Today we published a new Forrester Wave: Social Risk & Compliance (SRC) Solutions, Q2 2014. This report evaluates 10 vendors emerging to help organizations enable companywide use of social media while providing the necessary controls and oversight to mitigate associated risks and enforce compliance.


Why now

Use of social media today is rampant.

It’s no longer just your marketing team that uses social media for business purposes. Employees across the entire organization use social media for personal and professional reasons, leveraging social to drive real business for your company. The opportunities to enhance your brand, deepen customer relationships, and glean new customer insights are all too valuable to ignore — but the risks are real too.

Moreover, the legal and regulatory landscape is evolving rapidly, complicating the ways in which you can manage social media and the myriad reputational, security, and privacy risks (among others) that expose your organization. To take advantage of these opportunities and still protect your company, you need new tools and technology to do this effectively.


What they do

Forrester evaluated the 10 most relevant SRC solutions in the market today, including: Actiance, CrowdControlHQ, CSI, Gremln, Hearsay Social, Nexgate, OpenQ, SocialVolt, Socialware, and Sprinklr. Each of these solutions helps customer organizations with their social media risk and compliance efforts, providing them with:

  1. Capabilities to monitor, moderate, and enforce controls across hundreds of social accounts. SRC solutions connect and communicate with social media accounts and networks via API or proxy to allow organizations to set user, group, and account permissions, as well as enforce policy across social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  2. Embedded workflow to automate reviews and other compliance processes. They provide workflow capabilities that trigger review and approval processes for social media posts prior to publication based on predefined keywords, phrases, and other heuristics.
  3. Functionality to capture social data and meet archiving requirements. SRC solutions include the ability to capture, store, and archive data either natively or through partnerships with archiving solution vendors.


How they’re different

There are a seemingly infinite number of social media tools flooding the market today, making it extremely difficult for you to sift through all the noise and understand the key points of differentiation. In fact, there are three related social media technology categories that offer some of the features found in SRC solutions, but they aren’t comprehensive from a risk and compliance perspective: 1) social marketing and social selling platforms; 2) social listening platforms; and 3) social archiving tools.

Each of the three categories can help with a piece of your SRC initiative, either by enhancing social outreach, monitoring external brand risks, or supporting compliance requirements, but only SRC solutions can provide all of these capabilities, and offer additional controls. This is why when you review your SRC requirements, look for vendors that focus on a comprehensive view of social media risk and compliance.


What you need to do

First, come to terms with the fact that social media use is widespread across your organization already. (Yes, this really does include YOU.)

Then make sure you have a strategy to govern social media use effectively and to protect your social media accounts, because you never know when it will be your company on the line – just ask @USAirways, EA Sports, Cole Haan, or any firm dealing with the FDA’s new draft guidance.

In all likelihood, you’re going to need tools and technology to help, so check out the SRC Solutions Wave and be sure to download the detailed Wave model to get our full analysis of each of the 10 vendors across 22 criteria to help you determine which vendor will best meet your specific requirements.

And finally, post to the comments section of this blog and connect with me on Twitter (@NickHayes10) to keep the conversation going. I’d love to hear what you think.