Loss Prevention and the Use of Social Media

Loss Prevention

RILA Loss PreventionTwo days ago, I returned from the RILA Loss Prevention, Auditing, and Safety Conference in Dallas. As far as trade shows go, this one was a completely new format for me; at my previous company, which develops a database, we would attend and exhibit at shows such as (the now-defunct) LinuxWorld or JavaOne, wherein the exhibit halls were open the entire day and thus our booth had to be staffed accordingly. At the RILA show, however, the exhibit hall was only open about two hours per day, which left a lot of open time slots for us.

In an effort to continue my education of the industry for which I now work, I decided to use this time by attending a number of sessions that were being held throughout the days there. One of them, entitled “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Social Media and LP,” appealed to me, of course, because of my passion for social media in general. I would guess that approximately 750 to 800 people attended this session, most of these being loss prevention managers in their 30s and 40s.

The presentation was delivered by Cynthia Hetherington of The Hetherington Group and Ruth Kinzey of The Kinzey Company, a personable and riveting duo. The pair discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of social media to loss prevention managers and executives.  According to them, LP professionals can leverage social media in a number of ways:

  • loss prevention
  • asset recovery
  • due dilligence
  • investigations
  • brand and executive protection

I was fascinated to find, through an audience poll, that while 86% of the attendees have at least one of the big three (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), just 10.8% are using all three. I guess social media is still not used to its full potential in this sector as yet; in fact, as I was leaving the banquet hall, I overheard a 30-something gentlemen ask his college, “What’s LinkedIn?”

Probably the meatiest part of the presentation occurred when it was revealed that 74% of employees believe it’s very easy to damage a company’s reputation on social media, while only 49% of executives believe that. Quite the disparity, no? It’s like Warren Buffett once said:

“It takes twenty years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it.”

And that led to the big question: for those of us who use social media outlets on a daily basis, do we excuse the ethical consequences of what we post via social media? And do we, when posting personal information, opinions, and commentary, simply push our employers to the backs of our minds? “Oh, I may have said that I dislike ABC product, but that has nothing to do with my company.”

Let’s be honest: your employees have the potential to make or break your company’s brand and reputation. Does your company have a social media policy to try and control this? If you don’t, but are interested in setting one up, Healthcare IT News has a number of tips and rules for creating one.

Categories: Social Media
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