4 Ways Your Social Media “Efforts” Could Backfire

Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Social Networking [ 2 Comments ]

Starting a social media network has certainly crossed my mind. Sure it would be difficult and most likely fail, but why wouldn’t someone want a piece of this phenomenon? After spending my days digging, stumbling, tweeting, connecting, and liking, I realize that I am not the only one who wants in on the action.

New social media networks pop up every day, and this can be overwhelming for businesses trying to keep up. This adds a new level of stress to a marketing department, and in today’s economy not every business has the funds to hire a team of ten social media experts.

Just about every businessman and businesswoman praises social media, and there are certainly many articles circling the web that discuss the benefits social media can offer a company. While I fully agree that social media is becoming crucial when marketing a brand, I could not help but think about the other side of the issue. Thinking about the added stress this can cause a marketing department left me to wonder: Could social media efforts ever hurt a company?

Since most social media is free, many companies think they may as well give it a try. However, this mentality is sure to backfire if you are unprepared for managing social media accounts. If a company has a Twitter account, Facebook page, StumbleUpon account, or a variety of other social media outlets that are not being used correctly, the company’s reputation is on the line. Consider a few of the ways social media can actually hurt your company:

Why Social Media Isn’t Automatically Beneficial

  • You have social media accounts, but never use them.

This is probably the biggest problem small businesses have when it comes to mismanaging social media. Ignoring the social media accounts you have will not only cause you to miss the obvious social media opportunities, but people will be upset that you are not giving them what is expected out of a “follow” or a “like.” If your company does not have the man power to tweet out articles written or update a Facebook page with your latest deals, people will find your company disorganized. People follow your business on Twitter and “like” your page on Facebook to see what is going on in your company. If you choose to ignore this, these people will unsubscribe and you could lose a potential customer forever.

  • You use your social media accounts too much.

It can often be easiest to take care of social media accounts if you just plug in information as often as you can; however this is sure to give your company a bad reputation. If you are shooting out information to followers and friends as fast as you possibly can, people will get annoyed. In other words, people will start ignoring what you say if your name is constantly coming up on their news feed or their twitter page. Use social media, but don’t abuse it.

  • You are not interactive with your followers and friends.

Social media is about more than just promoting your product or service—it is about interaction. If your company cannot answer the comments on the social networking site, those people who made the comments are sure to assume that you have bad customer service. People are moving more towards social media to voice their questions for a company, so your company needs to stay on top of every comment that pops up.

  • You allow your employees to say whatever they want on your social media accounts.

Putting social media efforts into the hands of anyone in the company is never a good idea. No matter how overwhelming social media may seem, it is important that everything said is monitored. It is very easy to write an opinion or a funny quote on a social media site; however this can go very wrong. If an employee writes something negative about another company or accidentally promises something your company can’t offer, you are sure to find yourself in trouble.

The best thing a company can do is enter the social media scene slowly and allow their social media efforts to grow with the company. This should help marketing departments focus on creating a few good, quality social media campaigns.

Photo credit sarahhelfgott.com

2 thoughts on “4 Ways Your Social Media “Efforts” Could Backfire

  1. avatarHannah

    It is also risky using Social Media as one irate customer with a negative comment can ruin everything, which is why it is important for the business owner to be personally involved and not leave it to someone else.

  2. avatarAmanda DiSilvestro Post author

    I absolutely agree. A negative comment is usually not something that will blow over or can be ignored. When an angry customer gets on the phone, they want to talk to the person in charge. Although you cannot see the faces of the people answering a negative comment through social media, the same mentality exists.

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