Today’s consumer uses multiple channels to engage with your brand. They visit physical stores, online websites, mobile apps, social media sites and so forth. Brand owners expect their customers to have a consistent brand experience across all these channels. Unfortunately, fraudsters want to leverage your brand to monetize for their own gain – and customers end up falling victims to their scams.
When it comes to social media, most companies primarily focus on marketing their brand and often undermine the relevance of brand protection. It’s critical for companies to also prioritize brand protection in social media given its vast influence over consumers. 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide their purchases. With 1.35 billion people active users on Facebook, 300 million active users on Instagram, and every day 120,000 new people are registering to join Tumblr – companies need to ensure that there is no brand abuse tarnishing their company’s brand and reputation.
Consumers like to turn to social media to express their opinions about a brand, and there’s an important distinction between advocating for freedom of speech and intentional brand abuse. Individuals have the right to “voice” their opinion/experience about a particular brand; however, brand abuse such as impersonation, promotion of counterfeit goods, phishing scams and fake special promotions are illegitimate and companies should be enforcing and taking action to have it removed.
One common tactic is setting up a page on a popular social media site that impersonates the look and feel of a legitimate company’s branding. After attracting a significant number of followers, they can maliciously intertwine relevant posts with counterfeit and phishing website links. Customers will unwittingly follow these links and fall victim to these scams.
MarkMonitor recently hosted a webinar on this subject to educate brand owners on the different types of challenges and brand abuse that are occurring in the social media channel. To learn more about brand abuse on social media and best practices to help solve the problem, please visit our on-demand webinar on Brand Abuse Lurking on Social Media: Uncovering the Hidden Risks.