How Can Social Media Harm a Business’ Bottom Line?
With the invention of social media, a variety of benefits and drawbacks suddenly found their way into the hands of businesses and brands. While social media certainly provided an unprecedented way in which to communicate compliments and questions more rapidly, it also paved the way for criticisms and concerns to manifest more thoroughly. Because of this, businesses that choose to use social media as a form of financial good must carefully consider each action they take while representing the brand on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Below, we’ll review some common ways in which a bad decision in regards to social media usage can harm a brand’s bottom line.
Inexperienced Social Media Managers
This is an issue that faces businesses of all sizes – large and small – and can result in some pretty debilitating consequences if the worst-case scenario actually manifests. Social media managers that lack experience with how to handle social engagement can quickly find themselves fumbling at a key moment or on an important issue. We have all heard of the social media snafus that big brands have made over the years when timing resulted in an insensitive tweet or post being made, with countless write-ups and social signals pinging to Google shortly thereafter. Whether you are a small business and handle social media in-house or are a large corporation that hires someone for this specific task, it is important that the individual in charge of social media understands the inherent pitfalls of the game.
Paying to Play
The web is filled with sites that offer services to help boost accounts’ Twitter followers, likes and other social signals, but are they really worth it? In almost every case, the answer is a resounding no. Some social media accounts have engaged in this activity, only to be outed for it later on – this has happened to major brands, artists and politicians alike. Not only can this activity jeopardize your account with social media networks, but it can also leave a really bad taste in the eyes of customers. In addition, the increased numbers do not result in increased activity, as virtually none of the bought-for metrics are actual accounts that engage with brands in any meaningful way. Comparable activities on your website – as opposed to social media – can result in bad signals pinging to Google with significant consequences; it is no different here.
Let’s face it: every brand is unfairly maligned at some point. Between stubborn customers who did not read the fine print to competitors who proactively try to start negative perceptions, a field of land-mines await social media managers and brands. In order to avoid undue damage to your business, it is crucial that responding or engaging with these negative instances is handled with the utmost care. Most customers expect that brands will falter from time to time or that some customers will have bad experience; this is forgivable. What many customers won’t forgive is a brand that begins to make excuses, yell at customers or otherwise go on long-winded rants to prove a point. Customer after customer will run away from brands that are known to do this, and there isn’t a more fertile place for this to happen than on social media.