Social Media Risk Management – Get your Social Media House in Order in 2012

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Social Media Risk Management


Get your Social Media House in Order in 2012

 If you’ve simply been floating happily along on the wave of Social Media growth and use, it’s time to get a bit more serious and understand the maturity management model needed secure your Social Media return on investment while mitigating potential risks.

One of the primary objectives of any program is to assist in establishing long-term policies, strategies and processes involving cross-functional participation to improve Social Media management and adoption. With a long-term corporate focus on risk management and prevention, organizations minimize possible damages resulting from Brand Detractors and attackers, while leveraging success with Brand Advocates.

Firestorm believes that the key components of an effective Social Media Risk Management program are:

Formation of a Social Media Leadership Council – made up of key internal stakeholders representing those functional groups that have ownership of: the brand, enterprise risk management, customer information, customer support, investor relations, board relations, strategic planning, marketing, compliance, finance, legal, insurance, operations, quality assurance, human resources, internal audit, CIS, and others.

Development of clear and complete social media policies and procedures – By building and testing a defined set of response procedures, it is possible to minimize the amount of damage that phishing, identity theft, brand attack/brandjack, or social media crisis can cause. Litigation, awards, fines and judgments are escalating.  You cannot afford a one- or two-line social media policy – to truly mitigate damages, a well reasoned, custom policy specific to your organization is a necessity.

Training, communicating and testing scenarios with staff – Firestorm uses our “Predict. Plan. Perform.” methodology to allow management to use and assess plans and procedures to determine their feasibility and determine whether they will work under actual conditions post-training. In the case of Social Media (and all emergencies), time is critical.  You must assess and measure the degree to which personnel understand their response functions and duties prior to a crisis, enhance coordination, communication, and proficiency among response staff, identify areas for improvement, and increase the ability of management and staff to manage messaging and respond appropriately.

Measuring & Monitoring – Simply put, success can only be determined on the basis of having clearly stated objectives in place and an efficient method to monitor and measure results. Determining a select set of objectives to achieve, and monitoring progress should be a priority for the Social Media Leadership Council.

Just as business continuity programs must be built using a best practices approach to preparedness, so too does your Social Media Program.  This approach should be based on, and aligned with, recognized industry standards and best practices. Organizations need to know where their current programs align, and where their programs might have gaps when compared against industry standards and best practices.

While Social Media is an evolving discipline, many crises can be predicted. Acknowledging these signals and developing plans and infrastructure to manage the events which follow dramatically improves the outcome for all stakeholders. Every organization needs to identify its vulnerabilities – existing and potential – and institute procedures to monitor, plan, mitigate and train for impacts in the event of a Social Media or any crisis.

Let us help with a no-fee, one-hour informational interview to answer your specific Social Media questions, and help get your Social Media House in order for 2012 and beyond.

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