Digital Message Resonance and Its Impact on Economic Advantage

Christine L. Peterson, CPP, ISPSecurity Program Development

Using Social Media Monitoring and Analytics to Protect Human Capital, Company Property, and Your Brand

Social Media is a relatively new term that has become ingrained in our consciousness and language, but do you know what it means or encompasses? If you answered no, then you are in the majority. Everyone talks about Social Media, but few really understand it. Here is what Wikipedia, itself a social media site, has to offer us on the subject:

Definition: Social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” (Source: Wikipedia)

As the Wikipedia authors explain, social media interaction is not just conversation: it is the
“super-set” of social dialogue. Social media is not news – it is a data set that describes public consciousness. “Enabled by ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques, social media has substantially changed the way organizations, communities, and individuals communicate.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The Forms of Social Media

As the experts have outlined the subject, social media technologies take on many different forms including magazines, Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. By applying a set of theories in the field of media research (social presence, media richness) and social processes (self-presentation, self-disclosure) Kaplan and Haenlein created a classification scheme for different social media types in their Business Horizons article published in 2010. According to Kaplan and Haenlein there are six different types of social media: collaborative projects (e.g., Wikipedia), blogs and microblogs (e.g., Twitter), content communities (e.g., YouTube), social networking sites (e.g., Facebook), virtual game worlds (e.g., World of Warcraft), and virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life). Technologies include blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing and voice over IP, to name a few. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms.

What Does Social Media Mean To You?

Social media has changed and continues to change the world as we know it. Is that true? Let’s consider the facts:

Service Users or members Content, data, or usage
Facebook 845 million active users 50% log in on any given day
Twitter 140 million users; 460,000 join daily 340 million tweets daily
LinkedIn® 150 million registered users Roughly 2 new members every second
YouTube™ 800 million unique users per month Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day
Flickr ® 51 million registered members More than 6 billion images
Google+™ 25 million users About 1 million visits per week
Wikipedia® 16 million users, 300,000 editors Hosts 19 million articles
Data current as of April 2012.

Including the thousands of other chat rooms, blogs, forums, newsgroups, and user groups, there are millions of additional social media users around the world. The people who are utilizing social media are your employees, customers, competitors, family, friends, activist groups, governments, and others. This technology is so powerful that it is used for everything from keeping in touch with friends to starting revolutions.

definition of digital resonanceIn this white paper we will discuss the state-of-the-art technology and tools that monitor social media for business intelligence purposes, including but not limited to the identification and monitoring of threats to the business and its personnel. Some organizations have already begun to harness the power of this technology in an attempt to exploit a market that is more often than not misunderstood.

While Google Alerts™, Google Web Search™, and low-level social media monitoring tools are of some use as a research aid in risk management, the most professional tools in this area are highly advanced and focus on analyzing information in near real-time from sources on the web.

Why are you in business?

As a business manger or owner, your business exists today because your customers’ expectations are in alignment with the value proposition or economic advantage that they expect to receive as part of the transaction with your firm. What is your value proposition or economic advantage?

  • Proprietary information (secret sauce)
  • Intellectual property
  • Customer/project information
  • Plans and specifications (marketing, R&D, financials)
  • Logistics
  • Human capital, “talent and experience”
  • Brand and reputation
  • Partners and suppliers
  • Physical assets

We know that businesses are leaking economic advantage every day through elicitation and social engineering, the exploitation of cyber vulnerabilities, and internal and external theft and sabotage. Traditionally, leakage has been in the form of a verbal, written, or e-mail disclosure which can and does wreak havoc for businesses every day. The new paradigm of leakage uses social media to communicate a message to an exponentially larger audience at the touch of a button. This is digital message resonance – or the ability of a message to continue propagating or resonating across the Internet and social media sphere long after the initial message was sent. Leakage in the traditional sense can have devastating effects, but it moves slower and is easier to track and contain. In the new era of digital message resonance, a single message can be transmitted to literally millions of people around the globe in a matter of seconds or minutes.

traditional model of leakage new model of leakage
Traditional Model of Leakage New Paradigm of Leakage

As a security, HR, marketing, management, or finance professional, you may believe that a comprehensive security and compliance program utilizing traditional methods of perimeter control, access control, lighting, casual surveillance, security communications, identification, accountability, and training should apply to this new threat. To that, we would also agree – to a point. The traditional tools are critical to the protection of economic advantage and company assets. We would also assert that the world has changed. There are additional security threats and tools to mitigate those threats, but they are cutting-edge and have to remain dynamic. Can your business afford to take a “wait and see” position with respect to social media?

Beyond Monitoring: The Next Step

Social Media Business Intelligence, as applied to business groups, refers to the tools and practices used by organizations to aggregate social media data, gathered via social media monitoring tools and social analytics engines, with existing data and integrate with systems of records and real-time analytics engines. The results are actionable insights that provide businesses with new information on their customers, products, competitors, employees, and even their marketing campaigns that can be used to protect assets and economic advantage while improving the value proposition offered to customers and potential customers. Using this information to proactively predict and anticipate customers’ needs while protecting assets in near “real time” is the value of Social Media Business Intelligence.

The RMA solution allows you to scour the web for mentions of your company and effectively analyzes, processes and stores this data to implement it with existing business processes. It enables businesses to harness the power of social media to support corporate compliance, current threat intelligence, operational security, and event security. At the same time this information will assist management across departments and division to better understand their “value add” proposition with their customers, employees, vendors, community as it relates to their economic advantage.

The RMA solution uses social media business intelligence software to monitor what people are saying about your business in social media, primarily for the purpose of anticipating and mitigating security threats before they occur and for responding to security related issues effectively and efficiently to minimize losses and maximize productivity. At the same time, it can also be used to monitor what people are saying about your brand, industry, and competition.

The RMA solution uses intelligence gathering software that computes dozens of dimensions including sentiment, passion, volume, and much more. It provides access to business intelligence that will allow you to lead – not follow – the conversation and fix those small issues before they grow into big problems.


Social media and web-based analytics provide powerful tools to conduct 24/7 monitoring of existing and emerging threats for Risk Management Associates, Inc. clients.

The RMA solution provides “cutting-edge” scalable technology and analytics. Technology cannot replace training and experience, but it does create an effective method of gathering pertinent information quickly that can be validated and or discounted effectively.

Your businesses can then harness the power of social media to manage corporate compliance, current threat intelligence, operational security, and event security.

Data gathered can be communicated for application across departments and divisions. The RMA solution provides current intelligence that has applicability in multiple departments and divisions within the organization. This provides better understand of “value add” proposition with their customers, employees, vendors, community as it relates to economic advantage.

The RMA solution uses intelligence gathering software that provides clients with an additional tool to protect and demonstrate compliance in this age of digital resonance. Economic advantage like reputation is elusive and once lost very difficult to reclaim. The RMA solution provides an additional tool and layer of security. It provides access to current business intelligence that allows leaders to lead – not follow – the conversation, fix those small issues before they grow into big problems, and preserve evidence that has a short life span.

Risk Management Associates, Inc. utilizes the best technology and the best practices in web-based and social media monitoring, analysis and business intelligence. We look forward to answering any questions you may have about the topics presented in this paper or other security issues that are important to you.

Plan. Protect. Prosper.

Protus3 specializes in security system design, security consulting, corporate investigations and other investigative services. Partner with Protus3 and we will examine each situation to identify threats and develop solutions for your best outcome.

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