Companies that do not have proper policies in place to regulate the use of social media have been warned that they are flirting with disaster.

The Association of Information and Image Management (AIIM) Europe said collaboration without governance could spell calamity, and advised firms to put in place policies stating that contributions to non-company websites is the personal responsibility of employees and do not reflect the company’s views or attitudes.

Doug Miles, UK managing director of AIIM Europe, explained that this protects the company and allows it to deal with any “indiscreet” member of staff.

He went on to comment: “If you don’t have a policy, when you discipline that member of staff, what are you disciplining them against?”

He added that ultimately, businesses need to fully understand the benefits the collaborative and innovative nature of social networks can bring to their organisations.

According to forecasts by Gartner, by 2014, social networking services will replace email as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 per cent of business users.

Posted by Suzanne Stock – Communications Director, HR, Online Advertising, General Marketing