Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Social Media Assessments crucial to measure online risk to company brands
Has your company undergone a social media security assessment which assesses social media employee policies, their implementation and online employee behavior? If not, it’s perhaps time to start as the lines between what’s public and private tend to get blurred online. Online what employees say and do have serious implication on customer opinion, company brand, employee harmony, company trade secrets, and product launches. Most of us have experience with very public rants between employees or between employees and employers on internal and external social sites. Employees posting slurs against other employees or the management online is not uncommon.
A stake is a company’s reputation!
What companies want employees to do is act in accordance to an organizations values and brand guidelines? It’s not a simple do’s and don’ts list; it’s living online the value culture an organization wants to promote.
In the past only specific individuals interacted with the media but today every employee has an online presence. A comment or rant has the ability to reach a flashpoint and go viral. Customers cannot distinguish between official comments from a company spokesman and those made by employees online. Companies therefore need to articulate clear policies that clearly stress on how employees communicate about or comment on their company online. Each employee must act in a manner consistent with the company’s value and brand online.
Social engineering or the art of exploiting trusting employees to ferret confidential information for competitive use becomes much simpler in an anonymous online world. Even if an employee is not socially engineered there is the possibility of putting together bits and pieces of online posted information that may lead a competitor to find useful information.
Typical social media policies articulate the do’s and don’ts of retail blogging, use of social media and set-up of personal sites. They cover what company information employees should not post which ranges from trade secrets, confidential data and internal discussion. Most policies also spell out how employees should react to rumors, customers, other employees, company policies, and the company brand. Policies may vary based on the impact that an employee statement can have on the company.