As for the users, telling some of the bogus accounts from the real McCoy is not easy on casual inspection. Bogus accounts can have large numbers of users and likes and look perfectly legitimate.
Previous research by the firm showed that US firms have about the same size of problem but have been quicker to buy automated tools to detect and remediate problems, and face more social governance regulation. This is despite the fact that big UK brands are around 20 percent more active in terms of social media use, Redmond said.
By sector, UK finance was the best policed, media firms easily the worst.
But is monitoring perhaps a luxury? According to Redmond, not so. Constant vigilance was now essential with even harmless-looking social accounts able to spring into malevolence quite unexpectedly should a particular event start to trend.
At the very least, firms unable to monitor social accounts faced brand pollution, at worst potentially thousands of their customers could quickly be drawn to malicious links and malware.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.