In speaking with Ed Moran the other day, the co-author of the award-winning Hyper-Social Organization, he brought up a great term – risk intelligence about social media.
When it comes to social media, many companies decide not to participate, which is a risk-averse reaction to the messiness that comes with the social, but which in itself contains a ton of risks. Countless other companies have no social media policies, which in itself is very risky as well. Those companies are not just risk-averse, they are clueless when it comes to risks associated with social media.
They need to become risk-intelligent.
But what does that mean?
- You need to understand the risks of doing nothing or the risk of resisting adoption
You can decide to do nothing, or worse, try to fight it. That won’t stop your customers and employees from using it anyway. By not listening and engaging with what is being said, you risk becoming another Dell Hell. By resisting it you will have to start behaving like North Korea. Both carry unbelievable risks – do you understand them and are you willing to take those?
- You need to understand the unintended consequences of good social media programs
Even good social media programs can go awry. You could get technical glitches that compromises people’s privacy as they are interacting with you, which happened to many well known brands. Or people could hijack your minutiously prepared plans into directions that you never intended. Or you might announce something only to find out that your organization is not ready to execute on the plan. So many things can go wrong, and when they do in networked environments, they spread like wildfire.
- You need to be prepared to mitigate risks while encouraging use and embracing the messiness that comes with it
You need to have policies to mitigate the risks of social media. At the same time you need to develop those policies in such a way that they encourage your employees to become active players in social media on behalf of the brand. If you create policies that are threatening, people will not use it and you will find yourself back at step 1 – not a good place to be and certainly not a risk-free place.
So you need to become risk intelligent and you need to realize that not doing so can have financial risks, legal/IP risks, competitive risks, and safety risks, just to name a few.
At our upcoming Hyper-Social Summit, we will be joined by Risk Management professionals from many leading companies and will dedicate a good amount of time at understanding what it takes to become risk intelligent about social media. We hope you can join us. The early bird special ends today and you can use ‘friendsofhuman1’ (no quotes) to get an extra 20% off the $500 we charge to defray costs.