Understanding and Managing Risks Associated with Social Media
By Nathan Egan Founder & CEO, Freesource | April 10, 2011
Communication is here to stay
Can anyone dispute such a statement? Social media is here to stay too, and every business in the hospitality industry must pay attention.
Social media is just a new category of communication tools that have fundamentally and permanently shifted the way people and businesses interact. Social media tools are constantly changing and allow for an instantaneous, continuous dialog that, in many cases, is visible to the entire world. With social media playing such a key role in the way our prospects, customers, and employees obtain, organize, and distribute information, businesses need to embrace this change and capitalize on it; ignoring the communication evolution is not an option.
At a high level, the four greatest risks to your business with regards to social media are:
- Neglecting to create a formal strategy and approach
- Spreading your efforts and resources too thin across too many media outlets
- Failing to train and educate employees
- Remaining vulnerable to attacks or internal (oftentimes accidental)
If you are in the hospitality business and aren't aware of how your customers, employees, and competitors are representing your brand, then they are the voice for the company. Your traditional brand and marketing efforts are left to the mercy of the crowd.
Here is a simple framework for you and your business to begin the process of adopting and leveraging social media as an asset for your company, as well as guidance and best practices to effectively mitigate the risks and potential downside of these new tools.