There’s no real conspiracy surrounding social media usage… But there are a number of social media dangers that can have catastrophic effects on your brand if you’re not careful how you use social media. Parents often feel the pressure to be perfect and to present a perfect life on social media, and brands feel the same. Often, negativity can come from unexpected places, having lasting effects on your brand. But how should it affect your strategic (or not so strategic) choices?
Don’t get sucked into the argument vortex
Internet trolls are everywhere… Sometimes they are just looking to get a rise out of you, and sometimes they just want to make you look bad. On the other hand, parenting is extremely personal and sometimes people can feel very strongly about their opinion. It can be easy to get caught up in comment threads, but that can have negative effects on your brand if you say something you really shouldn’t. If you come across a comment on either your post or someone else’s that is aggravated in any way, just don’t engage. You are likely not going to convince someone of your point of view in a comment section online, but you may end up giving a bad impression about you and your business. And what you say on your personal accounts affects your business and brand as well!
Avoid knee jerk reactions
We’ve grown accustomed to seeing Donald Trump’s Twitter rants. Those types of rants on social media generally come from a place of anger, defensive thinking, or from being misinformed on a topic. Everything you say on social media should be carefully thought out. If you are feeling anxious or angry while typing, it’s best to step away for a minute and come back to revise it. You need to be authentic in your communications, yes, but people will hold you and your brand accountable for everything that you say.
Be Aware of reality vs. social media
There is a strong divide between reality and social media worlds when it comes to the content that is posted online. As a brand, you are trying to paint a perfect picture to draw in your audience, but you always need to be careful that you are still making a human connection. Whether you use user-generated content or your design and messaging reflects what your audience can relate to, your end goal is to build relationships with your customer. Sometimes that may mean poking a little humour at the reality side of things.
Prepare for the “invincible” mob mentality
Your audience – and everyone else – will hold you accountable for everything you promise. They will also be more likely to pick apart a mistake you did and share it around before they would praise you for doing something good. That’s not to say you should be cynical when you are creating your social media strategy, but you should be careful about what you promise and the language you use.
The latest issue to come to light is the growing number of unsubstantiated, or just generally made up, news posted to social media. In many cases, it’s like a rousing game of “broken telephone” where the message is so convoluted by the last person it has lost any sense of the beginning message. What this means for you as a brand is that you should double-check your facts before posting anything. You don’t want to add to the fake news onslaught nor do you want to come across as anything but truthful.
Social media, when used in the right ways, will do many great things for your business. However, there are traps you can easily fall into that you should try to avoid at all cost.