Social Media Issues Are Growing More Complex For SMBs
There’s no question that social media has hit mass appeal. Taking a brief look at how much news is coming out about social networks can show the interest level is at an all-time high. As this new type of business interaction becomes even more widely adopted, it seems likely that issues of even greater complexity will continue to rise.
Corporations and small businesses, in particular, have to be careful with their use of social media because when it’s mishandled, very bad things can happen. A recent report showed that corporations are losing an average of $4.3 million per year each based on troubles created by their social media presence.
The woes that befell these companies ranged from data theft to brand damage. 21% of respondents even said they had a direct financial loss of $641,993 each due to social media involvement.
If that doesn’t warn you about some of the pitfalls of using social media marketing that can happen to your business, nothing will. Right now SMBs are flocking to social media because it offers such a relevant way to find people who might be interested in their products or services. Social media represents a new flavor of the most powerful type of marketing for products that has always existed: word of mouth. However, done wrong, the opposite will also hold true. Never before have angry customers had a wider audience to broadcast their misgivings to. Companies who ignore the potential ramifications of not handling their social media responsibilities properly could end up in the financial ‘hurt locker’ just like the ones who responded to the Symantec survey.
Good social media practices begin and end with a disciplined approach to engagement and customer service that naturally extends to your dealings with people in the ‘social space.’ Symantec is extremely interested in this vertical since they plan on aggressively promoting their social media archival service, which is one more way to make sure companies meet complex compliance requirements in sectors like financial services. What you say, and how you say it, could end up costing your company millions. That points out the need now, more than ever, for companies to follow social media best practices to ensure compliance requirements are met, and to use the medium as a source for new business and responsible engagement.