When social media arrived on the business landscape the notion of governance and risk management was essentially non-existent. Social media has evolved from a basic customer touchpoint, into a critical business channel for communication, branding, support and sales. With this shift in importance, the risks to an enterprise have escalated. In fact, corporate CEOs consider damage to brand reputation due to the risks inherent in social media as their number one risk concern.
The corporate risks associated with “being social” range in severity from minor events (such as losing one customer due to poor communication on Facebook) to major events (such as counterfeit sites phishing your customers or an account hack that delivers harmful information). Just ask Dove or any of these other brands that have recently found themselves at the center of a firestorm! Even the networks themselves are at serious risk as in the recent Instagram hack. Due to heightened security and risk issues, social media governance has transitioned from an ad-hoc administrative task, to a critical discipline that is firmly part of the corporate risk management strategy.
Governance over social media is a difficult task. It is generally very detailed work that is ever-changing due to the ever-changing nature of the social networks and the fluidity of engagement. Good governance practice is all about managing risks to the corporation (that might arise from social media) and maintaining security, brand standards and reputation across the social networks. Building the right governance team is critical to being successful. While each organization is different, generally speaking here are the stakeholders that ideally make up a robust and functional social media governance team:
- Champion: This individual takes ownership of the social media governance plan, and escalates plan-related issues to C-level (e.g. risk concerns, resource requests, strategic recommendations, etc.).
- Manager: This individual takes ownership of the processes and workflows that drive the social media governance plan, keeps other team members updated on an ongoing basis.
- Marketing or PR Representative: This individual ensures that social media messaging is consistent with brand standards (organizations with a portfolio of brands typically assign multiple people to this area).
- Sales Representative: This individual ensures that salespeople who use social media (or any employee who posts sales-related content, such as responding to a customer comment) are aware of their obligations under the social media governance plan.
- Customer Support Representative: This individual takes ownership of processes and protocols for responding to customer complaints or criticisms on social media, which may or may not have to do with customer service (i.e. the feedback could be about pricing, products, promotions, etc.). This is a critical role and function, because many social media firestorms are sparked by unhappy customers/ex-customers.
- IT Representative: This individual is an InfoSec professional who ensures that the plan aligns with corporate cybersecurity requirements and standards.
- Legal Representative: This individual understands the (constantly emerging) body of laws and regulations that pertain to social media governance and intellectual property protection — especially with regards to how the organization can and should respond to real or potential threats.
- Risk Representative: This individual is a deeply knowledgeable about the organization’s risk program and profile, and ensures that the social media governance plan is in alignment with corporate risk priorities.
- HR Representative: This individual ensures that any employee-related communication distributed through social media, and that protocols governing employee use of social media through either corporate or personally-owned accounts, is aligned with both the social media governance plan and all prevailing HR regulations and legislation.
To learn more about the stakeholders who should be on your organization’s social media governance team, and to ensure that they have the foundation and tools they need to protect your valuable brand and intellectual property, contact the Brandle team today to schedule a free demo. You’ll see how the Brandle Presence Manager can help you audit, monitor and inventory your social media and web points of presence.