The risks, as well as the benefits of social media Social media are now slowly becoming recognised, particularly as the list of companies who “should know better” gets longer. 

Given the potential for social media to trash a brand built over decades almost overnight, any responsible due diligence and risk assessment process now takes in social media as a key component of an enterprises value.

An often used first step is to encourage the evolution of a “code of conduct” to guide behavior.   Many large companies are now doing this, including Coca Cola. Their code is on the net for all to see, and sensibly, they are allowing it to evolve as behavior in social media evolves. The Coke code is a great place for others to start thinking about how they want their employees and other stakeholders to interact in Social media. An alternative is to go back to first principals, and ask what you as a consumer of SM expect from a site, the list would be a bit different to the Coke one, more like this, on Social Media Examiner.

However you go about it, fact is that you need a robust policy to keep out the robots & trashers that is transparent, and rigorously executed, whilst enabling the evolution necessary in an ecology changing every day.