The importance of digital in business and more specifically, Social Media, is growing exponentially. Yet the risk of being involved in this space without adequate protection remains. A recent report conducted by Virgin Media Ireland affirms that this trend will only continue.

Here are the 5 key take-aways from the 2017 Virgin Digital Business Insights report, and their consequences for Online Reputation Risk.

4 Key Trends

Online Sales will continue to grow in importance. Overwhelmingly, more and more businesses are now conducting sales online.

In Virgin’s 2014 Report, Online Sales stood at 14% among the businesses surveyed that year. Yet in 2016 this figure had risen to 33%, and is projected to grow further to around 40% in 2017 by the businesses themselves.

While the benefits to having an E-Commerce presence is obvious, businesses are also increasingly becoming ever more aware of the potential risks to their Online Reputations.


Reputation Risks remain major concerns for businesses. Increasingly customers take to social media and review sites to form complaints or feedback on a product or service.

This is even more true in cases where a business conducts sales Online.

Reputational Risk forms a large part of the concerns for businesses who are active Online. 3 out of the top 5 risks identified by businesses surveyed are directly related to Online Reputation – 49% identified Online Reputation Damage as a primary risk for their business, with 35% concerned by Social Media Abuse by customers and 24% on Digital Disruption by customers


Majority of businesses now monitor Online in some way. Businesses are becoming ever-more aware of the risk of allowing their online reputation to go un-monitored.

23% of respondents found being online to be more of a threat than an opportunity. As a result, 74% of businesses now claim to actively monitor their reputation, via a dedicated employee or increasingly, a more sophisticated tracking software such as Cloud 90.



Customer Interaction Online On Rise. More and more businesses are embracing customer interaction through less traditional channels for businesses, such as Facebook or Twitter.

Positively, this has brought good results. 29% of respondents are expecting these channels to grow in importance, while 80% of all respondents stated that they have implemented changes in business behaviour based on customer feedback received online.

Whilst clearly an excellent opportunity to receive invaluable feedback and enhance a customers loyalty, every response to a customer inherently carries a tremendous amount of risk, without a clear internal policy and experience in dealing with complaints or reputation attacks.