Who is on your social media governance team?

Jan 12, 2012
<p>Having legal professionals on board can help minimize risks.</p>

Governance professionals are getting more serious about integrating social media governance into a company’s corporate culture. In order to stay ahead of compliance threats, companies are starting to create social media governance teams to help manage strategies and investments in social applications.

In the digital age, social media silos can be bad for risk management and, according to experts, the corporate secretary/general counsel can play an active role in ensuring the firm puts its best foot forward in the digital space.

‘Regulatory agencies are beginning to adopt more rules and guidelines that corporate secretaries should be paying attention too,’ says Glen Gilmore, principal of Gilmore Business Network, a social media marketing firm. ‘The failure to direct the creation of a social media governance team and to adopt a robust social media policy with employee training could ultimately be viewed as a breach of a board's fiduciary duty to advance and protect the corporation.’  

Against this backdrop, having a corporate secretary on board a firm’s social media governance team is definitely a good idea. These governance officers serve as a direct link to the board; and they can effectively assess and remediate any legal issues arising in relation to the company’s social media policy.

‘A big mistake firms make is to introduce and involve the social media department/ governance team as a silo,’ adds Gilmore. ‘There are a number of legal landmines that firms need to be aware of before making a decision.’

Gilmore believes a social media governance team should bring together diverse talent, including marketing, customer service, information technology, legal and human relations, to strengthen a firm’s internal controls and establish best practices.

Achieving social media success is a challenge companies face every day. With increased focus on the importance of risk and compliance, having a well-structured and cross-functional team can be crucial.

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