How to protect your brand from social media impersonators

With fraudsters creating fake accounts and causing other messaging mayhem that can harm consumer trust and brand reputation, here’s how to defend against digital grifters.

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What’s the harm in a social media account that spoofs your brand? It’s no laughing matter.

It’s a significant and growing concern, says Joan Porta, vice president of customer success for Red Points, abrand protection company. From accounts that post fake deals, sales links and products to accounts that just share brand misinformation, companies of all sizes must take online security seriously—and that goes beyond hackers trying to infiltrate your internal computer systems.

“I would say violations in social media in general are growing,” says Porta. “If we talk about the risks for brands, we are talking about revenue loss. Many of these profiles might be stealing customers. Maybe they’re stealing traffic from the legitimate channels—but overall the most significant risk for brands is reputational or brand equity damage.”

What are the motivations of the perpetrators of these attacks? “Most of these impersonations are associated to scams, to phishing attacks, to counterfeit sales,” Porta explains. And while the direct impact might not affect the brand, he says many consumers see brands as responsible for protecting them from such malicious activities.

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