They say if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world by population. Now imagine organizations having access to this country to promote their products. What an opportunity that is! However, Social Media Marketing has been the bane and also a boon for Organizations. Where many have used this medium to make great entries / presence of their products by connecting with customers there are many examples too that have caused the downfall of a brand. Like they say where there are high risks there are opportunities a plenty too! Let’s review a few risks associated with Social Media Marketing.
One of the first pitfalls that a Social Media Marketer has to avoid is risking their Reputation. Any campaign will draw a heavy screening from the Social Media customers. It is very important that organizations maintain the highest level of credibility to ensure positive reputations when launching campaigns. On the other end of the spectrum organizations cannot afford to miss leveraging this medium too. Therefore extensive research should be carried out by the organization before launching any campaign
Second pitfall could be getting into Legal and Religious tangles. Campaigns could unknowingly / unintentionally get into legal trouble. Organizations have to be cognizant of the message they send out to larger audience within the ambit of the Legal framework. An example is that of Starbucks that tried to drive voting by offering free coffee which could be equivalent to bribing a voter punishable under law.
The third pitfall that a Social Media Marketer could get drawn into Individual altercations / responses. One of the recent examples is a reputed news paper that published some objectionable photos of a actress on their website. The actress took exception to it and posted a strong response on her Facebook. The Social Media users immediately took up the cause as the newspaper was at fault but instead the newspaper tried to put up their version. This further angered the social media participants. While the newspaper did not offer an apology, the incident will continue to haunt them every time a similar examples comes to light.
Another pitfall could be the lack of information or Misrepresentation of Information. Marketers when launching campaigns tend to limit the information that is available in fear of being exposed on other details. A marketer has to realize that how much ever one tries to hide information it will be exposed on social media sooner than later. In such event it is critical that the marketer / organization acknowledge the same and quickly make amends to avoid any further loss in reputation.
The most important pitfall is that of Not Listening to customers. There is a lot of chatter that is on which an organization could leverage. As a part of the regular process of Social Media listening organizations have to anticipate the issues that may arise and respond appropriate and also leverage any positives.
While there are no defined standards for using Social Media there are clear aspects that are known that any organization should follow. Failing which could result in serious implications.