The Value of Social Media for Internal Auditors

This is one of a pair of posts. What I want to cover here is generally how internal auditors can derive professional value from their use of social media. In my personal blog, I share details of who I follow, what discussion groups I belong to, and why.

So, for frame of reference, I use the following:
Facebook: to keep up with my friends around the world and family in the UK and elsewhere
LinkedIn: to build and manage a professional network and for the various discussion groups
Twitter: to follow the news about our profession and related events, and to share my views
Blogs: on this IIA blog, I share my views and commentary on governance, risk management, and internal audit in general. I use my personal blog to broaden the coverage to include GRC, and for “rants” that are not suitable for a professional association site. Finally, I occasionally post on SAP’s massive Community Network; this site is open to all SAP customers, consultants, partners and employees
Other: I am a member of SAP’s internal social network, for sharing with other employees. I also use a number of collaboration sites, sharing documents, primarily relating to my IIA committee work
While people like fellow-blogger Mike Jacka have talked about the risks of social media (he gave a great presentation at GAM), few internal auditors are using social media effectively.
Before I launch into my views, have a look at this video from the AICPA. This is admittedly from the CPA practitioner perspective, but it should shed some light on the possibilities.
Now let’s explore each of these social media services. By the way, I will talk only about the ones I use. I realize there are many others.
Facebook
Some are using this for their business and have set up their own page. For example, the IIA has one, as does ESPN. I have to presume they see a business value, perhaps in the ability to socialize with members or customers, share news about their products and services, and get feedback. But, it doesn’t work for me.
I limit my use to friends with whom I want to stay in touch, especially friends I don’t see as often.
By the way, if I have not ‘friended’ you on Facebook, please forgive me. I try to limit the list to people I know well.
LinkedIn
Over the years, I have met hundreds of people I wanted to include in my network – but lost contact when they moved on in their career. Now, I use LinkedIn to ensure I can still reach people. I have also been able to use the search capability and reconnect with many old friends.
They say that successful people take care of their network, and build it. Certainly, I have found it useful on several occasions and my contact list is now over 1,000 strong. In addition, I understand that LinkedIn is the #1 source recruiters use to find people – not a bad reason to be there, and have an updated profile!
The LinkedIn groups are a good source for asking questions and getting comments, insights, and advice from your peers. I am a member of many, covering my interests from internal audit to risk management to governance, and more.
Twitter
If I recall correctly, my first post (a.k.a. ‘tweet’) on Twitter asked whether I was a ‘twit’ to be on Twitter. I had been persuaded to join by an expert and heavy user, and thought I would try it for a while to see whether there was value for me. I think I have a better idea now how other internal auditors can benefit.
1.       Many on Twitter (known as ‘tweeps’) specialize in different areas. They follow the news, events, surveys, research, etc. and post comments and links to it. My advice is to select tweeps who tweet on the topics you are interested in. For example, you might follow people like me (normanmarks) who tweet about internal audit, governance, risk management, GRC, and so on. There are others who focus on IT governance, data privacy, technology (such as cloud computing), the external auditing firms, health and safety compliance, etc. or who tweet about their firm’s services and products (valuable if you are a customer)
2.       The major news services offer Twitter feeds so you can get breaking news, whether general, business, sporting or other news
3.       Your company may have official and unofficial representatives on Twitter. You should consider following to see what they say
4.       Consider using the search capability to see what others are saying about your organization. It might give you some interesting insights into employee morale, customer concerns, and other risk-related information
The value is expressed in the AICPA video: you can get news and avoid having to read a number of magazines. People are basically doing the sifting through the news for you and letting you know what might be interesting. My only word of caution is to follow only the number of people you have time for. I expect you will only log in occasionally, so make sure you don’t have more tweets than time to review them.
Some people also follow public figures. I don’t do this, but will follow some of my friends.
Blogs
I have two blogs, and I hope they add value to internal auditors. These days, many people have blogs and internal auditors should be able find several of value – including those at the Internal Auditor site. I recommend subscribing to those of interest, so you can be notified when posts are added.
Other
The Internal Auditor site has a number of discussion groups, as does ISACA. I look at those and contribute from time to time.
The collaboration sites can be great for sharing draft documents for collective review, communicating ideas and getting feedback, posting materials for common consumption (such as copies of studies, papers from the consulting firms, etc.), and more.
 
How do you use social media? Where is the value for you?

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 by Norman Marks

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  1. Read what a board member has to say about Twitter.

  1.  Norman,

    Social networking is a topic that should be on the radar of every internal audit department. Social media does have value and it can be a great resource for sharing however most organizations have yet to develop policies and procedures for employee use of the new media. Combined this with the potential risks associated with social media sites it poses a problem that most internal audit departments have yet to address.

    I would be interested in hearing what the IIA is developing that they can share with the global audit community on this new paradigm in communicating and sharing. IMHO If the IIA's motto of Progress Through Sharing still exists then perhaps it needs to tell auditors how they can do this in a way that  minimizes the exposure to these new technologies. 

    My 2 cents!

     

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