Risky Social Business?

14 Nov

While most of the discussion so far has centered around how beneficial social business is to an organistion, I do feel that there are some risks that need to be mentioned. Companies may be slow to adopt Social Business for several reasons. They may feel that they do not know or understand a lot about this new concept and feel that they are exposing themselves to new and unknown risks. They may feel that by becoming social they will be more vulnerable to information leaks that could potentially damage a business. Social Media can bring with it an unprecedented amount of transparency and companies may not have a lot of control when it comes to what employees share.

In August 2010, the Altimeter Group carried out a study titled Guarding the Social Gates: Imperitive for Social Media Risk Management. This studyfound that 35% of respondants cited reputation or brand damage as a critical risk. Other concerns included release of confidential information, compliance issues, identify theft and others. The following were the findings:

As we can see, there are several risks involved and companies concerns are legitimate. According to the MIT Sloan management review, the findings they feel that are most compelling in the study are that:

  • “Two thirds of companies surveyed say that social media is a significant or critical risk to their brand reputation; however, previous research by Altimeter found that 60% never train their employees about their corporate social media policies, or do so only upon initial hiring.
  • The biggest concerns revolve around brand reputation; release of confidential information; legal, regulatory and compliance violations; and identity theft/brand hijacking.
  • The major sources of risk that companies say they are most concerned about are the “big three”: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube”.(www.sloanreview.mit.edu).

In this review they finish by saying “While it is important to get a handle and address the risks of social, it would not serve the effort well to go overboard and implement severe, unreasonable or heavy handed policies on employee communication”.

So, while we can see that there are several risks attached to adopting social business within a company, I still personally feel that the benefits to social media outweigh the risks. Social Business in my opinion is still the way forward for all businesses. However, i did feel it necessary to mention why some businesses are slow to adopt it and outline the concerns they have. What do others think?


4 Responses to “Risky Social Business?”

  1. billynomates2012 November 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    Social business is essentail but the wrong tweet, blog etc. can cause irreversible damage to a companys image like the case in a dublin restaurant recently regarding a tweet to a customer. Do you think a company should restrict social media use to its management or do you think employees should be allowed use social media on behalf of the company

  2. le1008 November 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Thanks for your comment billynomates2012. Yes i read about the tweets from this restaurant in Dublin as I’m sure a lot of people did. This is obviously going to have a negative impact on business for them. It gives a bad impression of the restaurant and its employees. However, this is just one case. I think that in most cases it is actually beneficial for a company to have employees involved in social media. And I don’t think that it is necessary for companies to restrict social media use to its management.

  3. eddyjquinn November 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi le1008,
    I found this blog very intersting, and to some extent can be overlooked when addressing social business issues.I found the image you used was extremely helpful in helping us understand the issues you raised.


  1. How to avoid Social Business risks. « So Opinionated … - November 16, 2012

    […] many of the previous bloggers such as le1008 (https://sopinion8ed.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/risky-social-business/) and billynomates2012 […]

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