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Auditing Social Media: A Governance and Risk Guide by J. Mike Jacka, Peter R. Scott

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CHAPTER 2

Social Media

A Corporate Strategy

Social media is quickly becoming a part of mainstream business practice. Organizations are beginning to learn and understand that it’s not just about having Facebook fans, but that it can lead to significant strategic value. While this is intriguing, making it actually pay off within an organization still eludes many corporate executives. This was supported by a 2009 study by Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law, indicating that 51 percent of executives do not use social media because they do not know enough about it. In addition, 81 percent believe that social media can be a security risk to the organization and fear it could not only be detrimental to employee productivity but also damage the organization’s reputation. Despite these concerns, the respondents also acknowledge that there is value and that, overall, social media cannot be ignored. In fact, 81 percent believe that social media can enhance relationships with customers/clients and build brand reputation, with almost 70 percent believing it can be valuable in the recruitment process and serve as a customer service tool (64 percent).

What is the reason for the opposing points of view? One is that most social media strategies (or the lack thereof) are not strategic, focusing more on the tools and tactics than on the relationships and business objectives. To build the business case for social media, only a comprehensive strategy aligned to business objectives combined with ...

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