In our post earlier this week we talked about social media moving through the hype curve as we begin to see some disillusionment and dissent. With social media, as with any marketing or business development, it is extremely important to know what you are doing, to identify the risks involved and build a strategy that mitigates these.
Today I want to highlight some of the risks that should be taken into account when considering your approach to social media. Too many companies and individuals seem to jump on the bandwagon without giving any thought to these. In a coming post we will look at ways you can prepare for these eventualities.
1. Litigation – you have to be careful what you say in the public forum about others. If you make unsupported claims or falsehoods about another company, product or person you could face legal action
2. Brand Killer – your brand should the same across all platforms. If it isn’t it will confuse your visitors and can kill your brand.
3. Forever and Ever – what you post in these forums can remain out there and come back to haunt you.
4. Time Waster – there are thousands of social networks, millions of blogs and lots of distractions. Social media can be a big time waster.
5. Pushy – if you continually push information out without adding value and interacting with the community you will come across as pushy or worse, a machine.
6. Disclosure – if employees don’t know what’s appropriate or not when they participate then you risk them saying something they shouldn’t or disclosing proprietary information.
7. Negativity – this is a perceived risk and in reality can be an opportunity but many companies worry that something negative will be said about them.
8. Just Because – its all very well having a social media presence but if your audience isn’t using these media then your efforts and marketing dollars might be best spent on other forms of marketing. Don’t build a social media presence just because its the latest buzz technology.
9. Spam – a social media presence brings the risk of more spam.
10. Ignore It – The biggest risk of social media is ignoring it. Pretending it doesn’t exist or is too risky to use won’t make it go away. Even if you aren’t ready for a social media presence you should still have it on your radar and be listening to whats being said about your industry. You could risk loosing out on a great opportunity if you don’t.