Stories abound about how companies, both big and small, have used the reach provided by Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for boosting their business. Therefore, social media can make your business a roaring success. It has come as a boon for smaller businesses acting as a large platform they can market innovative products or services on which they otherwise could never afford.
However, there’s a flip side to the story. Social media can be your enemy if you do not manage it properly. You suffer a slip-of-tongue, and it’ll spread around the world like wildfire. Therefore, while social media can build a business, it can also break one in a matter of minutes.
There are major risks that need close monitoring. We list the major ones to guide you.
Social media can trigger massive negative publicity, greatly damaging the reputation of your company. Your business may find itself in a major legal tangle if inappropriate comments get posted about a competitor on a social media platform.
If you are to avoid causing damage to your brand reputation, you must give your audience due to respect, and a lot of thought needs to go in before you post anything. You’ve got to be careful about making posts that may be considered insensitive, like the outrage created by AT&T in 2013 after posting a sales tweet on 9/11, a social media disaster.
The solution is simple. There should be a proper approval mechanism in place which involves seniors in the management clearing any communication on social media. You should avoid putting any individual in a junior position in charge as lack of experience can cause massive damage that may need years to repair.
Engaging in two-way dialogue
You can interact with customers on social media in real-time, which helps you reach out to them, acting as a beautiful platform you can bond with them on. However, this aspect of social media is a double-edged sword. The same social media can be a platform where customers can express dissatisfaction about your product or service.
Such expression of dissatisfaction on a platform with a global reach can cause immense damage to the reputation of your brand. If the post from an unhappy customer finds many takers, you have a major crisis in your hands.
As a solution, keep a hawk-eye on the social media platforms your business is on. The moment you see negative feedback, address it. It’ll help ensure that your brand reputation remains undamaged, and it also reassures customers that you do care about how they feel about what you offer and that you are there for them.
Waste of company’s time
We all know how addictive social media can be. Don’t you feel an urge to keep checking how many likes your posts have received? That’s addiction, and it’s infectious. You might end up finding your employees spending too much time on social media, neglecting other official work.
That greatly hampers employee productivity and is a very damaging influence on your organization’s work culture. Spending too much time on social media may also cause a dip in individual employee morale if any post doesn’t receive expected praise.
You should monitor what sites your employees visit, and the time they spend on them. You may block social media sites for general employees, keeping them accessible only to those who need to work on them. Of course, these are drastic measures that employees won’t appreciate. Be extremely careful when it comes to boundaries of monitoring.
There’s always a risk of confidential and sensitive company information being leaked outside after a hacking attack, by spyware, or bugs. Hackers are on the prowl to steal not just sensitive data of individuals, but those of companies as well to damage company reputation and credibility. Sadly, data breaches are on a steady rise. The Verizon Business 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report reveals that while phishing attacks rose by 11 percent, ransomware attacks saw a rise of 6 percent. That’s a worrisome situation indeed.
It is recommended that all companies encourage their employees to work while having Virtual Private Networks enabled. There are many business-focused products that will reassure safe access regardless of the network. However, companies need to educate their team members on the necessity of VPNs in their personal lives. After all, hackers go after individuals as well. Thus, a VPN for home is a great option for anyone wanting a secure internet connection and protection from online surveillance.
It’s tricky how social media can both make and break a business. There’s a threat to brand reputation and major security risks involved as well when your employees access social media. You’ll have to be watchful about your employees’ presence on it. Our tips will help you take precautions before it’s too late.