Managing Social Media Risks

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Nancy Fullbright's picture
Nancy Fullbright

Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg once said, “The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” You might be wondering what some of the risks of social media are to your business, and how you can mitigate those.

When I first went to work for Gulfstream, it was 2011 and they had just decided to dip their toe in the pool of social media. As most of you know, Gulfstream is owned by General Dynamics, a multinational defense and aerospace corporation. It is the world’s fifth largest defense contractor, so they are not small potatoes. But they were worried about the risks of social media -- and understandably so. Some of the risks included:

  • Human error

  • Legal

  • Negative reviews / trolls (remember the infamous example of Amy’s Baking Company, called the “most epic Facebook meltdown ever” by Buzzfeed, in which the owners responding to Reddit posts and Yelp reviews by insulting customers, using profanity, threatening legal action, etc. While they hired a PR agency to help them contain the crisis and called a news conference that was canceled the day of...the PR firm stopped working with the couple within a week...and now they are out of business.)

  • Being left behind. Facebook is today what Yellow Pages was yesterday.

The biggest risk here is not having a social media plan. So, have one and stick to it. Be ready to change and adapt all the time. Constantly evaluate and refine your social strategy. Doing this on a monthly basis can help you identify which tactics are working and which ones to ditch.



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