The Downside of Social Media Marketing

You may be surprised at the subject of this post. After all, our last post touted the great benefits social media can bring you.

But you need to be very careful what you do with your social media tools (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), because whatever  you post lives on the Web forever (even if you delete it.)

Tired after a hard day and so you vent — you think in a “nice” and “funny” way — about a problem client. What if the client reads it? Do you really think she’ll think it’s “funny,” or will she feel insulted?

In addition, don’t forget that social media is two-way communication. If a client is unhappy with you he or she may say so on his or her Twitter account or Facebook page.

Think of social media as a way to enlarge your community. Social media on its face doesn’t create business or even “buzz” about your products or services. Instead it magnifies the reputation you already have.

So if you provide poor service, your clients may blog about it, tweet about it and/or write about it on Facebook.

If someone complains about you, address it immediately. The wisest way to do so is to listen to her beef, acknowledge it and then promise to do better.

And then do better. There’s always room for improvement and your customers will tell you — either point blank or in less obvious ways — how you can make their experience a positive one.

So, use social media marketing tools, but be sure to use them wisely. If in doubt, don’t post. If angry, don’t post. If called on the carpet, respond. Ask for feedback. Use it to improve.