The Disadvantages of Social Media (brace yourself)
1. You can thoroughly embarrass yourself.
Social media is a “potential vehicle to damage – with great fury and velocity – the reputation of your company.” Remember that sentence? Due to the viral aspect of social media, posts can grow “legs” and spread beyond your immediate pool of followers. And if the post is questionable or perhaps offensive? That post can be seen – and persistently vilified – by countless viewers.
This kind of “misinterpreted” post can harm your business’s reputation, and by extension, affect your sales.
What can you do to prevent utter online embarrassment? Research the content of your post. See if it can be interpreted in harmful ways. Make sure any hashtags represent exactly what you think they represent. A viral post interpreted negatively can really damage a brand. So, be smart. Do the research.
Adding to the last point, you can be the victim of misinformation. Someone with an unfounded negative perception of your business can spread half-truths, one-sided arguments, and outright lies about your business. This sort of misinformation, if not countered thoroughly and quicky, can tarnish your company’s reputation. And we know where that leads – less sales.
2. People can leave negative feedback.
People post what they love, but they also post what they don’t – and that goes for poor experiences with a business, be it a poorly performed service, underwhelming products, poor customer service, etc. Social media gives them the ability to immediately share their poor experience – a share that can be seen by their followers and yours.
And this negative feedback comes in many forms depending on the social media channel. Using Facebook as an example, a disgruntled customer can leave a negative comment on a post, or leave a poor review.
Is social media a magnet for negativity? Well, I would say social media is more of a catalyst for negative feedback and complaining. Why? Because it makes it very, very easy to do so. However, this is perhaps a good thing – it warns people of any poor experiences, and hopefully, improves the processes of any company in question.
People rely on the experiences of others before moving forward or making a purchase, so too much negative feedback can really hurt a business.
What can you do after receiving negative feedback? Respond to it – don’t ignore it. Leaving customer issues unaddressed means you’re willfully ignoring them. Look, here’s the reality – you’re going to get negative feedback. It’s going to happen. Not everyone is going to have a good experience with your business. Even if they did, objectively speaking, they can still feel slighted by something utterly ridiculous and leave a poor review. So, make sure to respond.
Regardless of the poor experience (earned or misperceived), responding to the comment or review speaks to the values of your business. It shows you care. It shows you’re concerned. And it shows how important you consider each and every customer interaction.
3. Social media eats up a lot of time.
And I mean A LOT. You’ll have to regularly collect, create, and post content. And you’ll have to monitor that content in order to gauge – and respond to – customer engagement. If you’re running ads, you’ll have to monitor, tweak, and analyze the ads to gauge their effectiveness.
If your business is small, or you don’t have the dedicated personnel, you’ll struggle with maintaining the effectiveness of any campaign.
Social media management is such an important aspect of your marketing, so if you can’t quite manage the immensity of it, you may need to hire some extra help, or bring in help from an outside firm.
4. You have to be patient for results.
Your social media campaigns, paid and unpaid, take time to bear fruit. This as an aspect that clients might not enjoy. They invested money – on a monthly basis – so they want to see results. They want to see a return on their investment.
What to keep in mind: The campaign counts more than individual posts. In other words, the success/failure of one post doesn’t determine the success of your campaign – it takes multiple posts over a period of time to determine the success of your overall strategy.
So, just make sure to track the results of each post and look at the data. Is there a pattern? Are certain posts more engaging than others? Use this accumulation of data to tweak your campaign and create posts that boast better engagement over time.