Call For Social Media Regulation

  • Formal strategies needed with social media
  • Experimentation needs to stop
  • Peer-to-peer support needs monitoring

The use of social media by organisations when dealing with the public needs regulation to protect sensitive information from being divulged by blundering staff, according to Ovum, a company that specialises in telecommunications analytics.

More and more public and private sector organisations have begun to respond to customer queries and complaints via tools such as Twitter and Facebook. But according to Ovum, an independent telecoms analyst, regulations need to be put in place to ensure that information is used appropriately.

In addition, Ovum believes that peer-to-peer support conducted via social media should be monitored, to ensure that customers do not unintentionally pass on incorrect information.

New York-based Ovum analyst Aphrodite Brinsmead, said: “The financial services industry has already made it a requirement that communications through social media are recorded and retained. We think this needs to go a step further and that all organisations using social media to interact with customers should be regulated. While social media should still allow customers to interact and express themselves, we believe that they need to be protected from having sensitive information spread on the internet by staff who may not understand how to treat such enquiries. For these reasons, we believe regulations are a necessary evil.”

As well as regulation, Brinsmead believes that it is now time for organisations to stop experimenting with social media start putting in place formal strategies. She added: “Customers enjoy the fast response rates and good service that social media allows and more and more enquiries will be made this way. However, every organisation should have a strategy and guidelines in place so staff understand how to treat them.”