January 30th, 2012 – Risks and Responsibilities: Don’t Jump in Without a Life Raft

Risks and Responsibilities: Don’t Jump in Without a Life Raft

by Hannah Longo, Laura Thompson and Anthony Buckles

Monday, January 30, was all about the risks and responsibilities of social media that must be considered within an organization. As we know, social media is inescapable in this day and age, making it imperative for companies to fully submerse themselves in.


Although companies understand the need to have an online presence, many are still skeptical and hesitant to dive in. Common concerns and questions include:


  • Time commitment
    • What kind of resources do we need?
  • Information overload
    • How can we manage all that information?
  • Unofficial accounts
  • Loss of Control
    • What if people don’t like us?
    • Can I trust my employees to be appropriate?
  • Policies
  • Code of Ethics
  • Terms & Conditions


There isn’t one specific way to answer these questions and concerns, but having a social media policy that best fits your company is a sure way to manage the risks and responsibilities that come with being an active participant in social media.


Even though policies are great management tools, issues can still arise when a company is using social media. It’s important to have a plan and know how or if your organization is going to respond when things like unofficial accounts pop up. Examples of such instances include: the unofficial accounts of BP Oil Global PR and the Bronx Zoo’s Cobra.


The best kind of policy to have is a light, flexible approval process—this creates opportunities for engagement. Educate, conversate and then trust the people within your company to ensure social media is being used professionally and wisely. As a company, rate your company on these three questions on a scale from 1-5 (5 being the highest of importance, and 1 being the lowest of importance):


  1. How important is autonomy among your firm’s values?
  2. How important is innovation among you firm’s values?
  3. To what degree does your culture demonstrate trust in, and respect of, employee judgment?


If a company finds that they rank themselves highly the company should implement a lightweight policy; if the company has a medium rank, a medium weight policy should be implemented—this is a little more restrictive than a lightweight policy but still has a lot of room for change); and lastly, if a company ranks low, a restrictive policy is implemented. Restrictive policies are not encouraged and most of the participants of the twitter conversation agree that there should be more DOs than DON’Ts.




Check out the full twitter conversation here: http://chirpstory.com/li/4057

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