A 2013 Marketing Land survey examining corporate social media risks and rewards from advisory firm Grant Thornton found that 71 percent of the executives polled said their company was concerned about possible risks posed by social media. Those worries are well founded. The Network published an article breaking down the costs for large companies of poor social media compliance training and put the overall number at $3.5 million per social media incident. The breakdown: direct financial costs ($641K), reputation damage ($638K), lost revenue ($619K), reduction in stock price ($1M) and litigation costs ($650K). Obviously not all social media incidents are the same, and mileage as well as costs will vary depending on your size and exposure. However, no matter what you’re size, any social media incident will likely incur costs in some, if not all, of the areas mentioned above. That makes social media use, and broad adoption a concern for executives and managers. This is especially relevant today as more and more brands seek to activate their employees to share on social media on behalf of the company. In this article I’ll look at some of the top concerns executives and managers have regarding social media content, interaction, and policies. I’ll then look at two distinctly different approaches to mitigating the risks. First, let’s look at some of the most common concerns about social media from executives and managers.
If you don't have a social media policy, you need to create on. If you already have one, kudos, and you mostly likely need to update it. Social media policies protect both the organization, and its employees by defining what behavior is acceptable online. So why do you need to update the one you already have? Three reasons. First, because social media is used for business which means the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has passed laws that impact what brand employees are allowed to do with respect to other brands online. Second, because brands have tried to control employee use of social media which has, in some instances, led to employees being disciplined. This, in turn, has made the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) scrutinize what is fair and proper conduct by employers with regard to social media. Third, because the social media landscape changes rapidly. As new technologies, and usage scenarios emerge, regulatory agencies change laws, and brands need to revise their policies to make sure they are effective, and legal.