What is Brand Vigil and How is it Different From Other Social Media Monitoring Tools?
Brand Vigil was designed by an attorney specializing in social media and
internet matters to enable brand owners to easily and efficiently identify
problematic uses of their brands in social media and track their enforcement
efforts. Brand Vigil monitors social media websites for unauthorized uses of
brands in profile names, page names, and account names, and provides an easy to
use interface to track analysis and enforcement. Unlike existing tools which
monitor individual posts for brand mentions, or which can only detect use of the
exact brand name as a username, Brand Vigil finds social media profiles, pages
and blogs which include a brand name anywhere in the profile, page, or account
name. Additionally, Brand Vigil targets only the most popular social networking
sites which present the biggest potential risk to brand owners, so that
monitoring and enforcement time and resources can be used most efficiently.
Why Monitor Social Media For Use of Your Brands in Profile, Page, and Account Names?
Simple - these pages represent the greatest risk of damage to brand equity
and potential legal liability on social media. There are currently over 500
million Facebook users, over 75 million MySpace users, over 100 million LinkedIn
users, and over 1.5 million Twitter users. There is no doubt that people are
spending more and more of their time online. Americans now spend as much time
online as they do watching television. Internet users also spend an increasing
amount of their time online logged in to these social networks. Nielsen has
reported that almost 1 in every 4 minutes spent online is spent on social
When users of these sites and search engines, which include your
customers, analysts, and the media, search for you and your brands, these social
pages and accounts appear. However, many users can’t tell whether these pages
and profiles are official or not, particularly when most social media pages and
accounts look the same except for the profile picture, name, and info, which can
be changed in less than minute without any technical skill or any cost to the
person setting up the page or account.
Some of these pages and accounts are imposters who can disparage your
brand and spread misinformation causing PR nightmares, or simply more innocent
misuses that may create undesirable associations with your valuable brand. After
the Gulf oil spill a fake BP account quickly attracted more than 23,000
followers - four times more than the real BP Twitter account. An unknown third
party created a fake Exxon Twitter account that fooled at least one Forrester
analyst? The @kanyewest account had attracted over a million followers before
the real Kanye West outed the imposter.
Other pages and profiles that are set up by well-meaning employees or
affiliates, that look official because they include your brands, can create
liability for you if they unintentionally disseminate false advertising,
infringe copyrights and trademarks, or disparage competitors. If an employee in
the marketing department, or the manager of a retail location for the brand,
sets up a Facebook page and posts deceptive advertising or disparaging
information about a competitor, who will most likely be sued – the
employee/manager or the brand owner?
Identifying social media profiles, pages, and accounts using your brand
can also help you identify those users with the most passionate feelings about
your brand – positive or negative. Who else but those consumers with the
strongest feelings about your brands and products, would choose to include your
brand in their social media identity? By identifying these users, brand owners
can reward their biggest fans and turn them into even bigger brand champions and
communicate with those users who have grievances, potentially turning them from
brand haters into brand champions.