Excerpt from: The Legal Intelligencer (click for full article)
The question is no longer whether your company should be involved with social media — it already is, whether you're leading or following. The skyrocketing popularity of these services is undeniable and the potential reward — for engaging, expanding and strengthening relationships with your key communities — is enormous. So are the risks. Risks come in many forms, and the prudent organization will assess its specific situation and take appropriate preventive steps to manage both risks created by others as well as risk created internally. Social media is a shockingly effective catalyst for both.
The key is understanding the nature of this new medium. The company and its counsel must be familiar not only with the rules, but with the culture of the online community. Social media is not just a new way to disseminate your message; it's a conversation taking place on a massively multi-person scale, worldwide. But just like any face-to-face conversation, it must be a two-way process (albeit on a massively multi-person scale) or it dies.
Here are the most frequent areas where companies can get in trouble, as well as some ideas for how to stay on the right side of the risk/reward curve.