Please welcome guest blogger, Amanda DiSilvestro! Amanda is a writer on topics ranging from social media to credit card processing. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including workers compensation insurance to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com. As someone who loves free things, especially free things that have to do with business, social networking is extremely appealing. It has been proven successful time and time again, and there are no signs that the phenomenon is going anywhere anytime soon. For this reason, everyone seems to want a piece of the action. The idea of connecting and sharing information is no doubt brilliant, and everyone think they can do it better. Therefore we have a plethora of plethora of social networks to choose from. In fact, nobody really seems to have an exact number of social networks out there. I have read articles who claim there are more than 200, while some get into the hundreds of thousands. Either way, I think the message is pretty clear—social networking works.
Unfortunately, social networking also has plenty of opportunities to backfire. Companies are frequently blinded by the success social networking can offer that they do not take the time to think about doing social networking incorrectly. Companies are slowly falling into the mentality that if it doesn’t work then oh well. It was free after all.
However, social media is sometimes better left untouched. Consider a few of the reasons why your company’s social media efforts could backfire:
5 Reasons Social Media Goes Wrong
1. Too Many to Manage – I feel this is the number one reason social media actually has a negative effect on a company. Because there are so many social networks available, companies feel the need to sign up for them all. They think that having a presence on every network will increase their visibility, and while this is true, it’s generally next to impossible to manage all of the accounts. For this reason, many companies have a lot of accounts that are ignored. This could actually cause people to have a negative view of your company because you are not offering them anything for following your accounts. People follow accounts in order to learn new information and possible nab a few deals. If you offer them nothing, you will have a lot of anger people on your hands, and in many cases they won’t bother giving your company a second chance.
2. Not Enough Interaction – Some companies do frequent all of their social accounts, but they do nothing but promote their own company. Social networking is about forming connections with other companies and with consumers, so simply promoting only your own content or deals is looked upon negatively. If someone has a question posted on your page, answer it. If you see that a company has followed your account and tweeted your content, follow them back and tweet their content as well. If you don’t, you will once again lose followers out of anger or annoyance.
3. Too Chatty – All of the major social networks—Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter—allow a company to update a status. This causes a lot of companies to fall into the “too chatty” category because they are constantly updating their status. This is a great way to get your message right in front of a large group of people, but if your messages are the only messages social media users see, you will be labeled “annoying.” After all, people follow different companies to see what they have to say, and if your company is making that difficult, you will get un-followed so fast you won’t know what hit you.
4. Too Much Employee Freedom – Everything that is posted on a social media account spreads fast. For this reason, it is extremely important that everything said is a good representation of your company. Many companies put social media accounts into the hands of employees because there are so many to manage, but this should be done with caution. It’s easy to joke about something on a social media account without realizing it’s offensive, and if your company makes this mistake you will find yourself between a rock and a hard place. Make sure that only trusted employees who have had a full background check have access to all of your accounts.
5. Time Consuming – Sometimes companies get so caught up in the excitement of social media that they make this their primary focus. In a roundabout way, this can actually be bad for business. It is extremely important that a business diversifies its marketing campaigns through different mediums. Traditional media such as commercials and newspaper advertisements as well as SEO and PPC marketing for Google users can make a huge difference in the success of a company. For most companies, social media alone will not do the trick.
Overall, social media is probably more good than bad in terms of your company. However, it is important that you evaluate the actions on your accounts and make sure that nothing negative is getting to followers. In the end, social media can be great if done correctly. After all, who doesn’t love free things?
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