Visit two or more social media sites and review information that people post about themselves and information friends post about them. What types of information is available? What challenges do corporations face with regards to social media? Do companies have social media policies for sharing information? Provide an example.

43% of all social media traffic pictures. This is not surprising given the meteoric rise of Snapchat and conversely the fall of Twitter. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram for one billion dollars was also a good barometer for this statistic.

Massive social media sites like Facebook and Google+ are dominated by photo sharing while Twitter is more focused on updates about on what’s happening right now, aka your status, news sharing is also widespread on Twitter. And of course services like Snapchat, Pinterest and Instagram are focused on photos.

Social news sites like Reddit, Hacker News, and Digg use social sentiment to curate new stories. Users of these services vote new stories up or down to curate the relevance of the content.

Social Q & A sites like StackExchange, StackOverflow and Quora allow users to ask questions and vote responses up or down. This process identifies the most probable answer using the social sentiment. Responses are validated, and users are given a rating as time goes on.

People post all kinds of data about themselves on social media, some examples include:

  • Photos of themselves (selfies), friends, family, strangers, inanimate objects, etc… you name it, it has been photographed, linked to someones social media profile and shared for the world to see.
  • Opinions on anything and everything.
    • The mobile device and social media have become the immediate way to connect with like-minded individuals, the mobile couch.  I have two words: “vanity search”.  It’s always a good idea to take a deep breath when your angry and sleep on it before taking pen to paper, the same should be true before composing a questionably literate 140 character message that will likely alienate 50% of the people who inhabit the planet with you.
  • Status updates, again about anything and everything. There’s a disturbing notion with the idea that people care that you’re eating a bean burrito, so you need to stop to photograph it, share it on social media with a witty tagline and wait for others to like it, only to slip into a funk when you don’t get the likes you expected. #freakshow
  • Recommendations and warnings of all types.
  • Links to things people read, news stories, other posts, etc..
  • Videos of any variety.
    • E.g. – A video of the United passenger being forcefully removed from an airplane.
      • WARNING:  Everyone is wearing a body cam, and they are excited to use it and share the footage with the world.  Facial recognition algorithms will identify you even when you’re not looking.
  • Travel plans and itineraries. (e.g. – linking TripIt to your social media profile, why no let the world know you’ll be in Europe for a month, sounds reasonable and safe.)
  • Personal and professional accomplishments.

My golden rule is I never mix alcohol and my mobile device.  Shut it off, respond to that tweet in the morning, no need for pictures, there is plenty of Budweiser in the world and as much as I think I need preserve this picture for future generations, I don’t.

Probably more interesting than what we are sharing directly, is the metadata we are creating and sharing.  How you move, where you go, who you connect with, etc… All this metadata has immense value and it’s the data we protect the least.
One of my favorite use cases for social media data and metadata is how we will determine creditworthiness in the future.  Startups like Tala are using social media and mobile metadata to determine creditworthiness and large consumer credit rating agencies like Fair Issac Corporation (FICO) and TransUnion are also adopting this approach to determining creditworthiness.

Here are some challenges that business face with social media:

  • Integration: Where does social media live within the organization? Every business knows it is essential to engage but who should own it. Social media data and social media analytics are providing such strategic value to organizations today that I am seeing Chief Marketing Officers replacing Chief Information Officers in some organizations. Social media and big data analytics have become more powerful than the internal data that drove traditional BI. CMO’s own the social engagement so in some cases they are taking over the conventional CIO role.
  • Governance: I call this reputation management or defense.
  • Culture: Social media shift the employee and consumer engagement model.
  • Human Resources: This all about establishing a social media policy.
  • Measurement & ROI: How will the organization measure the effectiveness of social media on the business and what is the ROI.
  • Security: Social media is a great place for hackers to look for vulnerabilities, using both sophisticated and unsophisticated approaches.

Most companies do establish a social media policy. An example is Adidas’ Socail Media Policy.

Here are some highlights from Adidas’ Social Media Policy:

  1. Employees are allowed to associate themselves with the company when posting but they must clearly brand their online posts as personal and purely their own. The company should not be held liable for any repercussions the employees’ content may generate.
  2. Content pertaining to sensitive company information (particularly those found within Adidas internal networks) should not be shared to the outside online community. Divulging information like the company’s design plans, internal operations and legal matters are prohibited.
  3. Proper copyright and reference laws should be observed by employees when posting online.



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What People Share On Social Networks – Statistics and Trends [Infographic]. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2017, from