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How to Manage Your Company’s Social Media Risk



MORE AND more companies are developing a social media presence to increase their exposure and reach new clients.

Typically, an organization will put a person in charge of the company’s social media accounts and making posts to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites.

If managed properly, your organization can reap significant benefits from a creative online presence, but if you mismanage it, the risks can be significant.
Let’s look at some of the main risks and what you can do to avoid them.

Any time you tweet about someone else or another company that could be reasonably construed as negative, you risk being accused of libel.

What to do: Create an approval process involving a senior leader for any social media communication. Do not give a junior person full control, as their inexperience could cause irreparable damage.

Poorly managed social media that creates negative publicity can hurt your company.

What to do: As in libel management, create an internal approval process.

This refers to the use of copyrighted work without the creator’s permission.
This risk would arise if you post someone else’s photos, writing or graphic images and claim it as your company’s own on your social media page. Your firm could be sued for damages in these circumstances.

What to do: Before posting images that aren’t your own on your social media pages, ensure that they aren’t subject to copyright.

There are all types of cyber traps floating around social media awaiting someone to click on a rogue link to set off an attack on their computer system.
For businesses, the risk is mainly the potential of confidential company information being leaked outside the company.

What to do: Have your IT department or outside IT professional ensure that all of your accounts have the proper privacy and security settings. This can protect confidential information, and reduce the chances of having your account hacked or falling victim to cyber theft.

The larger your company, the greater the need for more sophisticated security systems.

One of the biggest risks to your company is having outsiders post on your social media page, particularly if they disparage or complain about your company or one of its products or services.

What to do: Monitor all of the social media platforms you operate on, so you an quickly identify negative feedback and address it before it gains support.
If somebody is posting blatantly offensive material or is extremely critical of your company, you can block them from your page.

This article originally appeared in the 12-2016 issue of VMA’s Risk Report newsletter. To view/download the full newsletter, click HERE.

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