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What is Social Media Monitoring?

The monitoring of ads and listings on social media is an essential part of a comprehensive brand protection program. Find out the threats social media can pose for your brand and how globaleyez can help solve them.

Having read our recent article about the updates concerning Facebook shopping, readers have turned to us with questions about our social media monitoring service and how it works on various social media platforms.

Social media is big business. There are hundreds or thousands of companies that utilise social media for advertising and selling. YouTube and Facebook are two of the most visited websites in the world. But the conversation around social media rarely focuses on brand protection. While everyone wants to shout from the rooftops about data breaches and new features, the brand protection risks associated with each channel are rarely discussed.

So here’s a quick overview of the most popular social media sites, what brand protection issues arise there, and how globaleyez can help.

Facebook

Facebook needs no introduction. With 2.41 billion monthly active users from all over the world, Facebook is currently the biggest and most popular social media platform. No wonder brands are using it to connect with their audience. But unfortunately, so do scammers and counterfeiters.

Brand protection issues

Facebook offers several features geared towards its commercial users, including ads, listings as well as a virtual storefront and shopping basket. However, some of these can cause serious brand protection problems.

Screenshot of Facebook Marketplace
Screenshot of Facebook Marketplace

The biggest of these is the problem of fake ads. These are ads appearing on Facebook, advertising original products that do not point to the legitimate website of the brand in question, but to a website selling fakes. Although there is a verification process, fake ads can still fall through the cracks and appear on the platform.

Because Facebook relies a lot on people reporting counterfeit ads and products, someone could create a fake ad or counterfeit your product and it could easily go unnoticed for a long period of time. This is especially true for Facebook Marketplace, where any user, including consumers can set up listings for any item. And since the actual transactions take place off the platform, it’s even harder to track down fraudulent sellers.

Another, similar issue we previously uncovered on our blog was that many people were setting up fake raffles, using reputable brands like McDonald’s, as a way to scam people’s personal details from them.

Instagram

Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a popular picture sharing platform that’s ideal for social commerce. Users can simply click on the image containing the desired product (often promoted by influencers) to land on the virtual storefront, put the item in their shopping cart and even pay for it - all without leaving the app.

Brand protection issues

While the sharing of copyrighted images is definitely problematic (which is why we at globaleyez introduced our image monitoring service, but that’s another story), it’s again the issue of fake ads that can cause the most harm for brands. Anyone wanting to profit from your brand image could easily use a fake domain and create a fake landing page to scam users out of money they think they are spending on your product.

Last year, during black Friday, WTR reported that Instagram had been called on to verify their advertisers, like they do with public figures who wish to register a public profile. Many well-known brands like Timberland, Nintendo and Stone Island have been hit with the fake ad problem, where an ad for the product would link through to a fake website selling counterfeit goods.

This is why asocial media monitoring service is such an important part of a digital brand protection strategy.

WhatsApp

Another app owned by Facebook, WhatsApp is a messaging app that has lately started dabbling in commerce as well. The app allows vendors to create direct contact with shoppers, promising a highly intimate, interactive and personal shopping experience.

Brand protection issues

The nature of WhatsApp shopping definitely raises serious brand protection issues. As we pointed out earlier, this intimate shopping experience and its lack of transparency carries a high risk of fraud. If a vendor is selling counterfeit products, who is there to see and report them?

Our social media monitoring service, of course.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a growing social platform where users create boards based on things they are interested in.

Screenshot of Pinterest search results for diy garden decor
Screenshot of Pinterest search results for diy garden decor

Brand protection issues

Because people can “pin” images from around the web it is really easy to infringe on intellectual property. Although Pinterest has a copyright protection policy in place, this is undoubtedly hard to enforce without a highly targeted image monitoring service.

It may seem like a benefit to have images of your product pinned by someone to raise brand awareness, but what if this is used in conjunction with content or other images that are damaging to your brand? Users could also pin old versions of your product which have since been updated.

TikTok

Launched in 2012 as “Bytedance”, the company that owns what we now call TikTok took over music.ly and became TikTok in 2018. TikTok has 800 million users worldwide. The platform allows users to share short videos and also accommodates ads.

Brand protection issues

With any user-generated content site that rises to popularity as quickly as TikTok has, there is a concern about intellectual property and copyright, not to mention scams and fake ads.

Although TikTok has a copyright protection policy, the most effective way to protect brands from harm on the platform is definitely social media monitoring.

And finally we arrive at the main question: what is social media monitoring and how does it work?

Social media monitoring 101

globaleyez’s social media monitoring service provides automated and highly scalable monitoring of ads, brand pages, single webshops, closed and open buying groups and marketplaces on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

In short, we discover and remove IP-infringing content, including listings and ads that hurt your brand.

Who can benefit from social media monitoring?

That’s easy: any brand that offers any kind of product or service to its customers.

The rise of social media, and especially social commerce have created many opportunities, but also numerous threats for brands. Whether your brand uses social media or not, you’re not immune from the dangers it poses. After all, how do you know what others do in your name? Stolen brand imagery and counterfeited products are especially harmful - and quite often present on social media.

This is why every and any brand can and should benefit from social media monitoring.

How does it work

The short answer: how do you want it to work? Our service is highly customizable and can be tailored to any brand’s exact needs.

But here’s the gist of it. Using keyword-based or reverse image searches, our powerful software tools crawl social media platforms, looking for content that infringes our clients’ IP rights. The exportable results are filtered according to your specifications. Then, our dedicated brand protection experts provide explanations and advice on next steps, including a takedown.

We can provide one-off or continuous monitoring, and anything in between, all according to your needs. Because no two brands are in the exact same situation, and thus no two brand protection programs can be the same.

If you want to learn how globaleyez can help your brand solve your unique brand protection issues, reach out to us and let us know what problems you are facing.

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