If you’ve done business in the last decade, you know how important a social media & web presence can be. It maintains your brand, grows your new customer base, and allows focused engagement with your current clients. Anywhere where people talk, they might not be saying just good things about your business. They might be offering honest feedback, or they could be dishonestly disparaging you. At worst, they could be planning to rob you, or make your business a victim of tragic circumstance.
What is social media monitoring?
By searching publicly accessible social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in near real time for keywords or phrases, valuable intelligence can be gained. These social sites are crawled and indexed, and then the indexes built are scoured for key terms, phrases or word strings, and are then collated through an interface to present in a more usable form. By seeing which other words are connected more frequently to your business name, you can get an idea of how you’re presenting socially on the Internet. Taken a bit further, you can see demographics that are interested in your business, and what else they may be interested in to.
But the heart of this utility is security.
Planned protests at your business, or shoplifters showing off their wares can really impact your brand and your profits. Simply knowing that your place of business is close to areas known for a specific kind of crime or risk is immeasurable. Most social media monitoring tools go beyond social networking platforms and can scour the web at large, given an even more accurate picture. And there’s still another piece of security this monitoring can touch.
Suppose you are a victim of a breach, and someone has taken credit card information from your point of sale servers. Eventually, those stolen credit cards will probably wind up somewhere on the dark web, to be bought and sold by users around the globe. Certain metadata, or very basic information that is always tied to a person, like date of birth or social security number, is almost always attached. By turning to a monitoring service that is constantly searching and indexing the dark web for, say, your business’s email addresses or phone numbers, or the names of customers you know might be affected by the breach, you can provide valuable warning to the public and law enforcement in real time. Knowing what was taken can also provide you with the steps needed to remediate the problem in the future, addressing any vulnerabilities you have with your IT department or provider.
Giving your patrons quick notification of breaches and exploits, and the steps you’re taking to prevent them from happening again, shows that you are concerned with their security as well as your own, and are taking every effort you can to keep them safe….