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Social Brands Must Take Precautions to Protect and Empower Both Employees and Themselves

January 14, 2014 Comments

social media riskThe perils of using social media are now widely appreciated as PR disasters have filled the press for several years ranging from insensitive CEO remarks, wayward employee posts, and outright foolish marketing. It’s not surprising that much has been written about how to contain the damage to a brand, but little time has been devoted to risk mitigation in the first place.

Many companies and most employees are not aware that their social media usage is governed by several bodies including including: The NLRA, FCRA, COPPA, FTC Disclosure Guidelines, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Communications Decency Act, among others. Non-compliance can be very costly. For instance, Path was recently fined $800,000 and Xanga fined $1 million for COPPA violations, not to mention the damage to their reputations. On the flip side, employee advocacy is becoming more important than ever. On a global basis, 63% trust a regular company employee versus 21% for CEOs, according to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer.

So how do you ensure your employees understand your company’s social media policy and the guardrails built into it? How do employees use social media in ways that comply with regulatory and legal requirements? How can you empower your employees to talk about the company and its brand with confidence without fear of making a public mistake that could cost them their job?

Comply socially trainingComply Socially offers social media courses through desktop and mobile that helps organizations and employees use social media within compliance, transparency, disclosure, ethics, and privacy restrictions. This type of employee preparation improves reputation protection, data security, regulatory compliance, malware control, and all the dangers that come with employee now using their own devices at work. As CEO, Eric Schwartzman says:

“Having a social media policy doesn’t protect you. Very few employees actually read corporate policy. We added the cloud-based social media policy training courses to teach employees how to evaluate risk and make smart decisions about how to use social media.”

With increased reach through social media comes greater transparency and accountability for brands. With 87% of companies using social media and 23% of online time spent on social media, protecting your employees and your brand is critical now to mitigating risk and unlocking the full potential of social media to build your business.

  • http://bit.ly/bceuf ericschwartzman

    The end game for social business is mobilizing the masses, rather than enabling the few. But that requires social media risk and performance management which means not just training but auditable assessments and certification management as well, which we have a report on at http://www.7socialsins.com.

    Charlene Li (https://twitter.com/charleneli) and Ed Terpening (https://twitter.com/EdTerpening) have a new report on social media education for employees at http://www.altimetergroup.com/research/reports/the_state_of_social_business_2013 and Clara Shih (http://twitter.com/clarashih) has a new post on enterprise wide engagement at http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/01/whats-the-endgame-for-social-media/

  • Dana Byerlee

    Thanks, Eric. These reports are excellent, we’ve been citing them a lot lately. Congrats on the launch!

  • http://www.mediapro.com/ Steve Conrad

    Social media is an essential way for companies to market and communicate. It’s a whole separate animal from social media for personal use. Any employee that has any part of a company social media campaign needs to be properly trained to mitigate risk.

  • Simon Mainwaring

    So agree Steve. It can be a minefield otherwise causing very costly mistakes. I think what Eric is doing would be a great help to all companies.

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About Simon Mainwaring

We First training and consulting helps the world’s most innovative brands tell the story of the good work they do in ways that build their reputation, employee productivity, sales and social impact.

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