Risks of social media for businesses (and how to manage them)


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In a meeting with Security specialists held at the University of Loughborough we discussed the risks of social media and how they can be managed. This is our contribution to the topic.

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  • Thank you Danie for giving us a no holds barred view of the new security risks confronting all organisations around the globe. So let’s look at the role social media can plays in this 205th state and what are the risks and implications for organisations.
  • I totally agree with Danie’s definition:Social media  consists of any forum or platform or channel for user generated content on a digital network.In practical terms, for the majority of us social media translates into a multitude of channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube which we use daily for sharing content with friends or with the world.
  • These social networks are split into three types:Private conversations with friends and contacts and colleagues- FB high privacy, Companies own social networkPublic conversations in a private area- Linkedin groups/ FB GroupsPublic conversations that are visible by all- FB low privacy settings/ twitter
  • People make a conscience decision to use their own identity to from their social media or to do it anonymously, which can be harmless or malicious
  • On average, each one of us has 130 friends on Facebook and is connected to 80 pages, groups and eventsMore than 250 million photos are uploaded on Social Media every dayThe average Twitterer has 127 followers, and shares 22 tweets every day.On a sidenote, Stephen Fry has 3.7 million followers.One in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook ( This number is calculated by dividing the planets 6.94 billion people by Facebook’s 750 million users)People spend 700 billion minutes per month on FacebookEach Facebook user spends on average 15 hours and 33 minutes a month on the siteMore than 250 million people access Facebook through their mobile devicesMore than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook30 billion pieces of content is shared on Facebook each month300,000 users helped translate Facebook into 70 languagesPeople on Facebook install 20 million “Apps” every dayYouTube has 490 million unique users who visit every month (as of February 2011)YouTube generates 92 billion page views per month (These YouTube stats don’t include videos viewed on phones and embedded in websites)Users on YouTube spend a total of 2.9 billion hours per month (326,294 years)Wikipedia hosts 17 million articlesWikipedia authors total over 91,000 contributorsPeople upload 3,000 images to Flickr (the photo sharing social media site) every minuteFlickr hosts over 5 billion images190 million average  Tweets per day occur on Twitter (May 2011)Twitter is handling 1.6 billion queries per dayTwitter is adding nearly 500,000 users a dayGoogle+ has more than 25 million usersGoogle+ was the fastest social network to reach 10 million users at 16 days (Twitter took 780 days and Facebook 852 days)
  • People make public almost everything about their life. Wedding day nerves, you hate your boss, what you had for breakfast etc..
  • What is key about outbound content is the importance and it’s impact. A throw away comment that is retweeted by Stephen Fry could have huge impact, although may be of little importance
  • Organisations are gearing their messages and their employees up for “sharing”. The orders are simple: ‘get our message out there, listen to what is being said, engage.’ There are many examples illustrating the benefits a company will get from being active on social media and engaging in the right way and you can find links to some a few case studies at the end of this presentation. Starbucks used social media both for brilliant marketing and for research: they asked their customers to share their ideas on anything related to Starbucks and applied the best onesAlmost each chocolate brand in the Cadbury family has its own social media, and they are doing a brilliant job in 1 to one marketingFord uses Twitter for personal interaction with the brand usersDomino’s busted their online sales by 61% to £56.9m  due their social media activity Dell takes part in more than 25,000 conversations about Dell every day. What they learn from their customers helps them deliver betterproducts and services
  • OK so we know that companies are doing social media, but engaging in social media often happens without plans, policies or controls in place. According to an Altimeter research from 2010, there are five models in which companies engage in social media.-28.8% have a Centralised structure, with one department managing all social efforts but without much connection to other departments.-10.8% have a Distributed structure, with social media efforts bubbling up from the edges of the company without any control and are inconsistent in size and one set of employees not directly connected to others.-41% use the Coordinated structure, with a cross-functional team that’s serving multiple business units, with the strategists at the centre of the formationWithin large companies with multiple brands or units, such as Microsoft or HP, the “multiple hub and spoke” model is common, where multiple social media strategists lead individual business areas or brands across the company.-Finally, about 1.4% of companies engage in the Holistic model, in which each individual in the organization is social enabled, yet in a consistent, organized pattern.We would like to think that orgabisations have chosen one of these models by understanding the benefits and risks to their individual organisations.
