Social Media has become an integral part of many marketing campaigns and as it is a cost effective way of getting brand exposure, so why not?
A problem that is facing a lot of companies or entrepreneurs is that they don’t fully understand how social media works and waste time ‘box ticking’ to the point of it becoming a redundant process with little return.
Social media is instant and mistakes can be made so how do you protect your brand when flippant Tweets could land you in hot water?
The internet has revolutionised the way people live and businesses market themselves, marketing and advertising is no longer a performance but a discussion. Social media gives people a voice, for better or worse, and companies now have to engage in this to improve their services and protect their brand.
Social media has its place and most companies can find a social media platform that is suitable but many companies will just set up a Facebook page or Twitter account and assume that is all they need. If your target audience are not active on Facebook then why waste time on there?
Find out where the conversations are and engage with them, photographers should be on Flickr, professional agencies should look at LinkedIn, there are blogs and forums in almost every industry that could benefit from your presence if this is where your target audience is then you should be there.
Giving people a voice can have its rewards but it can also be dangerous to you as one bad review or negative comment can spark a discussion that explodes into a hate campaign. Un-sociable media is how I describe social media that is negative, counterproductive or in some cases just hateful.
Negativity about you
Your website, blog or business is an online brand and you will want to protect this but with any online presence you are exposing yourself to both praise and criticism.
For anyone wanting to make money online then trust is important, this may be from selling a product or service online or your website may make money through affiliates or referrals. If visitors don’t trust your website or you, then they will not spend money or value your referral enough to spend money. The same applies to offline sales but with online it has a much quicker and more detrimental effect.
Social Media can make or break a websites reputation and you cannot control what people write. The biggest areas you need to monitor are review sites, Twitter, Facebook fan pages, forums and blogs. If someone is unhappy with you they can vent their anger online and quickly change someone’s opinion of your site.
If you see a bad review do not rise to this but contact the post author to listen, react accordingly and sympathetically and see if you can get an update on their review. Most people are reasonable and the feedback can sometimes be beneficial long term to your business.
If you find a malicious review from a competitor then most review sites will remove this if you apply to them and can prove it is not a real review. Do not get into a war over reviews and false reviews are often quite obvious and say more about the person writing it than the victim.
Being negative yourself
Instant updates on Twitter and blog posts can be very damaging to your website.
We have all had moments of frustration when you want to shout to the world that someone has given you bad service or you are annoyed with something or someone but putting your views out into the public domain can lose you a lot of respect.
A quick 140 character update in anger from a Twitter account can make you look unprofessional and immature. You may be justified but negativity breeds negativity, if you are really unhappy with a service then the internet is not always the best place to vent this anger. It is not always helpful as subjective comments may cause people to retaliate and you end up in a social media battle in front of potential customers.