4 social media risks when running a small business

Digital platforms might benefit your business when trying to reach potential customers, promoting your offers or engaging with audiences with creative content, but there are also many social media risks that you may run into and want to avoid.

As a small business, taking care of your reputation is vital when trying to grow. By understanding some of the potential risks of social media, you can continue to thrive and build your business.

To find out some social media security risks, continue reading below.

1. Brand Impersonation & Phishing

While the digital world may sound like the ideal place to communicate with customers, but it may not be the safest. Cybercriminals may be tough to avoid, and some may create fake pages and accounts that impersonate any brand. These accounts may be used to lure online customers with fake offers and promotions and may even collect users’ personal and sensitive data, possibly resulting in the loss of financial and personal information.

As your account may be public, you may be targeted, and cybercriminals may replicate your public information. Brand impersonation should not be taken lightly, as it could result in your business closing and personal information being leaked.

When running your social media, you may want to keep a close eye on a regular basis so that if, in any case, your business encounters this sort of situation, you may be able to act quickly. You may also want to consider some social media security tips to ensure your account is safe:

  • Assign a social media manager or at least one employee to handle the account
  • Stay up to date with any social media scams
  • Creating unique passwords for each account
  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Check privacy settings are up to date regularly

2. Commenting and Following

With the affordances of social media platforms to post, comment and follow, it may be essential to consider the risks associated with those activities when engaging with the public. Any content you are thinking of posting could consider the type of ethics and responsibility that you are not offending any person or group with your messaging or graphics.

As these platforms are accessible to the public, your business could receive negative comments from users, which may influence the opinions of potential customers. Negative feedback may be painful to any business, but try to avoid it from impacting you and your business’ reputation by using it as a strategy or consideration for the future, including the content you post or adjusting one of your strategies.

You may want to view your followers as your potential customers, so you may want to review the current content ideas that you plan to post and ask yourself:

  • Does this hurt/risk anyone?
  • Am I being kind?
  • Does this post support my brand’s messaging?
  • How can I phrase what I want to share in a respectful manner?
  • Are there any offensive names or comments I should remove?
  • Is this information accurate?

By reviewing these questions, your business may avoid the risk of losing followers and offending anyone online.

3. Unrealistic Offers or Claims

When promoting your business and offers through social media, you may need to consider whether you are following the appropriate laws and regulations of advertising. If you are making unrealistic claims to your followers, your business may face fines for misleading conduct.

Each country and social media channel has its own advertising laws and regulations, which may be crucial for any small business to read before promoting any offers. This may include a disclosure that a particular piece of content is an advertisement, or an influencer you are working with may need to state that their post is easily distinguishable as part of a commercial arrangement.

As one of the risks of social media, this could lead to your business closing or facing lawsuits, fines, and damage to your reputation. Consider the wording of your promotions before launching them to the public, and ensure you follow the proper advertising guidelines per channel.

4. Copyright Infringements

Whether you are planning to post an image from the internet or use a song in a video, you may need to consider the copyright laws of using this content. If you are producing material that is already copyrighted without the permission of the initial owner, you may be committing a copyright infringement.

As there is some creative commons content that can be used for personal use, some may not be available to use for commercial reasons, including advertising or campaigns. Where it is possible to research or contact the original owner of a piece, your business may be able to avoid any copyright infringement. Particular social media platforms may also have their own restrictions, and you may want to look into these so you may start producing content online without running into this issue.

Similarly, if your business is planning to take photos from an event or outdoors, you may need to ask permission before taking the image of people so that they may be aware that they could be posted online with the proper respect.

The social media world holds many benefits for small businesses to promote, advertise and communicate directly with their customers. While there may be a range of tools available that allow this, small companies may also run into a number of risks that could possibly impact their reputation or lead to the closure of business. Purchasing insurance for your business can ensure that your employees and business are protected from risks or expensive lawsuits. Participating in the digital space may raise some risks, so considering Cyber Liability Insurance can help protect your business from any claims and support you in the event of a cyber breach or attack. At BizCover, we aim to help businesses sort out their insurance by comparing multiple quotes online in just minutes. Get in touch with us today, and we can help your business get protected, drama free!

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769.

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