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Believe your social media policy is air-tight? Think again

Experts say that no social media policy is foolproof because of third-party risks

Think your company has an air-tight social media policy? According to experts in the field, there may be no such thing.

Whether it’s fake LinkedIn accounts, Facebook message-scanning tactics, or improper use of email addresses, every single social media platform comes with risks. Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, chief marketing officer at BrandProtect, held a webinar on Jan. 15 that addressed some of these issues.

The webinar centered on guidelines (PDF) from the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council, which say that each company should have a risk management program that focuses on the different issues that can arise from social media. And according to Mancusi-Ungaro, those issues can arise from anywhere.

“Don’t ignore the potential for third party-initiated risks,” as a company remains exposed through dialogue that happens across all social media channels,” Mancusi-Ungaro said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

He also said that companies should not put their full trust in third parties hired to handle social media, as risk even occurs when the issue is out of the company’s hands. “They need to be guided and monitored,” Mancusi-Ungaro said. “These third parties can be the source point for a social media event.”

The webinar mirrored what experts have been telling InsideCounsel recently concerning social media. Especially when mired in public litigation, social media can be helpful… if you take the correct precautions. If the media is piling on, says Gene Grabowski of public relations firm LEVICK, an ongoing goodwill social media campaign will lead “the consumers, shareholders or even the news media look at it and say, ‘Wait a minute, this isn’t the company that I know…maybe I need to investigate further before attacking.’”

But undertaking that type of social media does not need to be scary. According to Cohen & Gresser attorneys Robert J. Gavigan and Maria Granovsky, there are multiple ways to succeed on Twitter without courting disaster. Among their tips are to remember that all tweets are public, to not trust direct messages because of the likelihood of mistakes, and to not be afraid to express opinion or to let your personal life shine through.


For more on social media in the legal world, check out these InsideCounsel stories:

IP: Trademark by analogy problematic for spendology

Technology: Preparing for the new year with cloud computing issues to watch in 2014

A crystal ball called the Internet now defines ERM

Facebook could still face suit for minors’ credit card carelessness

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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