What is the risk of Social Media?

Could it be the risk of negative comments, or is it a bigger risk not being there?

In a very interesting blog Jay Baer discusses the 11 myths of Social Media and Content Marketing – the one he leaves out in my opinion is: Social Media is risky! (Number 12 perhaps). Yes there is risk, but there is also reward. Risk is easily managed where rewards are boundless.

Perceived risk

Too often the excuse for not being active on social media or entertaining a content marketing strategy is that social media opens channels for the public to post negative comments that can destroy the brand.  While this is somewhat true it always makes me smile to watch people squirm when I respond with

“Just because you are not on social media, it doesn’t mean people are not talking about your brand”

Negative comments only damage a brand when ignored. The joy of social media is the ability to gain direct access to how your brand is perceived in the market place. Negative comments can be dealt with and your brand can be seen to take fans seriously. Talk about making the most out of a poor situation.

The second most popular reason for ignoring social media is the risk that competitors will gain access to your strategies. Remember this is social media – the focus being on social – you don’t publish any content not meant for public consumption in your content marketing strategy. C’mon guys, this isn’t rocket science!

Ok, so what can you do to minimise social media risk?

Of course there are ways to increase the chances of receiving negative comments or attracting attention for all the wrong reasons. So here are my tips:

  1. Respond quickly

    If someone engages with your brand via social media, respond. And do it quickly. Negative or positive, make sure your brand is available.

  2. Don’t ignore negative comments.

    They wont go away and others will notice your lack of response and take it for acceptance of guilt.

  3. Avoid topics that can cause offence

    Religion, politics and sex are often areas for concern. Don’t go looking for trouble.

  4. Post regularly

    Remember Social Media is social, so join the conversation, pipe up and/or start a new conversation.
    Without regular updates your pages will look hollow.

  5. Don’t fight

    Social Media is not a medium to get into arguments. Rather direct arguments to a private forum.

Don’t risk alienating clients

People are expecting websites, they are expecting Facebook and Twitter accounts. if you do not provide them means to communicate with your brand you will lose credibility. The risk of not being online is far greater than the risk of being there. Especially if you use common sense, good business sense and place your customer’s needs at the forefront of your mind.


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