New Study on Social Media, Its Risks and Rewards

My partner, Melissa Krasnow, contributed to the new white paper on social media published by our friends at Grant Thornton.  Melissa has established herself as a leading expert in the field of data privacy and I’ve previously posted about some of her recent work in this area.  I highly recommend this publication to anyone struggling to understand the brave new world of social media including the risks and rewards to companies seeking to use this platform for marketing and brand awareness.  Here are the keys from the Executive Summary.

Key survey findings include the following:

  • More than half (55%) of the executives who responded to the survey feel that social media will be an important component of corporate marketing efforts going forward.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of respondents see their company’s use of social media increasing slightly or significantly over the next 12 months.
  • More than half (59%) of companies surveyed do not perform a social media risk assessment.
  • More than a third of respondents (36%) reported that their company has social media training, compared to just 21% who reported training in the 2011 study.

Key interview findings include the following:

  • More companies have or are developing policies that address social media governance and risks, but they are not conducting risk assessments.
  • The extent to which companies train their employees on social media policy varied considerably.
  • The importance of the results of the National Labor Relations Board investigations into dozens of social media cases could not be overstated. An example of a social media policy can be found in Appendix I.
  • While social media use by companies has grown, their use of key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the positive/ negative impact of their social media activity has lagged.