Social media can be a great tool for businesses, particularly smaller companies that do not have the luxury of a large marketing budget. However, it can also backfire on business. If you don’t want that to happen, take note of the following examples of how social media can backfire spectacularly and seek to avoid them…
If there’s one thing that you can absolutely say about social media, it’s that things never die. Even if you delete that ill-thought-out marketing post or apologize for that dodgy message you sent six years ago, you’ll still find people talking about it, bringing it back up again and making it harder for you to build up a solid brand reputation.
Your customers having a voice on social media can be great for business when they’re saying good things about you, but when they’re slating your company, it’s not such a good thing. It only takes one person to complain vocally on Twitter for hundreds, even thousands of people to jump on the bandwagon and talk your business down. That’s why you need to do whatever you can to ensure your business delivers, and when it falls down, you need to ensure that your customer service goes above and beyond. Hopefully, that will be enough to stop the deluge.
Using social media to market your business is an affordable solution, but if you don’t do it right, and you fail to stay on brand in terms of style and content, it can make your business look confused and unprofessional. That’s why so many people are now using brand management software that helps them keep all online communications uniform in style. This is something that you need to be really careful about if you want to be taken seriously.
You might think that you’ve thought of a really great way to boost brand engagement and pick up a few more customers, but on social media, you can’t control the actions of other people and there’s always a chance this could backfire on your spectacularly. This is something that happened to UK based grocery chain Waitrose when they asked their Twitter followers to tell them why they loved using the supermarket. Some of the answers they received were…unexpected to say the least with many people mentioning the fact they liked ‘not to be surrounded by poor people’ while they shopped. Not exactly the good PR they were looking for!
It’s so easy to fire off a quick Tweet that sometimes we end up posting without really thinking and this can make us, and our company by extension, look foolish, unethical or even downright nasty as Kenneth Cole found out when he tweeted about his company’s new Spring collection in the same breath as talking about rebellion in Cairo. Always think before you Tweet!
Don’t let this put you off social media, use it as a cautionary tale to ensure that your business gets it right!
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