The days of advertising strictly through radio, television, newspapers and magazines are long gone. Those means of advertising and marketing are still extremely effective today however with online businesses growing at the rate that they are, it is mandatory that all businesses dedicate their time and money to broadcasting across multiple social media platforms. Now, if you are running a small business and don’t have the financial freedom to outsource to a professional production company to make your ads, have no fear, that is the beauty of social media marketing. You have a plethora of platforms to broadcast across that are of low cost, however what you will save in money you will lose in time and probably your emotional well-being. But hey it’s all worth it, right?
Although there are more rewards to marketing and advertising using social media, the few risks that there are have the ability to create PR disasters the magnitude of which your small business might not be able to handle. Even large corporations have fallen victim to said PR disasters by not properly monitoring their Twitter accounts. This is a very common dilemma that is completely avoidable, so remember, once it’s on the Internet its available for the whole world to see. Make sure that you are in control of any and all content that you plan on sharing publicly so that you don’t risk your reputation, this means that either you are doing all of the posting yourself or you find someone who is responsible and trustworthy to write up posts/tweets/newsletters/etc. and then you approve it before it goes public.
Two examples come to mind when I think of a major risk associated with social media marketing. Accidental tweets! There are two large corporations who have made these mistakes and have received serious backlash from the public aka the Twittersphere; Chrysler Auto who accidentally tweeted the F word about the traffic while driving in Detroit, while thinking he was tweeting from a personal account and Kenneth Cole who tweeted out “#Cairo”, which was trending due to the Egyptian uprising, while trying to promote their spring collection (The Business Insider). Both of these companies went through the ringer due to their disregard of attention to detail and censorship. This is probably the biggest risk when it comes to marketing through social media because even though you can delete content right after it is posted, there is someone out there who can has already seen it and possibly passed it on. My Dad has a saying “measure twice, cut once”, take the time to think about what you really want to say, everything you publicize should be perfect and valuable.