A CIO’s “Getting Started” Checklist For Social Media Governance

Its 7:30AM on a Saturday morning. My three year old looks right and left, noticing I’m not in the room. A pile of fresh blueberry pancakes are within reach… and so is an oversized jug of real maple syrup. With all the right intentions, she tips the jug and pours 40 oz of sweet maple nectar all over the counter.

Believe it or not, this situation is similar to IT’s role in safeguarding enterprise social media.

Control, management and governance are all words that send fear down the backs of any social community-centric IT management. But is it necessary? If we look back to the maple syrup issue, how could we have avoided a sticky mess? Perhaps, if we provide the right level of ownership (in this case syrup) to the right person at the right time – we might avoid sticky situations. Hence, providing a small cup of syrup reduces our exposure, but allows for the benefits to be realized, as part of business strategies such as customer service. IT’s role in social media then, is to enable business strategies by providing the right “containers” for users to gain market advantages.

The Right Social Safeguards
Social safeguards need to be aligned to potential risk exposure. Risk exposure can take shape in reputation (negative PR) or more formal compliance violations. The financial services industry, for example, has specific definitions for interactive content including social media. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has determined that any registered representative who participates in a social media networking platform is subject to the same regulations that would govern an in-person presentation or public appearance.

The Social Media CIO “Getting Started” Checklist
IT plays a role in empowering and automating social governance, but a few steps need to be taken into account including:

  1. Compliance Policy – Most organizations look to legal for Interactive Content Regulations to guide the rigor and scope of governance approach. Often this is more stringent or relaxed depending on your business, industry or if your organization is public or private.
  2. Social Media Accreditation Process – Implement a social media accreditation process for your relevant employees to complete. This will ensure that your employees are up to speed with current social media practices.
  3. Build Community and Start by Listening – Customers are already active online, and by listening with a discerning ear, you will find out what their needs and concerns are – and more importantly, what they’re saying about your business.
  4. Identity Management – Providing single sign on and federation with existing identity management assets (such as Active directory) is critical to ensuring security for onboarding and offboarding employees.

While steps 1-4 involve planning and coordination with various lines of business across your organization, identity management (which IT already knows a lot about) is something that you look at right away.

Enabling Identity Management & Federation
Often IT has limited to no visibility or reporting into user provisioning/deprovisioning and usage, particularly when SaaS applications are outside of IT, and so are unable to enforce internal security policies that traditionally exist within systems tied to Active Directory. With Softchoice Cloud user provisioning and deprovisioning API’s are leveraged to centralize this process, allowing for automated user management based on existing group and user management policies.

Enable Compliance Enforcement
Platforms like Hootsuite provide a strong vehicle to enable compliance enforcement and/or social governance. This helps IT provision solutions to enable both governance and the necessary capabilities to deliver a social strategy within the organization including:

  • Automatic Archiving
  • Pre-Approve Social Messaging

To find out more, read the whitepaper “Social Media Compliance with HootSuite” and learn how Hootsuite provides enterprise class social media management and engagement through the Softchoice Cloud.

The role of the CIO continues to evolve alongside enterprise social media and IT does play a role in enabling the business to leverage social media in the most responsible way through SaaS technology.

With distributed responsibility, IT’s pivotal role is in enabling and educating the business on ways to implement improved social governance to achieve the business objectives of enterprise social media, ensuring that they never find themselves in any sticky situations.

This post was adapted from a Hootsuite whitepaper, which can be located here.

About Richard Carson

Richard is the Services Marketing Manager, North America for Softchoice, and shares stories that shape tomorrow’s IT landscape.


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