Social Media use surpassed expectations in 2010. Goldman Sachs is now pumping money into Facebook, Maryland has a law regulating social media use by political candidates, and New York courts don’t seem to attach privacy to Facebook use. With this, companies need to start taking social media risks very seriously, to follow the pace of social media. The varying forms of social media communication may differ in popularity on and off, but the existence of the social media mediums must become of paramount concern to businesses as they move forward. Effective corporate communication must incorporate social media, and here are 3 simple steps to help ensure that your company’s social medial lawyer can help you responsibly embrace advances in social media based communication:
The first step of responsible corporate communication through the social media medium is the involvement of a corporate attorney to understand and analyze the risks to your company through the usage of social media. Without the involvement of a legal entity, the risks will not be apparent. A corporate attorney with an understanding of social media related law & risks must assess: (1) how does this company use social media? (2) do company employees using social media on a personal level create a risk to the company? (3) do company managers create a risk to the company through social media usage? (4) how can the company develop policies and monitoring strategies to avoid potential risks?
Upon developing a thorough understanding of a company’s social media usage and therisks involved, a social media lawyer would help companies develop a place to influence the company’s social media usage. Much like the usage of e-mails and instant-message type online discussions, social media usage can be monitored by companies when used on company laptops. Develop a written company policy that outlines the use of social media through company computers, and by those claiming to represent the company in the online world.
Encourage your employees to be responsible when using social media such as Twitter, Yammer, or Facebook to name a few. Read through blogs discussing your company or written by your employees. Comment on interesting blogs or Twitter posts about your company. Influence the online conversation on various social media platforms. Embracesocial media by participating in it.
Remember that social media is an evolving platform, as are the risks. With new additions to the social media world, new risks will inevitably arise. Your company must evolve with these advances and fads, while having a well-hashed out written policy on social media as a whole.
It is critical to evolve while developing a strong and resilient social media policy. But if you decided to assess, influence, and evolve – your company will benefit from the world of freesocial media publicity and corporate communication.