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Social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many others fill an important gap in electronic communication and information delivery, they allow the broadcast of information in ways not practical with email or other collaboration tools, while at the same time allowing a highly granular push and pull model of information delivery, such as rapid back-and-forth dialogue between employees, customers, etc. These tools can be used to build a brand or a company’s reputation, monitor perceptions about a wide range of issues, disseminate information, demonstrate industry expertise, and build brand loyalty. Social networking permits individuals to share information and companies to gain competitive advantage in ways not practical or possible with other tools.
However, social networking tools used in a corporate context also pose an enormous liability on a number of fronts.