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Managing social media risks [Infographic]

Responding to the four biggest legal risks of social media to business

With legal cases involving social media are on the rise, businesses need to manage the potential risks. To help review the challenges and solutions to managing the risks of social media, we have recently published our benchmark study on social media and the law. We hope marketers can use the data to evaluate their knowledge and establish the risks they may need to manage.

We’ve summarised the risks of social media in this infographic showing the four main risks as we see them against the awareness of the law.

We see three main takeaways from the research:

  • Many marketers know the risks, but don’t have company buy-in. Over 50% of companies don’t consider social media legal risks to be an issue or a priority. This was unexpected when respondents made it clear that they are very aware of the risks. The data shows that the biggest vulnerability is disclosure of confidential information. 61% are not confident that sensitive information is protected on social media. And recent crisis and legal claims would back this up.
  • We don’t have to be lawyers, but we should know when to get legal involved. It is quite understandable that we are not all legal eagles. But we should at least be aware of when laws apply and know when to involve the lawyers. Awareness of the law was quite low; suggesting a bit more education is required. I was surprised though, at the number of participants that were not fully aware of quite well-known regulations. Especially those with a marketing background. And particularly those running competitions, promotions and endorsements in social media. Only 6% were very aware of Cap Code regulations.

    If you want to remind yourself of some of these regulations, the IAB has these ISBA guidelines on the payment for editorial content to promote brands in social media which should be compulsory reading for anyone practicing content marketing.

  • Some companies still need to do the ground work. Almost 20% of companies still don’t yet have a social media policy. Even if you aren’t actively involved in social, this does leave businesses rather exposed. Take a look at these social governance workflows and example policies

A policy though, is just a first step. You need to make your policies work in practice. It only takes a slip of the keyboard to publish a personal tweet on a company profile or for one person to more purposefully throw the cat amongst the pigeons. So it’s important to think about the processes you need in place, train your people and make technology and tools work for you.

By Katy Howell

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