Social Media and Business Continuity

Social media offers opportunities -- and threats - with regard to business continuity. Many companies are integrating social media into their business continuity plans, but others are reluctant to jump on the bandwagon. Clearly, social media is becoming an important part of our society, so it's important to take a look at it, learn about it, and determine if it can work for you. This week's items may throw some light on the subject and help you determine if you should consider it as a tool for your organization.

The full power of social media comes perhaps best to light in times of disaster, when up-to-date and current information is crucial to get out to as many as possible as soon as possible. (Item #1)   Social media are the greatest gift to crisis management and business continuity planning that has ever been invented. (Item #2)   To keep yourself and your business out of the courtroom, brush up on the new rules and regulations, remain vigilant and act responsibly. (Item #3)  

Social media has significantly changed how many companies communicate with their customers, employees and vendors - so it might be time to reflect that shift in your crisis communications plans. (Item #4)   Used together, social media tools can help you build a truly amazing social media campaign for brand building or reputation management. (Item #5)   Finally, there are those who think social media is not ready for prime time. (Item #6)  

As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at [email protected].

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Using social media in a crisis

For Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) the timing of the launch of its Facebook page could not have been better planned. It was launched on April 14, the day before the volcanic ash cloud paralyzed both European and much of global air traffic. Now SAS could fully utilize the power of social media to keep its passengers informed on the latest developments, and answer all sorts of questions from stranded travelers.

2. Social Media and Crisis Management

Social media represent the best way of communicating with shareholders, customers/clients and the media. Rumors can be dispelled, rapid responses can be demonstrated, and malicious (libelous, deliberately inaccurate) statements can be targeted for correction, either through direct legal action, or by an appeal to stakeholders to correct inaccuracies through repetition of accurate statements.

3. Protect Yourself: Social Media and Legal Liability

Whether you post it on a billboard, company website, or tweet, liability is triggered by false or deceptive statements of fact. In the commercial speech arena, courts are more willing to impose liability for speech that creates a misleading impression even if the words were literally true. To protect yourself and your business from legal liability related to the content posted on your website, blog or via other online social media outlets, follow these recommendations.

4. Twitter and business continuity

Displaying topics ranging from H1N1 and Haiti to the best local cup of coffee, Twitter has created a new baseline for effective and efficient communication. With the ease of use and scalability that social media provides, organizations are looking to understand how social media not only fits into their marketing and branding efforts, but also their business continuity capability.

5. Using Social Media for Reputation Management & Brand Building

If reputation management is a headache you're already encountered, or if you're one of the many businesses where your reputation could be attacked through no fault of your own, then you should prepare yourself to get busy on social media. The many social media channels are a proactive reputation management gift to anyone who would like to fend off a possible reputation attack, or fix a disaster that's already happened.

6. Social media not ready for crisis management

While popular among users as a platform to transmit information far and quick, social media is not as readily accepted and integrated into organizations' business continuity planning (BCP) due to security concerns, according to the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). Security within social networking sites has not reached the level needed to protect data as well as the reputation of enterprises.

Quote of the Week:

"Social media is perhaps the most powerful communications platform of the future."
-- David Kenny and Jack Klues, VivaKi

Contact Us:

Attainium Corp
15110 Gaffney Circle
Gainesville, VA 20155