As a team of social media gurus, our team consistently preaches the value of social media to our clients. And we truly believe in its power. We work with hundreds of clients and have seen the proof of success on many occasions. It’s an awesome tool for strengthening your brand, engaging with your target audiences, and driving targeted traffic to your website. But are there situations when social media can hurt, rather than help?
It is important to approach social media with a cohesive plan and branding standards for anyone who participates in sharing for your company. Here are a few times when social media can potentially have a negative impact on your brand:
- Going silent. So you’ve created social profiles and linked them from your website? Is that enough? Absolutely not. Having company profiles you do not update regularly can discourage visitors. What happens when you’re looking for information and you visit a page only to realize the page contains little or no recent information? You look elsewhere for answers. Don’t let your target audience be disappointed or have a need to visit your competitors profiles to find the answers they are looking for.
- Using groups or tactics incorrectly. If you’re following trends in social media, you know that changes happen often and quickly. But what happens if you use a tactic incorrectly? For example, if you join a LinkedIn group focused around an educational topic related to your industry, but you only post promotional material, you may be banned from using that group. It’s great to follow trends and we highly encourage participation — but if you aren’t sure how to approach something, be sure to thoroughly research or consult with your social advisor before jumping in.
- Posting anything offensive or controversial. When you’re representing a brand online, it’s important to remember that you are portraying the values and mission of the company. Oftentimes, company pages are NOT the place to share political or controversial opinions.
- Self-promotion. While every item you post should represent your company well, this doesn’t mean that every post should be a sales tool. It is certainly appropriate to talk about your services, but this should only be a limited piece of your overall strategy, which is focused on building your brand and engaging your users.
- Confusing your followers. Your online presence should be clear. You should have one single company page representing your business on each platform. If you have multiple pages, users will likely be confused on which one is the “real” page and where they should go for information. Claim your online listings, create company social media pages, and have one consistent brand showcased across all of these platforms. The more cohesive your online presence is, the more professional your brand appears online.
Social media is a great resource for your company, with many opportunities you don’t want to overlook. For more information on how to use social media, check out this series on how to use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn for staffing, or download our eBook: Social Media – A Game Plan for Staffing and Recruiting Firms.