4 Ways to Keep Customer Data Secure on Social Media

It's especially been an issue following Cambridge Analytica

Customer care through Facebook, Twitter and other channels has changed the way consumers interact with brands through every step of the customer journey. It was recently found that 93 percent of brand tweets are 1:1 interactions with customers, which means only 7 percent of brand tweets are traditional marketing content.

Meeting customers where they are for 1:1 conversations is only half the battle marketers are facing; ensuring these exchanges are secure remains the other important piece of the puzzle. It’s time for brands to take a hard look at what they are doing to protect their customers’ privacy.

Until recently, assuring customers that their data was secure and their privacy respected was primarily a trust-based relationship between customers and brands. Recent regulations like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act have fundamentally changed how brands can collect and handle customer data. On top of this, due to the rise of social media customer care, many brands have handed over control of their care conversation data to Facebook and Twitter. News of security breaches hitting nearly every leading social network this year should make marketers cautious of putting all their eggs in one basket.

It’s time for brands to take a hard look at what they are doing to protect their customers’ privacy.

If third-party channels control the terms and conditions in addition to owning the content, what does that mean for compliance? What role does an owned social channel play in this evolving environment? Should brands trust third-party compliance assurances or is the risk too great?

Luckily, there are steps that brands can take to ensure their customer data is protected. Here are four ways to better secure customer data on third-party social channels.

Train agents on what’s secure (and what’s not)

Make sure your customer care agents know when a public message needs to be moved to a DM and make it as easy as possible for agents and customers to transfer into that channel. Better yet, equip agents with a list of the specific data types that should and shouldn’t be exchanged via direct messages. Cross reference this list with any industry-specific or local regulations like GDPR.

Authenticate customers

If your customer hasn’t already been authenticated, confirm the customer is who they say they are via secure authentication. Ideally, authenticate customers digitally via their chosen communication style and then either return them back to their original channel or transfer them to a secure brand-owned messaging channel to resolve the issue.

Transfer to a more secure digital channel

Add a secure brand-owned messaging channel to your mix so you can easily move conversations into an encrypted space where your brand is in control of the data. To reduce costs and scale more effectively, make sure this channel is integrated with your existing social care platform rather than through standalone technology.

Transfer to phone as a last resort

If for some reason you’re unable to implement a secure brand-owned conversation channel, it’s critical you have a workflow established for transferring conversations to phone. Customer privacy should always be your top priority, but it’s important to also minimize customer frustration as much as possible.

Each of these steps can proactively address data privacy concerns on social channels. Social customer care shows no signs of slowing down, which is a great thing for customers and brands alike, so it’s important to understand the risks. As we continue to navigate through increased regulation and security threats, brands that understand how to meet customers where they are and keep their data secure will earn priceless consumer trust.