Risks of Social Media


Howdy all. The last couple of weeks I’ve been talking up enterprise 2.0 and social media and I know what you’re thinking “Social media is the cat’s pajamas, lets implement this stuff”.  Whoa there cowboy, calm down, you need to know about the risks. There are six main risks that face organizations when it comes to social media:

1. Confidential information

2. Technology risk

3. Reputation risk

4. Employment

5. Statutory risk

6. Occupation and organization risk



I’m going to discuss some of these risks in respect to the ANZ bank. The most potentially destructive risk to ANZ bank, or any bank for that matter, would be the misuse of confidential information. Banks are one of the types of organizations that are most vulnerable to this risk because they have highly sensitive information such as bank account details in addition to all the usual personal information such as addresses and email accounts. Luckily, the risk of this is fairly low because it only uses social media for marketing purposes.


The risk of developing a negative reputation is always a huge risk when it comes to companies using social media. If one person has a bad experience with ANZ they can easily share their bad experience with a large demographic of people by, for example posting a complaint on ANZ’s Facebook page for everyone to see. This risk can also be an asset to the company if ANZ takes these complains and rectifies them or provides compensation through the same channel to show that they really do care about their customers.

One of the most important things to consider when utilizing social media is a social media policy. The purpose of a social media policy is to ensure that the company’s employees understand their obligations when using social media. ANZ should include at least 10 major aspects according to Sharlyn Lauby (president of Internal Talent Management (ITM)).

  1. Introduce the purpose of social media
  2. Be responsible for what you write
  3. Be authentic
  4. Consider your audience
  5. Exercise good judgment
  6. Understand the concept of community
  7. Respect copyrights and fair use
  8. Remember to protect confidential and proprietary information
  9. Bring value
  10. Productivity matters


ANZ should consider all of these points when developing a social media policy.


Social media is an exciting wonderland of fun, entertainment and business improvements opportunities but it doesn’t come without risks. A company should consider all of the mentioned risks before diving in the deep end of social media. 


3 thoughts on “Risks of Social Media

  1. Clancy,

    You are right about the fact the people put their good or bad experience about the bank service on social media and it can be certainly defame a business. But business should openly listen to them and act to rectify them.

  2. Pingback: Risk, Risk and more Risks D: | Thaii's Blog

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