How can you manage the risks associated with having staff online and engaging with social media? 

The answer is having a robust digital strategy, according to Lisa Teh, Co-founder / Director of digital marketing firm the CODI Agency.

Trust is vital in business and this has traditionally been established through face-to-face interaction. But how is that possible in a virtual world?

The answer is by having an “open mind” about digital technology. Not as a replacement for face-to-face contact. But as an opportunity to take your communications to a whole new level.

“I can’t tell you how much LinkedIn has done for me,” Lisa Teh told an online audience at the RIMS Australasia 2020 Virtual Summit. “If you had told me 10 months ago that I would be presenting to a global audience of risk managers I would have laughed. But I’m here and proof that amazing things can happen online.”

However, many firms are “naturally scared” of digital, according to Teh, because using social media involves a loss of central control that brings with it many new “unseen” risks for companies around brand, reputation and trust.

But the real risk isn’t around being online, it’s not being online. “You risk becoming completely irrelevant,” says Teh. “There is no better investment in marketing than investing in digital.”

And there’s no going back to a pre-digital world, either.

According to Teh, social media platforms such as LinkedIn allow firms to humanise their brand, attract talent, influence, inspire, promote others and most importantly, build trust.

“The best way to build trust in your brand is through your people,” she says. “People do business with people not companies, and brand value can be brought to life through people.”

Plus, as all risk managers know, things will go wrong in business. But it’s how you act when they do that matters and digital offers the potential show your customers that you will do the right thing by them when mistakes occur.

Getting all this right requires a clear social media strategy with risk awareness at it’s heart.

Teh advises starting off small and picking key stakeholders within the business to execute a personal brand strategy that fits in with the wider business.

Provide appropriate training, help and encourage the team, give them what they need to optimise their content and profile – and make sure that you do it right. “There is no room for shortcuts in digital execution,” says Teh. “Employ the right people internally or engage external experts.”

But in the end you also have to accept that you can’t control what everyone thinks of you.

“Just don’t worry about it,” advises Teh. “There are too many incredible opportunities out there.”