Recent events in the professional hockey world have me thinking about SoMe at work. Now, while I do daydream about hockey occasionally at work, this is a more direct (please hear me out) connection than you'd think.
Chicago Blackhawks winger Dave Bolland recently got caught up in the atmosphere of a live interview, and made a series of disparaging remarks about the top players on my home team. "So what?" you say, "professional athletes talk trash often." And I'll be the first to agree. What got me thinking here though, is how quickly a few comments, thrown out without forethought or apparently malice (see article about Bolland "recanting" his comments the next day) went from radio to Twitter, Facebook, and numerous other social media channels. The net result? Well, Bolland will have to play the Canucks on January 31. He also now has cemented a reputation for himself, that may be great with his fans, and for whatever reason, this kind of behaviour seems idolized in the celebrity world.
Now picture an employee at any public or private institution with access to a computer, and no corporate controls (read: policies more so than firewalls) around social media. What kind of damage could that employee unleash with a flippant comment about the organisation, a competitor, or worse, a valued partner or customer?
And how do you repair that damage once done? Once the post goes out on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, or any other popular channel? It's been clearly illustrated that companies that try to back-track and battle back against negative social media just look like Goliath, no matter how wronged they have been. Hey, they are the 1%, as the OWS gang would say.
The best defence is a plan. Like with all privacy and security matters, you need to understand the risk, and take the reasonable steps to mitigate. Are we going to have 100% prevention? Nope. But if you have social media policies drafted up (like these shared by SocialMediaGovernance.com), and a workforce educated about the use of SoMe at & about work, you have a mitigation plan.