Even though many businesses nowadays are raising about social media, but to be honest, it is not so easy to use and it is not for every single business. Such business like highly regulated finance or health care industry, to use social media to market their products and services, they really need to have some clear policies and guidelines, their legal team has to get prepared for in case if there any worse scenario happen, integrating social media for compliance reasons is challenge, example.
It is also the fact that some businesses have an easier time in implementing the social media as opposed to others.
I would say social media can bring lots of benefits to your business, but there are also some dangers and pitfalls, which you should keep in mind. As long as you’re aware of them, you can work to avoid these pitfalls and use them to your advantage.
Once you start, you can’t stop
Social media website is a community and social networking based platform, your friends, colleagues, customers, or vip members may are already using it to network and share information with others, so they wish, hoping or expecting you to be there as well, because the peer pressure, you eventually get on and start to share yours piece of cake and discuss the topics and subjects with them. You are excited and energized because you had some good success at the beginning.
After time being, you find by participating the activities, it demands huge amount of your time to stay active, then you start to slow down, you lost the motivation, stop sharing and engaging with your members and friends. Because of your behavior changes, it will cause your friends and your members feel like you’re neglecting them, and you know what – if they continued using social media to grow their network, they can find information from other resources (maybe from your competitors), there are plenty of them in the social media network platform.
Thus, if you don’t want to lose your audiences, you need to keep up, keep your organization in the conversation and continue to listen, learn, adapt and share. It does take some commitment, but later on, you and your members will find it rewarding, it is worth thing to do. So don’t stop!
Receive negative comments
Facing criticism in some way, some shape or some type of form is a normal thing for every businesses. In the “good old days”, you could send out your mass faxes, your printed newsletters, your blast emails to others and without worrying about any complaints. If someone disagreed with what you were saying or doing, without spending lots of money, they couldn’t really tell many people about it.
You giving up some of that control with using social media. Due to the nature open structure of social media, anyone and everyone on Twitter, Facebook or Blogs can “gang up” on you. If you afraid of negative comments, just this point alone, it can keep many organizations away from jumping into social media, but it actually shouldn’t be like that.
If you are concerning about your business might receive negative comments from social media. You should stop your worries because those criticize can really provides you the opportunities to turn that negativity into something positive. If you are really serious about to read or see those negative comments, you should think about in the long term when you post online. For instance, you may want to think about your brand and what you want it to be known for, doing your own research and be careful before any reacting.
No communication is disposable
No matter what nor when you post something, either tweets, comments, statuses or blog post, sometime the speed and sheer amount of communications’ problem may cause you think it go unnoticed, but the fact is someone out there will see it. And, in many cases even if you deleted a post, but it has already been indexed, saved or copied somewhere.
Thus be careful of what you post, if you wouldn’t say it in front of a group of 5 or 10 members, then don’t say it on your blog, twitter or any other social media. It’s happened so many times – publicized and not – that one would think we could learn from others’ mistakes.
As an example of in March 2009, the MSNBC article cites Dan Leone, a Philadelphia Eagles stadium employee, who was fired after slamming the football organization for trading a player in his Facebook status update.
Well, no matter how danger social media might be, don’t let above these pitfalls and ideas scare you. You do need to use social media to promote your organization’s brand, positions, benefits, member, events and more.
Social media is essential for any business. It can bring issues to light a problems the business might not have knew it existed. It is a way to help you connect with customers in a deeper level that might eventually become loyal customers.