How Social Media can Ruin Your Business
by Diana Smith
Modern businesses rely on social media to promote their business more than any other channel. There's a good reason for this. It's much less expensive than traditional media, and there is a more personal feel to it. It helps companies become a part of daily lives of their customers and clients.
Social media can also be used to gather a lot of useful data about those who use it, which can greatly benefit the marketing efforts and make them more personalized and user-friendly. However, using social media for promotion also comes with some risks companies should be aware of.
Mistakes can't be unmade
One of the best and the worst things about social media is that they remember everything. Once a mistake is made in a public manner, there's no way to take it back, regardless of how much you try.
When the unforeseen happens on social media, and it will happen eventually, someone's going to be there to save it and you'll be stuck with the consequence even if you apologize and make things right as soon as possible. These high stakes can be extremely stressful.
Too much content
It's important for the company to create a lot of interesting and engaging content and to stay on the minds of their customers. There should also be a system behind how often the company posts and with what audience in mind. The biggest mistake that can be made with this in mind is to post too much content.
There's nothing worse for a business than becoming boring to their customers and clients. If the posts are coming too often and without a real reason, the social media accounts are probably going to get blocked, or even worse - forgotten.
Employees on social media
It's not usually thought of in this manner, but every employee is a brand ambassador in a way. Every time an employee posts something online, they represent the company, whether they want it or not. At the same time, there are very few ways in which a company can control what employees write on their private social media.
It often happens that the damage on social media is made by an employee whose job doesn't have anything to do with the PR. The only way to prevent this is to pick trustworthy employees.
Not using the data
Businesses usually have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish on social media. That vision drives the ideas behind every post and it can be a good thing. However, it can also be a source of confusion and problems. If companies don't collect and react to the data about their followers and just stick to their vision instead, they may appear to be out of touch.
In order to avoid this it's best to hire professionals in the field of media intelligence, and to act according to the data that's gathered by them.
Following the hype
Social media usually has a mind of its own. There are trend and hype that develop on their own and that everyone pays attention to and make comments about. This can be a fun and interesting way to engage with your customers, but have in mind that a meme has a half-life of a few days at most, and that it may look out of touch if you get in on it too late.
At the same time, businesses shouldn't try to stay topical at all times. There are topics that everyone should engage with, but businesses should try to avoid constantly running after interesting topics.
Getting into arguments
The internet is a great place to argue and a lot of people tend to use it with this purpose in mind first and foremost. This is especially the case when you have a lot of followers and offer public exposure to those who engage with you.
Try to avoid this altogether. If a company uses professional and trustworthy employees to handle customer services, this sort of conflicts can be handled in a more elegant manner. Engaging in a public fight can never go well for the company.
Using only one kind of media
Social media provides a platform to share all kinds of media in order to attract all kinds of clients and customers. However, companies usually stick to using only text or only image to promote their work. There's more to it than this and it's useful to embrace a variety when it comes to PR.
Podcasts, videos, blogs, vlogs, and everything in-between, can be used to showcase the business from a lot of different sides, and thus bring it closer to the customer.
Social media can create a lot of problems for a company, but it can also promote it much better than any other channel. Therefore, it's important to stay alert and to avoid the mistakes whenever you can.