Social media is an incredible medium for business outreach given its ease of use, affordability, and all around popularity. Surprisingly, however, it can also be just as harmful as it is helpful to growing companies, especially if it isn’t used wisely. Following are five ways social media can negatively impact your online marketing efforts and the development of your brand image.
1. Too Much Exposure Too Soon
One of the biggest dangers of social media is attracting too much attention before you have an effective and proactive reputation management strategy in place. Companies often enter this arena with little expectation of problems. Taking a stance on the wrong issues, making insensitive or uneducated comments, or getting caught up in trending topics without a comprehensive understanding of how these conversations will ultimately impact brand image is bound to become problematic. Moreover, as evidenced by the daily deal problems that many companies faced several years ago, using social media to broadcast deep discounts can also get small-sized businesses into trouble when demand significantly exceeds inventory.
2. Wasting Time and Money
Social media isn’t really free to use when you account for the time that you spend using it. Many company owners pass this responsibility on to employees or even interns in order to better focus on the more urgent needs of their growing businesses. It takes time to learn the most effective social media marketing strategies, and it will take even more time to implement, manage, and track them. All of this takes a toll on your available talent pool. More importantly, if you try to cut corners by handing the task off to the wrong person, you could find yourself in the middle of a public relations snafu. Having a trained person who can strategically craft your online image is ultimately an investment worth making whether that person works in-house or you outsource to a San Diego SEO agency.
3. Focusing on the Wrong Goals
Every good marketing plan produces increases in both conversions and profits by engaging prospects and loyal customers alike. Unfortunately, social media can get companies focusing on all the wrong accomplishments. While gaining more followers and likes is definitely a positive sign, these increases aren’t guaranteed to have a positive impact on your bottom line. It’s also important for companies to avoid placing too much focus on volume instead of value. The goal isn’t to capture the fleeting attention of a mass audience for mere seconds. The goal is to bolster and build your existing relationships, reveal the personable side of your business, gain trust, and foster increased market engagement. A positive post that strengthens your bond with a few loyal clients is better than one that gains a passing chuckle from a few thousand, random web users.
4. Extreme Competition
It’s fast, it’s free, and it’s easy to use. For this and countless other reasons, companies and independent professionals throughout the world are flocking to these platforms to claim their fair share of marketing attention. Like every other marketing medium that’s inundated with users, social media is slowly losing its ability to quickly connect businesses with targeted audiences. It’s all too easy to get lost in a sea of irrelevant information and spam if you don’t have a defined social media strategy for attracting, maintaining, and growing your target audience.
5. Neglecting Offline Marketing and Other Online Marketing Efforts
Social media marketing will never suffice as a standalone marketing solution. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what a lot of businesses are making it out to be. This type of outreach can be extremely detrimental to your overall marketing efforts if it causes you to overlook the need for a seamlessly integrated, multi-pronged marketing plan that includes both online and offline strategies. Social media should not be where the entirety of your marketing budget is exhausted nor should it be the area in which your company is spending the greatest amount of time. If used wisely and moderately, however, social media can definitely complement and round out a well-organized and all-encompassing marketing plan.