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Alumnus Shares Insights on the Risks and Rewards of Social Media

November 19, 2010
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Social media is a key marketing tool because it allows companies to create marketing strategies that would previously have taken a tremendous amount of time and resources in a one-step process.  That’s according to Sandy Goldstein (BBA ’81, MBA ’85), the president and founder of Capsicum Group LLC, who shared his insight with School of Business alumni and students earlier this month during Alumni Weekend festivities. Goldstein, who specializes in services including digital forensics, investigations, outsourcing, privacy, project assurance, regulatory compliance, security, testimony and technology management, noted that more than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies use some form of social media today and often use more than one social media service.

GoldsteinThrough sites such as Facebook and Twitter, companies are able to take advantage of direct marketing, word of mouth marketing, polls and opinions, as well as compare with competitors, all from one location.  Goldstein also noted that social media allows companies to save a tremendous amount of money by streamlining the entire marketing process.

“[Through social media], companies have cost savings from call centers as well as cost savings from focus groups who now become virtual focus groups and feedback mechanisms,” Goldstein said.

In addition to discussing the benefits of social media for corporations, Goldstein talked about the risks that come with social media as a result of privacy issues.  Goldstein selected several random individuals in the audience and showed how much information could be discovered about them merely by mining social network information.  Goldstein cautioned to be careful about what information one chooses to post, noting that taking information off the Web once posted is virtually impossible.

“It’s nearly impossible once information is out there to pull it back in,” he said. “Watch out what information you’re releasing, because once it hits the internet, it’s there for a very long time, if not forever.”

Goldstein concluded his talk by reiterating the impact social networking is having on businesses and again stressing the need for discretion when using social networks.

“We can give you lots of recommendations and how-tos, but the short version is you have to be prudent,” he said.

See links below for video of clips of Goldstein's presentation.

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