Saturday, October 20, 2012

Social Media: Addressing Risk

A Refresher on the Risks, Mitigation Strategies

The biggest social media concern for risk managers is the potential reputational impact to the organization. Reputational risk comes in two areas, one is from the company's own social media activities, which tend to be a little less regulated and controlled at the corporate level than other communications going through traditional public relations and advertising channels. 

The other area of reputational harm comes from public discussion about the organization via social media, whether it's true or not true. It could be a rumor. It could be a fact. But it can spread like wildfire. 

To mitigate the risks, an organization first and foremost needs to develop a social media policy. [The company] has to be able to control what's coming out of the company via social media for the official channels. In the policy, it's important to designate who can talk about the company and what they're talking about. 

Also, guidelines should be established to provide employees with reminders about how their statements can reflect on the company and to be cautious of their own activities using platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Organizations also need to monitor social media to be aware of public attitudes towards the company and what's being said. And have a plan in place to respond if there's an incident that results in a negative issue being communicated via social media.

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