Running out of funding or failure to build a consumer base are the common culprits of why businesses flop. However, these aren’t the only things that could jeopardize a business’ road to success. A full-frontal attack on your business’ reputation and integrity can also lead to loss in customers and profits over time. Controversies fueled by misleading information can have a debilitating impact on your business’ ability to grow and thrive. Here’s three ways on how to protect your brand.

Establish a Protocol for Such Events
Protecting your business image from controversy starts with having a plan. You can divide your plan into three sets—Rumor, Fact, and Turning Negatives into Positives. The rumor part of the plan consists of not publicizing any non-factual information, advocating the opposite, and offering verifiable evidence to back up what you just advocated. The fact procedure should consist of issuing an apology to the public if the rumor was indeed true, limiting the scope, and offering a solution so that the mistake can be avoided in the future. Last but not least, turn negatives into positives by helping the public see how the mistakes can lead to better products or services in the future.

Hire a Social Media Manager
Social media managers are solely dedicated towards managing the relationship between the business and its patrons on social media. They help foster a positive and solid connection with users by making sure inquiries and issues are addressed and resolved in a timely manner. Find someone who understands your industry or niche, has strong communication skills, and is a genuine believer of what your company and brand stand for. There are many freelance websites today that can connect you to experienced and qualified social media managers.

Back up Your Data
Majority of business data today is kept digital, meaning in the vast expanse of the Cloud. Furthermore, most of this data only has one digital copy. Make sure you have access to it in the event that you need to present it during a legal proceeding or investigation or to disprove rumors and allegations being thrown against your brand. Forensic analysts such as the NGH Group can help keep your data safe using bleeding-edge forensic software.

The more successful your business grows, the more envious competitors and outsiders will be, which means more attempts to damage and discredit your brand by making false accusations and rumors. Protect your brand by following these three aforementioned steps.

Author's Bio: 

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.