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80,258 News Articles

The trouble with social networks and business

Facebook and Twitter exposed

We look at how social networks put a new face on brand-damaging activities, ranging from reputation attacks to imposter sites.

With so many different brand threats to contend with online, it's important to have a coordinated strategy.

Unfortunately, says Cyveillance's Carnall, many organisations take a triage approach, sending the issue to legal, IT or marketing.

"They silo it," he says. But someone needs to be keeping track of outcomes and the overall impact on the brand, he contends.

"You almost need a brand intelligence officer".

At Kodak, the buck stops at the CMO's desk. Hayzlett keeps communication flowing through what he calls online councils with every department in the organisation, including IT, legal and human resources.

"Everyone needs to work together and understand each role. We work as a team," he says.

Communication between marketing and IT is key. "The most powerful team would be if you connected the CMO and the CIO at the hip," Miller says.

Customers are often the first to notify a business of a problem, so listen to customer service lines carefully, says Frederick Felman, CMO at MarkMonitor.

At WWE, it was fans, not staffers or a monitoring service, who first reported the Triple H imposter.

"Take the complaints you get seriously," Felman advises, "and be prepared to act quickly".

Rentschler says IT needs to educate colleagues in marketing about risks. If IT sees a problem and fixes it without telling anyone, "no one else will know what to look out for," she warns.

IT needs to push back more when marketing plans can jeopardise brand security. It must, for example, fight pressure to rush website changes through without thorough security checks.

"I don't think IT does a good job of saying, 'here's all of the IT issues with the brand upkeep'," Rentschler says.

With so much online turf to monitor and so much activity in cyberspace, it's important to prioritise.

Lynn Goodendorf, global head of data privacy at InterContinental Hotels Group, says.

She tries to focus on sensitive, confidential data, but even there, it's important to have realistic goals.

"Mitigate your largest exposures," she says, "but don't think you can mitigate it down to zero."

Broadband speed test

Small business IT advice

See also: Twitter and Facebook costs businesses £1.38m

  1. Facebook and Twitter may be more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to business
  2. The cost of piracy
  3. Self-inflicted threats
  4. Co-ordinated strategy

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