When it comes to social media, there are plenty of ways that businesses can be both powered by and vulnerable to it. It holds the potential to scale, but it could also end up being a hub for negative feedback. This article will explain what the pros are, and what the risks are, and how they can be mitigated.
Reaching new audiences with ease
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of social media for a business user is the ease with which you can reach new audiences in an easily scalable way. With Facebook and its associated services boasting billions of users around the world, investing the time and energy in reaching them is a great way to spread your key brand messages, get uptake on a specific offer, and more. Of course, it’s not nearly as simple as setting up a page on Facebook or an account on Twitter and then hoping that it will reach people: there’s still some strategy involved!
However, the good news is that there are plenty of options. Viral content creators can help enhance your brand and expose it to many different people in sometimes just a matter of minutes. Partnering with established brands for a link-sharing arrangement or guest blogging services can also help get you a foot on the social media promotion ladder. If you need to get to the dizzy heights of social media success either quickly or to a very precise audience, then it’s worth investigating advertising platforms such as Facebook’s – as this can allow access to specific demographic groups within a short space of time.
The risks of negative feedback
To some customers, however, social media is essentially an enhanced complaints desk. Writing a complaint on a website such as Twitter or Facebook is in many ways easier than making a phone call. The well-established, addictive psychological hits that users of social media receive when they publish something and then receive feedback from those in their networks means that there is little chance of the trend of taking to the internet to complain reversing any time soon.
For the brand, this can pose a problem. It can mean that mistakes made by your company, such as wrongly processed refunds or malfunctioning products, can be exposed to a pool of potential new customers with just a moment’s notice. For that reason, it’s wise to invest the time and money in training up some members of social media staff whose express purpose is to look after your online brand in this way, and to ensure that someone is always on hand to respond apologetically and constructively to any online complaints.
Just like any advertising medium, social media has its advantages and disadvantages, but for a new business looking to get started, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. From the potential that it offers to reach new audiences for specific purposes to the ease with which complaints and negative feedback can be managed, there’s really no reason not to be on social.