Social media threat remains a hot topic in today’s business environment. Social media is a valuable communication tool that is used to not only improve corporate communication but also to cut communication costs. Businesses create social media profiles to collaborate with different classes of stakeholders. The social media provides a means for reaching a large number of stakeholders at a minimal cost and within the shortest time. Social media networks can connect users from all corners of the world that creates the ideal condition for disseminating corporate information. Most new businesses are in a rush to exploit social media capacities as a marketing and communication tool. However, they fail to understand social media exposures that threaten business survival. The main social media threats facing businesses include online fraud, brand risk, hacking, and employee risk.
Online fraud is a serious problem facing businesses using the social media and other internet technologies to support processes. Both sellers and buyers are susceptible to online fraudsters who use creative means of extorting money from unsuspecting social media users. In most cases, customers are the victims of online fraudsters masquerading to be a known business or a seller. Customer relations are strained when customers lose money to online fraudsters. The long-term success of a business is dependent on the existence of sustainable relations with customers. Online fraud, therefore, limits the ability of a business to expand the customer base as the existing customers are demoralised by fraudsters.
Brand risk is another social media threat facing businesses today. Social media provides avenues for imposters who purport to be business representatives. There are also cases of fake corporate social media platforms that are used for criminal activities. Unethical competitors can use fake social media profiles to convey negative information about a business that poses a reputation threat. A corporate image in today’s business environment is everything since customers are reluctant to transact with a business engaging in unethical practices.Brand risk also emanates from unsatisfied customers who use social media to express their dissatisfaction. Today’s customers do not just walk away when offered poor quality. Instead, they go to social media to share their disappointment aimed at bringing down the service provider.
Social media profiles are vulnerable to hackers despite the security measures implemented by social media websites. In the past corporate profiles have been hacked and used to spread misleading information. Such incidences are not only a threat to the corporate image but also expose key business stakeholders to fraud.
The integration of the social media in human resource management systems can be a treat to employee welfare. Organisations have embraced the use of social media in internal communication a trend that exposes the employees to some social media threats. Impostors can impersonate top executives with the aim of influencing the employees that can constrain employee relations. Workers are the most critical assets in an organisation and exposing them to social media threat reduces their productivity.
It is apparent businesses face social media threats that is a threat to performance. Implementing a sound social media strategy is a necessity to ensure these threats do not hurt the business. Resilience against social media treats ensures a business exploits social media opportunities and also take cover against threats associated with the same.