Social media has proven to be quite a useful tool. The connections people are able to make and the ideas they are able to share have brought friends and family members closer while making their lives easier.
Businesses have also been able to benefit from the social media addictions that seem to have affected the great majority of society. Their products and services are able to receive publicity in places that are more likely to be seen by potential consumers. If the product or service is linked to a person the potential consumer knows, trusts, and respects, the advertising is suddenly exponentially more valuable than other publicity efforts and attempts.
Considering the ease of creating profile pages and posts on social media sites, and the resulting potential for successful advertising, what would companies have to worry about in regards to their profiles?
The truth is, easy reading, profiling, posting, and reviewing could also have a negative impact on a business’s reputation, as well as on their own employee productivity. The wonder and possibilities of new technology are accompanied by the need for more supervision, in this case in the form of social media risk management.
What is social media risk management? Someone hired to carry out this task would essentially specialize in social media marketing and assessment. They would have the ability to create profiles and posts that would likely bring in positive feedback while keeping the company current and in the public eye.
It is also critical that companies develop and implement policies regarding the use of social media, at least specifying what can be done on company time or with company information.
It can generally be determined pretty easily that the use of social media slows productivity. For this reason, it makes sense to block or limit the use of certain sites at the office. However, this plan could backfire if employees need to use social media as part of a planning or publicizing campaign for the company itself. Also, a website block might not be effective at all given the technology that now commonly exists on cell phones.
Companies need to provide a social media risk management policy that will work for them. This policy may include reprimands if an employee is found wasting time on social media sites without using them for work-related purposes, as well as regulations on the types of posts allowed to represent the company.
Some social media risks take place completely outside work hours. If an employee posts private or negative information about a business, product, or service, that could be a risk to the company. The social media risk management policy adopted by a company should also include stipulations about what can and cannot be posted regarding the work, procedures, and business of a company.
Companies themselves could also be punished if they use social media incorrectly. The most obvious instances of these possibilities involve personnel offices, where workers are generally not able to use information found in social media to hire, discipline, or terminate any employees. The personal information available on social media profiles could be protected by privacy laws.
New policies and rules are usually not items that companies implement with a great deal of zeal, but it is vital that social media risk management is implemented in order to protect and enhance today’s corporations.
Does your company have a social media risk management policy in place?