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The Dark Side of Social Media Marketing

social media_croppedWe know this blog post seems contradictory for a firm that believes in social media marketing, and even offers social media marketing services. We can even hear the question, “Wait, there’s a downside to social media???” The fact is: business social media marketing is a world of untapped potential with endless possibilities. We’ve seen customers make purchasing decisions on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ve seen potential customers become loyal customers because of social media. That being said, businesses have to remember that marketing opportunity comes the potential for negatives. The more you know about the negatives of social media marketing, and common mistakes other businesses make, the more prepared you can be to avoid them:

  1. Losing business because of slow response times. Customers expect prompt responses when they ask questions on social media. What is a prompt response? Think minutes or, at worst, a few hours—not days or weeks.
  2. Brand image problems associated with an angry online customer. This does happen, and sometimes it happens in spite of all your best efforts. The most important part is to respond, and respond professionally and quickly. Try to take your discussions with the angry customer into messages where you can gather details and offer customer service. Just make sure you respond promptly—an unanswered angry customer is an angry customer who posts disparaging comments and reviews all over your social media pages until they get an answer.
  3. Losing customers because of sporadic social media posts. This negative is especially true for your younger customers who rely on online engagement with companies. If they don’t see you (or hear from you), they are not going to turn to you for information and questions when it’s time to buy.
  4. Unfavorable business reviews. Don’t delete the unfavorable reviews, or angry customer comments. Customers see this as hiding from the truth and manipulation. Rather, respond to their reviews with a professional reply, and ask them to message you with details about their unfavorable encounter. Ask them questions, offer them a discount (but make it a meaningful offer so you don’t insult them) and promise them better assistance in the future. Remember, in today’s day and age, any encounter with a customer can go viral—both the good and the bad.
  5. Backlash from inappropriate business social media posts. As a rule of thumb, don’t post or tweet about politics or religion. Stick to what you know—your products, services and industry—without selling too much. Before you post anything, think “how will this be viewed by my customers?” If your post can be taken in any negative way, err on the side of caution. Don’t post or tweet it.

The good news is that 90% of these problems can be avoided with education and research or outsourcing to an affordable social media marketing agency. Good social media marketing agencies offer affordable social media marketing packages, so you can select what’s right for your business. Hiring a social media marketing agency also means hiring social media experts who can answer all your social media marketing questions, and make recommendations based on what they’ve seen work for other businesses. Really, social media marketing is simple: to harness the positives, avoid the negatives by contacting the experts that can help you tap into that marketing potential.

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