How Social Media Can be Dangerous for Your Business, And How to Manage That Risk

by burnsij on February 8, 2013

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Social media and business are things that of course go hand in hand and there are many fantastic benefits to social media for any business that is willing to invest some time and effort. Of course the most obvious use here is that social media can connect us and enables businesses to reach their various potential clients and customers to market to them or get feedback from them, but at the same time there are many more uses such as crowdsourcing ideas or collaborating on projects. If you integrate social media into your business, then you can rest assured that it will help your organization to grow and thrive.

But there are dangers as well to using social media and this is particularly true for any business that wants to carefully manage its public image. Here we will look at a variety of risks involved with social media, and how a business should go about managing them…

PR

Social media can do wonders for a company’s public image by giving it a voice and enabling it to give another side to the stories printed in the media. At the same time transparency is something that most people appreciate from their organizations. While this can be very beneficial though, it can also be a bad thing if you end up saying something that comes back to haunt you or making some kind of error.

The best way to avoid this is to make sure that all messages posted under your company name be first run past a number of people who can moderate them and make sure they are suitable. This could mean hiring a separate PR department to handle Tweets and Posts or it could mean just getting more than one member of staff to check each message and limiting who is allowed to post on your behalf to those with a proven track record.

Attacks

Another way that your reputation can be damaged by social media is through negative feedback and comments that will be public. If you get a lot of negative feedback on your profile or wall then this can be useful, but it can also be damaging to the way others perceive you. Make sure then that you put out feelers before you enable reviews and comments, and that you are sure to respond to each one to shed a positive light on any criticism.

Security

Transparency might be a great way to win friends in business, but it can also be a problem if it ends up giving away trade secrets or leading to a security breach. Make sure that you invest in the best possible security, and that you have strict rules about what information can not be shared. You also need to make sure you are careful when it comes to designing and protecting login details etc.

Spam

Opening up any kind of social media account can make you vulnerable to automated or human-generated spam which can give you a lot to work through. Make sure that you set up spam filters and are careful when giving out contact details, but also consider how you might provide other avenues for your visitors to contact you – such as through a forum or via a contact form and provide a FAQ page to act as a filter.

Tom Koh is a professional blogger and an SEO expert. He writes blogs on affiliate marketing, internet marketing and social media use for business. Read his blogs on GetWebsiteTraffic to know more about SEO targeted email marketing.

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