Risk! Benefits! Yep that’s right those are the 2 words that come to mind when you think of social media in relation to organizations!
Sure there are huge benefits attached through the use of social media, such as reputation increase, getting the organizations name out there, however attached to benefits risks. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube and other Social Media Sites, have now become a part of our daily lives. To illustrate my point take a look at the photo below, the amount of social media used is alarming.
An interesting statistic was the fact that Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day. Imagine within an organization 50% of employees could use social media during work. Meaning that at least 50% of workers could potentially do something that would put the company at some sort of risk. So what are some risks normally associated with social media? Risks could include:
- Loss of confidential information;
- Breach of copyright;
- False statements and or misleading and deceptive conduct;
- The tort of Passing off;
- Reputation risk;
- Statutory risks including:
- Breaches of the Privacy Act;
- Breach of continuous disclosure obligations in the case of listed public companies;
- Organisation and industry specific risks posed by the organisations operating environment.
There are ways to avoid, minimize these risks from entering an organisation, developing a social media policy is a great way making employees clear about how they should use social media. Social media policies communicate what is acceptable conduct on Social Networking Sites by an organisations employees and contractors and what conduct is unacceptable and would make an employee liable to dismissal.
Let’s look at the ABC (Australia Broadcasting Corporation)
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), is Australia’s national public broadcaster. With a total annual budget of A$1.18 billion, the corporation provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional Australia, as well as overseas through the Australia Network and Radio Australia. In brief the ABC’s social media policy states:
1. Do not mix the professional and the personal in ways likely to bring the ABC into disrepute.
2. Do not undermine your effectiveness at work.
3. Do not imply ABC endorsement of your personal views.
4. Do not disclose confidential information obtained through work
5. Breach of this policy will be dealt with in accordance
What the policy is missing is some sort of notice, ABC does not specify how the employees can get access to social media policies easily, this can be an issue where employees do not know where the policies are kept or stored. In particular newer employees, organisations should ensure that any policies the company adopts are easily accessible to employees. By having easy access of media policies if employees do do something against the policy they could say they didn’t have a copy of it or they weren’t handed one. A good way is to have the social media policy on the background desktop of each machine.
We can see that social media can bring risks towards people using it, that is why policies are set in place to ensure that everyone is using social media properly and professionally within a work place.
Duran. I (2011).Dangers of Social Networking Sites; Businesses, Job Seekers, Children and Adults Beware! Retrieved from
INN436- Week 5 Lecture Slides