May 21, 2024

Risk > Regret

By Polly Irungu on 4/16/15

Find me on LinkedIn | Tweet me @pollyirungu | Portfolio 

If you’re reading this…it’s too late. We should all know by now that when it comes to privacy, we don’t have any. We should also know by now that anything that is posted online does not go away.


Many individuals, brands, organizations etc., still do not understand the impact social media has, from the good to the bad. With one simple click you can score big or lose it all. Is the risk of being online worth it in the end?

This week in my UO SOJC J412 Strategic Social Media class we have continued the discussion of the pros/cons that come with social media. We also looked at some social media campaigns that went well and a few that backfired. Below you will see a brief recap. To see the full discussion then fly on over to Twitter and search the hashtag #SOJCssm or just click here.

Pros (Share a few below in the comments)

– Once you understand what you want to achieve, it can only take you to the next level.

– You will be able to build an audience for your brand – Reach a new or specific demographic.

– Analytics can be your best-friend.

– Research and time is a must if you want to be successful on social media.

– Get to know who is watching, when they are watching, where they are watching…etc.

– If done well, you have the ability to translate that human voice to fans which leads to customers = $$$

– Real time issues with real time response – This only works well with brands who have communicated to their employee(s) what voice they want translated over social media. By giving the employee(s) enough resources and then trusting them to get the job done this can happen. Below is an example.

Papa Johns vs Iggy vs DiGiorno exchange on Twitter during the Grammys.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 7.25.56 PM

DiGiorno had more RTs and Favs than Iggy. They saw a moment and seized it. It is important to note that DiGiorno almost missed this moment because they tweeted to Iggy 12 hours after her exchange with Papa Johns.


– Not remaining consistent across all platforms. For example, if a company has a different person handling a different platform then that “voice” can be lost – Yes, fans do notice a difference.

– Once it is posted, the members of the Net will make sure it remains online forever (see Beyonce meme above)

– Backlash, parody accounts, loss of employment, fans etc

– Sometimes a simple human mistake is not forgiven

Check out this infographic of classic mistakes made on social media from athletes to companies…here. My favorite example is below.

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 12.22.42 AM

Do you like how these issues were solved? What would you have done differently? Do you have more positive or negative stories when it comes to being online?

Continue the discussion below or tweet me your thoughts.

7 thoughts on “Risk > Regret

  1. Well written and definitely to the point. The internet is a scary place and social media creates platforms for consumers and businesses to post how they want others to view/perceive them. I think another important point about social media that can be both a pro and a con is the idea of transparency. Personally, I want to come across as myself online to my peers yet I don’t want the entire world to know everything about me and what I do on a daily basis. On the other hand, businesses should strive to be transparent to their customers on all accounts. It’s interesting to display and think about the pros and cons of social media depending on the user, the platform and the use for that account.

    1. Thank you, Deanna. Exactly! Have you heard of this lady named Julz in Miami? She has created a brand for herself called YesJulz. I think she is a good example of your point on balancing transparency as a company while remaining true to yourself. Her company was created because of her name/life. I don’t know. It’s hard finding that silver lining. Maybe trial and error? Or learn from those who came before us.

  2. Polly,
    I thought your blog was extremely well put! For starters the beginning where its stressed that everyone “should” know that stuff posted on the internet will never go away is a great topic. There are so many instances where people believe the delete button will get rid of whatever content they do not want anymore. In a recent edition of John Oliver he did an interview with Edward Snowden where again this notion of ‘nothing ever goes away’ was taken to another level. Snowden and now several articles have now stressed snapchats overwhelming cooperation to hand over its content to the NSA. I find this the most controversial as this app is intended with the sole purpose in mind that it can never be saved or found again unless screen-shotted. I did a little further research to find that there are apps that will actually save snap chats photo for you and not notify the other user that their picture was saved. This then becomes an issue of privacy and easily hinders businesses and their employees who may fall victim to their content being used improperly against them. Do you feel that apps like these are okay? for all types of social media?

    1. Thank you so much, Rhianna. Right! I think it would be fun having a lecture based on the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” moments of our social media profiles. Wow, you bring up a great point/question. I wish that such third party apps did not exist. It is quite scary to think about whatever I post could be kept by a stranger on the other side of the world let alone the government. However, at the same I really can’t be mad at the folks who created the apps. I respect their entrepreneurship spirit. It is like these folks said to Snapchat…Hmm can never be saved? Challenge accepted :(. I mean does it cross the fine line of our basic rights? What are your thoughts?

  3. This article is great, Polly. I love its how relatable it is and its simplicity. As students and aspiring young professionals, we understand the struggle of remaining consistent and appropriate across all social media platforms. I think we can all agree that as students we struggle with finding a balance. We are in college and enjoy living this time of our lives to the fullest but also value our futures. So how can we create this balance? I feel like social media and the internet are such an integral part of our lives these days that completely cutting that aspect of life off would not be beneficial. But then again, should we be taking such a risk?

    1. Thank you, Sophie. I really appreciate that. You took the words right out of my mouth. Honestly, I feel like taking this risk of being online will be worth it in the end. As long as we don’t let technology consume us then I believe it can be a beautiful thing.

  4. Great post!
    I would argue that when you look at online risk and privacy, it is imperative to think of cyber bullying. Having zero privacy online creates an environment in which individuals are at the risk of being criticized and bullied online. When we put ourselves online, we put ourselves into a state of vulnerability wherein everyone can see everything about our lives–even when we think it is private. Private images are strewn all over the internet by scorned friends or significant others. Rumors spread like wildfire through Twitter and Facebook. Cyber bullies and trolls find a certain type of courage behind their computer.
    Ultimately, it is important to recognize how vulnerable we are by being connected through social media.

Comments are closed.