One of the most common questions we get asked about social media relates to risk.  

"What if we train our employees to build their professional brand online and they get another job?"  

But what if you don't train them and they say something on social media (quite unintentionally) that could put the companies reputation at risk.  

This article from the BBC walks through how social media could ruin your business.  It's a little scary and doesn't present the counter argument relating to the opportunities social media presents, but there are useful nuggets in here regardless.  

In brief, if you leave your social strategy to chance then social media could ruin your business.  

Here's how:

Hackers accessing your corporate social channels and posting stories that could damage your reputation - keep security tight on your channels and change the passwords regularly

Fraudsters taking your brand name in vain - set up social listening using Google Alerts or other social listening tools so you know when people are talking about your brand

Employees who unintentionally say something that gets them (and subsequently their employer) into hot water - provide training to employees around what is/isn't acceptable on social media including a sound social media policy.

Feedback is often aired on social media.  When disgruntled customers feel disappointed they will take to social media to air their complaint - your social media strategy needs to focus on engagement as much as publishing.  Listen and engage with these conversations early and move them offline to resolve as quickly as possible.

So there you have it - social media can ruin your business if you're not prepared.  Having a strategy is important but putting that into action is critical.  A well documented strategy will not serve you unless you understand how to manage it going forward.