Social media has become almost inextricably linked to the online strategy of organizations and businesses. They use social media for marketing purposes, external communications, as well as crowd sourcing ideas regarding product and service development. Despite the immense amount of use social media is getting within these organizations and businesses, a surprising few have done anything to establish guidelines for controlling, restricting, or encouraging desired behavior via social networks. According to Barry Murphy a governance analyst, corporate governance in the information technology is still waiting to be applied to social media, but it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a necessary step for businesses.
Risks, Security, and Privacy Concerns
The benefits of social media tools are a huge asset to businesses, but according to a publication released by the Global Corporate Governance Forum, there are several risks regarding security and privacy concerns that are inherent to the usage. One of the reasons social media has snuck by largely without project plans or risk assessment is that the technology is already familiar to most and teams have introduced the technology without thinking about the possible risks. Businesses must now backtrack slightly to create strategies to overcome these risks.
Some of the things for business’s to consider when using social media are the risks of using social media as a tool communication between customers and employees and the risk of employees using social media sites while on a corporate network as well as corporate issued mobile devices. Additionally, mobile devices often fall outside of the monitoring and controls that are available on the corporate network. There’s also the possibility of outsiders hacking into information via employee social media pages or employees using the social media channels on personal computing devices. Working with human resources and legal departments is quintessential to handling the process in the nuanced way necessary.
Strategies for Tech Governance in Social Media
To address the issue of tech governance when it comes to social media, companies need to find ways to strategically fit the external and internal scopes of the firm and the functional integration of the social media tools and technology into the organization. Adopting the usage of software to organize and enact governance strategies allows companies to track usage and focus on developing policies to monitor social media channels in the business.
Training employees on the appropriate usage of social media tools, including when and for what purposes it is allowed, whatever non-disclosure/posting policies the employer wishes to use, discussion of work-related topics, and the designation of inappropriate sites. Since social media is a constantly transforming tool, the training should be on a continued basis and and emphasis should be placed on identifying threats or common exploits.
Technology can also play a useful role in mitigating the threats by enforcing blocks, preventing, or identify potential incidents. Using a combination of tech tools that allow for content filtering, limited access or blocking of certain websites, and protection from potential malware or viruses.
Evolution of Governance
The introduction and usage of social media into a corporation makes the evolution of governance a necessary change, creating a shift particularly in the communication, marketing, customer service, and business development areas. Intertwining social media and tech governance will play a significant part in the way campaigns are launched, how data is collected on customer satisfaction and support. It is a process that will continue evolving as the usage of social media continues to grow and change within business enterprises.