• Home
  • Dear SoSi
  • What are the major risks of social media, and how can we avoid them?

What are the major risks of social media, and how can we avoid them?

Asked by

Many organizations think the biggest risk of social media is that people will use it to say negative things about them. That's certainly worth addressing, but the biggest risk is actually the opposite: that your organization will create a social media presence, and nobody will participate. There's no shortage of deserted online communities out there, some of them beautifully designed and clearly very expensive. Others garner participation... but the conversations quickly veer off-topic or into belligerent shouting matches. And still others start off well, but can't sustain their momentum; some aren't ready to scale up, some encounter embarassing technical failures, and some just peter out and fade away.

So how do you avoid their fate? A compelling reason to participate... thinking about your audience before you think about your technology... staffing up to encourage participation and put out fires... and both knowing and pushing the limits of your organizational... these can all help. But nothing works quite as well as knowing social media in your bones, and that means diving in yourself.

learn more

Does your organization have a Wikipedia entry? Start monitoring it now.

If your organization is listed in Wikipedia, you'll want to monitor your entry... because nearly anybody could be editing it. Here's how.

Effective online commenting for media sites

Independent news site The Tyee has an interesting take on the dilemma facing those of us who animate online communities: how can you promote positive participation, discourage the bile and avoid the accusation of censorship?

Engagement planning to bring your social media project to life

Your engagement plan is the roadmap of what you want to achieve in the first 3 to 6 months of your project, and how you're going to get there. Here are the ingredients of a winning engagement plan, from blogger outreach to incentives and contests.

How to skillfully manage community enthusiasm

What happens when your favourite online community members participate just a little too much... and what you can do about it.

Nine (or ten) ways to stumble in social media

Gaming the system, creating fake supporters, forgetting your users... there are many dead ends on the road to social media success. Here's how to avoid some of the deadest.

Risk and social media: the Canadian Marketing Association's Word of Mouth Marketing Conference

When you're charting new territory, risk is inevitable. But no matter how successful or unsuccessful each venture may be, it always leaves you with something valuable: knowledge.

Selectively filtering comments? You may not get away with it for long.

Hmm: that comment on your site isn't abusive, but it is sharply critical of your organization. How easy it would be to just reach over and click the "delete" link... and what a huge mistake.

Targeting your video message to the community you want to reach

Being "too corporate for YouTube" isn't just a question of slick production values. It's all about conversation... and giving your audience something of value to them.

When online communities attack! Keeping your site hate-free

When flame wars erupt on your community, you need to act quickly - but with a skilled, careful hand, striking a balance between keeping the peace and stifling discussion. Check out these steps for keeping a community on the right side of the line between healthy conversation and verbal abuse.

Leave a comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

More information about formatting options

Social Signal on...

RSS feedTwitterFacebookGoogle+

Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

Join Newsletter