Industry researcher eMarketer’s most recent report, US Social Trends for 2021, highlights how social media platforms will continue their popularity for both consumers and brands. The report found that 85.7% of US senior-level marketing professionals revealed they increased their reliance on social media during the pandemic. Of those respondents, 27.1% declared social media as their number one choice. 

The Power of Social Posts

CivicScience polling breaks down this phenomenon further by analyzing age groups. Social media comments or recommendations from others, which the authors call “chatter”, can be a significant influencer when it comes to purchase decisions. The study found that 58% of 18-29 year-olds are most influenced by social chatter, followed by 41% of 30-54 year-olds. 

Potential Risks to Brands

Unfortunately bad actors are ready to take advantage of these communications channels. Brand safety and concerns over misinformation, disinformation and controversial content on social media are just a few of the pitfalls facing brands as consumer engagement increasingly moves online. In a survey conducted by Integral Ad Science (IAS) in October of 2020, 55% of US digital media professionals reported that social media was the second most likely channel to experience brand risk incidents in the next year. 

While all the major social media platforms strive to provide a safe environment for their users, brands must remain vigilant and monitor social media for unauthorized use of their intellectual property. 

However, monitoring social media for brand infringement presents unique challenges.  Well-meaning fans, advocates and members of a brand’s community can infringe upon intellectual property inadvertently.  Enforcement measures must take this kind of non-malicious infringement into account and requires a more nuanced approach to enforcement since the creators of these accounts and posts are valuable members of your brand ecosystem. For this reason, you will want to consider reviewing this type of infringement with your digital marketing or social media team and collaborate with them to ensure resolution.

Having a comprehensive brand protection strategy that addresses the unique nature of social media will help ensure that your customers, fans, and community continue to enjoy authentic experiences with your brand. For more information on how to plan an effective social media enforcement program, we’ve published an informative guide that you can download here.


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