Communication

Social Media Downside?

A tool is as good as its user; the rule applies to social media as well. Though social media is a wonderful and relatively cost-effective marketing tool, it does have a few downsides. Through my experience I have come to realize that there are always two sides to everything, every experience and every exchange. Social media is definitely not an exception to the rule and the following ideas are just a few alternate perspectives that have come to mind while I have been exploring the wide world of social media.

Time is Money Honey

Building your social networking pages and writing articles and blogs takes a lot of time and effort. Your business’s brand value depends largely on the kind of content you create. False information, tall and baseless claims or overtly promotional language can backfire on your business. Therefore one must use social media with great care. When creating your content, remember it may be the first impression for some and for another confirmation of your brand and message. If you cut corners on the creation process of your message it may cost you more than just the time it took to create it.

A social media campaign requires a lot of commitment. All your efforts can go waste if you are not consistent in posting. With the information overload that is a part of parcel of the virtual world, out of sight truly means out of mind. A successful social media campaign may not require a huge investment in terms of money, but it certainly requires a lot of time and effort.

Keep Your Friends Close but Your Competition Closer

Since social media is virtually free, your competitors can easily pull you down through malicious campaigns. I can hear the gasps now – and yes, no matter what business you are in, no matter what your true intention is for doing the work you do, there will always be someone out there who isn’t as integral with their business dealings or hold has high of ethics. Therefore, it is important to monitor what is being said about you in online forums and protect your image. The more popular you and your business become the greater the chances someone will be there to try to put a chink in your armor. This means, you need to be active in the online world, counter statements made against you and if push comes to shove be in a position to call in the right support professional to help you counter any baseless accusations or slanderous comments about your business or you. I am not saying you have to spend time worrying about this type of negative interaction but as a business individual you want to have a plan in place. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail; and having a solid PR plan to handle any situation as your business grows is just simply smart business.

Patience is a Virtue

Social media marketing is a long term endeavor. Do not expect immediate results, if you do you are headed for disappointment. A social media marketing campaign can help in building your goodwill and brand value, however, to see and enjoy the results of your efforts you will have to be patient and persistent. Again, this supports having an actual plan in place as to how you are best going to spend your time in the world of social media to be the most effective so you can be the most efficient and smart with your time. We live in a world where we all want instant results, instant returns and that bigger is always better but in the world of social media taking the tortoises steady approach will allow you to reap the benefits you are seeking.

Social media offers you the opportunity to interact directly with your customers but this opportunity, however, comes with an added responsibility. If you appear lackadaisical in your approach or do not respond to your customer’s queries, concerns or questions promptly, it may backfire on you. The more consistent you with your interactions via social media the greater the following you will create as well as continuing to build your goodwill and fan loyalty.

As a business owner and someone who embrace social media regularly, I also realize that I can’t do it all myself. So embracing the notion that time is money, I contact with a wonderful support person to take on part of the work load; as far as keeping my competitors close – I “friend”, “follow”, and “like” as many of those individuals who do what I do so I can understand my industry as a whole better and to also learn from them. Patience is the difficult one for me but I am in a place of trust so I trust all is happening in good time.

My professional recommendation for you and for all business owners is to keep these points in mind before devising your social media campaign and jumping in with both feet into the wild and crazy world of social media.