You’ve heard all about the good things that social media can do for your business – brand awareness, customer support, affordable marketing, boosting website traffic and driving sales – but what about the risks?
Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook empower companies to liaise with customers and engage prospects, but the open, transparent nature of these channels can leave firms vulnerable to public criticism that can quickly damage brand reputation.
In their August 2012 study, Guarding the Gates: The Imperative for Social Media Risk Management, Altimeter Group discovered that companies ranked Facebook as the riskiest social media platform, with more than one third (35 percent) perceiving the danger as “significant”.
Twitter finished second in the poll, with 25 percent rating the micro-blogging platform’s risk as “significant”, ahead of YouTube (15 percent significant risk), third-party blogs (10 percent) and company blogs (8 percent).
Just eight percent of respondents rated Twitter as “not risky” at all.
Of the major social platforms, Pinterest was rated the least risky, with almost half of respondents (48 percent) believing the platform was safe for their brand.
When pushed for more detail on the risk that social media poses to their businesses, 35 percent said that it offered a “critical risk” to their brand reputation. Other major risk factors included the release of confidential information (15 percent “critical risk”), loss of intellectual property (13 percent), legal issues (13 percent) and disclosure of personal data (13 percent).