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Social Media Leadership: Compliance, Governance And Reporting

November 8, 2011 | By | No Comments

In his new book, Social Media Leadership: How to Get Off the Bench and Into the Game, Michael F. Lewis, co-founder of ILD Corp., CEO of Social Strategy1 & OfficeArrow, breaks down the social media phenomenon into terms  even the uninitiated can understand. Drawing on personal experience, Lewis details the benefits and obstacles that come with social media networking in the business world.

In Chapter 10, for example, entitled “Compliance, Governance and Reporting,” Lewis cuts through the ambiguity of the employer’s role in complying with existing regulations, governing employees and gauging the financial impact of social media campaigns.


Despite his contention that business is hampered by excessive regulation, Lewis emphasizes the necessity for planning business-related social media interaction with current regulations and the evolution of this medium in mind. While a few fields are held to industry-specific guidelines, other businesses are currently regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. The basics of these guidelines include:

  • Honesty in social media outreach
  • Ongoing attention to conversation
  • Correcting misinformation
  • Creating social-media-specific policies and training programs

Also consider record retention policies. As Lewis imparts, “If you are charged in a criminal or civil case, all social media content is subject to subpoena.”


As these issues evolve, businesses must create corresponding policies for their own legal protection. One way to get those guidelines in place fast is to revise standing electronic communication policies to include social media networking and related technology or to create a supplemental free-standing policy.

According to Lewis, “All companies need to be developing rational policies with respect to social media and how it delivers information concerning the company in to the marketplace.” With social media, a simple slip of the tongue has the potential to spread worldwide, severely compromising the integrity of your brand.


While the costs and benefits of social media networking are hard to quantify, such campaigns have potential long-term benefits. With the implementation of online listening and monitoring applications, Lewis contends that financial and audit teams will be interested in the information these applications provide in terms of financial results.

“At Social Strategy1, we are already seeing indications that this is becoming a routine part of the financial audit process, and our team is actively engaged with companies and their auditors to fulfill this need with a minimum of time, effort and additional costs,” Lewis states.

Please join us at our upcoming webinar, Social Media: How to Measure Success and the Real Value to Your Business, on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Sponsored by ServCorp, this session will be hosted by me, Steve Ennen, Social Strategy1’s CIO and president, and social media entrepreneur and strategist Alex Avendano. Attendance is limited, so register for this free webinar before time runs out!

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