What 3 Security SaaS Vendors Don’t Get About Social Media Governance

Business-Case-Soc-Media-Shareable-Sq-Instagram-2EOnly 1 in 4 employees thoroughly understands their employer’s social media policy, according to a new report on best practices for social media management and archiving.

The study was underwritten by technology vendors Gwava, Proofpoint and Smarsh, who all seek to accelerate growth by making the business case for their SaaS security, threat protection, monitoring, compliance and archiving offerings.

The report by Osterman Research argues that while most organizations see social media as a marketing play, there’s evidence to suggest that other applications like social sales, social customer service and sentiment analysis are actually the bigger plays, which requires broader adoption, beyond just marketing and PR.  

The way to protect organizations against a disgruntled employee going rogue on Twitter or innocuous social media misuse by an employee is by developing social media policies and implementing information technology solutions. But the report overlooks what one social media relationship management vendor knows well.

“Training reduces the risk of social media misuse,” according to the Social Media in the Workplace report by Proskauer.  Nexgate reseller Hootsuite — which recently released their own “Compliance Guide” – has been bullish on employee education in the form of self-paced social media training courses from the start, albeit originally to get more marketers on its platform.

Nexgate signed a deal to by acquired by Proofpoint a few weeks ago, so it’ll be interesting to how that deal shakes out on Hootsuite’s Nexgate reseller status.  Hootsuite has diplomatically positioned themselves as vendor neutral, so it may be  moot.

But if Proofpoint has aspirations of becoming and end-to-end social media compliance provider, they should be looking at social media compliance training vendors next.

Remember, Proofpoint sells licenses.  More licenses means more revenue, which is why enterprise-wide social media adoption in the workplace is in their best interest. Today, only one in four employers support the use of social media enterprise wide, according to the Osterman report, despite the fact widespread adoption via mobile is happening whether employers like it or not.

Which is why employee education is so strategically important.  Because if only one in four thoroughly understand their employer’s social media policy, and only one in four organizations support enterprise wide social media use, fear and uncertainty will continue to dominate the c suite, and security SaaS platform adoption will be slower as a result.

Hootsuite understands this, which why they’re repositioning Hootsuite University, as a social media compliance training provider, instead of just a social media literacy training provider.

As I’ve said before, no one reads corporate policy.  They sign for it, and stick it in the bottom drawer. They only way to certify knowledge transfer is through training and assessment.

Why not make access to social networks at work contingent on social media certification and sustain engagement by empowering a broad community of responsible, employee advocates?  That’s what we built our on demand, self-paced social media training literacy and compliance courseware library to do.

But despite the Osterman report’s blind eye to the role of employee education in the social media compliance game, it has plenty of useful stats and is well worth downloading.

In terms of which social networks are getting the most more use on corporate networks, Facebook leads, followed by YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter, but enterprise-class, internal social networking platforms like IBM Connections, Yammer and Chatter have yet to experience significant growth. Although IDC predicts the enterprise social software market will grow 22.3% from 2013 to 2017.

Do you have a regimented, auditable employee social media training program in place at your organization.  If no, why not?

What are you waiting for? Get social media compliance training right now.