It's free and it's easy, but a lot can go wrong.

Social media is arguably one of the newest, and most unique, modern business marketing opportunities. There is almost no barrier to entry, there are multiple channels to utilize, and it’s an amazing way to interact with customers on a more organic and natural basis.

Overall, social media marketing is a great way for businesses to expand their exposure at a much lower cost than more ‘traditional’ marketing. However, while full of potential, there are also risks to using social media for businesses.

It's free and it's easy, but a lot can go wrong.

Sensitivity to unexpected events

Businesses often work ahead, planning a few weeks (or more) out and using software to auto-schedule their posts on high-performing days/times. However, this also means you have to be hypersensitive to any events that occur after you may have created a post. You don’t want to post something humorous right after a national tragedy no matter how unintentional the timing might be.

Getting the tone right

There’s a very thin line between edgy and offensive, and sometimes even the pros get it wrong. Remember the Burger King tweet “Women belong in the kitchen.”? It’s obvious that their marketing department meant to flip the sexist phrase and promote a scholarship with it, but the entire campaign was a huge flop instead. An official apology was issued 12 hours after the infamous tweet.

Static pages

While not nearly as bad as getting something wrong, having old, outdated pages can make your business look stale at best or out of business at worst.

Nothing goes unseen on the internet

When you have a business page, anyone can comment for any reason. A dispute that previously would likely have been handled in private suddenly becomes public domain. While a quick and appropriate response may help minimize any damage, it can’t erase it and may make other users question your brand more than they used to.

Hackers or disgruntled employees

If someone maliciously gains access to your account and shares false or offensive information it can create all sorts of problems. Aside from misinformation going out and representing your company, if it’s dangerous or illegal, your account can get banned and you’ll have to work with the social media companies to try to get it back.

Considerations for businesses

With all that can go wrong, should your business have a social media presence? Of course. Social media is a great way to connect and stay in touch with your fans.

However, we recommend considering your resources before you develop a social media marketing strategy. Ensure that your team has both the skills needed and the bandwidth to provide your accounts with the attention and frequent communication required to embrace social media marketing effectively.

Learn more about social media marketing.

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