For most companies, brand reputation and recognition is a priority. And if you read global risk research, you know that “cyber risks” and “damage to brand reputation” continue to rank in the top risk concerns of global CEOs. (You can take a closer look at research by Deloitte, PwC and AON.) And when you are talking about brand reputation and cyber risks, you are talking about your branded digital footprint!
Additionally, a significant portion of a CMO’s budget is allocated across digital channels and social relationships. So ensuring that these channels are secure, effective and monitored is critical. This is why digital governance programs are becoming a key function in major corporations.
The Common Enterprise Digital Footprint
You may be wondering, “how healthy (or unhealthy) is my digital footprint”?
The common global enterprise social media footprint of known corporate accounts is anywhere between 500-3000 accounts; more if the company is a retail or hospitality organization. And if the company has a social sales team or employee ambassador program, that number increases significantly. Of these accounts, approximately 35-50% are considered ineffective, stale, or out of compliance with corporate standards (as seen by our Brandle customers who are measuring effectiveness post-digital audit).
And the unknown is…UNKNOWN. At Brandle, we typically find anywhere between 10-200 times more accounts than the organization believes exists. That’s a lot of unknown risk and potential brand damage.
Digital Governance to Secure Your Digital Footprint
The answer to mitigate risk and strengthen brand reputation for your digital footprint is to implement a thoughtful and comprehensive digital governance program. There are six key phases to create a new governance program.
- PHASE 1: Create Your Corporate Governance Foundation. This phase creates the support structure for global adherence, including executive buy-in.
- PHASE 2: Apply the Governance Structure. This phase rolls out the governance structure to the company and applies it to the known digital footprint.
- PHASE 3: Discover The Unknown. This is the full-scale discovery phase for the unknown social media accounts, websites, blogs, micro-pages on vertical platforms (think Zillow, Redfin, TripAdvisor, etc.), pages in selling sites, etc.
- PHASE 4: Optimize Corporate Brand Digital Footprint. Phase 4 is the process of confirming or changing imagery, descriptions, and profile content to align with brand standards and voice. This phase also may finalize the actions needed to clean-up what was found in the Discovery phase such as takedowns, merging of duplicate accounts or the final steps to clean-up up the rogue accounts and websites.
- PHASE 5: Expand Brand Reach. Once the corporate digital footprint is optimized, expanding digital brand reach with employees and partners are great programs.
- PHASE 6: Monitor, Protect and Review your Brand Ecosystem. With all digital programs in place, employees and partners trained, and governance procedures in order, the final phase is a continual monitoring process of these accounts and sites to ensure corporate and regulatory compliance.
I will be writing more on each of these phases to give you a complete process. You may wish to download our Social Media Governance eBook to learn the best practices of major corporations to control a global social media brand footprint. This eBook contains the internal process of gaining buy-in from executives and departments across your enterprise. No matter how you get started on your digital governance program, do know that your efforts are a step forward in protecting your corporate brand reputation online!
Originally published here.