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Understanding the risks of social media

manconferencetable30341271.jpgJust about everyone is involved with social media right now. Social media sites provide people with a wonderful opportunity to interact with one another and it provides businesses with a unique opportunity to get in touch with their customers. With just a simple message, you can easily spread the word about your products to an entirely new audience.

Social media sites are free, which make them an attractive opportunity for many companies that are looking for online marketing opportunities. You don't have to pay to post your message like you do with other sites where you want to advertise.

The customers you want to reach are on social media sites. On average social media customers spend 6 hours or more on social media sites each month. With millions of people joining social media sites each year, the thought to get on social media sites has certainly crossed the minds of many marketing gurus.

More and more social media sites are springing up and one of the biggest risks companies face when they join these sites is joining too many of them or joining the wrong ones.

The global presence you can create by using social media sites is absolutely amazing. Within seconds your message can be delivered all over the world, allowing you to easily get in touch with a large group of customers.

Which social media sites should you join? Right now Facebook is by far the most popular of all the social media sites, bringing in about 206.9 million unique visitors. Since more than half of all social media users are visiting Facebook, it only makes sense to take the time to create a profile and to get on this social media site. If anything, create a profile to learn what it is all about and to start listening to what people are saying. This can help you to see into the minds of your customers a little bit and you will have an easier time understanding their needs and how you can reach your customers easily.

According to Neilsen rankings and many businesses, every single social media user is worth $100. With the value of each customer worth $100, every singles person that becomes your customer on social media will bring in hundreds of dollars. This is why social media is so valuable to businesses because the customers are worth so much money.

While social media sites come with so many opportunities, they also come with a lot of risk. The message you have been sending out in the past are no longer relevant on social media sites. You no longer send a marketing message, now you engage in conversations. Careful conversations because you can easily have your message taken the wrong way.

Many larger companies have found that their brand is at risk with social media sites because customers can speak out against them. They can start up a group about the things they hate about your company and can easily acquire a large number of followers. This leaves you in the hot seat as you are trying not to lose prospective customers that may be the friends of the people involved in these groups.

Read through the social media sites rules and regulations to ensure you are in compliance. There are so many risks with social media sites that you could damage your reputation with false advertising or any misleading claims. Never try to improperly influence people to give you favorable reviews as this can violate the user agreement to most of the social media sites out there.

While customers are free to do as they please, you need to be careful about what freedom of speech truly entails. You may think your company is free to join certain "activist" groups and other things only to find out you could have a defamation case against you. These cases are rare in the US but in other countries where freedom of speech works differently, you could be in serious trouble.

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