Why Should You Implement a Social Media Governance System?

Facebook’s recent problem with data privacy is a common problem many companies face. What I am talking about is data privacy. What are our rights as clients and consumers online? Is it the company’s responsibility to ensure our data is safe and not sold? Ours? Should there be regulation or should things stay the same?
What is Social Media Governance?
Social media governance is the collection of policies, procedures and tools employed by an organization to ensure that assets are secured, risks are minimized and compliance maintained.
Social media has evolved in a non-centralized way over the past few years and continues to do so. Social Media Governance is about creating and maintaining an enterprise-wide plan for keeping the company’s network of web-based customer touch points known, accessible and operating within a set of standards.
Why Should Companies Put in place a Social Media Governance Plan?
A Social Governance plan is a great investment for companies of all sizes . For example, a social governance plan can help protect your company brand and enterprise. This means ensuring that employee policies and training aligns to the company’s long-term goals. Everyone involved should work together to secure assets, represent your brand to the best of their ability and avoiding unnecessary risksA governance plan should also include a schedule to look for stale, counterfeit, spoof or phishing sites which may be hurting the company’s brand, IP or security.
One of the biggest areas that companies need to be aware of is their total web presence inventory. What this means is,  where exactly is your brand’s web presence? Are you on social media? Which ones? Do you have a website? Tracking analytics? Is everything synced so you can see if your time and effort is producing results? Many companies only have an idea or inventory of 40 -60% of their online presence. To greatest efficiency, companies and brands need to know 100%.
  • Keep track of which employees’ have access to and control of the company social media properties
  • The best option for tracking these your digital inventory is still a spreadsheet but these can get out of date if not updated at a regular intervals.
  • The lack of a comprehensive picture of the corporate social media landscape means that many of these properties are being maintained by people who may not be meeting corporate policies and standards.
  • Most companies have little to no visibility of what devices, tools, apps, etc. have access to their branded properties. How many times have we seen a brand damaged because somebody posted something embarrassing to the wrong account, from a personal device or when a hacker gets control of an account?
  • Many companies lack a comprehensive system for managing the credentials to all these accounts. It’s not uncommon for employees to use a personal password vault or a shared spreadsheet to fill the void, though these options come with their own risks.
  • Branding can be inconsistent, often because the person who created the point-of-presence either didn’t have access to the proper assets and messaging at the time of creation or the standards have changed.
  • Ensure that all accounts get updated to align with the Social Governance Plan especially if standards have changed.
  • If a social media property is outside the governance structures and the enterprise is regulated, then it is not being reviewed for compliance. All it takes is for a regulator to find one instance to provoke an audit.
  • Many corporations do not watch the employee or partner sites that are stating a strong association with their brand. Policy infringement and other risk issues often occur on these unmonitored sites. If the company is regulated, monitoring these sites for compliance is a requirement!
  • It is so easy to create a social media presence with the correct branding, it is easy for the brand to be infringed upon by counterfeiters or spoofers or even well-meaning channel partners.
To recap, to ensure that your brand is being protected from infringers, counterfeiters etc. ensure that your company and brand has a Social Governance Plan in place. It is one of the most important investments your company can make. Data privacy is an issue that has plagued companies and consumers alike for a number of years.  This issue needs to be taken more seriously and regulated so what happened to Facebook doesn’t happen again.