CMO: The little thought of, big risk in social engagement

Samantha Yorke, 05 July, 2013

As any CMO worth their salt would know, the 97 per cent of Australians who are online using social media are not a passive audience. Facebook observes 3.2 billion likes and comments globally every day, which equates to 37,000 every second. 100 million people take some form of social action on YouTube globally every week, and more than 50 per cent of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community.

Not surprisingly, businesses have also embraced social media. Thirty per cent of small businesses, 47 per cent of medium business, and 79 per cent of large businesses have a social media presence and these numbers continue to grow. Of course with this activity comes risk in many forms, one of which may surprise some.

The risk is the very nature of commentary itself. Businesses should give careful consideration to managing user comments on their site both from a reputational and legal perspective. There are several ways in which this can be done according to a business' size, resources and appetite for risk.

Of course, responsibility is really shared across consumers, who should consider the appropriateness of their comments before posting them; social media platforms, who are required by law to remove illegal content once they have been made aware of it; the community, who often serves as the eyes and ears and should report illegal content to the platforms directly; and businesses, who should be monitoring the ebb and flow of their interactions with the community.

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