Social media platforms have made it easier for companies to engage with customers, but with that comes the risk of damage to your brand, which could also happen from the inside.
‘Reputations, like trust, are built over time, but can be destroyed in an instant,’ says Deon Binneman, a reputation management advisor known as ‘The Reputation Go-to Guy’. He’s specifically referring to the risk social media poses to the reputation of a business.
‘Online social networking comes with risks not associated with many traditional ways of connecting with people. Unintentionally offend someone in person at a restaurant, for example, and the repercussions are likely to be minimal. But post a photo that others deem offensive on your Facebook page, and you could risk alienating others and even setting yourself up for potential lawsuits,’ he explains.
The problem, says Verlie Oosthuizen, partner and head of social media law at Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys, lies in the immediacy of the medium and potential for content to go viral. ‘Businesses have very little control over how quickly content will spread, where it will spread and who will be upset, enraged or offended by it. Once the content is out, it's impossible to get it back under control. There are often no checks or balances in place to monitor exactly what employees or associates or customers of a business will say online and content can be viewed by t...