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BizReport : Social Marketing : April 19, 2013

How social can be dangerous for brands

The social space is a carrot many brands are intent on reaching as quickly as possible. But in addition to allowing brands to engage with consumers in new and more meaningful ways, the social space can also cause damage. Our expert explains:

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is the downside of social networking for brands?

Steve Brunetto, EdgeWave Director of Product Management: The downside to social networking for brands includes:

• Brand Damage
Without visibility into what is being said and a strategy to deal with problems as soon as they are detected - organizations can suffer damage that can take a long time to overcome. In one recent case, a major pharmaceutical company was being sued by a large retail chain over the delay in releasing a new drug.
• Cyber Harassment or Stalking
Inappropriate content whether shared via social media, email or downloaded to work computers, has been a source of litigation for many organizations. And exposing innocent employees to inappropriate content isn't the only risk. Cyber stalking and harassment by an employee or employees aimed at a co-worker can cause problems in the workplace when organizations are unaware or aware and fail to act. There are cases where companies have been held accountable even when the activity occurs during none-business hours, if it is deemed to have created a hostile work environment. These issues can directly impact an organization's bottom line.
• Productivity Loss
Fear of productivity erosion is often the reason companies choose to block social media completely, figuring that employees have one less distraction at work.
• Regulatory Compliance Issues
It's important to understand how the use of social media impacts the legislative regulations to which organizations may be subject, particularly in highly regulated environments such as finance and healthcare. Restrictions against exposing customer or patient information can be undermined by employees using social media carelessly.
• Data Loss
Exposure of confidential information concerning an organization's constituents - customers, clients, patients, etc - and/or loss of intellectual property are also dangers that are inherent in social media platforms where information is freely exchanged. Whether data loss is due to inadvertent user actions or the result of deliberate acts, data loss can expose organizations to litigation problems, loss of competitiveness or loss of intellectual property.

Kristina: How does Edgewave answer this problem for businesses?

Steve: EdgeWave offers a wide range of Secure Content Management solutions including EdgeWave Social, a solution that provides granular control over social media so that organizations in every market sector can have safe social media in the workplace.

EdgeWave Social eliminates the need to block social media access with granular control that is transparent to the end-user. And unlike competitive solutions, EdgeWave Social is integrated within the social media application itself, so when a user tries to post content that violates an organization's policy or rule, a block message pops up and the user stays in the application. There is never any latency -- the user isn't thrown out of the applications nor does the application stall. The process is transparent and seamless - good content gets posted, bad content gets blocked.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brand advertising, branded social media, Edgewave, social media tips

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