How Mis-Guided Social Media Marketing Damages Online Reputations and Destroys Businesses
Social media is a wonderful tool for marketing your business to connect with and improve customer relations. However, social media can just as easily be a burden to your business and it's brand marketing efforts. Because the social media activity of your company has the potential to ruin the reputation of your business and, in turn, destroy your company by steering off potential customers, it's important to put prior thought and planning into the management of your social media accounts. This includes outlining how your business will respond to and interact with other users on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc.
Top Social Media Reputation Management Mistakes
Here are five of the top ways improper social media management can ruin your business reputation online and, in turn, destroy your business by steering potential new customers away, and in many cases, in to the hands of eager competitors.
1. Unintentional Remarks
Disagreements with other users can quickly escalate. When someone is continually harassing or baiting you, it's easy to lose your cool and lash out or make offensive remarks that lead to a backlash from the social media community. Always remember that any interactions with other users are public and can be seen by your customers, competitors and the media. Even if you're exchanging private messages with another user, it's important to remember that they can always post the messages publicly.
2. Persistent Internet Trolls
Trolls are people who deliberately provoke or offend other users in order to get a reaction. Some internet trolls work alone, while others gather in groups and target specific individuals or businesses. The important things to remember when dealing with trolls is that they thrive on your reactions. Every time you respond to their messages, you are giving them exactly what they want, and this will usually cause them to increase their harassment. The only way to beat a troll is to ignore them.
3. Unhappy Customers
Unhappy customers will often take to social media to vent their frustration and complain about products or businesses that haven't lived up to their expectations.
All businesses have unhappy customers from time to time, but you can usually defuse the situation by listening to the customer's complaint and taking steps to rectify the problem. Make it easy for customers to complain privately by including a complaints form on your website, as this will help to reduce the chance of customers complaining on a public platform.
4. Unscrupulous Competitors
Unscrupulous competitors can use social media as a platform to conduct a smear campaign and spread fake reviews or stories about your business. Fake reviews and negative stories can destroy customer confidence and ruin your reputation, so it's important to monitor what people are saying about your business. Check social media, forums and other platforms on a regular basis and set up a Google alert to let you know when anyone mentions your business.
5. Ill-Advised Social Marketing Campaigns
Social media marketing campaigns can easily go wrong, leading to negative publicity, humiliation and even legal problems for some businesses. Problems are often the result of using gimmicks or amateur marketers with little or no experience of running a successful advertising campaign. Gimmicks rarely work on social media, as most users have seen them all before. It's almost always best to hire professionals to design and run your social media marketing campaigns.
Social media can help to grow your business and build your brand. However, there are several pitfalls you need to avoid when marketing your business on social media. Unintentional remarks, persistent trolls, unhappy customers, unscrupulous competitors and ill-advised marketing campaigns can all damage your business reputation.
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