  • OVERVIEW OF THE BIG RISKS leading to the fact that it is not on the agenda of the board;Most of these threats can come both from the inside of your company and from random people on social media, but all of them can lead to pretty serious consequences for your company
  • A 2009 survey by Deloitte found that while 58% of executives agree that reputational risk and social networking should be a board room issue, only 15% say it actually is. So we know that organisation’s are out practicing social media and we know that almost 60% of executives feel that Social Media should be a boardroom issue, but only 15% say that it actually is.
  • While the decision to post videos, pictures, thoughts, experiences, and observations to social networking sites is personal, a single act can create far-reaching consequences for individuals as well as organisations. Social media mangers and marketing departments can’t be expected to protect company secrets, patent applications, trade mark registrations, customer details and personal employee data without any support from the decision makers in the company.Therefore it is important for executives to be mindful of the implications and to elevate the discussion about the risks associated with it to the highest levels of leadership.
  • Social media managers do not have risk management written into their job descriptionsCommercial & risk managers do not have a detailed knowledge enough of social media for this to be on their radar
  • Why shouldn’t this situation be allowed to continue? First of all, let’s not forget Danie’s point: the Internet is a country with no rules and regulations, where men are able to attackothers without much fear of reprisal. Let’s take a look at a few risks faced by companies on social media to better understand why companies need risk management on their social mediaWhat we want to do today is to highlight some of these risks and identify how they can be managed…
  • We have seen numerous examples of companies leaving social media to be set up and run by entrepreneurial individuals in the organization. Leave on good terms or bad the accounts can leave with them Options- 1- Keep the brand and post derogatory content or pornographic images2- Change the brand to competitor and start marketing to the fans and/ or followers3- Page remains dormant with the brand not seen to be interesting in their fans
  • We are starting to see more of this- If you don’t think that means too much how do you feel about loosing 17000 followers?
  • Vodafone has previous sent out an offensive tweet from it’s UK Twitter account, @VodafoneUK. The tweet was due to go out on the user’s personal account, but it was accidentally published to the brand’s many followers. The employee was fired, and now Vodafone has a team of 30 people managing their Social Media
  • All employees need to be educated in how to address customer complaints in social media. A classic textbook mistake is the one done by the PR team of Price Chopper, a grocery chain in the US.After receiving the complaint above, Price Chopper's public relations team contacted the customer's employer (which was mentioned in their twitter bio) requesting disciplinary action be taken against the individual for their negative post.They suggested that this individual's distaste for their stores could jeopardize the relationship between Price Chopper and the company where the individual is employed, and they requested action be taken against the individual.
  • Unfortunately, according to Deloitte research, having clearly defined company guidelines will not change how nearly half of employees behave in cyberspace
  • This is why over the last yearsthe number of worker terminations prompted by social network postings has increased dramatically. Long tedious lawsuits usually ensue from these circumstances, which are sometimes won by the company and sometimes by the sacked employee, but are always time, money and nerve-consuming.Many issues can easily be avoided with a clear company social media policy of which all employees must be aware. For example, Apple’s social media internal policy clearly states that employees are not allowed to criticise the company on social media.HOW DO COMPANIES FIND OUT ABOUT THESE RANTS? SYSTEMS AND PROCESS
  • People that post on your Facebook page might not always have the best intentions towards your brand, or they might just not know better. But remember: posts on your Facebook wall will be seen by ALL your fans. You don’t want swearwords on a family-friendly page or sexist or racist posts allowed. And to make matters worse, when a company has more than one Facebook page, monitoring all the posts it becomes increasingly difficult and time-consuming.
  • In order to avoid accusation of censorship, it’s best to state your moderation policy clearly on your Facebook page, under the ‘info’ section
  • United Airlines not only ignored the complaints of DaveCaroll, but they didn’t pay any attention when social media caught fire. It is important to listen to what is being said across the web about your brand, and have a proactive reaction to it.The video went viral and reached over 10 milion viewsPR damage led to plunge of stock for United Airlines (180 million $ losses)
  • In order to determine a clear approach to the company’s social media, we must first understand clearly where sits the responsibility for it. The Altimeter research found that 71% of social media programs fall under the domain of marketing or corporate communications. Based on our experience working with clients, this statistic is quite accurate.
