Risky Business?

No, this is not a posting about Tom Cruise in a 1980’s movie but about the perceived risks in implementing social media in the enterprise. So what are the risks that people think of when social media implementation is suggested? The main issues as I seem them can be categorised into a couple of over-arching themes, but far & away the biggest risk I hear about is staff abusing it and wasting time.

Security, Loss of (perceived) control, reputation management and productivity are the key risk areas that business owners raise as the reason why they are not embracing social media. Are they real risks, or just managers being overly conservative? I think it is a mix of both, certainly there is a general misunderstanding of what social media is and what it isn’t. I conducted a very unscientific poll of my co-workers and posed the question ‘What is social media?’. Over half said it is sites like Facebook and Twitter. A couple said it is websites that let people communicate and share news. One person did say it is Web 2.0 and it is sites that allow collaboration and communication – in fairness he has been at a Social Media for Business seminar recently.

So if the majority think social media is Facebook is it any wonder that people are adverse to implementing?

I am not going to go over all the risks in this post, The 2.0 Adoption Council have a really good presentation over on SlideShare that goes through the issues mentioned above and other issues and offers up some suggestions on ways to counter the risks.

Perhaps the way to bypass a lot of these objections is to stop referring to it as ‘social media’ with the negative connotations it brings. Maybe it is time to focus on the business value the underlying platform can bring instead.

Let me know your thoughts below.

One Response to Risky Business?

  1. cathyhowell says:

    funny, before I started this paper I was one of those ignoraniums who thought social media=Facebook, nice post

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