January 25, 2016

BrandBastion keeps watch over social media

Three people from the growing BrandBastion team (left to right): Linh Truong/project manager, Jenny Wolfram/CEO, Bogdan Dinca/head of technology.
Three people from the growing BrandBastion team (left to right): Linh Truong/project manager, Jenny Wolfram/CEO, Bogdan Dinca/head of technology.
Brandbastion

It’s time to bid farewell to disruptions to your carefully tailored advertising campaign.

These days it seems unimaginable that the humble telephone was once fixed to the wall and used merely for calling people. In fact, the likes of written letters and faxes now seem almost prehistoric, given the ease with which the global population can communicate.

“There is a lot of great stuff with social media,” explains Jenny Wolfram, CEO of BrandBastion. “It enables people to connect, also with the brands that they love. But there is also a dark side.”

And then some. Tales of cyberbullying and trolling regularly make headlines, documenting lacerating abuse that frequently snowballs towards tragedy.

One problematic occurrence receiving less coverage is the damage inflicted upon advertisers in this domain. With companies increasingly finding clever ways to reach prospective customers, this fresh marketing channel has become rife with harmful content. Facebook advertising in particular represents something of a free-for-all.

“There is a lot of engagement that is not in the best interest of people and fans that are trying to communicate with their brand,” Wolfram explains. “This could be spam, phishing attempts, threats, malware, pornography or free gaming gems being spread.”

Enter BrandBastion, offering constant “real-time protection of brand reputation and ad performance on social media”.

Common problems

An example of how a Facebook ad and harmful comments that it has received might look like. Image created by BrandBastion – the “Ultimate Power Bank” does not exist as a company nor do the commenters exist as people. An example of how a Facebook ad and harmful comments that it has received might look like. Image created by Brandbastion – the “Ultimate Power Bank” does not exist as a company nor do the commenters exist as people. (click to enlarge)

An example of how a Facebook ad and harmful comments that it has received might look like. Image created by BrandBastion – the “Ultimate Power Bank” does not exist as a company nor do the commenters exist as people. (click to enlarge)

Brandbastion

A lawyer by trade, a few years ago Wolfram came across a case where a pharmaceutical company was being sued for harmful comments made by a third party on its Facebook page. These fallacies were considered part of its advertising campaign if the company didn’t remove them.

Wolfram quickly realised that many others were in the same boat, battling a range of unforeseen problems online that threatened to land them in legal hot water. Thus, in 2013 she established a social media watchdog, dubbed it Faceforce, and focussed solely on monitoring Facebook advertising for companies.

“We’ve had huge interest, mostly from North America, which is our largest market,” Wolfram states. “We also have clients in Australia and around Europe, South America and Asia. Currently our biggest industries are entertainment, gaming and food and beverage. Most companies weren’t really aware of the problem, especially when we started.”

Some of the more common situations would not be unfamiliar to frequent users of social media.

For example, a post that has been scheduled in advance may suddenly insinuate something harmful when a dire news story breaks. ‘Piggybacking’ is also rampant, whereby a company uses another’s post as a platform for promoting its own products or services.

“There are a lot of things that the brand or companies need to be aware of immediately,” Wolfram states. “Social media is existing 24/7; it’s hard for many companies to have in-house monitoring.”

Brand new approach

Growth has been rapid in the past few years for Wolfram and her international team. So much so that they recently expanded the service to Instagram and YouTube, and changed their name to BrandBastion.

“The kind of threats that companies and people face on social media seem to be similar on most platforms,” Wolfram clarifies. “But Facebook is still our main platform, because that is where companies are spending most of their advertising money.”

And so, it appears that businesses can now sleep soundly at night. Whatever the problem, BrandBastion guarantees to remove all harmful content in under eight minutes.

“You have to be really fast, because on social media something can escalate in a few minutes,” Wolfram explains.

A trajectory mirrored by BrandBastion’s upward swing, it seems.

Text: James O’Sullivan

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