Like any innovation, social media is not without risks. What isnt so obvious is if being on social media offers real benefit to organizations and companies. Recently, I went on CNBC to talk about this subject and the host asked me what were the actual benefits of social media.
One of the discussions I’ve been having ever since CENTCOM’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were hacked by ISIS supporters is whether or not agencies like U.S. Central Command should even be on social media.
What isn’t so obvious is if being on social media offers real benefit to organizations and companies. Recently, I went on CNBC to talk about this subject and the host asked me what were the actual benefits of social media. I was so surprised by the question that, initially, I asked him if he wanted to know about the risks or benefits. For the sake of argument, let’s start with the former.
Social media accounts are hacked every day. Sometimes it’s a celebrity account. Back in the early days of Twitter, a host of big name Twitter accounts (Britney Spears, President Barack Obama, Fox News) were all hacked.
You don’t even need a hack or mistake to suffer on social media. Even well-intentioned tweets from brands and people can sometimes go awry. When Best Buy tried to join the Serial podcast craze with what the consumer electronics retailer thought was a clever tweet, it got slammed for insensitivity. Of course, since the entire Serial Season One tale dealt with a brutal and premeditated murder, perhaps this should have been obvious.
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, numerous brands took to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to show their support, a fairly bold move when you consider that not everyone in the country was on board with the ruling. Still, brands often appear to be more willing to be bold on social media. In fact, social media can represent the cutting edge of social discourse. Within a year or so of that ruling and those posts, many companies are now running commercials on national television that feature same-sex couples.
Technology can be dangerous. Innovation is risky. But we never stop driving, flying or posting. We simply manage the risks and reap the benefits every single day. Read more…