Social Media Risks: Understanding and Avoiding Risky Situations

Social Media RisksThere’s always going to be something in the world that stands out as risky, and there will always be people willing to take those risks. In this article, you will read about some of the risks associated with social campaigns and using a site like Facebook for business.

Inevitably, you’re going to see something and think, “I already knew that was risky!” But much like a smoker aware of the problems with smoking, you may decide that the risk is worth it. However, if you want to avoid taking unnecessary risks in your social campaign, below are some tips for doing so.

Big Risks in Social Media and How to Avoid Them

Risk and Consequence: The Information Leak

One of the unfortunate aspects of dealing with online social media is that anything can end up leaking out and harming you. For instance, let’s say that you’re the face of your brand and have a reputation as an upstanding, charitable citizen. But, uh-oh, there’s a video of you saying some insulting things. This Riley Cooper-type situation is extremely common, and though you might understand that the age of instant information is risky, you might not grasp just how frequently your personal behavior can damage you.

How to Prevent It: Conducting Yourself Professionally

This is where you need to wear your professional hat at all times. Now, you don’t need to be chaste and subservient like a priest, avoiding any and all fun in life; but you do need to understand that something affecting you can affect your overall brand. Be a professional at all times.

Risk and Consequence: Inconsistent Promotion

Okay, so, there’s a lot of things here we’re going to throw under this tent. Things like over-promoting yourself, over-promising on things you cannot deliver, and being inconsistent with what your brand stands for. Social media is incredibly risky in this regard, as any brand inconsistencies could lead to brand failure. And it’s just so easy to put information out there.

How to Prevent It: Consistent Brand Awareness

You can prevent everything listed above, plus much more, by being aware of what your brand stands for all around. It means to ensure that any employees working for you are on the same page. It means to stick with a schedule for posting, stay on target, and to present a unified front.

Risk and Consequence: Negative Publicity

Although you’re not selling products from a cart directly on your Facebook page, you are still promoting your brand there and are building a customer base there. So if people have anything negative to say about your brand, your social media sites are probably where they’re going to vent. There’s a huge risk in taking a negative PR blast online. We’re not talking about getting trolled; we’re talking about a disgruntled customer feeling slighted, and that particular criticism snowballing until it becomes a smear campaign against your brand. See McDonald’s and their recent epic fail Twitter campaign.

How to Prevent It: Be as Proactive as You Are Reactive

A way to prevent negative comments to grow out of proportion is to always have measures in place to monitor what customer says. For negative feedback, you need to have customer service in place to handle these situations—people who can answer in a professional and polite manner so you don’t give the impression that you’re hiding.

There are many different risks associated with operating an online campaign. The few discussed above should give you a general overview on how to handle negative situations preemptively. As people, we’re all inherent risk-takers. It’s most likely how we got to this point in the first place. But some risks are simply unnecessary and can hurt your campaign.

Craig Robinson is a professional writer for Qwaya, a technology company specializing in Facebook marketing. If you have more social media marketing questions, feel free to ask Craig on Twitter.

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