Companies have been contemplating compliance and governance issues for decades. But it’s only recently that they’ve been tackling the challenge that social media brings to corporate governance, risk and compliance. This week we examine a few of the elements impacting the industry.

Social Media Governance

According to Irwin Lazar, vice president of communications and collaboration research at Nemertes Research, enforcing social media governance isn’t just a project for human resources. Lazar says that the responsibility also belongs to message compliance specialists, who need to monitor employees to make sure they aren’t intentionally or inadvertently breaking policy with their posts and tweets.

Breaking policy, as inadvertent as it could be, is an issue. According to the fifth annual Usage Trends, End User Attitudes and IT Impact survey by FaceTime Communications, about 14% of IT managers surveyed in December 2009 reported having data leaked through social networks. Another 18% said they have taken disciplinary action over incidents that occurred through employee use of social media.

Coupled with research recently published by Cisco Systems, which found a significant lack of policies and procedures in place for enterprise social media use, despite the fact that 95% of users said they use social media at work for business or personal reasons. Bottom line? Social media governance is in trouble.

Is Social Media the Answer?

Which may be why Keith Kochberg of says that social media “can be more trouble and expense than it's worth, and it can even do more harm than good.” Considering the previously reported results, such statements may not be so over-reactionary.

Social media, Kochberg says, takes time and lots of oversight to achieve the return on investment that many companies are searching for. Yet, social media can offer lots of interaction and engagement, which can result in elevated customer retention when done correctly.

Social Media Solutions for the Enterprise

If your company is undeterred by the challenges that social media presents to the enterprise, then you might want to check out the new social networking site is a social media site designed specifically for financial advisers to communicate with their investors. Financial advisers can maximize their communication and engagement with investors while also assisting financial advisers in meeting FINRA compliance requirements.

While there isn’t a magic solution for managing social media compliance, all companies are strongly encouraged to create policies that can make governance more manageable. What social media governance strategies is your company initiating?