The Risk Management Issues of Social Media
While it’s almost impossible for companies to get their message out to the public without using social media, it’s imperative that you take steps to develop a risk management program that mitigates the damage (PDF) that can occur if someone posts the wrong thing. If one of your employees uses your business account to address personal issues, or their personal account to unprofessionally comment on business-happenings, your company can ultimately be damaged and held liable. When you’re running a small business, it is especially important to develop a risk management plan to mitigate the damage caused by improper actions on social media.
Raj Chaudhary, a principal with Crowe Horwath LLP in Chicago, recommends the following steps to manage the risks involved for companies using social media:
- Assemble a team to oversee your risk management strategy. Include representatives from HR, IT, Marketing and Legal and assign someone to manage the team and its objectives.
- Create a plan for your business’ use of social media.
- Identify the risks that the use of social media poses to your company.
- Update your company handbook to include your social media policy.
- Develop safeguards to protect your company’s private information. This can mean limiting the employees who are allowed to post on social media sites or monitoring (PDF) all posts in real time to prevent leaks.
- Provide ongoing training for your employees about the use of social media and your company’s policies.
While there’s no way to eliminate all of the risks that come with the use of social media, your risk management program should focus on lessening those risks and finding ways to repair any damage caused by the misuse of social media.
Social Strategy1 provides the tools you need to develop your social media strategy and assess your risk management program. Our knowledgeable team is available to help you optimize your social media use to grow your company and stay ahead of the competition.