To keep up with the very real threats of intrusion posed by exploitation of social media, companies need to create a social media policy and continue to update it with changing technology and times. Companies also need to allocate resources to providetheir employees with the necessary training. These actions would go a long way in protecting companies from data theft or leakage from sources such as malwares and other viruses.
Continuing on the policy theme, establishing clear, company-specific internal policies that outline do’s and don’ts with respect to social media and what should and should not be shared in that space, is very important for control over corporate content can be lacking otherwise. Posting inappropriate, improper, or wrong information about a company on social media can be just as damaging.
As companies strive to get real time feedback from their clients, it is crucial to remember that clients also come to the social media space with expectations that the discussion will be interactive and bi-directional. To meet this, the number of staff dedicated to oversee the social media needs to be adequate. Providing employees with the necessary training to be able to handle the social media traffic, being clear and direct with clients about response timeline are some of the steps that can help companies ensure customers continue to engage with them and receive customer satisfaction. Employment growth in this area, particularly among Interactive Media Developers, is very strong in Canada. 26,000 workers are working in this profession today, compared to half as many only two years ago. Joblessness among this group is virtually non-existent.
Another challenge of leveraging social media to corporate benefit is that a company can sometimes lose control of the message around which they want the discussions to revolve. When the conversation is in the hands of the social media participants, what gets said can become unpredictable. To combat this, companies need to prepare discussion points and responses in advance, since any unexpected or unwanted discussion can become magnified by the extended conversation through social media.
From an individual’s perspective, the disadvantages of social media can be just as damaging. Many of the considered threats to the company emanate from employee indiscretion. More than enough personal information is available on social media to aid social engineering as well. Occurrences of people impersonating as co-workers and stealing vital information, including passwords, are common and need to be guarded against. A lot of information about a company is available on its corporate website and helps impersonators do a convincing job. They can also send hacking devices under the pretext of wanting the share information, for example photos from the company Christmas party. Finding the name of a co-worker whose email would be trusted is not too difficult, again ‘thanks’ to the social media.