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BLOGInsight: 37 Social Media Risks

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Insight, Make It Happen Tipsheet, RiskTagged as: , , , ,

Most leaders are not aware of the range of risks that lurk behind the shiny pull of many Social Media sites and activities.  Many can be mitigated if identified in the planning stages, through training, policy, or through changes of internal process. Monitoring can catch others; early detection can lessen their impact. (And some risks are just too high, and should be avoided completely.)

But what are these risks?  Here are a number we’ve encountered over the years:


  • Legislative Risks (CCPA, GDPR, CASL, Accessibility)
  • Identity Theft and Brand Hijacking
  • Auto-generated Profiles
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Disengaging key audiences
  • Social Media consolidation
  • Poor (or no) community management
  • Ghost Town
  • Embarrassing posts
  • Social Engineering
  • Competitive Trouble-making
  • Crisis management
  • Keyword matching
  • Profile counter-messaging (using PPC ads)
  • Stakeholder expectation mismatch
  • External agency employee churn
  • After-hours posts, comments, or shares
  • Comment spam
  • Listening without hearing
  • Contest fraud


  • No Policy or Guidelines
  • No training
  • No monitoring or measurement
  • Employee productivity
  • Risky employee use
  • Employee quits but still has access to organization’s social media accounts
  • Improper use of Social Media for candidate sourcing or reference checks
  • Bad hires
  • Departmental Social Media “expert” or intern becomes a lone cowboy
  • No integrated Contact Center capability (Click to Chat, Twitter, etc.)
  • Unempowered Contact Center or Social Media group staff
  • Non Social Media-savvy people as official spokespersons
  • Underestimating the influence (and speed) of Social Media
  • Senior leadership misuses it (or doesn’t use it at all)
  • Website/Blog attacks
  • Ownership of Followers, especially when an employee leaves
  • Not using it to engage stakeholders…


How many of these risks do you recognize?  This week, identify the top 2-3, and take steps to mitigate them.

PS:  Are there more risks to add to the list?  Let us know and we’ll update the post…

PPS:  We have developed social media risk mitigation policies for many organizations.  Interested in a short conversation on the topic?  Please reach out at, or 416-918-5384.

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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