Published On: Thu, Jul 27th, 2017

What is Social Media Governance and Why is it So Vital?

On today’s business landscape, ensuring positive customer experience, guarding against reputation damage, and thwarting would-be cyber criminals, hackers and other bad actors is essential for success — and in some cases, survival. And that’s where social media governance enters the picture.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

Social media governance is far more than merely monitoring active accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and so on. It’s a comprehensive program that embraces brand protection as part of a comprehensive risk management practice — and with good reason.  AON’s Global Risk Management Survey 2017 revealed that brand damage via social media is now the number one risk concern among executives.

Naturally, each organization must develop a social media governance plan that aligns with its objectives, and just as importantly, addresses and fortifies vulnerabilities that can exist at training, policy, process, resource or technology levels (or in many cases, all of the above).

Yet with this in mind, generally speaking there are a series of steps that guide businesses towards putting a solid, strategic and practical foundation in place. These steps include:  

  • Identifying all relevant corporate stakeholders, across lines of business and departments, that need to be included in the social media governance plan.
  • Reviewing all corporate risk management priorities, along with corporate goals for social media governance.
  • Analyzing success, failures and changes in the past that support applicable social media governance lessons learned and best practices.
  • Reviewing all prevailing laws, regulations and industry association advisories that govern social media content, either directly or as part of an overall communication protocol.
  • Reviewing current corporate social media policies and protocols, and ensure that they’re accurate, complete and up-to-date.
  • Reviewing all primary social networks and platforms, and identifying a specific corporate risk strategy for each digital property.
  • Conducting a comprehensive brand discovery to create an inventory of all social media points-of-presence, which include pages and accounts that may not have been created by the business (e.g. discussion threads created by customers, etc.).
  • Creating a social media governance process to ensure that risks are appropriately measured and managed.
  • Identifying clear procedures and workflows for when various risk events occur, such as identifying counterfeit or fraudulent accounts, data breaches, brand damage triggered by disgruntled customers, and so on.
  • Training employees on social media best practices, and how they can — and frankly, must — play an active role in protecting the brand across the social media and web landscape.
  • Continuously monitoring all procedures to ensure governance is appropriately taking place.
  • Determining how often (and then carrying out) reviews of various segments of the plan to ensure compliance and optimization.

The Bottom Line
Ultimately, social media governance gives businesses much more control over their social media presence, along with visibility of organizations and people who are associated with the brand. Given these outcomes, it is clearly vital rather than optional. For more information, visit brandle.net.

Author: Chans Weber

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