Last December, a single tweet from then-President-elect Donald Trump led aerospace firm Lockheed Martin to briefly lose about $4 billion in market value. The president's tweets, which are closely watched by markets, have demonstrated the kind of influence social media can wield over companies, politics and international relations.
In turn, companies need to develop deep, cultural understanding of the tools and technologies social media offers in order to prevent being caught unprepared, according to the chief of Canada-based Hootsuite.
Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite, told CNBC's "Capital Connection" that it was crucial for companies and their leadership to be able to respond to an escalating situation on social media with speed and transparency.
"Part of what I'm talking about, and talking with other leaders about, is if that does happen to you — your company and your brand — are you prepared? Have you built the DNA, the systems and the cultural understanding to understand social media?" he said.
Holmes reckoned the push for businesses to become more social media-savvy needs to come from the senior management, even as many companies employ personnel and teams to manage presences on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.