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

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CHAPTER 5

Social Media Risks

The greatest risk related to social media is what organizations do not know. This includes not only what they do not know about social media but also the conversation that is going on without them and what is happening to their brand in the process. As noted in Chapter 1, while 58 percent of corporate executives agree there should be discussions related to the reputational risks from social networking, only 15 percent are actively addressing them. It would appear that this reluctance to address these risks arises from one aspect—the pervasiveness of social media is moving so fast that organizations have not had time to understand there are risks and, maybe more important, they do not feel qualified to understand the risks.

However, while aspects of social media are cloaked in the special terminology that arises with any new paradigm shift, the basic risks faced by any organization related to social media are not appreciably different than those they are used to facing. It is just the unique nature of social media that makes these risks take on new shapes and forms. To better understand the applicable risks, it is easiest to look at them within the two primary building blocks of any organization: strategy/planning and execution/process.

Strategy and Planning Risks

As with any operation within an organization, the chances of it succeeding in its social media activities is greatly diminished without a basic understanding of its strategy and a set of plans ...

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