  • ‘Social media manager’ is one of those the emerging & fast growing professions which didn’t exist 3 years ago. Social media management is usually incorporated in the marketing or PR department. People in this position are working to build, grow and manage onlinecommunities and social media engagementaround the brand.
  • In our experience, there is a disconnect between social media managers or marketing people responsible for social media and those that are responsible for commercial risk.
  • According to our experience and business success stories, the coordinated model is the best guarantee of social media success and safety. But this model requires executive support, program management, and cross-departmental buy in.
  • In a coordinated structure, responsibility for various aspects of social media is shared between various departments
  • We created CrowdControlHQ having in mind all the risks to which a company exposes itself in Social Media. With feed-back from our customers the product grew into an easy-to-use technology that not only protects your online reputation, but also allows you to listen, engage & moderate social media, making everybody’s job easyer.
  • Ensure one department retains the passwords for your social media profiles and issue individual users secure log-in details to the CrowdControlHQ dashboardGive users different levels of access to features within the CrowdControlHQ platformAdd or remove a user's access in just a few clicks to protect your social media profiles
  •  The CrowdControlHQ system provides a full audit trail of activity happening across the system. This means that the author of every post can be tracked and any activity is logged through notifications as it occurs. People are less likely to take risks with your brand and you can be safe knowing that all social media strategy will take place in a transparent and open way.Set tweets and Facebook posts to be sent on a certain day and time and obtain approval of posts or tweetsThe author of every post can be tracked and any activity is logged through notifications as it occursEmployees are less likely to take risks with your brand and you can be safe knowing that all social media strategy will take place in a transparent and open way.
  • We keep your pages free from abusive comments and spam : Our 24 hour moderation feature means that you can be confident that words you don’t want to appear on your Facebook page will get deleted or if you prefer will be marked for your attention. Your fans and followers don’t want to be subject to abusive posts or spam by other users and your organisation doesn’t want to be associated with that either! CrowdControlHQ takes care of this for you so you don’t need to worry.
  •  View and respond to all your social media activity from one single hubListen and respond in real-time to what others are saying about you and other organisations across Blogs, Facebook public spaces, Google+, news sites and TwitterTrack how much certain topics are being talked about. Set up alerts to understand if there has been an increase or decline in conversation
  • Risks of social media for businesses (and how to manage them)

    1. 1. The Risks of Social Media.. …and how they can be managedJames Leavesley Co- Founder & CEO
    2. 2. What is social media? Social media consists of any forum or platform or channel for user generated content on a digital network Danie Adendorff- Loughborough University
    3. 3. Open or Closed?
    4. 4. Managing your identity
    5. 5. Individuals on Social Media are geared up for sharing
    6. 6. … and they do share a lot• 130 friends on Facebook• connected to 80 pages, groups and events• 127 followers• 22 tweets every day
    7. 7. Personal postingPeople make public almost everything about theirlife.Wedding day nerves, you hate your boss, what youhad for breakfast etc..
    8. 8. 1Impact 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Importance
    9. 9. Social media for companies • Branding • Reputation Management • Customer Service • Lead Generation • Educational Asset • Competitive Analysis
    10. 10. Social media structures for companies 28.8% 10.8% INCREASING RISKS 41% 18.0% 1.4%
    11. 11. Overview of the Big Risks• Discriminatory or Derogatory Postings• Threats of Violence• Disclosure of Confidential Information and/or Trade Secrets• Defamation• Postings With Illegal Content
    12. 12. Board level approach• 58% of executives: reputational risk and social networking should be a board room issue• Only 15% say it actually is.
    13. 13. ‘While the decision to postvideos, pictures, thoughts, experiences, and observationsto social networking sites is personal, a single act cancreate far-reaching consequences for individuals as well asorganisations. Therefore it is important for executives tobe mindful of the implications and to elevate thediscussion about the risks associated with it to thehighest levels of leadership.’ Sharon L. Allen Chairman of the Board Deloitte LLP
    14. 14. The current situation• Social media managers do not have risk management written into their job descriptions• Security managers and decision-makers do not have enough knowledge of social media for this to be on their radar
    15. 15. Why is this bad?
