Unless you’re operating your business from under a rock, you’re probably aware that social media is an increasingly powerful way to connect with prospective customers, build brand awareness, and spread your message. Insiders are forecasting a lot of changes for social media in 2013, and many small-business owners are eagerly adapting their existing marketing strategies.
As you embrace the newest that the social web has to offer, be sure that you aren’t exposing your business to any unnecessary risks. Here’s a quick guide to avoiding the main threats associated with 2013’s newest social media innovations.
- Team tweeting (or blogging, or pinning, or sharing…): Social media analysts agree that 2013 will see social media marketing become a job for all members of an organization – not just the marketing department. This makes sense: with more people updating a Facebook page or Twitter feed, you can communicate more valuable and dynamic messages – but you’ll also expose yourself to more risks. Accounts accessed from multiple devices can be more easily hacked, and having several employees behind messaging means a greater opportunity for content that might offend someone or trigger legal issues. Protect your business by following strict keyword and encryption protocol and making sure your professional liability insurance is up-to-date.
- Data management systems: This year, small businesses will have access to software that lets them manage vast quantities of data more easily, which means they can better translate scads information into profitable marketing efforts. Before you cue up the Hallelujah chorus, though, keep in mind that storing more data means taking on additional risks of data breaches. Luckily, security efforts and cyber liability insurance can prevent breaches from costing your business money or client trust.
- Formal social media education: Colleges and universities are starting to offer courses dedicated to social media marketing – some are even offering advanced business degrees with a social media focus. In addition, more executives are providing professional social media training to their teams. Translation? If you want to avoid being left behind by your competition, you need to get serious about making sure you and your team are current on the latest developments in social media. If enrolling in a dedicated MBA program seems excessive, at least ensure that you’re subscribing to relevant blogs and attending webinars that will keep you informed.
- Interdependent social media marketing: As various social media networks offer blending capabilities (think embedded YouTube videos on Facebook), successful social media marketing demands that businesses create a consistent message across various channels. Fail to meet this expectation, and you risk losing out on valuable opportunities for customer engagement and conversion.
Questions about the risks associated with the social media marketing you do right now? Share them below. We’ll do our best to get you answers!