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Home » Editor's Comment, Engagement, industry research, social media screw-up

Facebook, Twitter deemed the most dangerous social channels for reputational risk

Submitted by on August 26, 2012 – 5:27 pm4 Comments

The very same social channels that will deliver the most visibility for your products, campaigns and overall brand awareness hold the greatest reputational risk, a recent survey of social media executives reveals, underscoring the need to develop a robust social media risk management plan.

To those in crisis communications, the findings of the latest Altimeter Group survey on corporate social media risk reveals a picture of big business finally coming to grips with the flip side of social media: the 24-7 risk exposure that it means for your brand. Its survey of executives show that corporations and organizations are taking seriously a social breach that could impact their reputation, the integrity of confidential information and their day-to-day corporate messaging.

Survey respondents were asked in which areas do they see the greatest corporate risk emerging from their expanded social media presence. The respondents said the five biggest vulnerabilities included:

  • reputational risk
  • unsanctioned release of confidential information
  • running afoul of legal, regulatory or compliance issues (note: see more here on social regulatory risks from SMI on this issue)
  • malware
  • disclosure of personal data

Here is the full Altimeter report, breaking down where corporates feel the biggest social media vulernabilities lie in their organizations:


For any organization – big or small – it’s imperative you implement a social media crisis plan for how you and your team should respond (or not!) to a possible crisis as it first appears online. Here are two handy guides SMI put together with Neil Chapman, who headed up crisis comms for BP during the Deepwater Horizon spill:

And, you can learn from some of more iconic social media screw-ups in our e-book #FAIL.


Editor’s Note: Learn from the digital pioneers, brands like Coca-Cola, Carnival Cruises, Whole Foods, Vodafone and scores of others. Their social media blunders – in the areas of crap customer service, plain dumb marketing or simply being caught short in a crisis – provide valuable lessons from which to shape future corporate comms policy. It all can be found in our new e-book, #FAIL: The 50 Greatest Social Media Screw-Ups and How to Avoid Being the Next One. Buy the book today on Amazon UK, Amazon or on Lulu where you can find it in paperback and epub.



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