    16. 16. How your own employees will put you at risk
    17. 17. Employees leaving with the company’ssocial media assets• Employees often create social media accounts on behalf of their companies• When they move on, they will take with them the access to the social media accounts with them… and much more
    18. 18. Rogue social media accounts can:• Post derogatory content or pornographic images in your company’s name• Change the brand to competitor and start marketing to your fans and/ or followers• Remain dormant with the brand not seen to be interested in its fans
    19. 19. 17000 followers/ 1.60£ per follower
    20. 20. Posting inappropriate content in thecompany’s name
    21. 21. Engaging in the wrong way• Set up clear policies for answering to negative comments and tweets
    22. 22. Not engaging in conversation• Broadcasting out your sales and news, but not responding to customer queries, positive or negative is TERRIBLE customer service
    23. 23. • 1/3 of employees never consider what the boss would think before posting online.• Clearly defined company social media guidelines will not change how nearly half of employees behave in cyberspace. … but they will help in the lawsuit
    24. 24. How your own consumers will put you at risk
    25. 25. Inappropriate content on yourcompany’s social media• Posts on your Facebook wall will be seen by ALL your fans
    26. 26. Clearly state your moderation policy
    27. 27. Disgruntled customers can easily starta crisis• In social media, any spark can become a fire• If left unchecked, it can burn your company’s imagehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
    28. 28. What to do about the risks of SocialMedia?
    29. 29. Who is responsible for the risks of socialmedia?
    30. 30. Is this enough?
    31. 31. Back to a previous point…• Social media managers do not have risk management written into their job descriptions• Risk managers and decision makers do not have enough knowledge of social media for this to be on their radar Marketing&PR Risk VS. management
    32. 32. ‘I see most companies headed this route, in order to provide safeautonomy to business units. ‘ Jeremiah Owyang Industry analyst at Altimeter Group Co-ordinated approach
    33. 33. Coordinating social media strategy• Decision makers: Have a clear overview of the company’s social media strategy, risks and benefits of social media; Support coordinated social media development across the company• Marketing: Develops and implements engagement through social media campaigns and community management• Customer services: prompt reaction to inquiries and complaints in accordance with internal social media regulations• HR: Clear definition of roles and responsibilities of various employees regarding social media• Legal: Set up of social media policies an regulations for employees; coordinate ownership of social media assets• IT: Responsibility for protection against hacking and high jacking of social media assets• Research&Development: React to feed-back received from engagement on social media
    34. 34. Managing the risksCrowdControlHQ is a social media monitoring &management platform
    35. 35. Password protection• Password control• Tiered access levels• Instant access removal
    36. 36. Audit trail• Schedule posts and tweets and obtain approval• Track each activity and each user
    37. 37. Keep your pages free from abusivecomments and spam• Automatically deletes or marks for your approval any inappropriate word or phrase
    38. 38. Disseminate the social media policiesacross the organisation• Share best practice and social media guidelines I• Ensure your organisation has one voice by working within a team
    39. 39. Listening 24/7• One hub for all activity• Listen and respond in real-time to Blogs, Facebook public spaces, Google+, news sites and Twitter• Track topics and set up alerts to understand if there has been an increase or decline in conversation
    40. 40. Thank you @CrowdControlHQ @leavesjjames.leavesley@crowdcontrolhq.com 07879 060 251
    41. 41. References• http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2011/06/08/6-social-media-benefits-for-business/• http://mashable.com/2010/12/08/social-media-strategist/• http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2010/04/15/framework-and-matrix-the-five- ways-companies-organize-for-social-business/• http://www.slideshare.net/opinionwatch/social-networking-and-reputational-risk-in- the-workplace-deloitte-survey-july-09• http://www.forbes.com/sites/mobiledia/2011/12/05/apple-fires-employee-over- facebook-rants/• http://www.duetsblog.com/2010/11/articles/guest-bloggers/when-employees-go- online-the-risks-of-social-media-to-employers/• http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16338040• http://workathomemom.typepad.com/the_daily_grind_of_a_work/2011/10/sometim es-no-social-media-customer-service-beats-bad-social-media-customer- service.html