widely shared can take off and ruin a reputation that took years of marketing strategy to build. As of right now, there is no insurance that covers damage to a brand’s reputation as a result of unmonitored social media complaints.
We’ve compiled some tips for companies on using social media tools to aid loss prevention efforts.
1) Monitor the Conversation for Brand Management
It’s never a bad idea to keep an eye on what people are saying about your company, but it’s especially essential to loss prevention. Social media listening tools can help your team catch off profile mentions and where your brand is not tagged. Social media doesn’t adhere to business hours, so enterprise companies may want to have a team monitoring and reaching out to customers 24/7.
With the right social listening tools, you can set alerts to notify your team of indicators that a crisis may be on the horizon, like an increase in mentions, specific words or phrases, or a decrease in sentiment. This way, once a crisis has been identified, you can act quickly enough to prevent it from getting out of hand—we’ll discuss this in-depth in our next tip.
Social media listening tools can also alert you to an internal crisis. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, approximately 75 percent of all employees steal from work. This could be in the form of time theft, office supplies, or larger products. Employee theft also contributes to about 30% of corporate bankruptcies. How can you avoid becoming one of these statistics? By using social media monitoring as a loss prevention tool.
Looking into your employees’ online profiles as part of an investigation can reveal surprising information. For example, an employee may sell stolen tech supplies on Facebook marketplace. Employee theft is a major contributor to shrink, and social media monitoring is another loss prevention tool to prevent this.
2) Stay on top of your Mentions and Engage with your Audience
Just listening isn’t enough to stop a crisis—you’ll have to speak to and build relationships with your customers too.
One of the most important things to do when a crisis begins to surface is to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand. Quick responses via active social media engagement can often avert a potential disaster, allowing team members time to resolve an issue before the public is aware of it.
It’s important to have a response system in place for social media complaints and issues in order to avoid a reputation-damaging crisis. This system should include protocols that inform your team how and by whom each complaint should be handled based on the type of complaint or issue. Just like your team prepares responses for situations like severe weather and other emergencies, they should prepare responses for social media issues and controversies as well.
3) Listen to Your Feedback
Social media gives companies a chance to interact with their customers directly. The feedback you receive can help you identify weak points in your customer journey and improve them. Adjustments, or even a simple response, in accordance with feedback can help you establish trust and brand loyalty with your audience.
A loyal following is the base of asset protection—you can use social media as a loss prevention tool to demonstrate your respect for your customers.
4) Implement Corporate Guidelines
It’s important to have clear documentation stating your company’s expectations of social media. Having corporate guidelines that establish the rules for your brand’s social media content and your employees’ behavior on social media will help set boundaries that can prevent lawsuits and PR disasters. These guidelines should be updated as new social platforms and technologies emerge.
Many people, especially younger groups, take to social media to share a variety of thoughts. Employees could potentially discuss the company, its products, clients, or other employees. Your corporate guidelines for employees should reflect the fact that they represent the company every time they post on social media sites. While they should be free to use social media, high profile employees also have a responsibility to uphold the image of the company. A disgruntled employee who posts about their experience online has the potential to do the same amount of damage as an angry customer.
Social media and the internet in general have changed the way business is conducted. The asset protection industry may see a shift from focusing on inventory control to emphasizing information control, as information can travel fast. Investing in social media can help you identify issues affecting your company, investigate, gather feedback, build brand loyalty, manage crises, practice loss prevention, and more!
Request a demo with Nuvi to see how social analytic and management tools can benefit you.