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The speed of social media gives you the power to stay up to date and aware in a time when risks quickly emerge. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Imagine you regularly monitor a social media site in Country X, home to a small, but critical component in your supply chain. You start reading a blogger because he had mentioned your company a few months back. As time passes, you feel urgency in the posts and in related items on Twitter and elsewhere. The blogger raises questions about the country’s politics and economy.

You caution a few colleagues to be alert. Then, literally overnight, Country X’s government topples, airlines cancel flights, and your supply chain is compromised. But your ear to the social media ground means your factories barely miss a beat, and you quickly evacuate a dozen expatriates.

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