Social networks present enormous branding opportunities, but also critical reputational risks to businesses, according to an August 2012 study by Altimeter Group. When asked to estimate the level of risk that social networks present for businesses, 35% of the respondents – for whom social media risk management is their primary or a significant part of their responsibility – identified reputation or damage to the brand as a critical risk. Other critical risks include: release of other confidential information (15%); loss of intellectual property, legal, regulatory and compliance issues; and disclosure of personal data (each at 13%); and identity theft and/or highjacking (12%).
Although the survey sample was small (52 responses for the above questions), the job roles of the respondents lends weight to these findings. Of the 12 businesses identified, a majority saw social media presenting at least moderate risk for 9. For example, while 35% perceived social media to pose a critical risk to a brand’s reputation, another 31% saw it presenting a significant risk. Just 6% saw no risk at all. Respondents also believe social media presents considerable risks to information management. Interestingly, just 4% of respondents identified loss of employee productivity as a critical risk to business. Read the rest at MarketingCharts.